Dundee 2
Partick Thistle 1
League (First Division)

2 - 1

League (First Division)
Saturday, November 6th, 2010
Dens Park
Attendance: 6,022
3:00 PM Kick-off

Leigh Griffiths (14)
Jamie Adams (86)
Bryan Hodge (57)

Team Managers
Barry Smith
Ian McCall

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Gary Irvine
3. Craig McKeown
4. Rhys Weston
5. Matt Lockwood
6. Nicky Riley
7. Jamie Adams
8. Stephen O'Donnell
9. Gary Harkins
10. Leigh Griffiths
11. Sean Higgins
Scott Fox .1
Conrad Balatoni .2
Willie Kinniburgh .3
Paddy Boyle .4
Jackie McNamara .5
John Robertson .6
Paul Paton .7
Iain Flannigan .8
Martin Hardie .9
Liam Buchanan .10
Kris Doolan .11

12. Scott Findlay
14. Kyle Benedictus
15. Gary Bartlett
16. Craig Forsyth
17. David Witteveen
Bryn Halliwell .12
Martin Greehan.14
Bryan Hodge .15
Chris Erskine .16
Paul Cairney .17

Craig Forsyth for Nicky Riley (74)
David Witteveen for Leigh Griffiths (83)
Paul Cairney for Conrad Balatoni (5)
Bryan Hodge for Martin Hardie (18)
Chris Erskine for Kris Doolan (72)

Leigh Griffiths (43)
Gary Harkins (44)
Jamie Adams (89)
Willie Kinniburgh (34)
John Robertson (45)
Paul Paton (55)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Charlie Richmond (Referee)
Gary Cheyne & Mark McHendry (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

As the players left the pitch after yet another marvellous, emotional afternoon at Dens the tannoy played Heroes by David Bowie. How wonderfully fitting!

At half time the crowd applauded Dundee heroes of old; Pat Liney, Ian Ure, Tommy Coyne and Keith Wright.

At full time it was the heroes of today who took the applause of a delighted and passionate support.

After another week of worry and disappointment it was a relief to get back to the real thing, a game of football at Dens this afternoon.

Sadly, I thought at the start, it’s never just about the football. But today it felt like more, so much more than just another game.

Like last week Dundee started in a whirlwind and should have taken the lead inside two minutes. A marvellous passing move ended with Harkins and Irvine setting up O’Donnell who volleyed wide from eight yards, with ex-Dee keeper Scott Fox helpless.

Next Gary Harkins sent a fierce volley fizzing over the bar as the Dee settled into a hard running neat passing game that had the Jags struggling to see the ball.

After 14 minutes a rare Thistle attack ended with Douglas grabbing the ball and quickly hurling it out to Riley. The midfielder passed infield to GRIFFITHS, who took a touch before lashing a sensational low shot just inside Scott Fox’s left hand post from 35 yards.

Matt Lockwood was next to try his luck from distance. His swerving 25 yard rocket was too much for Fox to hold, and he was relieved to grab the ball before Higgins could turn it into the goal.

Thistle gradually managed to get a toehold in the game. Hardie’s header from a corner was tipped over by Douglas. The big keeper then couldn’t take a Flannigan corner and Doolan scooped the ball over as the Dee defence crowded round him.

Partick defender Kinniburgh was lucky to stay on the park when he grabbed Griffiths to try and stop him bursting through. Leigh managed to recover his balance, but his shot was saved by Fox. Referee Richmond handled the situation well by bringing play back for a free kick and booking the defender. A more impetuous referee would have stopped play immediately, denied Dundee the chance and sent off Kinniburgh.

The second half saw a more confident Partick who were now matching the Dee in midfield. Their equaliser after 57 minutes owed much to Buchanan’s determination to chase after a long ball and win a corner off Weston. When the ball came over it was cleared only as far as HODGE, 20 yards out, and his perfectly struck half-volley flew threw a crowd of players and past the unsighted Douglas.

Partick now sat back trying to contain the Dee and catch the home side out on the break. Buchanan’s tireless running kept the defenders on their toes, but the tactic allowed Dundee to wind up the pressure.

Gary Irvine nearly scored with another rasping shot from distance that took a deflection and forced Fox to scramble the ball away for a corner.

At the other end Partick nearly snatched the lead from another corner, but Douglas saved brilliantly from Boyle’s drive.

With four minutes to go Dundee's patient pressure paid off. A spell of sustained pressure saw a succession of crosses into the away penalty area. Every time Partick scrambled the ball clear it came straight back at them, with Stephen O'Donnell pulling the strings deep in Thistle's half.

Finally, Harkins' cross from the right was nodded out as far as Matt Lockwood on the left. The full back blasted a fierce, low cross-shot into the goalmouth where ADAMS flicked the ball home, and that was when the dear old stadium really got a shock the likes of which it hasn’t had in years! What a roar!

With Dundee fans in good numbers and great voice in the Shankly end, all four sides of the ground were roaring and cheering the Dee home for the last few minutes.

Rab Douglas still had to pull out a magnificent save from a Kinniburgh header, and Dundee had to survive the resulting scramble.

At last, at nearly 4:55 Mr Richmond blew the whistle and the dark blue support rose to their feet to cheer the heroes of 2010. The last Partick player had long since reached the changing room when the Dundee players started to leave the pitch.

From Rab Douglas in goal, all the way through to Sean Higgins and Leigh Griffiths, this was a performance full of pride and determination. No ball was too far away to chase, no effort was too much to make for the team.

It was fitting that Jamie Adams should score the winning goal, after a powerful, lung-bursting performance in midfield. In the first half he took a knock in the face that we could hear in the press box. I’d have been signed off for a week, but after a few minutes emergency cosmetic surgery he was back in action.

The game against Partick in August was a miserable, dull affair. The return match today wasn’t truly high quality, but it was always gripping, and the finale gave Dundee supporters something to really cheer.

This was yet another of those days that reminds supporters just why they support the Dee. With heroes like these in the stands there is always hope for the Dee.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at November 6th, 2010)

2010-11 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)38 13 - 204 -
Matt Lockwood34 111111
Rhys Weston30 11 - 11 -
Gary Irvine25 13 - 13 -
Craig McKeown25 16 - 49 -
Stephen O'Donnell27 151151
Gary Harkins25 1626120
Jamie Adams23 131131
Nicky Riley24 153153
Leigh Griffiths20 1695530
Sean Higgins26 1534710
Craig Forsyth (sub)21 14 - 526
David Witteveen (sub) - 4141

League Table (as at November 6th, 2010)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

The circumstances in which I was given the honour of managing the club meant that it would be very difficult times. The decision by the Scottish Football League this week has made that task an incredibly difficult one but make no mistake it is one the players and I will be up for.

I was shocked and stunned at the severity of the League's decision. The whole way they make up the rules isn't right. The SPL penalty is 10 points, but the SFL think it's 25 points and they have set a precedent now. I believe there will be other clubs in this position before long and it will be interesting to see what happens then.

I spoke to the players after the news and they are up for the challenge. The SFL made a decision which looks like they don't want Dundee in this League anymore. The challenge I have given the players is to go and prove to them that we deserve to be here. We can survive what has happened and stay in the First Division - I have to be positive.

The character the players showed coming back against Dunfermline was unbelievable and they really appreciated the patience of the support after going 2-0 down. Last week we found ourselves on the other end of things after going 2-0 up early on against Falkirk then eventually drawing the game. Again, I couldn't have asked any more of the players in terms of their work rate, attitude, spirit, and character, but we do need to start being a bit more street-wise in terms of how we're defending, as a team, not just the defenders.

Our forwards have been scoring on a regular basis and six goals in three games is good form. Sean Higgins has benefited from getting a regular start and I am looking for him to add to his two goals he has scored against Dunfermline and Falkirk. He was taken off last week with an injury but resumed training on Thursday and will be available today. Leigh Griffiths is buzzing at the moment and three goals in as many weeks should give him all the confidence he needs. David Witteveen is available again after his hamstring problems and he has had a full week of training for the first time in a while and will give us an option up front that we don't really have in other areas of the team because of the size of the squad.

The position we find ourselves in now means that we have to go out and win games and although we have played well since I took over we have only drawn games when we should have probably won at least two of them. Three points are vital if we are to have a chance of staying in this Division.

It has once again been an emotional week but for the 90 minutes on a Saturday it is the best chance the players have to go out and forget about what's going on elsewhere and I know that they will be up for it today.

Your support for the players and the club has been inspiring and once again ask for that same backing today.