Dundee 3
Cowdenbeath 0
League (First Division)

3 - 0

League (First Division)
Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
Dens Park
Attendance: 3,503
3:00 PM Kick-off

Craig Forsyth (37)
Nicky Riley (66)
Craig McKeown (68)

Team Managers
Barry Smith
Jimmy Nicholl

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Gary Irvine
3. Craig McKeown
4. Rhys Weston
5. Matt Lockwood
6. Nicky Riley
7. Gary Harkins
8. Stephen O'Donnell
9. Craig Forsyth
10. Sean Higgins
11. Leigh Griffiths
David Hay .1
John Armstrong .2
Joe Mbu .3
Scott Linton .4
Mark Baxter .5
Craig Winter .6
Colin Cameron .7
Lee Sibanda .8
Mark Ramsay .9
Marc McKenzie .10
John Dempster .11

12. Dominic Cervi
14. Kyle Benedictus
15. Allan Tulleth
16. Jonny Stewart
17. Leighton McIntosh
Ludovic Roy .12
Thomas O'Brien.14
Brian Fairbairn .15
Greg Stewart .16
Jon Robertson .17

Jonny Stewart for Sean Higgins (78)
Leighton McIntosh for Leigh Griffiths (87)
Brian Fairbairn for Joe Mbu (63)
Greg Stewart for Lee Sibanda (69)
Jon Robertson for John Dempster (77)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steven McLean (Referee)
Gordon Middleton & Alan Hogg (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee continued their fine form under new manager Barry Smith with an excellent win against Cowdenbeath that sent the dark blue faithful homewards with beaming smiles.

The 3-0 scoreline is a poor reflection on Dundee's dominance and the professional way that they dismantled the visitors. If Dundee had scored six or seven Cowdenbeath would have had no complaints. If top scorer Leigh Griffiths had been more composed then Dundee's total would surely have been doubled.

Cowdenbeath have adapted well to the First Division and showed that they are a useful side when they deservedly beat Dundee at Central Park in September. Tonight Dundee made them look a poor team who were second best all over the pitch.

The striking feature of Dundee's play was their patient build up. The players seemed to have the confidence to retain possession and play their way around the Cowdenbeath defence, waiting for the right opportunity to go for goal. They knew that if they kept the ball and kept probing then the chances would come.

The first clear chance came midway through the first half when Leigh Griffiths was left unmarked from a comer, but his header was hacked clear on the goal line.

Dundee kept pressing and probing, exploiting space behind the full backs and pulling the Cowdenbeath central defenders out of position. The opening goal after 37 minutes came at the end of a lengthy passing move in which the Dundee midfielders were determined to hold onto the ball rather than hoof it hopefully into the penalty area.

Craig McKeown played the killer pass in to Griffiths, who spun away from his marker and shot for the far comer. Hay, the Cowdenbeath keeper, saved well but just set the ball up for Craig Forsyth who blasted it high into the net for his first goal of the season.

Dundee should have added a second immediately, passing up two great chances in the next couple of minutes. First Riley lashed the ball just wide after a scramble in the six yard box then Griffiths lamely chipped over the bar when clean through on Hay.

Cowdenbeath switched to 4-4-2 after half time, which should have given more cover to the defence while providing more threat in attack. Losing a man in midfield merely allowed Dundee to take complete control of the match, however.

Dundee's movement and organisation meant that there was always a man available, always someone in space, and usually someone making a threatening run. If Cowdenbeath moved forward they left themselves horribly vulnerable to a breakaway. Dundee should have increased their lead ten minutes into the second half. Griffiths led a break out of defence, running at a single defender with Forsyth in support. Spurning the chance to send his teammate clear on goal he failed with an extravagantly ambitious chip from 30 yards.

He didn't have long to wait for another chance. A long clearance sent Griffiths clear into the penalty area. Sparky's fierce shot wes tipped onto the post by Hay and Higgins couldn't force the rebound home.

After 66 minutes Dundee got the second goal they deserved. from a quick thinking breakaway. Matt Lockwood headed a Cowdenbeath comer out to the left and chased after it to win a throw in. Taking it quickly he found Griffiths in space just inside the Cowdenbeath half. This time Griffiths turned quickly and sent Riley clear to slam a low shot past Hay from the edge of the area.

Again the loss of a goal seemed to shake Cowdenbeath and Dundee went for their throat. Craig Forsyth raced into the penalty area and his low cross was desperately scrambled clear for a comer

Stephen O'Donnell worked a short comer with Gary Irvine and hit a great cross to the far post where Craig McKeown rose to batter an unstoppable header home for his first goal in dark blue.

Barry Smith took the chance to give Johnny Stewart a debut in place of Sean Higgins, with Gary Harkins moving into attack. Dundee should have had more goals. Another spell of possession play ended with Forsyth releasing Griffiths to shoot narrowly wide. The last chance fell to young Leighton Mcintosh, making his home debut. Gary Harkins sent him dear, only for Hay to save with his legs.

This was the most emphatic Dundee win I've seen in a long time. The scoreline might not look hugely impressive, but this was a very comfortable and professional win. Dundee held possession for long spells till they'd pulled the defence out of position. They created many chances, and with good football too, and the defence was firmly in control throughout, not giving the visitors even a sniff of a goal

The midfield was the outstanding part of the team tonight, however Nicky Riley was the sponsors man of the match, but Stephen O'Donnell was also excellent throughout O'Donnell's movement and reading of the game meant that he was always available to take the ball and keep the pressure on Cowdenbeath. Time and again he would intercept the ball, or block a run and start building another attack.

Cowdenbeath never got to grips with Dundee's attacks down the wings; Riley and Forsyth looking dangerous every time they had the ball.

Barry Smith has now seen his team win four matches on the trot, keeping clean sheets in the last three games, and he will surely be delighted with tonight's performance. It was certainly a pleasure for the fans, who enjoyed the win hugely!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at December 14th, 2010)

2010-11 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)38 16 - 207 -
Matt Lockwood34 142142
Rhys Weston30 14 - 14 -
Gary Irvine25 16 - 16 -
Craig McKeown25 191521
Stephen O'Donnell27 181181
Craig Forsyth21 171557
Gary Harkins25 1926420
Nicky Riley24 185185
Leigh Griffiths20 19115832
Sean Higgins26 1835010
Jonny Stewart (sub) - 1 - 1 -
Leighton McIntosh (sub)17 2 - 2 -

League Table (as at December 14th, 2010)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Welcome back to Dens for our first home match since that memorable win over Partick Thistle back at the start of November. It was such an emotional day stirred by the protest against our points deduction. The win meant so much to everybody from supporters and players to the office staff and on a selfish note it was my first victory as manager of Dundee and that was a great feeling.

The extreme weather has meant it has not been easy to train and work on tactics but that has been the same for every manager in the country. However during all of this the players' attitude has been magnificent as it always has been since I took over as manager. The guys from Glasgow and Edinburgh have been prepared to travel in hazardous conditions to get to training but I often had to tell them not to bother as it was too dangerous. To their credit they have then went away and organised their own training sessions in small groups.

We have now won two away matches in a row and whilst many were always talking about our poor record away from home I was not worried as I know the players' attitude has been fantastic and if they kept on showing that, coupled with their ability then results would come away from Dens and so it has proved.

This week will be a very important one for the club as we have two home games and the Scottish League will meet on Friday to hear our appeal. We are fighting for the future of this great club. I think everybody knows how important it is. The fans realise that and the players realise that, and the coaching staff realise that. We're all in it together, Dundee Football Club, whether you're a supporter, player, on the coaching staff, or work in the office...we're all in this together.

One of the factors that has helped us is during our unbeaten spell is that we have managed to keep a healthy and fit, albeit very small, squad but we now have a new set of problems to overcome. Jamie Adams and David Witteveen have returned to their clubs and we have had one or two injuries to cope with. Rab Douglas was injured against Ross County but the time off because of weather has helped his recovery. Unfortunately Rab's back up Scott Findlay is now on the treatment table as is Sean Higgins who took a nasty knock against Morton. We are very grateful to Celtic and Hearts (once again) for allowing the emergency loan deals of Dominic Cervi and Johnny Stewart. Both players only joined the squad at the end of the week so we kept them on the bench on Saturday at Cappielow. Once they are involved in training they will be pushing for a starting place.

The players will enjoy being back at Dens tonight as the support they have been getting is fantastic and together we can continue to battle and defy the odds put against us.