Partick Thistle 0
Dundee 0
League (First Division)


Partick 

0 - 0

Dundee


League (First Division)
Saturday, March 5th, 2011
Firhill Stadium
Attendance: 2,671
3:00 PM Kick-off


Goalscorers
None. None.

Team Managers
Iain McCall Barry Smith

Starting Eleven
1. Scott Fox
2. Alan Archibald
3. Ryan McGowan
4. Paddy Boyle
5. John Robertson
6. Paul Paton
7. David Rowson
8. Paul Cairney
9. Chris Erskine
10. Kieran Burns
11. Kris Doolan
Robert Douglas .1
Gary Irvine .2
Craig McKeown .3
Rhys Weston .4
Matt Lockwood .5
Nicky Riley .6
Jonny Stewart .7
Stephen O'Donnell .8
Craig Forsyth .9
Gary Harkins .10
Sean Higgins .11

Bench
12. Ryan Scully
14.Conrad Balatoni
15. Bryan Hodge
16. Iain Flannigan
17. Shaun Fraser
John Gibson .12
Kyle Benedictus .14
Graham Bayne .15
Connor Rennie .16
Gary Bartlett .17

Substitutions
Bryan Hodge for Paul Cairney (69)
Iain Flannigan for Ryan McGowan (71)
Shaun Fraser for Kris Doolan (83)
Graham Bayne for Jonny Stewart (58)

Cautions
None. Gary Irvine (87)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Bobby Madden (Referee)



Photography by David Young

Match Report


Dundee took their unbeaten run to 18 games in a poor game in Maryhill. There were no goals, few chances and little chance to play good football on a shocking pitch.

With Craig Robertson required for cup action with Lochee United ex-Dee Graham Bayne was included in the Dark Blues' squad as a trialist, with Jonathan Stewart replacing Robertson in the starting line-up. At three o'clock the teams came out, and the sun was shining on a beautiful spring day, silhouetting the fine, Victorian buildings of Glasgow's West End, away to our left. Then the game started, and that was the end of all things beautiful. Thistle's Firhill Stadium may have been churned up by Thistle's ground-sharing deal with Glasgow Warriors, but I don't remember having to play rugby on many pitches this bad at school.

Both sides did make respectable efforts at passing their way over the tattie field, but the unpredictable bounce and roll defeated them, and the temptation to move the ball fast, long and uselessly was overwhelming.

In the first half it seemed as if a mistake was the most likely source of a goal. Scott Fox was deceived by the bounce of a Craig Forsyth cross as it hurtled low across his goalmouth, but Nicky Riley couldn't reach the ball. Matt Lockwood miscued a header to l Erskine, who lost the chance with a horrible miskick.

The only piece of real football in the whole first half was a neat interchange between Gary Harkins and Sean Higgins, who shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

Sadly, the second half only gave us more of the same. Thistle had the best two chances, which they wasted in the sort of style that had supporters howling in frustration and choking on their Bovril. A quick Thistle break down the left caught Dundee out. Grehan set Doolan up with a ball teed up nicely almost on the penalty spot. With only Rab Douglas to beat Doolan's response was to shank the ball dreadfully wide.

Shortly before the end, full back Paton had a slightly harder chance when he made a late run into the box and blazed a great chance several feet over. Higgins did well on his own up front, but the arrival of Bayne early in the second half gave Dundee more of a threat in attack.

However, Dundee found it impossible to get a passing game going, and struggled to create clear chances. Twice Harkins had half chances on the edge of the box, but on neither occasion did he connect cleanly enough to trouble Fox.

He did force the ball into the net 20 minutes from time following a corner, but the referee decided that Fox had been fouled in the collision of bodies on the goal line immediately beforehand.

Bayne nearly gave us another dream moment when he lunged at a cross from Forsyth, but Fox blocked at the expense of a corner.

Dundee looked at their most dangerous when Forsyth and Riley were able to run into the relatively green and smooth corners of the pitch, but their team mates had great difficulty measuring their passes out to them. When the ball ran along the ground it bobbled and lurched like a drunk at closing time. When it bounced it was simply guesswork where it was going to go as it flew off the mud, or sand, or one of the hundreds (thousands?) of divots littering the pitch.

This was never going to be an afternoon for silky football. Instead the Dundee players gave us what we knew they would; 100% effort and concentration as they struggled to deal with the pitch.

At the end the travelling support rose to applaud the team off the park again. Stephen O'Donnell and Harkins ran to the supporters to greet Jude Keir, the young lad who was attacked by a dog in Hamilton the previous week; a gesture that sums up the bond between players and supporters.

This might have been just the sort of day when the run would come to an end, against an eager Thistle team on a treacherous pitch. Yet again the players mastered the challenge.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website



Squad Statistics (as at March 5th, 2011)


2010-11 All Time
Age
Robert Douglas (GK)38 27 - 218 -
Gary Irvine25 26 - 26 -
Craig McKeown25 301631
Rhys Weston30 25 - 25 -
Matt Lockwood34 243243
Gary Harkins26 3047522
Nicky Riley24 275275
Craig Forsyth22 283669
Stephen O'Donnell27 282282
Jonny Stewart - 10 - 10 -
Sean Higgins26 2886015
Graham Bayne (sub)31 1 - 221






League Table (as at March 5th, 2011)


No league table has been added for this season.