Dundee 2
Queen of the South 1
League (First Division)


Dundee
2 - 1
Queen of South 

League (First Division)
Saturday, March 12th, 2011
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,242
3:00 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Sean Higgins (65)
Craig Forsyth (87)
None.

Team Managers
Barry Smith
Kenny Brannigan

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. Neil McCann
11. Sean Higgins
David Hutton .1
David Lilley .2
Bob Harris .3
Craig Reid .4
Ryan McGuffie .5
Stephen McKenna .6
Allan Johnston .7
Willie McLaren .8
David Weatherston .9
Derek Holmes .10
Colin McMenamin .11

Bench
12. John Gibson
14. Kyle Benedictus
15. Jonny Stewart
16. Connor Rennie
17. Gary Bartlett
Roddy McKenzie .12
1Dan Carmichael .14
lan McShane .15
Daniel Orsi .16
Kevin Holt .17

Substitutions
None. Dan Carmichael for Willie McLaren (75)

Cautions
None. David Weatherston (52)
Stephen McKenna (56)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Raymond White & Graham Beaton (Assistants)


Photography by David Young

Match Report


Well they did it! This special team has set a new club record of 20 undefeated league games. Happily they didn't settle for the single point that would have given them the record. It would have been so easy to focus on the record rather than the need to keep winning.

Instead they kept driving at Queen of the South till they got the winning goal. They deserved the points, and the club needed them too. After the end of March Dundee will no longer be able to use trialists and it's important to keep piling up the points while they start to run out of players.

Neil McCann signed off his third and final trialist appearance with a sponsors' man of the match award. There may have been an element of the farewell present about that, but Neil did have a marvellous game operating between Sean Higgins and the midfield. He was involved in an endless series of attacks, taking the ball and moving it skilfully on to teammates in dangerous positions.

There was plenty of competition for the man of the match, all over the park, but what really mattered was the teamwork. Just as they've done through this long run it was the team's effort, attitude and crisp passing that set Dundee apart from their opponents.

Sean Higgins was Dundee's only out and out striker so the pattern was quick passing to feet and smart running into space.

This style of play seems to suit Higgins very nicely and he had an outstanding match.

It took a while for Dundee's midfield to get their passing consistently right, but once it clicked the machine purred smoothly for the rest of the game and dominated a sluggish Queens' team. The visitors seemed to lack pace and energy, possibly because some players were not fully fit, and Dundee were able to find space and threaten continually.

Ironically, just as Dundee seemed to be slipping into gear after some snappy passing moves, it was Queens who broke away for a neat and simple goal.

Allan Johnston's astute pass sent David Weatherston clear down the right and suddenly Queens had three men running in on goal. Weatherston squared for Colin McMenamin to tap the ball past the helpless Rab Douglas.

Coco's lack of celebration at his goal was striking. Shrugging off the congratulations of his colleagues he just jogged back to the halfway line. It would have been a neat twist of fate if that had proved the winning goal because Colin scored the winner for Dundee in the first match of the unbeaten run, back on October 2nd against Morton.

That Queens' goal was the sole highlight of their day, and for the rest of the game they had to settle for trying to contain Dundee. In Queens' only serious attack until the very end Weatherston took a heavy touch to push the ball past Douglas then hit the deck with the ball running out of play. Happily for Rab the referee was well placed to call it a dive and booked Weatherston.

Unfortunately the Dee's good passing moves were breaking down too often through poor crosses and final balls. The only saves that Queens' keeper David Hutton had to make were very straightforward till Nicky Riley stung his palms with a fierce drive just after the hour.

The equaliser arrived moments later when Gary Harkins, Higgins, Stephen O'Donnell and McCann worked the ball through the middle with a lightning exchange of passes, which gave Higgins space to bend a first time shot round Hutton and just inside the post from the edge of the box.

The Dark Blue fans would have happily settled for an embarrassing own goal to get back on level terms, but this was a beautifully taken goal, arising from high quality football in the approach

The tannoy was now blaring out Hey Jude, the scarves were twirling and the Dee moved in for the kill, urged on by the fans. Neil McCann burst through the middle but was forced to check back, and Craig Forsyth had inched offside when McCann tried to send him into the penalty area.

Matt Lockwood then hit a fierce shot just over the bar from 25 yards after another good move. Forsyth ran in from the left and sent an exquisite chip over Hutton, but the ball glanced off the top of the bar.

Yet another fine move ended with a frantic scramble in the Queens' goalmouth, with Hutton blocking from Forsyth and then Riley.

Finally, with three minutes left, Dundee got the goal they'd been threatening and deserved. Forsyth burst in from the wing and another fast passing move, via O'Donnell and Higgins, allowed O'Donnell to shoot from 18 yards. His fierce shot crashed off the underside of the bar. Craig Forsyth had continued his run and headed the bouncing ball into the empty net before Bob Harris could clear.

Fozzy raced over to the corner flag in front of the South Enclosure before being swamped by his teammates, with the Dundee support wildly celebrating another late winner.

It had been all Dundee after the equaliser, and it was only the late loss of a second goal that stirred Queens into serious attacking. Derek Holmes might have snatched a point right at the death, but he headed wide from a good position, their only chance since their goal.

At the end the supporters rose to give their heroes the ovation they deserved and the players lingered long to take the applause. Whatever happens to the club in the future, this day will be one that the supporters and players will remember for a long time. It was fitting that at half-time the supporters' flag was unfurled, on such a proud and emotional occasion, and it all came together for players and fans as they celebrated the points and the record at the end.

Twenty games; fourteen wins and six draws! What a remarkable achievement by the team!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website



Squad Statistics (as at March 12th, 2011)


2010-11 All Time
Age
Robert Douglas (GK)38 29 - 220 -
Craig McKeown25 311641
Gary Irvine25 28 - 28 -
Rhys Weston30 27 - 27 -
Matt Lockwood34 264264
Nicky Riley24 295295
Gary Harkins26 3247722
Neil McCann36 319812
Stephen O'Donnell27 302302
Craig Forsyth22 3056811
Sean Higgins26 30106217






League Table (as at March 12th, 2011)


No league table has been added for this season.


Manager's Programme Notes


It is great to welcome you back to Dens today and know that we are still unbeaten and slowly getting ourselves into a better position to avoid relegation. To go 19 games unbeaten is an incredible record for the players but they and I know that if we don't stay up it doesn't really mean anything. We have not dwelled on this for long other than to say we have taken another step to safety.

The last three weeks have been very busy for the boys as we have had to contend with midweek fixtures and I felt that took its toll in our last home game against Morton where we definitely tired in the second half. However, the players have got down to business taking four points from two very difficult away games.

The surfaces at Firhill and Central Park were not ideal but it was the same for both sides and the players as always showed the correct attitude despite finding it harder to play passing football. We created far more chances at Cowdenbeath and I was delighted to score three goals against a side who have shown great resilience in their recent matches, none more so than their amazing four goals at Stirling Albion last Saturday.

We have played teams at the bottom of the league in recent weeks and their performances have shown the players and me that we still face a huge challenge to stay in this League. There are still plenty of games left and if a team can pick up 2 or 3 wins then suddenly pressure is put on the teams around them.

We are fortunate to have only one more midweek match to play this season and that will be very beneficial to the small squad of players we have available. The tremendous efforts of the groundstaff and supporters to get our home games on over the winter have ensured the players can get the maximum amount of time to recover between games. Once again if everyone at the club continues to work together we can all achieve our goal to stay in this league.

Today we welcome Kenny Brannigan and his team to Dens Park. Queen of the South will prove difficult opponents for us as we have had two very narrow wins against them this season so we must compete for the full 90 minutes to gain anything from the game.