Falkirk 2
Dundee 2
League (First Division)


Falkirk 

2 - 2

Dundee


League (First Division)
Saturday, March 19th, 2011
Falkirk Stadium
Attendance: 4,099
3:00 PM Kick-off


Goalscorers
Tam McManus (27)
Mark Stewart (64)
Gary Irvine (65)
Craig Forsyth (81)

Team Managers
Steven Pressley Barry Smith

Starting Eleven
1. Bobby Olejnik
2. Brian McLean
3. Ross Perry
4. Tam Scobbie
5. Marc Twaddle
6. Mark Millar
7. Burton O'Brien
8. Jack Compton
9. Carl Finnigan
10. Tam McManus
11. Mark Stewart
Robert Douglas .1
Kyle Benedictus .2
Craig McKeown .3
Rhys Weston .4
Matt Lockwood .5
Nicky Riley .6
Gary Irvine .7
Stephen O'Donnell .8
Craig Forsyth .9
Gary Harkins .10
Leighton McIntosh .11

Bench
12. Jamie Barclay
14.Kallum Higginbotham
15.Pedro Moutinho
16.Murray Wallace
17. Stewart Murdoch
John Gibson .12
Connor Rennie .14
Gary Bartlett .15
Allan Tulleth .16
Graham Webster .17

Substitutions
Stewart Murdoch for Jack Compton (75) Connor Rennie for Leighton McIntosh (85)

Cautions
Tam Scobbie (35)
Carl Finnigan (69)
Nicky Riley (36)
Kyle Benedictus (38)
Craig Forsyth (52)
Robert Douglas (69)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Willie Collum (Referee)



Photography by David Young

Match Report


Twenty one league games undefeated! And so the run goes on and on, but midway through the second half in this game and with the Dee 2-0 down, it seemed sure to end.

That was the sensible prediction. There was surely no way that a weakened Dundee could pull back two goals was there? Well everybody should have known better. These boys in dark blue have shown time and again over the last few months that they won't lie down and admit defeat, and this time they did it again.

Kyle Benedictus came in to play right back with Gary Irvine moving into central midfield. Gary Harkins was playing in the gap between the midfield and the lone striker, 18-year-old Leighton McIntosh, who started his first game.

The first half offered no hint of the excitement to come. After a dull and cagey opening in which neither side showed any penetration Falkirk slowly increased their threat. The quality of their crossing gradually improved without getting any men on the end in dangerous positions. It took them 25 minutes to get it right and they took the lead the first time they did so. Jack Compton launched a deep cross from the right. Marc Twaddle headed back from beyond the far post and Tam McManus blasted high into the net.

Falkirk were in charge for the rest of the first half without looking convincing or threatening to increase their lead, apart from a hopelessly miscued effort when Carl Finnigan found himself well placed.

Dundee were struggling to keep possession and couldn't pass their way through the Falkirk midfield.

Too often players chose the easy pass to a colleague who was under pressure and they could rarely move the ball forward to a player in space. As a result young McIntosh was left isolated and his contribution was restricted to challenging for high balls.

After Nicky Riley had a 20 yard shot comfortably saved by Robert Olejnik in the first few minutes Dundee didn't have another shot in the first half.

The second half saw a rapid improvement from Dundee. Harkins played Craig Forsyth into the penalty area, but Olejnik saved well. Dundee were still short of their best, but at last they were building dangerous attacks with good passes. As has happened so often during the unbeaten run it was a goal from the opposition that lit a fire under Dundee and spurred them to take charge of the game.

Tam McManus flicked a Burton O'Brien pass on for Mark Stewart to race into the penalty area and shoot past Rab Douglas. The Falkirk fans were cockahoop, but their delight soon turned to concern as Dundee roared into action.

McIntosh and Irvine combined neatly, working the ball out to Riley in space on the right. Nicky fired in a low first time cross. Gary Irvine had continued his run and without breaking stride smashed a ferocious shot past Olejnik from 15 yards. Now this was much more like Dundee! Smart passing and a ruthless finish!

The Dundee fans were on song. The Bairns fell silent. Dundee showed all the confidence you'd expect from a team on a long unbeaten run, and simultaneously the confidence drained away from the home side. The Dundee players looked as if they believed they would save the game. The Falkirk players merely locked as if they hoped they could hang on.

As Dundee chased a second goal the game became very open and entertaining. The Dundee midfield was taking charge, winning the ball and allowing the hugely impressive wide players, Riley and Forsyth, to run at the defence.

Fittingly it was those two who combined for a peach of an equaliser with 9 minutes to go. Riley drove forward, running diagonally in from his usual beat on the right. After making space he bided his time as Forsyth raced into position down the left and then slotted an inch perfect pass inside the right back Ross Perry. Craig Forsyth strode on and hit a sweet low shot, across the keeper to send the travelling Dees behind that goal into delirium.

This was Fozzy's third goal in the last three games, and it was celebrated ecstatically by the players and supporters. Falkirk were sandbagged by the equaliser. Although they pressed forward in the vain hope of a winner they looked more likely to be caught out at the back by Harkins, Riley or Forsyth.

Barry Smith replaced McIntosh with debutant Connor Rennie for the last few minutes, with Riley taking over as the striker. Young Leighton had a difficult first half when he lacked support, but he had a very pleasing second half when he linked well with the midfield and showed good control and composure. The standing ovation from the dark blue support as he left the field was well earned.

At the end the Dundee support surged towards the front of the away stand to pay noisy homage to their heroes. Yet again the opposition had all vanished up the tunnel before the mutual adoration of Dundee players and supporters was finished. This was a terrific fighting performance by the Dee, with a magnificent team spirit. There were some exceptional performances though. Rhys Weston deserves special praise for some marvellously timed tackles, and the wide players had a great second half. No neutral would have thought that this was a patchwork Dundee side.

Yet again Barry Smith managed to work out an effective formation and get the players to put in a performance that surpassed our expectations. Yet again Dundee showed they just won't give up! How good it is to be watching the Dee this season!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website



Squad Statistics (as at March 19th, 2011)


2010-11 All Time
Age
Robert Douglas (GK)38 30 - 221 -
Rhys Weston30 28 - 28 -
Matt Lockwood34 274274
Craig McKeown26 321651
Kyle Benedictus19 5 - 28 -
Gary Irvine26 291291
Gary Harkins26 3347822
Nicky Riley24 305305
Craig Forsyth22 3166912
Stephen O'Donnell27 312312
Leighton McIntosh18 6 - 6 -
Connor Rennie (sub)19 1 - 1 -






League Table (as at March 19th, 2011)


No league table has been added for this season.