Dundee 1
Dunfermline Athletic 1
League (First Division)

1 - 1

League (First Division)
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,507
7:45 PM Kick-off

Jake Hyde (71)
Alex Burke (32)

Team Managers
Barry Smith
Jim McIntyre

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Kyle Benedictus
3. Craig McKeown
4. Rhys Weston
5. Matt Lockwood
6. Nicky Riley
7. Gary Irvine
8. Gary Harkins
9. Craig Forsyth
10. Jake Hyde
11. Leighton McIntosh
Chris Smith .1
Andy Dowie .2
Alex Keddie .3
Austin McCann .4
Kevin Rutkiewicz .5
Calum Woods .6
Alex Burke .7
Martin Hardie .8
Steven McDougall .9
David Graham .10
Liam Buchanan .11

12. John Gibson
14. Connor Rennie
15. Gary Bartlett
16. Craig Robertson
17. Allan Tulleth
Greg Paterson .12
Joe Cardle .14
Pat Clarke .15
Aaron Scott .16
Chris Higgins .17

Craig Robertson for Rhys Weston (61)
Joe Cardle for Steven McDougall (62)
Pat Clarke for Alex Burke (79)
Chris Higgins for Martin Hardie (89)

Rhys Weston (53)
Gary Irvine (73)
Martin Hardie (29)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Mike Tumilty (Referee)
Gordon Middleton & Michael McNab (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

When the Scottish Football League decreed that Dundee couldn't register any new players while they were in administration they surely didn't realise how the law of unintended consequences was going to kick in.

After making great play about the need for sporting integrity the authorities unwittingly created a bizarre situation in which Dundee played the last half hour of a key First Division game with two trialists from Lochee United. Still, if nearly every avenue is blocked off surely no-one can complain if Dundee take the only route left open?

It was the new boy, Jake Hyde, fleetingly of the parish of Lochee, who earned the headlines with a neat header 20 minutes from time to ensure that Dundee's unbeaten league run reached almost six months.

The injured Stephen O'Donnell didn't make the starting line-up, so Gary Irvine stayed in central midfield with Gary Harkins moving back to join him. 20-year-old Hyde started up front alongside 18 year old Leighton McIntosh in a desperately inexperienced strikeforce; each player starting their first match at Dens.

The new kids did well throughout and were soon linking well with each other and the midfield. Apart from a brief spell in the middle of the first half Dundee had the edge in midfield and dominated play without creating as many chances as the approach play merited.

The best chance of the half fell to Craig Forsyth just after the half hour. A neat passing move left him with a clear shooting chance from the edge of the penalty area but he drilled his shot straight at keeper Chris Smith.

The miss proved very costly because the Pars were in the lead within a minute. Alex Burke sent in a raking low left footed shot from 30 yards which flew just inside the post for a sensational goal out of nothing.

Dunfermline struggled to build on the goal and had difficulty keeping possession and building attacks. They looked most dangerous when they tried to sneak Liam Buchanan in behind the defence, but it never quite came off for them. Just before the interval another good move allowed Irvine space to shoot from 18 yards, but again the shot was straight into Smith's midriff.

Jake Hyde came within a whisker of a debut goal soon after the restart. McIntosh and Harkins combined well to send Hyde clear, but his clipped shot was brilliantly saved by the fingertips of Smith, who got just enough on the ball to divert it over the bar.

Dundee had been very fortunate with injuries, but their luck was maybe running out now. Rhys Weston took a heavy knock in a challenge from Buchanan and, after limping on for a few minutes, had to go off. Craig Robertson came into the midfield with Irvine moving to his familiar right back role and Kyle Benedictus switching to centre back.

Kyle had hardly settled into his new position when he slipped, allowing Buchanan to run in on goal. The angle was tight, so he cut the ball back for Joe Cardle, but the defence had rushed back to cover and Craig McKeown blocked the shot.

This was a golden chance for the Pars to take a lead that would surely have been beyond Dundee's powers to recover from. Just as Dundee were made to pay for a missed chance in the first half, it was now the Pars' turn to suffer.

Dundee's next attack saw them win a free kick wide on the left. Harkins whipped the ball in and Hyde met it with a glancing header at the near post. The young trialist allowed the pace of the delivery to do the work and just redirected the ball inside the post.

Dunfermline's response was full of urgency, but lacking in composure. This was a game they badly wanted to win and there was no question of settling for a point. Jim McIntyre took off Burke and sent on ex-Dee, Pat Clarke. Happily for the Dee Pat failed to maintain the run of ex-Dee strikers grabbing a goal against us!

The Pars were playing with four up front in the latter stages, but lacked the midfield creativity to get the best from the forwards. Too much of their play in the Dundee half was rushed and sloppy.

Gary Harkins meanwhile was showing all the composure and passing ability that the Pars were missing. He was glued to the ball at times, making space, relieving pressure and switching play to stretch the visitors.

In the final minute of injury time Dundee won a free kick 25 yards out. Harkins took it, with the entire Dundee support desperately willing another sensational fairytale winner. This time it didn't happen. The ball went harmlessly over the bar and both sides had to settle for a fair draw.

The young strikers deserved huge credit for the way they played, both individually and as a pair. They showed good control, awareness and their mobility was a constant nuisance to the Pars' defence. They were up against experienced and very strong centre backs in Kevin Rutkiewicz and Alex Keddie. The match was a tough physical challenge for them, but they handled themselves impressively, and Hyde won the sponsors' Man of the Match award.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at March 22nd, 2011)

2010-11 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)38 31 - 222 -
Matt Lockwood34 284284
Craig McKeown26 331661
Rhys Weston30 29 - 29 -
Gary Irvine26 301301
Kyle Benedictus19 6 - 29 -
Gary Harkins26 3447922
Nicky Riley24 315315
Craig Forsyth22 3267012
Leighton McIntosh18 7 - 7 -
Jake Hyde20 1111
Craig Robertson (sub) - 3 - 3 -

League Table (as at March 22nd, 2011)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Another two games on from my last notes before the match against Queen of the South and we have collected four points and remain unbeaten.

The victory over Queen of the South gave the players official recognition as they achieved the club record number of league games unbeaten. More pleasing for me was the manner in which. they achieved it. They want to be able to play football. They are a team that likes to pass the ball and move off the ball, and I think that showed. Some of the football was excellent, even when we were 1-0 down. In the end the boys got the result and it shows an amazing resilience to never give in.

The players needed that strength once again at Falkirk on Saturday. We didn't turn up in the first half, but in the second half I thought we were much better. The tempo and aggression were there, the ability of the players is without question and that's how we've got to where we are just now. Our first goal was very important as Falkirk never got a chance to consolidate that 2-0 lead and the nerves set in as they know our players will never give in. The equaliser was well deserved and once again I can't praise the players highly enough for their performance.

Sean Higgins will now be out for the rest of the season and Leighton McIntosh came in and did very well on Saturday against a very experienced defence. Connor Rennie also got his chance late in the game and I have no hesitation in using the younger players. They have always been part of the team, and we're going to need them for the rest of the season. These two players have shown they can play their part and the others on the bench will be ready when we ask them to come in.

Tonight both teams need the points for different reasons but we will concentrate on our one aim not to get relegated, it's as simple as that. Despite our great run we are still fighting for our future in this Division and that is as far forward as I am looking. Until we are mathematically safe we won't be considering anything else.