Dundee 1
Ayr United 1
League (First Division)

1 - 1
Ayr Utd 

League (First Division)
Saturday, August 13th, 2011
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,686
3:00 PM Kick-off

Jake Hyde (30)
Michael Moffat (40)

Team Managers
Barry Smith
Brian Reid

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Gary Irvine
3. Craig McKeown
4. Rhys Weston
5. Matt Lockwood
6. Nicky Riley
7. Stephen O'Donnell
8. Ross Chisholm
9. Jamie McCluskey
10. Steven Milne
11. Jake Hyde
Kevin Cuthbert .1
Martyn Campbell .2
Chris Smith .3
John Robertson .4
Gareth Armstrong .5
Andy Geggan .6
Jamie McKernon .7
Michael McGowan .8
Alan Trouten .9
Mark Roberts .10
Gareth Wardlaw .11

12. John Gibson
14. Kyle Benedictus
15. Neil McGregor
16. Ryan Conroy
17. Leighton McIntosh
Ryan McWilliams .12
Alex Burke .14
Stirling .15
Michael Moffat .16
Ross Robertson .17

Leighton McIntosh for Jake Hyde (57)
Michael Moffat for Gareth Wardlaw (7)
Ross Robertson for Alan Trouten (75)

Steven Milne (69)
Gary Irvine (73)
John Robertson (2)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Stevie O'Reilly (Referee)
Raymond White & Geoff Banks (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee had to endure a highly frustrating afternoon at Dens today, when they dropped two points against a stuffy, hard working and determined Ayr side.

The Dee dominated for most of the game, looked better all over the park and played some good football and created good chances. But they could grab only the one goal, when Jake Hyde fired in a rebound from the bar after brilliant play by man of the match Jamie McCluskey.

Steven Milne was passed fit and replaced Leighton McIntosh. Nicky Riley also started in place of Ryan Conroy.

Ayr had to make a change after the team lines were submitted, and Michael Moffat played the full match as a “substitute”.

Milne and Riley were prominent in the early stages as Dundee took charge, but the outstanding player on the park was Jamie McCluskey who gave Ayr’s unfortunate right back, Gareth Armstrong, a miserable afternoon.

Surprisingly it was Ayr who took the lead with the sort of soft goal that the Dee defence rarely gives away. An Ayr corner was half cleared. McGowan played it back in quickly. MOFFAT was unmarked 6 yards out and he had no trouble heading past Douglas.

Dundee kept their heads and pushed Ayr back, exposing their vulnerabilities down either wing. Nicky Riley burst through the middle after Smith slipped, but Robertson forced him to shoot earlier than he’d have liked and Cuthbert saved.

McCluskey was beating his man time and again on the left, but the equaliser arrived when he switched briefly to the right.

A spell of patient passing ended with Milne laying the ball off for McCluskey to bend a shot with the outside of his foot from 22 yards over Cuthbert. It looked a goal all the way, but the ball clipped the underside of the bar and came out for Jake HYDE to shoot home and give Dundee a deserved equaliser.

The rest of the first half was largely a matter of Dundee feeding McCluskey so he could terrorise the Ayr defence, but Dundee just couldn’t turn their possession and pressure into more goals, and sadly that was to be the theme for the rest of the game.

In the second half Ayr started to offer Armstrong more protection, usually doubling up on McCluskey. This worked to an extent, though the wee winger, who was making his home debut, still offered a constant threat. The attention that McCluskey was receiving freed up space for Riley on the right and this was where Dundee’s most dangerous attacks came from after half time.

Leighton McIntosh replaced Jake Hyde 10 minutes into the second half, and looked far more comfortable and effective than when he was carrying a knock last week in Glasgow.

Good play by Riley and McCluskey gave McIntosh the chance to shoot from 15 yards. He battered his shot off the crossbar, and Ayr scrambled clear.

Dundee always seemed on the verge of scoring but couldn’t force the winner. In injury time Ayr survived a series of scrambles. McIntosh and Chisholm each seemed about to stab in the winner, but last ditch blocking saved Ayr. Finally, Cuthbert dropped a cross, McKeown’s shot was blocked and Ayr were able to stagger past the final whistle with the point they wanted so badly.

Although this was a disappointing and infuriatingly frustrating game for the Dark Blue support, there was plenty to admire in Dundee’s performance. They were far more fluid and confident in possession than last week, and they carried constant menace down the wings. The three strikers used all had good moments, and Steven Milne was particularly effective dropping back to link up and play the ball wide. The central midfielders were quietly effective in dominating the middle of the park, and the defence was rarely in trouble.

That one moment of slackness was one moment too many, and so Dundee have to settle for one point and the knowledge that they played much better than last week when they took three barely deserved three points from Partick Thistle.

Ayr will hugely relieved to survive, but rightly delighted and proud that they managed to hang on and take a draw at one of the toughest venues in the division.

Dundee will play worse this season and win, but today they possibly lacked a bit of experience, and indeed experience of playing together. Patience and hard work will see this team improve.

And still on the bright side, that’s 19 (NINETEEN) months undefeated in the league at Dens.

Match report written by James Christie/Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at August 13th, 2011)

2011-12 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)39 5 - 233 -
Craig McKeown26 5 - 771
Rhys Weston30 5 - 39 -
Gary Irvine26 5 - 411
Matt Lockwood34 52407
Stephen O'Donnell28 51434
Jamie McCluskey23 5151
Ross Chisholm23 4 - 4 -
Nicky Riley25 4 - 415
Steven Milne31 3312028
Jake Hyde21 5174
Leighton McIntosh (sub)18 5 - 174

League Table (as at August 13th, 2011)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

To every Dundee supporter here today can I extend a warm welcome back to Dens Park for this, our first home match of the season.

I would again like to thank all of you for the massive part you played last season in keeping this Club alive and also for your continued backing of the players in games. This ultimately carried them through to safety last season. More of the same this season would be greatly appreciated.

This season started off with a difficult away game at Firhill and we were delighted to come back up the road with the three points. Today we welcome Brian Reid and his Ayr United team to Dens Park. They had a good result in mid week against Raith and will therefore come here with confidence and make this a challenging game for us.

I am sure if we can recreate the spirit and determination which we clearly demonstrated last season and with the Dundee support behind us we can get the result we are looking for.