Dundee 0
Greenock Morton 1
League (First Division)

0 - 1

League (First Division)
Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,096
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Peter MacDonald (7)

Team Managers
Barry Smith
Allan Moore

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. Ryan Conroy
10. Steven Milne
11. Graham Bayne
Colin Stewart .1
Grant Evans .2
Stuart McCaffrey .3
Marc Smyth .4
Ross Forsyth .5
Kevin McCann 6
Michael Tidser .7
David O'Brien .8
Paul di Giacomo .9
Andy Jackson .10
Peter MacDonald .11

12. John Gibson
14. Neil McGregor
15. Jamie McCluskey
16. Jake Hyde
17. Leighton McIntosh
Alistair Dean .12
Archie Campbell .14
Andy Graham .15
Darren McGeouch .16
Peter Weatherson .17

Jake Hyde for Graham Bayne (61)
Jamie McCluskey for Nicky Riley (73)
Leighton McIntosh for Ross Chisholm (81)
Andy Graham for Kevin McCann (46)
Darren McGeouch for Andy Jackson (72)
Peter Weatherson for Peter MacDonald (81)

Nicky Riley (26)
Ross Forsyth (17)
Marc Smyth (42)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Frank McDermott (Referee)
Graham Chambers & Mark McHendry (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee's 19 month unbeaten run in the league at Dens finally came to an end in a dismal 1-0 defeat against Morton. The visitors just about deserved their win after a good first half performance. In the second half they were mostly content to sit back, and would have suffered for that against a more fluent and confident side than Dundee were today.

Dundee tried throughout to pass their way through the Morton defence. For the most part they struggled, but they were still able to create enough good chances to win, but on each occasion they were foiled by good saves by Morton's keeper Colin Stewart.

Dundee made no changes to the starting team or the substitutes after the improved performance at Pittodrie in the League Cup.

Dundee started briskly, forcing three comers in the first five minutes. However, there were early signs of nervousness in the home defence and the Dee were punished for slackness after seven minutes.

Jackson turned Weston just inside the penalty area. Douglas saved brilliantly, but MACDONALD had no trouble tucking away the loose ball for an embarrassingly simple goal.

Dundee might have had more of the play, but it was Morton who looked the more dangerous side for the first half hour. The Dundee central defence were struggling against Jackson and MacDonald whereas Dundee's strikers were unable to get anything out of McCaffrey and Evans.

The Dee had no trouble passing their way round the midfield, but usually lost the ball when they tried to penetrate the defence.

Eventually Dundee managed to secure a firmer grip on the game and started to look more dangerous. Ryan Conroy should have equalised when a good passing movement sent him clear, but Stewart saved at his feet as Conroy tried to go round him.

Steven Milne might have done better when Stewart was caught out of position, but his lob from 25 yards sailed well over the bar.

Both sides were getting exasperated with a fussy and inconsistent referee, whose performance was summed up by a poor decision to stop Dundee breaking forward inside the Morton half so he could book Marc Smyth. It seemed a case of a referee looking for his card rather than watching play.

If the referee's decision making was suspect it was nowhere near as bad as the players' in a dreadful second half. Dundee nearly grabbed a quick equaliser. Milne headed the ball on for McKeown to fire in a fierce shot, which Stewart saved well.

The game then sank into a terrible mire, with Morton unwilling to push for the goal that would have killed the game, and Dundee unable to break down the away defence. It was very disappointing that Dundee couldn't build on the improvement towards the end of the first half. Repeatedly attacks ground to a halt as square passes were exchanged between static players with minimal threat to the Morton defence.

Morton pulled off a striker, Jackson, and packed the midfield, suffocating a game that was already dire.

The move could have backfired because the defence started to look vulnerable as Dundee switched to three up front when Mcintosh came on for Chisholm.

Dundee still couldn't exert consistent pressure on Morton, but two late moves did create great chances. Gary Irvine burst clear at the end of an exchange of passes that finally clicked, but Stewart saved well. Milne then set up a clear chance for McIntosh, but his mishit shot was saved by Stewart's foot.

Injury time was an agonising three minutes of nervousness, panic and carelessness from both sides, but Dundee never looked like saving the game.

No part of the Dundee team was adequate today. The defence gave away a soft goal, and looked vulnerable for much of the first half. The midfield never looked threatening and the strikers never had the opportunity to do much apart from run after a succession of poor passes.

Marton couldn't build on a good first half performance, in which Jackson and MacDonald had been a menace to the Dundee central defence. Michael Tidser played very well in midfield throughout. However, a more confident and aggressive attitude from Morton may well have given them a more comfortable win against a team seemingly drained of confidence.

Perhaps the second half was so dismal because Dundee never looked like they expected to save the game, and Morton didn't believe they were capable of doing more than grabbing a narrow win.

Whatever the reasons, this was as poor a game as I've seen at Dens in Dundee's long unbeaten league run. Morton did enough to deserve the win. Dundee will have to do better, far better. However, they looked like good players playing badly, rather than bad players at their true level.

I fervently hope that the supporters stick with these guys and encourage them, rather than deserting them, or barracking them on their next outing. The players will know that today was very poor. They will be hurting just as much as the fans, and with the right encouragement they can pull through this poor spell.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at August 27th, 2011)

2011-12 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)39 8 - 236 -
Rhys Weston30 8 - 42 -
Matt Lockwood34 82437
Gary Irvine26 81442
Craig McKeown26 8 - 801
Nicky Riley25 7 - 445
Ryan Conroy24 7 - 7 -
Stephen O'Donnell28 81464
Ross Chisholm23 7 - 7 -
Steven Milne31 6312328
Graham Bayne32 3 - 261
Jamie McCluskey (sub)23 7171
Leighton McIntosh (sub)18 6 - 184
Jake Hyde (sub)21 81104

League Table (as at August 27th, 2011)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

It is back to concentrating on the League today after playing at Pittodrie on Tuesday night in the Communities League Cup.

Even though we were unhappy with Tuesday's result we were not in the way we played. The team gave a good performance against an SPL Team. We hope to bring the good points of the match into today's game against Greenock Morton.

We would like to welcome Allan Moore and his team to Dens Park. Like us they lost out in the Cup during the week but put up a good fight against SPL side St Mirren. I am sure they will be looking for a win today and will provide us with a challenge.

I would like to thank you for the great support you have shown us so far this season with a great many of you travelling to Livingston and Aberdeen in the past week. I can only ask you continue to get behind us today and we can achieve the result we want.