Dundee 4
Falkirk 2
League (First Division)

4 - 2

League (First Division)
Saturday, November 26th, 2011
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,507
3:00 PM Kick-off

Gavin Rae (8)
Jake Hyde (11)
Jake Hyde (67)
Steven Milne (85)
Rhys Weston (o.g.) (35)
Jay Fulton (72)

Team Managers
Barry Smith
Steven Pressley

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Gary Irvine
3. Neil McGregor
4. Rhys Weston
5. Matt Lockwood
6. Nicky Riley
7. Stephen O'Donnell
8. Gavin Rae
9. Ryan Conroy
10. Steven Milne
11. Jake Hyde
Michael McGovern .1
Darren Dods .2
Murray Wallace .3
Stephen Kingsley
Kieran Duffie .5
Mark Millar .6
Stewart Murdoch .7
Jay Fulton .8
Ryan Millar .9
Kallum Higginbotham .10
Farid El Alagui .11

12. John Gibson
14. Craig McKeown
15. Ross Chisholm
16. Jamie McCluskey
17. Calum Elliot
Graham Bowman .12
Rhys Bennett .14
Blair Alston .15
Kris Faulds .16
Ally Graham .17

Calum Elliot for Jake Hyde (69)
Blair Alston for Ryan Millar (46)
Rhys Bennett for Stephen Kingsley (63)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steve Conroy (Referee)
Billy Baxter & Dougie Potter (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

The crowds would be flocking back to Scottish football if supporters could be confident of seeing games like today's hugely entertaining 4-2 win for Dundee against second placed Falkirk.

Dundee set the scene by racing into a two goal lead in the first 10 minutes and from then until the referee blew the final whistle there was never a dull moment. Both sides defied a nasty, swirling wind and attacked enthusiastically, playing attractive football with some smashing goals to thrill both sets of fans.

Dundee made only one change from last week's win at Stirling. Leighton McIntosh was replaced by Jake Hyde, who scored twice and had his best game yet in dark blue.

Falkirk started the way they meant to continue by taking the game to Dundee and winning a series of early corners.

However, Dundee's early tactic of flinging the ball out to Nicky Riley on the right carried more danger and it paid off after eight minutes.

O'Donnell played the ball wide for Riley to race past the young Bairns' full back Kingsley and cross for Gavin RAE to score with a neat glancing header from close range.

Only three minutes later Riley again ran at Kingsley. This time the cross was deflected up into the air. Milne chased in and beat keeper McGovern to the ball. His header came back off the bar leaving Jake HYDE with a simple header into the empty net to make it 2-0.

Falkirk kept their head and had plenty of the ball, but Dundee's snappy tackling and pressing made it hard for the visitors to worry Douglas.

It was the wind that gave Rab problems when a cross from El Alagui swirled in the air and caused the keeper to paw it wide for Higginbotham to miskick under pressure from Irvine.

The Bairns got back into the game 10 minutes from half time with a controversial goal. Nicky Riley won the ball on the right of the Dundee penalty are, but before he could clear Higginbotham tackled him from behind.

Referee Conroy decided there was no foul and the Falkirk striker was able to run clear. He hammered the ball across the goalmouth where it bounced off WESTON and into the net.

The first 20 minutes of the second half were a tense time for the home fans as played raged to and fro; the Dee trying to put the game away and the Bairns trying to grab an equaliser.

Dundee came closest to a goal in this spell. Jake Hyde laid off a neat flick to Steven Milne who smashed a fierce 25 yard shot off the crossbar.

Nicky Riley was causing havoc down the right and eventually Steven Pressley took off Kingsley and reorganised his defence to try and cope with the Dundee winger.

Dundee finally scored the crucial third goal midway through the half. Conroy's corner was half cleared and Rhys Weston chased after it. He fed the ball back to Lockwood who hit a great cross-field pass to find Conroy, who laid if off for Nicky Riley to hit a quick cross.

Jake HYDE had stolen half a yard on Duffie and scored with a perfect volley from 10 yards that left McGovern helpless. A great cross, good movement from the scorer, and a lovely finish! The home fans were certainly enjoying this!

Falkirk responded well and kept playing football, trying to get back into the game.

A Bairns corner was cleared, but FULTON took the clearance in his stride, ran on and hit a blistering low shot from 25 yards just inside Douglas's right hand post.

After this exchange of goals the match settled back into a close and nerve-wracking affair with Dundee playing some fine football as they tried to finally kill of the Bairns.

Gary Irvine burst through on the end of a neat passing move, but McGovern saved superbly.

Another great, sweeping passing move ended with Conroy sending Rae through to try and beat McGovern, but the keeper saved well.

At last, after 85 minutes, Dundee got the goal they needed. Nicky Riley made a great tackle to stop Falkirk breaking forward. Substitute Callum Elliot lifted the ball over the defence and Steven MILNE ran on to score with a great shot across McGovern from just inside the penalty area.

Falkirk kept going, but the match was beyond them now and it was Dundee who looked more dangerous in the last few minutes.

Both sides deserve massive credit for serving up such an entertaining match on a miserable, wet and very windy day.

This was a physical game, with plenty of tough tackles, but there wasn't a bad foul in the whole match and referee Steve Conroy, who also had a good game, didn't feel the need to pull out his cards once.

At last Dundee scored the goals that their good approach play has deserved and threatened. The dark blue attacks always carried a huge threat, and sponsors' man of the match Nicky Riley, who can claim an assist for all four goals, terrified the left of the Falkirk team.

Both Ryan Millar, the left midfielder, and Stephen Kingsley had to be replaced as Falkirk tried unsuccessfully to shore up their left. Steven Pressley has shown faith in his young players this season, but it might have been an error of judgement to expose a 17 year old full back to Nicky Riley in his current form.

Every time the ball went out wide to Riley you could sense the expectation rising in the home stands. The Dundee winger not only had the beating of the defence, but was able to make the right decisions about the final ball, and deliver some great crosses.

This was the fourth win in a row for the Dee, and the team looked solid, inventive and dangerous.

The midfield had a tough challenge coping with the Bairns youngsters, who ran hard and played a neat passing game. In the end it was the experience of Rae and O'Donnell which was decisive as Dundee won the midfield battle.

The defence will be disappointed at losing two goals, but they were sound throughout. The first goal had an element of bad luck, and the second was a real screamer.

The game was summed up perfectly as we climbed back onto the bus. “That was a bra' gemme o' fitba'!”. Indeed it was!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at November 26th, 2011)

2011-12 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)39 19 - 247 -
Matt Lockwood35 193548
Rhys Weston31 161501
Gary Irvine26 191552
Neil McGregor26 13 - 13 -
Stephen O'Donnell28 181564
Ryan Conroy24 183183
Nicky Riley25 181556
Gavin Rae33 7225228
Jake Hyde21 113136
Steven Milne31 16713332
Calum Elliot (sub)24 3 - 3 -

League Table (as at November 26th, 2011)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Firstly, I want to thank the fans for their support over the past few weeks. I understand it's been frustrating at times this season, but the way everyone has continued to get behind us has been incredible, and they've played as big a part as anyone over the past couple of weeks.

The hard work and the determination shown by the players hasn't relented; and I've told them if they continue to do the right things, the rewards will come.

As pleasing as it is to be writing this on the back of 3 wins, we won't be taking anything for granted, and our aim continues to be to take each game as it comes.

There have been many positives over the past month. I felt we've kept the ball well at times, shown great resilience and goals have come from all over the park. We'll be looking to take all of those attributes in to today's game.

Steven Pressley's Falkirk team will provide another stern test to us today. He has rebuilt a team that has a good mix of youth and experience, and having watched them a few times this season I know they have players who can hurt us if we are not at our best.

We are in good form ourselves though, and the game looks like it will be another tough but entertaining fixture.

Again I ask you to get behind the team this afternoon, and I promise the players will at least match your efforts to get the result we all want.

Enjoy the game.