Dundee 3
Falkirk 1
League (First Division)

3 - 1

League (First Division)
Saturday, April 7th, 2012
Dens Park
Attendance: 3,896
3:00 PM Kick-off

Stephen O'Donnell (11)
Ryan Conroy (pen.) (36)
Steven Milne (57)
Mark Millar (24)

Team Managers
Barry Smith
Steven Pressley

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Gary Irvine
3. Kyle Benedictus
4. Craig McKeown
5. Matt Lockwood
6. Jamie McCluskey
7. Stephen O'Donnell
8. Kevin McBride
9. Ryan Conroy
10. Steven Milne
11. Leighton McIntosh
David McGovern .1
Kieran Duffie .2
Stephen Kingsley .3
Darren Dods .4
Murray Wallace .5
Dale Fulton .6
Kris Faulds .7
Mark Millar .8
Farid El Alagui .9
David Weatherston .10
Craig Sibbald .11

12. John Gibson
14. Rhys Weston
15. Mark Fotheringham
16. Ross Chisholm
17. Jake Hyde
Rhys Bennet .12
Liam Dick .14
Blair Alston .15
Jordan White .16
Graham Bowman .17

Mark Fotheringham for Jamie McCluskey (70)
Jake Hyde for Leighton McIntosh (81)
Ross Chisholm for Steven Milne (90)

Matt Lockwood (43)
Darren Dods (35)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Derek Rose & Alasdair Ross (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee followed up the their 4-1 win against Ayr with a 3-1 victory against Falkirk at Dens today. Don't be misled by the scores. This was a far more comfortable win than that match against Ayr.

The Dee took an early lead through Stephen O'Donnell. Although Mark Millar soon equalised, further goals from Ryan Conroy and Steven Milne allowed Dundee to cruise through much of the second half with the points looking safe. The visitors had lots of possession, but little penetration up front. In contrast, Dundee's good football always looked far more likely to have an end product, and they thoroughly deserved the win.

Both teams preferred to pass the ball patiently in midfield, rather than launch quick balls forward, and a typical spell of possession paid off when the Dee took the lead after 11 minutes. Irvine's cross from the right was only diverted out as far as Lockwood. He laid it into the path of O'DONNELL, who beat a man to make space and rifled the ball into the roof of the net from 19 yards.

The Bairns equalised midway through the half when MILLAR was given time to shoot from 25 yards. The ball bounced in front of Douglas and skipped through the keeper, who will know he should have done better.

It took Dundee 10 minutes to restore their lead. Irvine made a clever run in from the right and McBride found him with a lovely chip over the top of the defence. The right back set up Conroy who was in a better position, but the midfielder delayed his shot and had to move the ball on to Milne, who returned it. At last Conroy got his shot away, but Dods deflected the ball over the bar with his arm. The referee, Mr Thomson awarded the penalty and booked Dods.

CONROY scored easily from the spot, with McGovern going the wrong way.

Soon after half time Douglas made amends for his mistake. El Alagui's glancing header from a corner seemed on its way to the back of the net, but the keeper showed he still has the agility to spring to his right and save well.

Dundee went straight up the field and nearly grabbed a third when McCluskey's clever wing play gave him space to cross for Milne to volley narrowly wide.

We had to wait only another couple of minutes for the crucial third goal, which came from smart play by a Dundee youngster and a dreadful blunder from one of the Bairns' kids. McIntosh hooked a cross from the right into the heart of the penalty area. Murray Wallace tried to head the ball out for a corner, but merely sent it straight back to McIntosh, who quickly controlled the ball and fired it into the goalmouth. MILNE stabbed the ball goalwards. McGovern managed to block the ball at point blank range, but with both players on the ground it was the Dee striker who reacted quickest, stretching out to flick the loose ball into the net.

Ryan Conroy came desperately close to a fourth when Milne crossed for him to shoot against the post. The last half hour settled into a repeating pattern in which Falkirk would play the ball around till they gave it away, or tried an overambitious final ball. When Dundee had the ball they were far more careful in possession and more penetrating with their forward passes. Surprisingly there were no more goals, but there was a lot of good football for the supporters to enjoy. After a highly erratic season at home it was certainly pleasant to see Dundee stroll through the closing stages in control.

Jamie McCluskey had an effective game on the right, but he was withdrawn for the last 20 minutes to give Mark Fotheringham an opportunity. Jake Hyde came on for the last 10 minutes, and nearly set up a fourth when he cut in from the left to give O'Donnell another chance to shoot from the edge of the area. This time the keeper managed to save.

This was another good, solid team performance, with every part of the team looking comfortable. Dundee imposed themselves in central midfield, where both O'Donnell and McBride had good games. Milne caused problems continually with his clever movement and willingness to drop deep to link up with midfielders while teammates broke forward beyond him. Both the wide midfielders had good games, using the ball well. Leighton McIntosh never gave the central defenders any peace. He deserved a goal, but will have to be satisfied with a very good assist.

The full backs did well, with Gary Irvine again looking very good coming forward. Craig McKeown and Kyle Benedictus settled down into a confident performance, after a slightly erratic start. They both went for the same high ball early on, and succeeded only in putting each other off! After that they had few problems, and handled Falkirk's lone striker, the dangerous El Alagui, very well.

So three goals, three points, a relaxed end to the game with the points safe; it wasn't the best performance of the season, but it was easily good enough to send the Dark Blue support home in a cheerful mood.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at April 7th, 2012)

2011-12 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)39 38 - 266 -
Craig McKeown27 29 - 1011
Gary Irvine27 381742
Kyle Benedictus20 10 - 45 -
Matt Lockwood35 384739
Jamie McCluskey24 324324
Ryan Conroy24 37113711
Stephen O'Donnell28 353736
Kevin McBride30 7 - 7 -
Leighton McIntosh19 161285
Steven Milne31 331515040
Ross Chisholm (sub)24 24 - 24 -
Mark Fotheringham (sub)28 4 - 634
Jake Hyde (sub)21 286309

League Table (as at April 7th, 2012)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

The type of performance in our last home game versus Ayr United was definitely the type of reaction I was looking for after the previous two games. We scored four very good goals from different areas of the pitch, and it's especially satisfying to see the strikes coming from four different scorers.

The game came on the back of a tough two weeks where we faced very competitive games. Unfortunately that led to injuries, but the guys that came in did extremely well despite not starting for quite a while, and it's pleasing to see youth players coming through the system which is something know the fans also enjoy. We'll continue to work closely with our youth coaches over the coming weeks, months, and years to give every young player on our books the very best opportunity to make the transition through to the first team.

Going back to the game, I think the boys came out and set their stall from the kick off. They showed that they will give 100% to the fans, and to the club for the rest of season. I have complete faith in this squad of players, and there have never been any doubts in my mind to the contrary.

Today will undoubtedly be one of our toughest games of the seasonnagainst a good, young Falkirk side. They have shown numerous times

this season, both with their league and cup form, what they are capable of. We have also shown that we are a good side, and it's up to us to go out and prove that again today by working hard, and doing the right things.

We aim to finish as high up the table as we possibly can, and a victory today would be a good step towards achieving that goal.

With two teams on the park who like to get the ball down and play, I'm sure today's game will be entertaining. I know the supporters will again get behind us; it makes such a difference to the players when they hear the crowd willing them on, and hopefully you'll see the difference your backing makes with another three points.