Dundee 2
St Johnstone 2
League (Premier League)

2 - 2
St Johnstone 

League (Premier League)
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,224
3:00 PM Kick-off

John Baird (42)
Mark Stewart (89)
Steven MacLean (36)
Dave Mackay (68)

Team Managers
John Brown
Steve Lomas

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Gary Irvine
18. Declan Gallagher
25. Lewis Toshney
17. Kyle Benedictus
29. Gary Harkins
11. Ryan Conroy
7. Nicky Riley
6. Iain Davidson
20. Jim McAlister
10. John Baird
Alan Mannus .1
David MacKay .2
Frazer Wright .5
David McCracken .18
Tam Scobbie .33
Patrick Cregg .4
Chris Millar .7
Liam Craig .10
Mehdi Abeid .21
Steven MacLean .9
Rowan Vine .23

36. Alex Baird
21. Davide Grassi
22. David Morgan
8. Kevin McBride
27. Mark Stewart
24. Colin Nish
15. Steven Milne
Jonathan Tuffey .15
Steven Anderson .6
Callum Davidson .3
Liam Caddis .26
Gwion Edwards .14
Nigel Hasselbaink .11
Grégory Tadé .9

Mark Stewart for John Baird (69)
Davide Grassi for Nicky Riley (73)
Colin Nish for Gary Harkins (77)
Grégory Tadé for Mehdi Abeid (64)
Nigel Hasselbaink for Rowan Vine (80)
Steven Anderson for Chris Miller (87)

John Baird (3)
Patrick Cregg (14)
Steven MacLean (36)
Rowan Vine (73)
Chris Millar (83)

Red Cards
Declan Gallagher (66)
Match Officials

Willie Collum (Referee)
Martin Cryans & Willie Conquer (Assistants)
Calum Murray (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

John Brown's first game in charge of Dundee saw the Dark Blues come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with St Johnstone at Dens Park tonight. Late goals in each half from John Baird and Mark Stewart cancelled out goals from Steven MacLean and Dave MacKay. The Dark Blues managed to save a point in spite of Declan Gallagher's red card midway through the second half.

The only change from Sunday was Lewis Toshney returning to replace the injured Brian Easton. Kyle Benedictus moved to right back and Gary Irvine went to left back.

The first half hour was dull and scrappy. It looked ominously like the game would be a tedious and low scoring affair. Dundee occasionally looked like they might put a dangerous move together, but it never quite happened.

Ryan Conroy forced a good save from Allan Mannus with a 25 yard free kick. Nicky Riley got his head to a Conroy cross, but placed the ball too close to the keeper who saved comfortably. Conroy then hit another good free kick, this time from 35 yards. Mannus managed to block the ball and had to scramble it away as Baird followed up. That was pretty much it for the first 30 minutes.

St Johnstone had offered little threat or urgency, apart from a couple of penetrating runs down either flank by Mehid Abeid, on loan from Newcastle. Their opening goal after 36 minutes was something of a surprise after all the sloppiness. What wasn't a surprise was that it was another avoidable goal. Cregg was given space to run to the edge of the penalty area. Douglas managed to parry his shot, but the ball pinged up into the air and MACLEAN won the chase to head it into the empty net.

The Dark Blues kept their heads and chased a quick equaliser. Their wretched luck continued when Harkins shot against the post after Baird's neat lay off. Dundee's frustration continued when the rebound got stuck under the referee's feet on the edge of the penalty area, giving Saints time to recover.

Within a minute Dundee had a wee bit of luck at last when Irvine miscontrolled the ball and seemed to knock it against his own hand. Fortunately the referee didn't see the incident as clearly as the Saints fans seemed to!

Nevertheless it would have been harsh on Dundee if they had finished the first half a goal down. The equaliser came four minutes from the break. Conroy's right wing corner was beautifully flighted to the near post. Toshney glanced his header on, and John BAIRD headed home at the back post.

Dundee came out for the second half determined to take the game to Saints. Within the first minute Gary Harkins had dispossessed Wright and forced a corner. Harkins was at the centre of every Dundee attack. He had the home supporters out of their seats when he beat two men with a lovely run through the middle, only for Mannus to race out and grab the ball off his feet.

The Dark Blues should have taken the lead after an hour. Another corner from Conroy on the right caused chaos in the Saints defence. The ball fell to Toshney, whose close range shot was saved by Mannus's feet. When the ball was cleared Conroy picked it up, ran at the defence, and played a clever one-two with Harkins to go past the last defender. He should have scored, but Mannus again saved Saints.

Dundee were on top now and three points seemed a real, if tantalising, possibility. However, the roof fell in on the Dee midway through the second half when the game suddenly swung emphatically in Saints' favour.

Liam Craig spun round Declan Gallagher on the edge of the penalty area and was pulled to the ground. Mr Collum reach for his red card, and when the free kick was eventually taken Dave MACKAY placed his free kick round the wall and into the top corner.

John Brown took off Nicky Riley and sent on Davide Grassi to shore up the defence. Riley had been busy and effective on the right. Losing a man, a goal, and Riley's threat on the right was a huge blow to Dundee and St Johnstone took charge of the match.

The Dark Blues had to defend desperately as Saints went for the kill. A third goal looked far more likely than a Dundee equaliser. John Brown tried to change the flow of the game by sending on Mark Stewart and Colin Nish for Baird and Harkins. The departure of Harkins in particular puzzled the home support. Dundee had now withdrawn their two most creative players. Was there any hope? Well, yes, there was!

Mark Stewart had shown some neat skill and bursts of real pace. Two minutes from the end he led a breakout from defence. It seemed to have fizzled out, but Saints didn't clear the ball properly. Jim McAlister fed it back through the middle and Nish touched it on to leave STEWART in space to hammer home the equaliser from 12 yards.

Play surged from end to end during the three minutes of injury time as both sides tried to grab a winner. However, a draw was a fair result over the whole match. Dundee were on top for longer, and had the better chances. However, St Johnstone should have closed the match out after taking the lead. They were controlling the game, but were possibly too complacent and certainly lost concentration.

The Dundee supporters were desperate for three points and a morale boosting performance before the cup tie derby on Sunday. There was no win, but few would have been few moaning about the result and performance.

This was the first time this season that Dundee have taken even a point after going a goal down. Coming from behind twice was very pleasing, all the more so because two strikers scored, another first in the league.

It wasn't brilliant, but Dundee's performance was whole-hearted, and with a bit of luck they could have scored more than the two goals they did get. After all the depressing defeats when Dundee have offered little threat that makes a pleasant change. John Brown will surely feel he has something to work with.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at February 27th, 2013)

2012-13 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)40 32 - 303 -
Kyle Benedictus21 221721
Lewis Toshney20 151151
Declan Gallagher22 221221
Gary Irvine27 32 - 1112
Gary Harkins28 5 - 9123
Jim McAlister27 311311
Iain Davidson29 301301
Nicky Riley26 2228811
Ryan Conroy25 2847016
John Baird27 313313
Davide Grassi (sub)27 8 - 8 -
Mark Stewart (sub)24 152152
Colin Nish (sub)31 243243

League Table (as at February 27th, 2013)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

It is an absolute privilege to come.backnto Aden's Park Stadium and it's a challenge I am looking forward to.

Having watched the game at Celtic Park from the stand on Sunday, I feel there were many positives to take from the game, particularly in the first half and those are the things we've been trying to build on in training this week. The players showed the potential they have and set a good benchmark, and a huge part of my job is to ensure those high standards are met in these next two crucial games.

Our task forthwith is simple; to win as many games as possible between now and the end of the season and I'm hoping that starts tonight. The players. have been magnificent in terms of attitude and application all week, and I know they'll continue to give their all for the remaining games. Ray Farningham and the backroom staff have also done a commendable job in challenging circumstances over the past few days, and I would like to thank them for the great help and assistance they have given me since Saturday afternoon.

My prominent memory from my time at Dens Park as a player was the supporters, and how they travelled in large numbers home and away, and backed their team so well. That is the one constant that has remained with the club throughout the decades, and would ask you all for your support again tonight. If we stick together over these coming months, I'm sure better days are just around the corner for this club again.

Dundee have always had a healthy rivalry with St Johnstone and it's a cracking game to start with for me personally. Steve Lomas has done a very good job this season, and it's no surprise from having watched him as a player that his team are organised and forward thinking in the way they go about their business.

I have told the players they should take heart from some of their recent performances, and they have responded well. Obviously tonight will be a difficult game, but genuinely feel that if we have enough quality in the dressing room to put in a good performance hopefully culminating in a valuable three points.