0 - 3
0 - 3
League (Premier League)
Michael Higdon (9)
Nicky Law (63)
Nicky Law (78)
45. Steve Simonsen
26. Brian Easton
21. Davide Grassi
25. Lewis Toshney
17. Kyle Benedictus
29. Gary Harkins
11. Ryan Conroy
20. Jim McAlister
6. Iain Davidson
7. Nicky Riley
10. John Baird
Darren Randolph .1
Steven Hammell .3
Shaun Hutchinson .5
1Simon Ramsden .15
Nicky Law .4
Tom Hateley .6
Chris Humphrey .7
Keith Lasley .14
Henrik Ojamaa .8
Michael Higdon .9
James McFadden .20
36. Alex Baird
18. Declan Gallagher
28. Mark Kerr
8. Kevin McBride
15. Steven Milne
9. Carl Finnigan
46. Don Cowan
Lee Hollis .12
Adam Cummins .30
Fraser Kerr .19
Zaine Francis-Angol .26
Stuart Carswell .18
Kallum Higginbotham .11
Bob McHugh .16
Carl Finnigan for Ryan Conroy
Don Cowan for John Baird
Kallum Higginbotham for Chris Humphrey (80)
Bob McHugh for Michael Higdon (84)
Stuart Carswell for Keith Lasley (87)
|Shaun Hutchinson (23)
Steven McLean (Referee)
Dundee's revent revival came to a disappointing end at Dens Park this afternoon in a 3-0 defeat by Motherwell. The match was all too typical of the Dee's season. Dundee started brightly, but fell behind against the run of play to a Michael Higdon goal. They then wasted many good opportunities to get on level terms and saw the match slip away from them in a second half that Motherwell dominated impressively in the later stages. Two goals from Nicky Law emphasised Well's superiority.
Dundee's only change was Kyle Benedictus starting in place of the suspended Gary Irvine. In other words, Nicky Riley returned to join the 10 men who played most of the Tannadice derby.
Dundee showed plenty of promise in the first few minutes. With only 30 seconds gone John Baird got on the end of a Riley cross, but miscued his header. Baird and Riley buzzed around a fragile looking Well defence in the early exchanges, but a dangerous run by James McFadden was a reminder of the threat that Motherwell posed.
The visitors took the lead after eight minutes with a simple, but well executed goal. Humphrey made enough space on the right to send over a perfect cross beyond the far post, where HIGDON had peeled off into space to head back across Simonsen and into the net.
The goal settled Motherwell. Their defence tightened up and they looked dangerous coming forward, especially through Humphrey and McFadden. They should have increased their lead when Brian Easton dived in, missed the ball and allowed Humphrey to run clear into the penalty area. The cut back found Ojamaa who shot weakly into Simonsen's gloves.
Dundee pulled themselves together and started to put Motherwell under some serious pressure. Riley was playing mainly on the left and causing Hateley serious problems. Unfortunately he received little protection from the referee who twice allowed Hateley to bundle Riley over without awarding a free kick. The referee's somewhat blinkered lenience was also annoying the visitors, especially McFadden who couldn't believe the referee failed to see a foul by Benedictus.
However, the referee certainly saw a foul in the most controversial incident of the match. Riley had worked his way through the middle, only to be flattened by Hutchinson just outside the penalty area. The Dundee winger seemed to have a clear goalscoring opportunity, but the referee decided that a yellow card was punishment enough, and the Well defender breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Dundee were playing some lovely football, especially through middle. An elegant flowing move between Harkins and Conroy took the ball fifty yards, before Conroy's shot was deflected for a corner.
The Dark Blues nearly equalised following another good move through the middle. Harkins fierce shot was beaten away by Randolph but, from a difficult angle, Baird could only turn the loose ball across goal and just past the far post.
Putting Riley to the left wing and Conroy on the was proving a frustrating tactic. Both had considerable success in beating men, and working their way into promising positions. Both failed consistently to deliver dangerous final balls, either mishitting their cross with the wrong foot, or losing momentum when they checked back onto their favoured foot.
Dundee's good football and ability to work the ball around the Motherwell defence should have brought more reward in the last 20 minutes of the first half. However, it was Well who nearly grabbed the next goal seconds before half time. After a long spell when all the attacking had come from Dundee a neat move by the visitors ended with Higdon shooting too high from 15 yards.
Just like the first half the second started promisingly for Dundee. McAlister burst into space on the left, but Baird couldn't turn the cross in; Steven Hammell blocked the shot.
Higdon again looked dangerous when he turned Grassi on the edge of the area, but he hooked his shot over the bar.
Dundee again passed their way through the middle, allowing McAlister to shoot, but the ball pinged off a defender for a corner. Dundee kept up the pressure, but Benedictus headed over from Riley's cross.
Dundee's attacks became increasingly ragged, with a succession of mishit crosses and poor final balls. The Dark Blues were finding it harder to keep possession in the Motherwell half. It was hard to dodge the suspicion that the match was tipping in the favour of Motherwell, who were growing in assurance as Dundee seemed to get more frustrated and tense.
It was no great surprise when Motherwell extended their lead with a simple goal after 63 minutes. After playing the ball around patiently, Lasley flighted the ball in from deep on the right. LAW timed his run to arrive totally unmarked, six yards out, and glanced a header past Simonsen.
Dundee should have pulled a goal back immediately. Riley skinned Hammell on the right but Baird wastefully headed over the bar from a good position.
John Brown switched to a 4-3-3 formation, taking Conroy off and sending on Finnigan to play through the middle with Baird on the left and Harkins on the right. It made little difference, and Dundee struggled to make the new formation work.
Motherwell killed off the match with a fine third goal. Hateley's deep corner found LAW, lurking just outside the penalty area. The midfielder had time to control the ball and curl the ball over the defence, round Simonsen and inside the far post.
James McFadden was looking increasingly impressive as the match wore on, and Dundee had no answer to his vision and prompting. The Dark Blues charged around in the vain hope of a consolation goal, but Well were cruising now and Dundee could do nothing to worry them.
Previously this season Dundee gave Motherwell two very hard games. Today they were well beaten. The problems that plagued the Dee under Barry Smith were back. Dundee were able to put good moves together, but poor final balls and weak finishing let them down. When the opposition got their game together they were able to help themselves to goals far too easily.
In spite of the improved recent performances Dundee looked badly short of confidence when the match started to turn against them. There was plenty of effort, but sadly, they didn't have the composure and quality they needed to dig out a result against a Motherwell team who now look a good bet for second place.
Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website
|Steve Simonsen (GK)
|Carl Finnigan (sub)
|Don Cowan (sub)
No league table has been added for this season.
We've had some easing performances in our last couple of outings at Dens and therefore it's great to be back here again today for another home league game.
We took a point against our rivals for the first time this season in our last match at Tannadice, so that has to be viewed as a positive. I felt for our guys at the end though, because I thought they gave everything and scored a fantastic goal. It shows how far we've come in a short space of time that the players were deflated at the end of the game after gaining a draw away from home, despite playing most of the match with ten men.
I think the fans saw that too, and the way every one of them stayed until the bitter end and applauded the team off the pitch shows again that they appreciate the honest endeavour they have seen in the past few weeks. We have plenty of spirit in the dressing room and we