Dundee 1
Alloa Athletic 0
League (Championship)

1 - 0

League (Championship)
Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,167
3:00 PM Kick-off

Kevin McBride (pen.) (92)

Team Managers
John Brown
Paul Hartley

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
2. Gary Irvine
17. Kyle Benedictus
18. Declan Gallagher
6. Iain Davidson
20. Jim McAlister
10. Gavin Rae
11. Ryan Conroy
8. Kevin McBride
9. Peter MacDonald
15. Carlo Monti
Scott Bain .1
Michael Doyle .2
Ben Gordon .3
Daryll Meggatt .4
James Creaney .5
Kevin Cawley .6
Stephen Simmons .7
Graeme Holmes .8
Ryan McCord .9
Andy Kirk .10
Declan McManus .11

5. Willie Dyer
3. Matt Lockwood
22. Jamie Reid
23. Martin Boyle
33. Craig Wighton
16. Steven Doris
Craig McDowall .12
Jason Marr .14
Jonathan Tiffoney .15
Willie Robertson .16
Ryan Gemmell .17
Graham Forsyth .18
Scott Hynd .19

Martin Boyle for Ryan Conroy (59)
Steven Doris for Carlo Monti (59)
Jamie Reid for Peter MacDonald (82)
Willie Robertson for Declan McManus (71)
Jonathan Tiffoney for Stephen Simmons (86)

Iain Davidson (54)
Stephen Simmons (25)
Kevin Cawley (61)
Ben Gordon (64)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Euan Norris (Referee)
Douglas Ross & David McKenzie (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee fans endured 92 minutes of miserable frustration and 60 seconds of astonished relief as the Dark Blues grabbed a painfully unconvincing 1-0 win over Alloa Athletic at Dens Park today.

A Kevin McBride penalty deep into injury time settled the match at the expense of an unlucky Wasps team who got lumbered with all of the frustration that had been weighing down on the home players and supporters.

John Brown made only one change from last week's defeat in Dumfries. Gary Irvine returned from suspension to replace Matt Lockwood, but this required a few positional changes. Iain Davidson moved back into central defence and Jim McAlister moved infield from wing back to play in the space behind the strikers.

The early signs were promising for Dundee as Jim McAlister caused Alloa problems with his ability to find space with clever runs from midfield. A McAlister surge through the midfield opened up Alloa, allowing Conroy to run in from the left. Scott Bain, however, was well positioned to block his shot.

Alloa started to pick up McAlister and the Dee struggled to work out an alternative route forward. Dundee had most of the possession in a lacklustre first half, but it was the Wasps who came closer to scoring. Each time a loss of concentration in the home defence could have cost a goal. Ross McCord found himself in a ludicrous amount of space beyond the far post to meet Andy Kirk's cross unopposed. His header across goal was accurate, but lacked the power to beat Kyle Letheren.

If that was shoddy defending it was surpassed when Alloa came close to taking the lead 10 minutes from half time. Iain Davidson allowed a long ball to run through, thinking it was going out of play. The ball slowed up and Declan McManus caught the ball just before it crossed the line, with Letheren out of position, already moving to collect the ball. Fortunately Declan Gallagher's challenge deflected the ball over the bar as Andy Kirk tried to turn the cutback home.

At the other end Gary Irvine came closest for the Dee late in the half. The ball was being knocked to and fro in the air and Irvine launched a spectacular overhead kick that Bain did well to turn over the bar.

Frustratingly there was no improvement after half time. Dundee couldn't move the ball around quckly enough to unsettle the Alloa defence. Everything was too slow and measured; safe balls that didn't hurt the Wasps, or ambitious ones that didn't come off. There wasn't enough pace or penetration to pose any serious threat.

Dundee looked most likely to grab a goal from a set piece. Alloa struggled to deal with Gallagher's height at corners, but in open play they were seldom in trouble.

John Brown decided to make drastic changes, sending on Martin Boyle and Steven Doris to replace Ryan Conroy and Carlo Monti. Jim McAlister moved to left wing back as Dundee adopted an aggressive 3-4-3 formation. Boyle, in combination with Irvine, offered some threat on the right, and Doris's bustling aggression gave the Wasps defence an extra problem to deal with, but there was little cohesion or confidence about Dundee's play.

Alloa were sitting deeper and looked increasingly happy to settle for the point they would have deserved. After 79 minutes the Dark Blues at last fashioned a good chance. Boyle burst past Creaney into the penalty area. Bain parried his shot, then beat awayd MacDonald's follow up. Boyle had the third shot, but this was blocked and Alloa escaped.

In Dundee's next attack Boyle's pass sent Rae into the penalty area. He cut inside, but took too long to pick his spot and his shot was blocked.

Most of the play was in the area between the half way line and the edge of the Wasps' penalty area, but occasionally Alloa broke away. They had a few promising moves and sent the odd dangerous ball flashing across the Dundee penalty area, but they never got enough men forward in time to turn opportunities into goals, or even clear chances.

Jamie Reid replaced Peter MacDonald with eight minutes to go. His skill and movement in the space just behind the strikers gave Dundee a better shape and more threat, but there was still little to give the suffering fans confidence that a late winner was on the way.

As the match drifted into injury time Alloa were understandably content to wind down the clock and the Dark Blues looked utterly impotent. Two minutes into injury time the ball bounced out of play off the Alloa corner flag for a throw in to the away side. Dundee's aggressive pressing stopped Alloa getting the ball clear. The ball bounced about in the air till Boyle forced it into the penalty area, where Doris was barged over from behind by substitute Robertson with no conceivable danger to the Alloa goal.

Mr. Norris pointed to the spot to the amazed relief of the home support. One of the Alloa substitutes comically came onto the pitch to debate the decision with the referee and was waved away with an inevitable yellow card.

Kevin McBRIDE smashed the spot kick home to unbridled relief from the home stands. 92 and a half minutes on the clock and that was that.

Well, this is how it feels to be a real Dee! 90 minutes of agony in the hope of something unlikely happening to send you home with a wee smile on your face. Today we got it. It's hard to argue that we got what we deserved, and Alloa quite clearly deserved something from this game. It's possible that they lacked the confidence to go for a winner when they looked every bit as capable as Dundee of taking all the points. Perhaps they were too happy to settle for one point and gave Dundee too much respect.

Paul Hartley's side again looked well organised and smart. Dundee were never able to dictate the game apart from the very early stages. The players will have to show significant improvement if they are to achieve promotion this season. The midfield in particular simply didn't impose themselves or give the strikers opportunities to show what they can do.

Nevertheless, this could be a hugely significant three points. The victory was achieved with no style whatsoever, but the late winner means that the Dee have their first win on the board. If that is to mean anything this must be used as a platform on which Dundee must build and improve. There will be few days this season when Dundee will be able to play this poorly and win. Alloa on the other hand will probably win quite a few games in which they play worse.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at August 17th, 2013)

2013-14 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)26 3 - 3 -
Declan Gallagher22 31312
Kyle Benedictus21 3 - 821
Gary Irvine28 2 - 1202
Kevin McBride32 31412
Ryan Conroy26 3 - 8319
Gavin Rae35 3 - 26430
Jim McAlister27 3 - 455
Iain Davidson29 31432
Peter MacDonald32 3131
Carlo Monti23 3131
Jamie Reid (sub)18 1 - 31
Steven Doris (sub)25 3 - 3 -
Martin Boyle (sub)20 2 - 12 -

League Table (as at August 17th, 2013)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

On behalf of the coaching staff and myself, I welcome the fans back to Dens Park for our first home game of the new SPFL Championship Season.

Having played 2 competitive games so far this season, it's fair to say we've had mixed fortunes.

After losing the opening game of the season last week, it was a long trip home from Dumfries on Saturday. I thought we started the game lively, worked hard and scored a good goal. There's no doubt after that however we definitely underperformed.

It's unquestionable that the goal they scored right on half time had a big impact on the way the game went, and the manner in which we lost our way thereafter was disappointing. I have to take positives from the game however, and we did score 3 goals away from home which was pleasing, but then again it means nothing when you come away empty handed.

The players were bitterly disappointed after the game, and I can assure you that the disappointment and hurt that was evident in the away section of the stand was replicated in the dressing room. They have come in and worked ever so hard on the training pitch all week and we are all determined to put things right today.

The one thing that we do definitely have at this club is fight, and I think the reaction that we will see today will be a positive one.

The supporters all spoke about how many fans made the long trip to Palmerston Park last weekend, and they know you've all bought Season Ticket sales again this season in good numbers. That alone gives us the motivation we need every week to succeed.

We played Alloa just a few weeks ago and it was a tough game as we expected. In Paul Hartley they have one of the country's brightest young managers, and he has his team organised, and playing football in the right way. There is also no doubt they have some talent in their ranks, and we will definitely have to be at our best to get the result we want.

Thank you all for your support over pre season; I look forward to facing the season ahead together.