Dundee 3
Forfar Athletic 1
Challenge Cup (2nd Round)

3 - 1

Challenge Cup (2nd Round)
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
Dens Park
Attendance: 2,052
7:45 PM Kick-off

Kevin McBride (80)
Peter MacDonald (97)
Peter MacDonald (120)
Stuart Malcolm (52)

Team Managers
John Brown
Dick Campbell

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
5. Willie Dyer
18. Declan Gallagher
2. Gary Irvine
6. Iain Davidson
20. Jim McAlister
8. Kevin McBride
10. Gavin Rae
22. Jamie Reid
23. Martin Boyle
16. Steven Doris
Robert Douglas .1
Mark Baxter .2
Stuart Malcolm .3
Darrel Dods .4
Mark McCulloch .5
Omar Kader .6
Gary Fusco .7
Ross Campbell .8
Bryan Deasley .9
Paul McManus .10
Gavin Swankie .11

27. Dan Twardzik
17. Kyle Benedictus
11. Ryan Conroy
9. Peter MacDonald
15. Carlo Monti
Darren Hill .12
Marvin Andrews .14
Neil McCabe .15
Ross Campbell .16
Chris Templeman .17

Peter MacDonald for Martin Boyle (46)
Ryan Conroy for Gavin Rae (46)
Carlo Monti for Steven Doris (63)
Neil McCabe for Mark McCulloch (66)
Chris Templeman for Bryan Deasley (82)
Ross Campbell for Paul McManus (82)

Iain Davidson (84)
Peter MacDonald (107)
Stuart Malcolm (96)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Crawford Allan (Referee)
Dougie Potter & Morag Pirie (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee's 3-1 victory over Forfar Athletic at Dens in the Ramsden Cup will look fairly straightforward in the record books, but in reality this was a very close affair from which the Loons will take far more credit than the Dee.

Stuart Malcolm gave Forfar the lead just after half time. With an embarrassing defeat looming Kevin McBride equalised 11 minutes from full time. Two goals in extra time from Peter MacDonald put Dundee through, the second coming from the last kick of the match.

Dundee made four changes to Saturday's line up. Dyer, Doris, Reid and Boyle came in for MacDonald, Conroy, Monti and Benedictus who all dropped onto the bench. However, there was only one change from the team that finished the win over Alloa, Dyer for Benedictus. New signing Dan Twarzik was the substitute keeper.

The change formation, with a flat back four looked more promising at first. The movement was better than on Saturday, and Reid was effective in linking the midfield and strikers.

The early signs were good when McAlister burst forward to test Douglas from 25 yards. However, the neat movement and passing seldom ended with real penetration. There was little width, other than when the full backs got forward and Rab Douglas had a surprisingly easy time of it. A rare spell of serious pressure around the Forfar goal ended with Douglas saving comfortably from Doris.

Shortly before half time Reid hit a fine pass to release Dyer on the left, but Boyle sidefooted the cross over from 12 yards.

Forfar offered little threat after an early attack when Iain Davidson had to block Gavin Swankie's shot. However, Dundee were not convincing defending set pieces, and this proved their undoing five minutes after the break.

Iain Campbell swung a high corner to the far post for Stuart MALCOLM to score with a powerful header that Letheren managed to grab, but only after the ball had clearly crossed the line. In their last three matches three of the five goals that Dundee have conceded have been from set pieces. The defence is clearly not dealing well with these.

The goal gave the Loons a lift, and they were playing the match as if it was a local derby cup tie. The Dark Blues looked more like they were playing a pre-season friendly. Forfar were happy to sit back, but there was a definite new spring in their step and bite in the tackles.

Peter MacDonald and Ryan Conroy had come on for Boyle and Rae at half time. Whatever the reason for the change it did little to improve Dundee's performance. The formation was now an orthodox 4-4-2, but their was little cohesion. Yet again the passing was either slow, safe and harmless, or hasty and inaccurate. There was a worrying lack of effective urgency. The players did try to step up the pace, but made mistakes in doing so.

A Ryan Conroy free kick deflected off the defensive wall and spun wide. Carlo Monti came on for Steven Doris and curled a shot wide after a rare penetrating move.

Forfar's veteran central defensive pairing of Darren Dods and Stuart Malcolm had fine games, but Dundee made life too easy for them with poor crossing and to many aimless high balls. Rab Douglas was still having far too easy a time in the Forfar goal. His new team seemed to be set for victory but Dundee pulled themselves back into the tie with a goal that will sadly have to go down as an error by the Dee legend.

Ryan Conroy shuffled the ball infield to Kevin McBRIDE, who took aim from 25 yards and blasted the ball at goal. Douglas had the shot covered, but the greasy ball spun through his gloves and he only helped it over the line as he tried to recover.

Dundee nearly added a quick second but Douglas pulled off a great save to block Jamie Reid's header after Monti had reached the byline.

In extra time Dundee at last started to dominate confidently as the Loons tired. Midway through the first period Peter MACDONALD provided us at last with a moment of real quality when he sent a magnificent 30 yard free kick ripping into the top corner.

Dundee were looking comfortable as Forfar lost their shape. A third goal seemed to be on the cards, but in the last 10 minutes of the second period of extra time the Loons managed to find fresh strength. They pushed Dundee back, giving everything in an attempt to force an equaliser.

Swankie and Kader were dangerous in open play, but Forfar's real threat was from set pieces. Malcolm, Dods and Templeman hurled themselves at every high ball, and Dundee struggled to cope. Darren Dods managed to bundle the ball over the line, but the referee took exception to the way that he had demolished Letheren in going for the high ball and the goal didn't stand.

Forfar's frantic attacking left them vulnerable to counter attacks. Right at the end of the match Monti broke away down the right wing. He cut inside and found the unmarked MACDONALD who calmly passed the ball across Douglas to complete the scoring and put a touch of gloss on an unconvincing performance by the Dee.

John Brown's refashioned Dundee team are clearly still a work in progress. None of the supporters at the ground would have left feeling happy about this performance. There will need to be improvement all over the pitch if the Dark Blues are to meet the expectations of the support. Certainly Dundee will have to do better next Tuesday when Forfar return to Dens in the League Cup.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at August 20th, 2013)

2013-14 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)26 4 - 4 -
Willie Dyer26 2 - 2 -
Declan Gallagher22 41322
Gary Irvine28 3 - 1212
Iain Davidson29 41442
Jim McAlister27 4 - 465
Kevin McBride32 42423
Gavin Rae35 4 - 26530
Jamie Reid18 2 - 41
Martin Boyle20 3 - 13 -
Steven Doris25 4 - 4 -
Ryan Conroy (sub)26 4 - 8419
Carlo Monti (sub)23 4141
Peter MacDonald (sub)32 4343

League Table (as at August 20th, 2013)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Firstly, I would like to welcome Dick Campbell and his team to Dens Park this evening. It's another test for us and I'm sure they will make it another competitive game meaning we'll have to ensure we are at our best to progress to the next round of the Ramsdens Cup.

I was delighted to get the win on Saturday, but as I said in the press after the game I felt a bit for Paul Hartley's team losing the game via a last minute penalty. It was a very difficult game as we knew it would be from our last meeting with them and they made it very difficult for us and full credit to them for doing so.

I've always said that this season will be a marathon, and there will be no easy games. Our opening two games - both against teams who have just been promoted to this division - have reinforced that, and I was happy to get a win and 3 points albeit through a late goal.

The positives from the Alloa game was that we kept a clean sheet, passed the ball well in the early stages of the game, and the players kept going for the full 90 minutes; that's the kind of things we must try and build on.

The way the fans turned out in great numbers for our first competitive home game was also fantastic to see, and I hope that's something that continues over the coming weeks and months. We're very much hoping to contribute to that by giving them a team full of honest endeavour - a team to be proud of.

Our players are still getting to know each other, and adapting to the way we'll be playing this season; things will take time but we're all in this for the long haul.

We played Forfar in a pre season game a few weeks ago and it was a tight game, and that's what I'll be expecting again tonight. They have added some really good experience to their squad over the summer but it's a game the players are again looking forward to, and we're all keen to go as far in this competition as we possibly can.