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Challenge Cup (Quarter Final)
Peter MacDonald (52)
|Sean Higgins (63)
1. Kyle Letheren
5. Willie Dyer
18. Declan Gallagher
3. Matt Lockwood
2. Gary Irvine
10. Gavin Rae
8. Kevin McBride
11. Ryan Conroy
20. Jim McAlister
9. Peter MacDonald
15. Carlo Monti
Chris Smith .1
Nicky Devlin .2
Kevin McKinlay .3
David Rowson .4
Ross McMillan .5
Craig Anderson .6
Sean Dickson .7
Brown Ferguson .8
Darren Smith .9
John Gemmell .10
Sean Higgins .11
27. Dan Twardzik
17. Kyle Benedictus
7. Nicky Riley
23. Martin Boyle
41. Thomas Carberry
Dean Shaw .12
Sean Lynch .14
Alan Lawson .15
Errol Douglas .16
Ross McNeil .17
Nicky Riley for Carlo Monti (7)
Martin Boyle for Ryan Conroy (75)
Kyle Benedictus for Nicky Riley (97)
Sean Lynch for Darren Smith (66)
Errol Douglas for Craig Anderson (66)
Ross McNeil for Sean Higgins (105)
Gary Irvine (38)
Kevin McBride (41)
Gavin Rae (71)
Kevin McKinlay (58)
David Rowson (77)
John Gemmell (88)
Errol Douglas (108)
John McKendrick (Referee)
A defeat on penalty kicks is a tough one to take, especially when they were presented with a kick to advance to the next round. However, this match was a story of missed chances and Dundee failing to kill the game off when on top.
John Brown kept faith in the same starting eleven which had seen off Livingston last Friday night with ease. Stenny had a familiar face in their line up with ex Dee Sean Higgins leading the line.
Just under two minutes into the game and Dundee had their first warning sign of the afternoon. Higgins lifted ball over the top sent Sean Dickson through on goal. With a pack of defenders chasing him down, the Stenny midfielder opted to shoot early and blasted over from just inside the Dundee box.
With only 6 minutes on the clock, Dundee were forced into a change. Carlo Monti went up for a header on the half way line and a clash of heads saw him down and requiring treatment. He walked from the field but looked very groggy and headed up the tunnel right away with the help from goalkeeping coach Bobby Geddes. Nicky Riley replaced him. The winger fresh from returning from injury against Livi, where he tormented their defence at times, including setting up the final goal.
Riley was a straight swap for Monti, up top alongside MacDonald.
Dundee had a penalty shout when MacDonald was bundled over just inside the box. The striker certainly thought he should have had a spot kick but it would have been soft if given.
The next chance of the match again fell to Stenny. Darren Smith got down the left and his ball across would have been perfect had it been half a yard either way of where it ended up. Both strikers, Higgins and John Gemmell awaited the cross but as it was the ball ran between them and allowed Matt Lockwood to clear.
Dundee's first chance came when Riley, who was finding himself space on the left, lofted a ball to the back post. Irvine seemed to arrive unnoticed in the middle but as a result of having to stretch to reach the ball could only head it into the ground and wide.
The League One side were giving a good account of themselves and Gemmell was next to have an effort on goal. Striking a free kick from 35 yards well, but over.
Dundee slowly built up some pressure and Riley had a couple of efforts, one saved, the other blocked. MacDonald headed a Gary Irvine cross wide before Gavin Rae saw a shot blocked and despite getting to the ball for a second attempt could only stab over.
Just after the half hour mark, Stenny engineered a chance which saw Letheren push the ball onto the bar. Dickson crossed from the left and Gemmell got a strong header in on goal. The Dundee number 1 got a hand to it and pushed up onto the woodwork before it was cleared to safety.
Riley continued to be a problem from Stenny on the left and got space for another effort on goal, this time shooting wide across the face from the edge of the box.
The best chance of the half came when Jim McAlister played the ball to MacDonald who lifted it over the Stenny defence. McAlister burst in behind to receive to pass and found himself one on one. He should have scored but Chris Smith saved. His defenders covered him well getting back to block a shot from Riley when the loose ball had fallen to the substitute.
Ryan Conroy had Dundee's last chance of the half when he beat his man in the box and drilled in a shot from a tight angle. Smith pushed it behind for a corner.
Just as the half time whistle was about to go their was one final reminder that Stenny were still a treat. Higgins knocking the ball down for Dickson but he could only turn over from 10 yards out.
After the break, Dundee came out with some urgency and should have been ahead within two minutes when Conroy's shot was blocked into the path of MacDonald. It was a golden chance for the striker but he could only watch on as his shot came crashing back off the bar and Stenny cleared.
He didn't have to wait long for another chance though as five minutes later Dundee had a spot kick. A Irvine cross into the middle started something of a scramble in the area with Stenny desperately trying to clear as Dundee tried to force a shot. In the middle of it was Craig Anderson. Already on the floor after jumping for initial header, he kicked a leg out to try clear but only succeeded in clipping McAlister who had nipped in.
MacDonald made no mistake, blasting the ball past Smith.
Dundee continued in the ascendancy and Riley played in Conroy just over the half way line. The winger got a shot away but it was blocked by a Stenny defender who got back well to cover. Next up, MacDonald headed wide at the back post from a free kick.
The Dee were on top at this point and Riley then MacDonald both had efforts on goal but neither could find the net. It seemed like Dundee would go on to kill the game off but just as they seemed to have a grip on the game Stenny hit back.
A ball forward into the box was held up well by John Gemmell, he laid it off to ex Dee Higgins who absolutely hammered the ball into the top corner. No celebration followed from Higgins. He held his hands up almost apologetically after scoring which brought applause from home support.
The goal seemed to take the sting out of Dundee and the rest of the half was played out much like the first 45 minutes had been. John Brown replaced Conroy with Martin Boyle as he tried to add some spark to the attack.
Stenny had a couple of efforts on goal through Higgins then Gemmell before the sub did almost pay off. Boyle made space for himself in the box and got a shot on target but Stenny keeper Smith saved well.
The urgency that Dundee had at the start of the second period seemed to be lacking as extra time edged ever closer. A neat bit of play did almost find a winner but Irvine's shot was right at Smith after MacDonald had dummied Riley's pass into the full backs path.
MacDonald had the last chance of the 90 minutes when he picked up the ball in the box. Stenny weren't going to give up their place in the cup easily and had plenty men behind the ball. MacDonald delayed before doing all he could which was lift the ball over the defenders in the packed penalty area and keeper Smith happily caught the ball.
As extra time began, Dundee were forced into a final change with Riley being replaced by Kyle Benedictus. Riley had only returned for a 30 minutes spell against Livi last week so it was too much to ask for him to come through extra time having played the best part of 90 mins.
There was only one real talking point of the first period of extra time. MacDonald shifting the ball past his man and forcing Smith into a save after good work from Boyle.
The second period didn't exactly spark into life either. Neither keeper had anything to tasking to do. Stenny had the best chance when sub Douglas got the right side of Lockwood on the right and pulled it back for Gemmell who side footed wide when he probably should have done better.
So it was the lottery of penalties that would decide who would advance to the Semi Final of the Ramsdens Cup.
Kevin McBride who scored from the spot to give Dundee their first league win against Alloa a few weeks ago stepped up first. Same approach but this time blasting over and giving Stenny an immediate advantage.
They didn't take that though with Kyle Letheren saving from Gemmell. MacDonald was first to hit the net before keeper Smith stepped up to level the score.
Lockwood and David Rowson both found the net. Martin Boyle was next up and he scored before Letheren looked to have made himself the hero of the afternoon, saving a second spot kick, this time from Ross McNeil.
Captain Gavin Rae stepped up to put Dundee in the Semi Final but Smith pushed it away to keep his side in the Cup.
Brown Ferguson kept his nerve and forced the shootout into sudden death. Irvine scored next for Dundee before Douglas leveled for Stenny.
Willie Dyer stepped up next and when his spot kick came back off the post Stenny had the chance to advance. Sub Sean Lynch stepped up and fired past Letheren to send his team mates and the small travelling support wild.
Match report written by Tommy Young - Official Dundee website
|Kyle Letheren (GK)
|Kyle Benedictus (sub)
|Nicky Riley (sub)
|Martin Boyle (sub)
No league table has been added for this season.
We've played a lot of cup football recently, but today gives us an opportunity to reach a semi-final and that's never something you should take for granted.
Martyn Corrigan at Stenhousemuir has built a good squad and they'll be encouraged with the start they've made to the season in what will be a tough SPFL 1st Division. Although they may be a league below us we'll certainly not be approaching this game with any complacency, and whilst we'll be confident we'll also give the opposition the respect they deserve.
The two Forfar games showed us that nothing can be taken for granted in cup competitions, and Stenhousemuir have plenty of players in their squad who have played at a higher level, and can cause us problems if we're not at our best.
After a difficult 120 minutes last mid-week, it was pleasing to get back to league business and get three points in our last outing here at Dens versus Livingston.
I thought we looked relaxed after we scored the penalty, and went on to dictate the play scoring another two good goals. We created chances going forward and kept another clean sheet for the 3rd consecutive league game so again we take the positives from that and look to build on the good things. Despite playing our third game in 6 days, we competed well and again it's the players getting the rewards from the hard work they put in during pre season.
It was great again to see the fans staying to applaud the team off the park last Friday night, and as I've said before nothing gives me greater pleasure as a manager than seeing the supporters leaving the stadium with smiles on their faces. Hopefully we'll see more of that come quarter to five this afternoon.