Dundee 0
Hamilton Academical 0
League (Championship)

0 - 0

League (Championship)
Saturday, September 14th, 2013
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,155
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. None.

Team Managers
John Brown
Alex Neil

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
17. Kyle Benedictus
18. Declan Gallagher
2. Gary Irvine
5. Willie Dyer
10. Gavin Rae
20. Jim McAlister
6. Iain Davidson
8. Kevin McBride
29. Craig Beattie
9. Peter MacDonald
Kevin Cuthbert .1
Ziggy Gordon .2
Mickey Devlin .4
Martin Canning .5
Stephen Hendrie .3
Grant Gillespie .6
Alex Neil .10
Darian Mackinnon .18
Ali Crawford .11
Michael Antoine-Curier .99
James Keatings .7

27. Dan Twardzik
3. Matt Lockwood
11. Ryan Conroy
7. Nicky Riley
15. Carlo Monti
16. Steven Doris
33. Craig Wighton
Blair Currie .19
Jesus Garcia Tena .24
Ryan Finnie .23
Tony Andreu .22
Louis Longridge .17
Jon McShane .9
Andy Ryan .32

Nicky Riley for Willie Dyer (53)
Steven Doris for Craig Beattie (59)
Ryan Conroy for Kevin McBride (71)
Andy Ryan for James Keatings (66)
Tony Andreu for Grant Gillespie (72)
Jon McShane for Michael Antoine-Curier (83)

Willie Dyer (45)
Kyle Benedictus (50)
Martin Canning (67)
Mickey Devlin (69)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Mat Northcroft (Referee)
George Drummond & Mark McHendry (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee had to be content with a single point against Hamilton Accies today after a goalless draw that the table topping visitors dominated. Keeper Kyle Letheren, with his fourth successive clean sheet in the league, was the man who made sure the Dee got anything at all from this game with a confident performance that included some fabulous saves.

Matt Lockwood, Ryan Conroy and Carlo Monti dropped onto the bench and were replaced by Iain Davidson, Kyle Benedictus and new signing Craig Beattie. The changes meant Dundee reverted to three at the back, Dvidson, Benedictus and Gallagher.

The visitors were comfortably on top throughout the first half and were unfortunate not to be ahead at the break. Accies went for the Dee's throat in a blistering opening that had the hosts reeling.

Mackinnon cut inside Gallagher and lashed a ferocious shot at Letheren's top corner, but the keeper pulled off a magnificent save to tip the ball over the bar. When the corner came over Dyer had to hack Devlin's header off the line. The ball came straight back into the box and Keatings' header forced another great save from Letheren who touched the ball onto the crossbar.

A few minutes later Dundee escaped a spell of pinball as the ball bounced around the penalty area without an Accies' player being able to get a clean shot in.

Accies were looking very much the part of a confident team at the top of their form and at the top of the league. Their movement and passing was leaving the Dundee midfield standing and stretching the Dark Blues' defence. To their credit the Dee's defence kept their heads and coolly dealt with everything Accies threw at them in the remainder of the first half. Declan Gallagher talent as a close marker proved highly effective in keeping Antoine-Curier under control.

Dundee occasionally moved forward and suggested that Accies' defence might be vulnerable under pressure. However, the Dark Blues failed to pose a serious threat to the visitors once in the first hour. Keeper Kevin Cuthbert must have been amazed at the quiet time he was having. His involvement was limited to routine housekeeping around his box as most of the play took place a long way from his goal.

Any hope that the half time team talk might change the flow of the game was quickly dispelled as Accies started the second half with renewed purpose. Letheren pulled off another tremendous save when Crawford's 20 yard shot took a deflection and looped into Curier's path only five yards out. The former Dee striker stabbed at the ball, but was foiled by the Welsh keeper's instinctive save. Crawford then took another pop from 20 yards, but again the lithe Letheren leapt to the rescue.

Dundee barely crossed the half way line in the first 15 minutes of the second half, but two substitutions made a big difference to the Dee's performance. Nicky Riley came on for Willie Dyer and Steven Doris replaced Craig Beattie, who looked well short of match fitness. Riley played in the hole behind the strikers, with Jim McAlister moving to left wing back.

At last there was a bit more pace, urgency and conviction about Dundee's play. Gary Irvine passed up the first, and best, chance of the match when he blazed his first time shot too high from 16 yards after a fast break had allowed Peter MacDonald to tee up the chance. Irvine was yards from the nearest defender and had time to take a touch before shooting.

Steven Doris then hooked a half chance over the bar following a long throw as Dundee at last turned the tide and started to dominate. Hamilton briefly looked rattled and their centre backs were both booked in quick succession for bad fouls on Doris and Riley. However, Accies soon pulled themselves together and took the sting out of Dundee's attacks.

With quarter of an hour to go Letheren again saved Dundee when Curier fleetingly found space but the keeper moved smartly to block the shot.

Dundee's last chance came from another fast break. Riley brought the ball out of defence and MacDonald tried to play Ryan Conroy in on goal. The substitute lunged at the ball and scooped it over Cuthbert, but the covering defenders had ample time to clear.

In the last 15 minutes the game was evenly balanced as both sides went for a win, but over the 90 minutes there was only one side who would have deserved three points. Accies should have sealed their win long before Dundee got their act together. The Dark Blues simply cannot afford to wait for an hour before getting out of first gear. A better, or luckier, side than Accies would have buried Dundee today.

The gamble of playing Craig Beattie didn't pay off. A pedestrian performance from the midfield, which lacked pace and width, meant that the strikers had to put in a hard shift to try and make anything from scraps of possession. This wasn't the match for a player who hasn't started a competitive match since February. Steven Doris's bustling aggression proved far more effective in the half hour that he was on the pitch.

This was a disappointing performance, but at least Dundee prevented Hamilton from extending their lead at the top of the table. The defence performed well but Dundee won't win the league playing like they did today. The visitors will be cursing themselves that they failed to pull eight points clear of the Dee. Kyle Letheren was the man responsible for frustrating them and richly deserved his man of the match award.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at September 14th, 2013)

2013-14 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)26 9 - 9 -
Declan Gallagher22 92373
Kyle Benedictus21 6 - 851
Willie Dyer26 7 - 7 -
Gary Irvine28 8 - 1262
Iain Davidson29 51452
Jim McAlister27 91516
Gavin Rae35 9 - 27030
Kevin McBride32 92473
Peter MacDonald32 9696
Craig Beattie29 1 - 1 -
Nicky Riley (sub)27 4 - 10011
Ryan Conroy (sub)26 9 - 8919
Steven Doris (sub)25 6 - 6 -

League Table (as at September 14th, 2013)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Today we face another difficult challenge as we welcome the Championship leaders to Dens Park. Hamilton Accies are where they are on merit, and I have only heard positives about the way they have been going about their business so far this season. Alex Neil has a good group of players; he's signed well during the summer months and we're again seeing youngsters coming through the ranks at New Douglas Park and they'll be coming here no doubt with confidence running high.

After last week's disappointment of going out of the Ramsdens Cup, this game hasn't come quickly enough for myself or the players. I have to again take positives that we are controlling possession in many of our games and creating lots of chances. We haven't converted as many of those chances as we would have liked during recent games, and that's why I'm delighted to welcome Craig Beattie to the club.

Craig has been in training for a couple of weeks which has given us a good chance to have a look at him. Having played at the level that he has there is no doubting his ability, and although he's be a little behind the rest of the guys in terms of match sharpness, he has worked hard every single day and showed a real desire to continue his career at Dundee. He has most of the attributes I look for in a player, and I think he'll be someone who'll do well for us in the coming weeks and months.

The players continue to work hard in training every single day, and their determination to get things right on the pitch has grown each week. I have told them that if we continue to try and do the right things, and play the right way, we won't be far away. I believe in the guys I have in the dressing room, and we'll be looking for a repeat of our last league outing here against Livingston 2 weeks ago where we showed the levels we can reach.

I'm acutely aware that it's not just been a heavy cluster of games for the players; the fans have also shelled out again and again to come and watch us play cup football along with the league games we've had recently. It's unusual for any visiting manager not to comment on the fantastic support we have here. The supporters of this football club deserve a team to be proud of and that's what will continue to drive us on to improve every single day.