Dundee 0
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1
League Cup (3rd Round)

0 - 1
Inverness CT 

League Cup (3rd Round)
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
Dens Park
Attendance: 1,682
7:45 PM Kick-off

None. Billy McKay (11)

Team Managers
John Brown
Terry Butchart

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
2. Gary Irvine
5. Willie Dyer
18. Declan Gallagher
6. Iain Davidson
10. Gavin Rae
7. Nicky Riley
11. Ryan Conroy
20. Jim McAlister
29. Craig Beattie
9. Peter MacDonald
Dean Brill .12
Josh Meekings .6
David Raven .14
Daniel Devine .2
Nick Ross .11
Graeme Shinnie .3
Aaron Doran .10
Ross Draper .8
James Vincent .4
Richie Foran .9
Billy Mckay .7

27. Dan Twardzik
5. Willie Dyer
15. Carlo Monti
16. Steven Doris
23. Martin Boyle
Ryan Esson .1
Carl Tremarco .18
Liam Polworth .20
Ben Greenhalgh .17
Torbjorn Agdestein .23

Steven Doris for Craig Beattie (68)
Liam Polworth for Aaron Doran (62)
Torbjorn Agdestein for Richie Foran (92)

Craig Beattie (17)
Peter MacDonald (40)
Iain Davidson (83)
Ross Draper (29)
David Raven (45)
Daniel Devine (89)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Stephen Finnie (Referee)
Tom Murphy & Douglas Ross (Assistants)
Kevin Graham (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee were pipped by Inverness Caley Thistle 1-0 in a tight and entertaining tussle at Dens Park tonight. An early Billy McKay goal clinched the game for Terry Butcher's Highlanders. However, Dean Brill was the real hero. He proved unbeatable in the visitors' goal and ensured Caley Thistle won a game they could well have lost.

John Brown made only two changes to the team that lost to Falkirk. Peter MacDonald and Craig Beattie were given starting spots after coming on as substitutes on Saturday. Steven Doris and Carlo Monti dropped onto the bench. There would have been a third change. Matt Lockwood was listed to start, but a last minute change brought Willie Dyer into the team and James Thomson was promoted to the squad as a substitute.

Dundee started well and made some encouraging moves towards the away goal. However, in the 8th minute Caley Thistle showed their ability, ripping Dundee open with their first serious attack. Ross Draper cut into the penalty area from the left and Richie Foran who switched his pass into the path of Billy MCKAY, who finished neatly from 10 yards.

Caley Thistle's fast, accurate passing stretched Dundee in the first quarter of the match. The visitors were a cut above anyone the Dark Blues have faced so far this season. Not only were they impressive in possession, their energetic pressing made life difficult for the Dee, who struggled at first to get their passes away quickly enough before being closed down.

However, Dundee kept their heads and worked their way into contention. The visitor's defence, with the honourable exception of keeper Brill, was the least impressive part of the team and Dundee looked capable of causing real problems when they got into the final third.

Craig Beattie was looking fitter and stronger than in his first couple of matches and had a fine game. Sometimes he was operating as the bustling target man. At other times he was playing clever passes and linking well with the midfield. He and Peter MacDonald are clearly not yet familiar with each other, but there were signs of a promising partnership.

Beattie made space well on the right and his cross was missed by the central defence. MacDonald controlled the ball to set up the chance, but fell as he shot and the ball bobbled wide. Caley Thistle responded with a swift attack that nearly brought a second goal. Ross ran onto a Foran pass, held off Irvine and shot across Letheren only to see the ball come off the outside of the far post.

As the first half wore on Dundee looked increasingly dangerous. A good move through the middle ended with McAlister's 16 yard shot being deflected for a corner. Next it was Beattie shooting from the same range. Again the ball was deflected, looping up and over the keeper, but unfortunately over the bar too.

Caley Thistle were being pegged back, but still looked dangerous when they got out of their own half. Ross sent Shinnie to the byline, but his cross flashed across the goalmouth with no-one on hand to turn it in.

Craig Beattie must have been sure he was going to equalise on the stroke of half time. Great play by Conroy and MacDonald set up the chance and Beattie lashed the ball at goal from 15 yards, but Brill lived up to his name with a marvellous save. That was no miss, just a great save.

Caley Thistle came close to a second at the start of the second half. Dundee gave the ball away as they broke from defence. Foran's cross was hooked acrobatically by McKay over Letheren and onto the top of the bar.

After a slightly nervous opening to the second half the Dark Blues took control. Brill again saved well from MacDonald after Riley had beat his man and cut into the penalty area. A MacDonald 30 yard free kick zipped just wide of the post.

Conroy's mishit shot nearly proved a perfect pass for MacDonald, but the striker's lunge couldn't quite connect and turn the ball in.

Dundee were now far more aggressive and confident, both in possession and without the ball. Caley Thistle were being hustled into mistakes, and their crisp passing game deserted them. For a while the visitors were lumping the ball anywhere and couldn't Dundee away from their end of the pitch. Winger Nick Ross made a vital contribution on the edge of his own six yard box with a great last ditch tackle as Ryan Conroy was about to shoot.

McAlister put in a great run down the left, and his cross was met with a panicky header by Foran that nearly looped over his own keeper, but Brill recovered to save.

Caley Thistle's only fluent and dangerous move of the second half ended with Ross cutting in from the right and curling an 18 yard shot a couple of feet too high.

The Dark Blues were straight back onto the attack and a clever MacDonald backheel set up Conroy for a clear shot from 15 yards. The midfielder connected perfectly, but Brill again pulled off a magnificent save low to his left. Dundee's last chance came deep into injury time when MacDonald's run and cross from the left caused momentary chaos in the Highlanders' defence, but the loose ball was headed well wide by McAlister.

Dundee have stumbled through the early rounds of the cups this season in unconvincing style. Ironically their best cup tie performance was saved for a game they lost. In fact this was probably their best performance of the season. It was certainly night and day compared to Saturday. There was far more energy, pace and determination. Crucially the passing was sharper and more accurate, with the players moving better and more confidently both on and off the ball. The midfield might have consisted of the same four players, but they were far more effective with Riley and Conroy in their familiar wide positions.

Let's hope this was the real Dee we saw tonight, and that we see plenty more performances like this!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at September 24th, 2013)

2013-14 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)26 11 - 11 -
Willie Dyer26 9 - 9 -
Gary Irvine28 10 - 1282
Declan Gallagher22 112393
Jim McAlister27 111536
Ryan Conroy26 11 - 9119
Nicky Riley27 6 - 10211
Gavin Rae35 11 - 27230
Iain Davidson29 71472
Peter MacDonald32 116116
Craig Beattie29 3 - 3 -
Steven Doris (sub)25 8 - 8 -

League Table (as at September 24th, 2013)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

There has been a lot of cup football played at Dens Park recently, and tonight we face arguably our most difficult tie of the season so far as we welcome Inverness CT.

Terry Butcher is an old team mate and friend of mine, and he has done a tremendous job in the Highlands, with his team currently sitting at the top end of the table. They will be disappointed with a defeat from a late goal at the weekend, and I have no doubt Terry will be looking for a reaction from his players immediately. He was a warrior and winner throughout his playing career and you can see these same attributes installed in to his team as he has gone on to become a successful manager.

However, once we cross the white line all friendships will be put to one side as this is a game we desperately want to win.

Saturday's result was obviously disappointing, so this game can't come quickly enough. We didn't start the game well, and by the time we came in to it we found ourselves behind. What we don't have however is time to feel sorry for ourselves, and only we can put this right through working hard on doing the right things for 90 minutes.

The supporters have continued to back us in every single game this season, and whilst that is something we've come to expect at Dundee Football Club, it is by no means something we take for granted. The fans of this club react to honest endeavour, and that will continue to be the minimum we give in every single game.

It will be tough, but if we continue to do the right things hopefully our commitment, attitude and work rate combined with the quality we have in the squad will give us the platform tonight to progress through to the next round of the competition.