Dundee 3
Greenock Morton 1
League (Championship)

3 - 1

League (Championship)
Saturday, September 28th, 2013
Dens Park
Attendance: 3,870
3:00 PM Kick-off

Peter MacDonald (47)
Peter MacDonald (50)
Craig Beattie (71)
Tomas Peciar (22)

Team Managers
John Brown
Allan Moore

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
18. Declan Gallagher
2. Gary Irvine
5. Willie Dyer
6. Iain Davidson
10. Gavin Rae
7. Nicky Riley
11. Ryan Conroy
20. Jim McAlister
29. Craig Beattie
9. Peter MacDonald
Nicolas Caraux .23
Scott Taggart .2
Jonathan Page .5
Tomas Pecier .4
Mark Fitzpatrick .3
Tony Wallace .9
Michal Habai 18
Fouad Bachirou .21
Aiden Fulton .26
Archie Campbell .10
Dougie Imrie .8

27. Dan Twardzik
17. Kyle Benedictus
3. Matt Lockwood
8. Kevin McBride
23. Martin Boyle
16. Steven Doris
15. Carlo Monti
Derek Gaston .1
Mark McLaughlin .6
David Verlaque .29
Craig Knight .24
Stephen Stirling .16
David McNeil .27

Carlo Monti for Craig Beattie (74)
Steven Doris for Peter MacDonald (88)
Kevin McBride for Nicky Riley (88)
Stephen Stirling for Michal Habai (70)
David McNeil for Archie Campbell (76)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Iain Brines (Referee)
Michael Banks & Graham Fraser (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee hit their best form of the season to blow Morton away in an entertaining and thoroughly convincing 3-1 win at Dens Park today. Tomas Pecier put the visitors ahead against the run of play in the first half. Any fears that the Dee might fail to ram home their superiority were removed in a blistering opening to the second half when Peter MacDonald knocked in two goals. Craig Beattie scored the third midway through the second half as the Dark Blue faithful lapped up the entertainment with the Dee utterly dominant all over the pitch.

Not surprisingly Dundee fielded an unchanged line-up after Tuesday's improved performance against Inverness. The pitch was perfect, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day to watch the beautiful game. The match didn't quite live up to the setting in the first half hour as Dundee struggled to turn impressive build up play into clear chances. For all Dundee's early pressing and pressure they didn't force Morton keeper Caraux to get his strip dirty.

A dangerous low Beattie cross was turned out for a corner, and Rae fired over from 20 yards. However, the Dee's crossing and final passes around the Morton penalty area weren't quite good enough to open up the defence.

Morton were hardly out of their own half in the first half hour, and the opening goal on 22 minutes was totally against the run of play. The Dundee defence had been given fair warning a few minutes earlier when they won a corner in their first real attack. Page had a free header, but sent the ball straight to Letheren. There was no escape from the next corner when Imrie's good delivery to the near post found the charging PECIER unmarked to crash his header past Letheren.

Dundee responded by stepping up the pressure and started to create chances. A neat move between Riley and Beattie nearly played MacDonald in. Davidson headed just over from a corner. Beattie's 25 yard shot was on target for the top corner, but an excellent save by Caraux turned the ball out for another corner. A good run and cross by Dyer ended with MacDonald volleying wide. Caraux then pulled off another fine block from McAlister's cross shot and had luck on his side when the loose ball bobbled around the goalmouth with no Dark Blues on hand to tap it in.

It was ridiculous that Dundee were trailing at half time after playing nearly all the game in Morton's half and creating a stream of chances in the last 20 minutes. It would have been easy for the players to lose heart, but the second half was everything that the supporters were craving.

The first few minutes of the second half were astonishing as the Dee ripped through a stunned Morton team, turning the game on its head. Morton could only half clear a free kick and Dundee were straight back at their throats. Jim McAlister chipped the ball into the penalty area. Declan Gallagher nodded the ball down and Peter MACDONALD poked the ball over the line from a couple of yards. Hardly more than a minute from the restart and Dundee were back on level terms!

Dundee kept up the impetus and went roaring back towards the Morton goal from the restart. MacDonald played in Nicky Riley who lifted the ball over the keeper and over the bar when he seemed sure to score.

Riley didn't let his miss worry him and in Dundee's next attack he set up the second goal with the sort of classic wing play the fans love to see. He shimmied up to left back Fitzpatrick, jinked to the touchline and crossed for MACDONALD to hook the ball home on the volley. Three minutes of play and two goals for the Dee! The nervousness around the stadium had vanished and the delighted Dees were roaring their appreciation from the stands.

Gary Irvine should have made it three when Riley's corner found him all alone on the edge of the six yard box, but his header flew over the bar. The Morton keeper had a lucky escape when he failed to reach the ball after charging out of his area, but Peter MacDonald's attempt to set up Beattie to score was cut out by Fitzpatrick.

Craig Beattie was showing his true ability now and was linking dangerously with MacDonald. Every attack had the supporters out of their seats as a third goal seemed inevitable. Dundee were bossing the midfield, and McAlister set up a great chance with a crunching tackle and run into the Morton half. His pass found Beattie, who took a touch and hammered the ball from 15 yards off the underside of the bar.

BEATTIE'S first goal for Dundee wasn't long delayed. He laid the ball off for Riley to shoot. The shot was deflected back into his path and he coolly drilled it across the keeper and inside the far post.

When Beattie was substituted after 74 minutes the whole Dundee support rose to their feet to cheer him off the park. Carlo Monti replaced him and his extra energy kept the tempo high as the Dark Blues continued to dominate. With 15 minutes to go Morton created their first chance in open play when Bachirou managed to evade Gavin Rae on the right. Instead of shooting he rolled the ball across for Campbell to scuff the ball wide.

Peter MacDonald seemed certain to complete a hat trick against his former club as Dundee ended the game in rampant style. He combined beautifully with McAlister, but couldn't get his shot away. A surging run down the right by Riley then left him with a gaping goal, but from eight yards he headed tamely straight at the keeper. Finally, he ran onto a chipped pass from Ryan Conroy, but shot across goal and wide.

A few minutes from time Riley and MacDonald were replaced by Kevin McBride and Steven Doris. Again the departing players received a well deserved standing ovation. How long is it since all three players being substituted were cheered off the pitch?

Doris nearly made an instant impact but his diving header was palmed away by Caraux. When the final whistle went the players were deservedly cheered from the park after the sort of confident, imposing and entertaining display that the supporters were desperate to see.

In open play the Dark Blues were streets ahead of a Morton side who might have been jaded after their cup tie heroics against Celtic. The visitors only posed a threat from set pieces, and these weren't dealt with consistently well by the Dee. Apart from that Dundee's defence looked very solid, and the midfield was creative and aggressive. Up front the Dark Blues were lethal in that enthralling second half, and the partnership of MacDonald and Beattie looks hugely promising. This could easily have been a real thrashing for Morton, who were flattered by the 3-1 result. The fans know the reality, however; this was a totally convincing win for the Dark Blues, and it sent the fans home in a sunny mood that matched the glorious weather.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at September 28th, 2013)

2013-14 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)26 12 - 12 -
Declan Gallagher22 122403
Willie Dyer26 10 - 10 -
Gary Irvine28 11 - 1292
Iain Davidson29 81482
Jim McAlister27 121546
Ryan Conroy26 12 - 9219
Nicky Riley27 7 - 10311
Gavin Rae35 12 - 27330
Peter MacDonald32 128128
Craig Beattie29 4141
Kevin McBride (sub)32 102483
Carlo Monti (sub)23 102102
Steven Doris (sub)25 9 - 9 -

League Table (as at September 28th, 2013)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

It was a difficult one to take on Tuesday night as we went out of the Scottish League Cup, but the disappointment came from the fact that we played so well for large spells of the game against a very good Inverness team.

After last Saturdays game at Falkirk, I asked the players for a reaction and that's exactly what I got. We passed the ball well, created chances and had it not been for a couple of deflections and two outstanding saves from their goalkeeper, we could have very well been in the hat for the next round.

I have spoken many times about our supporters reacting to honest endeavour from our players and I think the way the crowd stayed and applauded the team off the park was evidence of that again.

It's back to league business again, and we face a Greenock Morton side who will be in buoyant mood following their tremendous victory over Celtic during the week.

After only narrowly missing out on promotion last season, they will also feel they are better than their league position suggests and we will again have to be at our best to get three points today. The games we have played thus far in the SPFL Championship have proved that there are no easy games whatsoever.

I have always felt that we have the players in the dressing room to achieve our goals and if we can carry on the form we showed on Tuesday, playing with the same tempo and tenacity I'm sure we'll get results in this division more often than not.

We haven't lost many goals at Dens Park so far this season, and if we can maintain that side of our game whilst getting our creative players on the ball I'm sure we won't be far away again today.