Dundee 0
Livingston 1
League (Championship)

0 - 1

League (Championship)
Saturday, January 11th, 2014
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,367
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Mark Burchill (11)

Team Managers
John Brown
John McGlynn

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
18. Declan Gallagher
2. Gary Irvine
3. Matt Lockwood
11. Ryan Conroy
6. Iain Davidson
20. Jim McAlister
8. Kevin McBride
10. Gavin Rae
23. Martin Boyle
33. Craig Wighton
Darren Jamieson .1
Mike Mampuya .2
Simon Mensing .4
Jason Talbot .3
Ross Docherty .15
Keighan Jacobs .7
Martin Scott .6
Burton O'Brien .8
Stefan Scougall .10
Mark Burchill .27
Marc McNulty .9

27. Dan Twardzik
17. Kyle Benedictus
25. Adam Cummins
5. Willie Dyer
30. Cammy Kerr
14. Leighton McIntosh
15. Carlo Monti
Kevin Walker .17
Shaun Rutherford .45
Jack Beaumont .16
Kyle Wilkie .18
Danny Denholm .11
Jack Downie .20
Danny Mullen .48

Leighton McIntosh for Craig Wighton (64)
Carlo Monti for Martin Boyle (70)
Cammy Kerr for Kevin McBride (80)
Danny Denholm for Mark Burchill (63)
Kyle Wilkie for Stefan Scougall (89)
Danny Mullen for Marc McNulty (92)

Iain Davidson (19)
Martin Scott (45)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steven McLean (Referee)
Alasdair Ross & Ronnie Strain (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

A Mark Burchill goal after 11 minutes secured the points for Livingston at Dens Park today as Dundee failed to shake off their recent poor home form. For the Dark Blues fans it was a case of deja vu. This was the Scottish Cup tie Raith Rovers replayed in agonisingly precise detail. After conceding a dreadfully defended early goal the Dee were bereft of ideas and allowed the visitors to see out the game far too comfortably.

Top scorer Peter MacDonald was missing and Craig Wighton replaced him. The only other change was Iain Davidson returning from suspension in the place of Kyle Benedictus. However, the midfield four was rearranged with Jim McAlister playing in an attacking role and Gavin Rae in a holding position, as the Dee finished the win against Raith.

Dundee started confidently without threatening the Livi goal. Similarly there was no early threat to the Dundee defence, which has looked impressively mean in recent weeks. However, that stinginess evaporated and the Dark Blues sold a goal that was so cheap it would have looked a bargain in Poundland. Scott's free kick from the left found Mark BURCHILL unmarked and he duly scored with a simple, close range header.

This was horribly familiar. The fans became nervous and that spread to the players. Jim McAlister tried to drive the team forward in the first half, but received little in the way of effective support from his teammates.

Midway through the half McAlister powered through the middle and won a corner. Conroy's inswinger nearly caught out Jamieson, who had to claw the ball back just as it was crossing the line.

Conroy then came close in more orthodox style. Wighton's clever play sent him clear into the penalty area, but Jamieson's managed to parry Conroy's shot, which was perhaps too deliberate. He might have done better to pass the ball across goal where McAlister would have had a simple chance.

Dundee's only other chance of the first half also fell to Conroy, but he pulled his shot well wide after running onto Boyle's cut back.

Livingston always looked dangerous on the break, in particular when the talented Scougall got onto the ball. Livi had a good balance with the pace and movement of Scougall, McNulty and Jacobs complementing the experience of Burchill, Scott and O'Brien.

Livi's neat play and fast breaks only creeated one further chance in the first half after their goal; McNulty stabbed Mampuya's cross a couple of feet wide.

Dundee were making life far too easy for the Livi centre backs by asking Boyle and Wighton to battle for a succession of long balls. Dundee's strikers are nimble lightweights and they are not equipped to challenge players like Simon Mensing for high balls with their backs to goal.

Dundee have tended to perk up after the interval this season. Today there was perhaps more energy in the second half, but if anything the quality of the Dee's play deteriorated.

Livingston were far more comfortable and effective in possession and Scougall was by some distance the best player on the park in the second half.

Dundee had a half chance when Gallagher headed down a long free kick, but Boyle miskicked wide. However, it was the visitors who looked more dangerous. Scougall and Docherty combined impressively in a clever attack that Dundee's defence was happy to clear for a corner. Scott and Burchill then worked a lovely move that ended with Scott shooting over from a good position.

The Dark Blues were doing most of the attacking, but without ever looking convincing. Poor movement, bad choices and final balls that were almost designed for the defenders meant that Darren Jamieson had a stress free time in Livi's goal. Too many of Dundee's passes were either easy ones that posed no problems for Livingston, or wildly optimistic ones that gave the strikers no chance.

Just after the hour Craig Wighton was withdrawn and Leighton McIntosh came on. McIntosh looked better suited to challenging Livi in the air, but there was no improvement. Martin Boyle was replaced by Carlo Monti, who found life no easier.

Dundee had one more half chance when Gallager got to a corner first, but he couldn't control his header, which flew wide.

John Brown's final change was to send on 18 year old Cameron Kerr for his debut. He replaced Kevin McBride and offered enthusiasm and real pace, but he had no opportunity to shine in a poor team performance.

In the last 10 minutes Livingston looked entirely comfortable, alternating between dangerous attacks and frustrating possession tactics in the corners. Scougall twisted and turned to wriggle his way through the defence, but hooked his shot wide as Letheren raced from goal to challenge. Scougall then saw his powerful on-target shot from the edge of the box deflected wide after Scott's free kick broke to him.

Kerr's pace got him into a position to shoot from distance, but Jamieson turned the ball round his post. Gavin Rae sent McIntosh into the box, but he screwed his shot over the bar from an almost impossible position. Deep into injury time Conroy tried an optimistic, and outlandishly difficult volley. Jamieson was able to watch it fly wide, and that was the sad end to Dundee's efforts.

Livingston's defence was weakened by suspension today, but after some nervous moments in the first half they saw out the game with ease, thanks in large part to Dundee playing a game that was ideally suited to the visitors' makeshift defence.

The supporters who see Dundee both at home and away must be baffled at the gulf between performances at Dens and on the road. Those who see only the home games must be baffled that the Dark Blues are still leading the Championship after a succession of poor home performances. The Dark Blues might be top for now, but that won't last long unless they can shake themselves out of this worrying pattern.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at January 11th, 2014)

2013-14 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)27 26 - 26 -
Declan Gallagher22 264545
Gary Irvine28 25 - 1432
Matt Lockwood37 19 - 12110
Ryan Conroy26 26410623
Iain Davidson29 192593
Jim McAlister28 264689
Kevin McBride32 203584
Gavin Rae36 26128731
Martin Boyle20 18 - 28 -
Craig Wighton16 9191
Cammy Kerr (sub)18 1 - 1 -
Carlo Monti (sub)23 162162
Leighton McIntosh (sub)20 2 - 375

League Table (as at January 11th, 2014)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

I would like to welcome the players, staff, officials and supporters of Livingston FC to Dens Park this afternoon for our first home game of 2014.

John McGlynn is rightly held in high regard by many in the game, and he has a squad of very talented young players mixed in with a bit of experience. His team have shown throughout the season that they can match anyone on their day, and it will be another stern test for us.

Although they will be disappointed at losing at home last week, Livingston had a great run towards the end of 2013 where they played some very good football and achieved some great results. We have reason to go in to this game with optimism however on the back of two very good results.

Our last home game against Dumbarton saw us run out 3-0 winners in the end, and it was pleasing to see strikers get on the score sheet and another clean sheet at the other end.

The game the following week at Raith Rovers was just as tough as we all expected, but credit to the boys for keeping on going to the full ninety-something minutes. The players again displayed that they have hunger and desire about them and those attributes help us sit proudly at the top of the Championship right now.

We know the hardest part will be to stay there however, and that's exactly why we have been gearing ourselves up all week for another incredibly difficult match this afternoon. We have to keep defending well, doing the right things and making the correct decisions. If we do that, I believe our hard work and little bit of quality should take us over the line; but we have to be at our best.

I would like to thank the fans who travelled through to Kirkcaldy last week in huge numbers for their support, and I was delighted to be able to rewards them with 3 points. Hopefully the fans can get right behind us again today and we can again do our bit to send them home with smiles on their faces come quarter to five.