Dundee 1
Hamilton Academical 0
League (Championship)

1 - 0

League (Championship)
Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,206
3:00 PM Kick-off

Martin Boyle (6)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Alex Neil

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
18. Declan Gallagher
17. Kyle Benedictus
2. Gary Irvine
5. Willie Dyer
10. Gavin Rae
20. Jim McAlister
11. Ryan Conroy
8. Kevin McBride
23. Martin Boyle
9. Peter MacDonald
Kevin Cuthbert .1
Ziggy Gordon .2
Mikey Devlin .4
Martin Canning .5
Jesus Garcia Tena .24
Tony Andreu .22
Darian Mackinnon .18
Louis Routledge .8
Ali Crawford .11
Jason Scotland .50
James Keatings .7

27. Dan Twardzik
30. Cammy Kerr
3. Matt Lockwood
25. Adam Cummins
33. Craig Wighton
27. Christian Nadé
15. Carlo Monti
Blair Currie .19
Lee Kilday .33
Stephen Hendrie .3
Grant Gillespie .6
Paul George .35
Mickaël Antoine-Curier .99
Louis Longridge .17

Craig Wighton for Kevin McBride (63)
Stephen Hendrie for Jesus Garcia Tena (25)
Grant Gillespie for James Keatings (53)
Louis Longridge for Jon Routledge (66)

Kevin McBride (4)
Kyle Benedictus (74)
Ziggy Gordon (11)
Stephen Hendrie (28)
Jon Routledge (52)
Ziggy Gordon (62)
Darian Mackinnon (75)
Michael Devlin (91)

Red Cards
None. Stephen Hendrie (51)
Ziggy Gordon (62)
Match Officials

Stephen Finnie (Referee)
Alastair Mather & Morag Pirie (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Paul Hartley's Dark Blues gave their new manager the perfect start to his Dens Park career, moving three points clear at the top of the Championship with a 1-0 win over Hamilton Accies at Dens Park. Man of the match Martin Boyle grabbed the headlines, scoring the winning goal after six minutes, then destroying the Accies defence with a thrilling display. Playing wide right the young striker saw off three left backs; one was substituted and two more red carded as Accies were completely unable to handle his pace and skill.

The new manager made only one change to the team that started the second half last week, but the players were lining up in a new formation. Rae and McBride were the holding midfielders. In front of them was a diamond; McAlister was at the base, behind MacDonald, with Boyle and Conroy providing width.

The supporters gave Paul Hartley a rousing welcome and their enthusiasm was rewarded with an early goal. Dyer moved down the left and chipped the ball forward. MacDonald nodded it on and Martin BOYLE nudged the ball past the last defender, dribbled round goalkeeper Cuthbert and slotted home his first goal for the Dee.

Boyle took confidence from his goal, revelling in the freedom his role gave him. The young striker could have put Dundee well clear of Accies in a first half that was full of exciting attacking from the rejuvenated Dee. Boyle volleyed a Conroy cross narrowly wide, then raced through the middle after a clever exchange with MacDonald. This time Cuthbert got just enough of a touch on the shot to send the ball trickling agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

Clever play by MacDonald on the right gave McAlister a half chance, but his shot was partially blocked allowing Cuthbert to save.

Accies manager Alex Neil decided that Boyle was such a threat that he replaced Garcia Tena at left back with Stephen Hendrie. The newcomer fared no better. He was booked within four minutes for hauling down Boyle, who was now on fire. Boyle's next trick was to turn and skin Hendrie with brilliant footwork when he had looked trapped by the corner flag. He darted into the penalty area and cut the ball back to McAlister who flicked his shot into the side netting.

Hamilton managed only one shot in a first half that Dundee completely dominated. An optimistic shot from distance ricocheted off Benedictus, giving MacKinnon a half chance, which he skyed over the bar.

The Dundee players were back out to warm up after a shortened half time break, reappearing five minutes before Hamilton. The Dark Blues certainly restarted energetically, pressing Accies hard and stretching their defence with clever running and passing.

Hamilton's hopes of getting back into the game took a massive knock when Boyle's pace caught out Hendrie, who took him down from behind. He received a second yellow card and trudged off, only five minutes into the second half.

Hamilton responded by taking striker Keatings off, and sending on Gillespie to play right back in the place of Gordon who moved over to try and cope with Boyle. Gordon had been booked in the first half for a wild tackle on Dyer, and he survived only 10 minutes on the left before he joined Hendrie in the dressing room. Yet again Boyle's speed allowed him to get on the wrong side of a defender and Gordon took him down to collect his second yellow.

Hamilton were now forced to make a third substitution as a direct response to Boyle's raiding. Midfielder Routledge was withdrawn, Longridge came on to play right back and Gillespie moved over to become the fourth Accies left back of the day, where he managed to distinguish himself by not getting booked.

Paul Hartley responded to Hamilton's plight by taking off a holding midfielder, McBride, and sending on Craig Wighton to play up front. Dundee continued to create serious problems for the Accies' defence, which was full stretch trying to keep the Dee out. Frustratingly Dundee struggled to turn promising attacks into clear chances, with the ball continually pinging around in the box, shots being charged down or fired wastefully wide.

Late in the game Dundee struggled to maintain their energy levels and the performance dipped. To their credit Hamilton enjoyed their best spell of the game when they were down to nine men. They did try to get forward and grab an equaliser, but struggled to support the forlorn Scotland. Their only half chance fell to MacKinnon after a corner, but he couldn't force his shot through a crowd of defenders and it was deflected over the bar.

Hamilton did manage to win a few corners, but Dundee always kept three men on the half way line. This allowed Accies to put only four men into the box to attack the ball when it came in.

Hamilton might have been showing plenty of spirit, but as the clock wound down they started to lose their discipline. Boyle suffered yet more heavy treatment, MacKinnon and Devlin both picking up yellows for stopping him illegally. Devlin in particular was fortunate he received only a booking for a dreadful foul from behind.

Unlike last week there were no late scares and the Dark Blues saw out the game professionally. When the final whistle went the supporters cheered the players and new manager to the rafters. Paul Hartley looked delighted as he congratulated his team, giving Martin Boyle a good hug, then applauding the delighted supporters.

A 1-0 win at home might not look anything special, but the Dark Blues served up a far more impressive and entertaining display than the fans have been used to. The new formation worked well and allowed Dundee to dominate one of their promotion rivals to secure a vital win. The difference in mood amongst the support could hardly have been more marked.

Aside from the eye-catching shift that Martin Boyle put in, the whole team seemed to step up a notch. The full backs pushed forward aggressively, the centre backs looked solid, and the two holding midfielders looked much more comfortable when they had four players in front of them moving well to take passes. Conroy, McAlister and MacDonald all had effective games, but this was a day dominated by Martin Boyle. He's always had a terrific turn of pace, but today Dundee adopted a formation that allowed him to terrify the opposition, and how the fans enjoyed it!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at February 8th, 2014)

2013-14 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)27 28 - 28 -
Declan Gallagher22 294575
Willie Dyer26 13 - 13 -
Gary Irvine28 28 - 1462
Kyle Benedictus22 12 - 911
Ryan Conroy26 28510824
Jim McAlister28 294719
Gavin Rae36 29129031
Kevin McBride32 223604
Martin Boyle20 211311
Peter MacDonald33 28162816
Craig Wighton (sub)16 111111

League Table (as at February 8th, 2014)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

On behalf of all the coaching staff I would like to welcome the Directors, Management team, players and supporters of Hamilton Accies to Dens Park this afternoon. I have very fond memories of my playing days with the club, and indeed owe them a great amount of gratitude for giving me my first opportunity in the game. All sentiment will be put to one side however when the players cross that white line come kick off, as both teams will be desperate for-and indeed feel that they are capable of winning the three points on offer this afternoon.

It was disappointing after a great result at Starks Park on the 2nd of January against a good Raith Rovers side that we were not able to keep that going last week vs Livingston, especially at home in front of another big crowd.

Injuries to key player did not help us, and that's why we have been looking to bolster the squad. To be able to add a player of Stephen Hughes's quality was pleasing, and he gives us another dimension in midfield. We have had Stephen watched many times playing for East Fife this season and he will give us something a little bit different in the middle of the park. Christian Nade, who signed on Thursday after looking good in training, also gives us another option up top and will complement the forwards we already have at this club. Along with Adam Cummins who was in the squad last week, I know all supporters will give them a warm welcome and will be looking forward to seeing them in a Dark Blue shirt.

I would like to assure everyone that the players and management team share the disappointment and frustration and we have all worked hard this week on the training pitch to ensure we can put things right. We will continue however to look for positives and build on those, and work hard to do the right things.

Hamilton have had a tremendous season so far, and I expect them to be with us all the way as we both battle for promotion to the Premiership. Although we enjoyed a good victory last time we met at New Douglas Park, the previous game at Dens Park was extremely close and I fully expect another tough encounter today where we will have to be at our very best to take anything from the game.

Alex Neil has also added to his already talented squad this week, and they will come here I'm sure with their tales up knowing there is an added incentive today that any victor will sit top of the division at quarter to five.

Our dressing room continues to have belief in our own ability and we know we are due the fans a performance. Hopefully this afternoon will be an entertaining game for both sets of supporters, and more importantly ours will be the ones going home with the smiles on their faces.