Dundee 0
Raith Rovers 0
League (Championship)


Dundee
0 - 0
Raith Rovers 

League (Championship)
Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,561
3:00 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
None. None.

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Grant Murray

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
17. Kyle Benedictus
18. Declan Gallagher
2. Gary Irvine
5. Willie Dyer
6. Iain Davidson
20. Jim McAlister
10. Gavin Rae
16. Steven Doris
23. Martin Boyle
9. Peter MacDonald
Lee Robinson .20
Jason Thomson .2
Paul Watson .4
Dougie Hill .5
Callum Booth .3
Grant Anderson .11
Liam Fox .6
Kevin Moon .8
Joe Cardle .7
Greig Spence .9
John Baird .29

Bench
27. Dan Twardzik
3. Matt Lockwood
25. Adam Cummins
7. Nicky Riley
11. Ryan Conroy
22. Jamie Reid
33. Craig Wighton
Ross Laidlaw .17
Reece Donaldson .14
Laurie Ellis .16
Fraser Mullen .19
Ross Matthews .23
Lewis Vaughan .21
Gordon Smith .15

Substitutions
Ryan Conroy for Steven Doris (61)
Nicky Riley for Martin Boyle (70)
Reece Donaldson for Paul Watson (46)
Fraser Mullen for Kevin Moon (50)
Gordon Smith for Greig Spence (86)

Cautions
Willie Dyer (51)
Kevin Moon (31)
Joe Cardle (39)
Lee Robinson (76)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Stephen Finnie (Referee)
Gordon Crawford & Peter Stuart (Assistants)


Photography by David Young

Match Report


Dundee had the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Championship to three points tonight, but had to settle for a one point lead over Hamilton with eight games to go. The Dark Blues couldn't repeat their fine form against Livingston, and served up a poor performance to the disappointed home fans in a grim game that offered little entertainment.

Dundee made only one change after the win at Livingston. Steven Doris came in for the injured Christian Nadé. The line-up might have been largely the same, but there was little resemblance to Saturday's commanding performance.

Rovers settled more quickly and looked the more dangerous team throughout the first half. Carelessness plagued the Dark Blues and there were worrying early signs. Willie Dyer gave the ball away as he came out of defence; Grant Anderson ran clear down the right but his low cross was just ahead of his team mates.

Dundee managed to get the first shot on target after quarter of an hour. Doris stabbed at Dyer's cross but goalkeeper Robinson took the ball comfortably.

Greig Spence cut in from the left and hit a fierce shot from 30 yards that ex-Dee John Baird nearly managed to divert right in front of Kyle Letheren.

The big Welsh keeper had to be at his best to keep the Dark Blues on level terms in the first half. He pulled off a superb save from Anderson's close range header after Cardle had jinked his way along the byline.

Rovers' defence was disrupted when they lost centre back Watson to injury and he was replaced by Reece Donaldson at half time. However, the visitors still contained the Dark Blues' attacks comfortably for most of the second half.

There was some improvement in Dundee's performance after half time, but it was still a long way short of the standard that the supporters were hoping for. Dundee's best move of the match came only a minute after the restart when MacDonald and Rae combined to send Boyle into the penalty area. The young striker cut inside Booth, but his low shot was well saved by Robinson.

Dundee were at last showing more drive and were holding the ball better. The extra possession didn't turn into chances, and it merely served to curb Rovers' ambitions.

The second half deteriorated into a dreary and disappointing slog, with neither side having the ability or confidence to take charge.

With half an hour to play Paul Hartley sent on Ryan Conroy for Doris. Dundee reverted to the formation they played in the first few games under the new manager. MacDonald was on his own up front in the middle, with Boyle and Conroy on either side, and McAlister in the hole behind the striker. The change didn't provide any great improvement and the goalless draw always looked the most likely outcome.

Nicky Riley replaced Boyle for the last 20 minutes. He offered some early threat, but the lack of effective support soon dragged him down into the prevailing mediocrity.

Ryan Conroy did have a chance from a good cross by Dyer, but he headed wastefully wide.

Rovers settled for the point long before the end and goalkeeper Robinson was booked for time-wasting. When they won a corner late in the match they tried to keep possession by the corner flag rather than attack the goal but simply lost the ball. That incident, and a corner at the other end, summed up the match. Jim McAlister had been one of the better performers, but his corner as the match entered injury time curled straight out of play. It was that sort of match.

Dundee fans turned up tonight in good numbers for a midweek game. They were sadly disappointed by the performance that the Dark Blues served up. There was little penetration or invention, and hardly any effective use of the wide areas.

This was a disappointing draw, but the Dark Blues didn't deserve any more, and they might easily have lost. It was hardly a good night, but a performance like this could have had a worse outcome, and probably would have done against more confident and aggressive opponents.

Some goalless draws are entertaining and satisfying. This wasn't one of them; no goals, no entertainment and precious little football. It was such a disappointment after Saturday's excellent win.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website



Squad Statistics (as at March 18th, 2014)


2013-14 All Time
Age
Kyle Letheren (GK)27 33 - 33 -
Kyle Benedictus22 171962
Willie Dyer27 18 - 18 -
Gary Irvine29 33 - 1512
Declan Gallagher23 344625
Jim McAlister28 344769
Iain Davidson30 232633
Gavin Rae36 34129531
Peter MacDonald33 33183318
Martin Boyle20 261361
Steven Doris25 15 - 15 -
Nicky Riley (sub)27 23 - 11911
Ryan Conroy (sub)26 31611125






League Table (as at March 18th, 2014)


No league table has been added for this season.


Manager's Programme Notes


On behalf of my coaching staff and myself, I'd like to welcome the players, staff and fans of Raith Rovers to Dens Park Stadium for what I'm sure will be another close SPFL Championship clash.

Grant Murray has done a tremendous job at Starks Park this season and we are under no illusions that they will want the 3 points on offer today every bit as much as we do.

I felt it was an excellent team performance versus Livingston last week. It's always a difficult place to go and the way we controlled the game and perhaps could have added to the two very good goals we scored says it all.

It's clear for everyone to see that the players are working hard for each other, and taking the intensity from the training park in to games. If we continue to do that then I'm sure we can achieve the goal we're all hoping for come the first weekend in May.

It's been a good few weeks now since we've last had a home game, and the short break we had last weekend helped us welcome players such as Ryan Conroy, Nicky Riley and Iain Davidson back in to the fold. We have some real competition for places in a few areas and the players know that we have others desperate to step in if need be, which for me as a manager is fantastic.

The Club are expecting another good home crowd tonight, and we know how invaluable that can be with just 9 games to go. The large travelling support on Saturday made it almost a home game for us which gave everyone a huge boost as we ran out on to the pitch. The tremendous backing we receive from the fans every week only makes us more determined to succeed, and we desperately want to keep on giving you all something to cheer about.

Tonight will be tough, of that there is no doubt. The games between the two clubs so far this season have always been close and they have shown they have players who can hurt us and are capable of coming here and taking points from us.

We have to get at them again from the off. That's now two games in which we have scored two good goals and kept clean sheets. Again, if we keep working hard for, and supporting, one another hopefully we can extend our run, and the gap at the top of the table tonight.

Enjoy the game.