Dundee 1
Queen of the South 0
League (Championship)

1 - 0
Queen of South 

League (Championship)
Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Dens Park
Attendance: 3,999
7:45 PM Kick-off

Iain Davidson (58)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Jim McIntyre

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
25. Adam Cummins
5. Willie Dyer
18. Declan Gallagher
2. Gary Irvine
6. Iain Davidson
20. Jim McAlister
10. Gavin Rae
7. Nicky Riley
23. Martin Boyle
9. Peter MacDonald
Zander Clark .1
Chris Mitchell .2
Mark Durnan .5
Andy Dowie .6
Chris Higgins .3
Paul Burns .7
Mark Kerr .8
Ian McShane .4
Michael Paton .11
Gavin Reilly .10
Derek Lyle .9

27. Dan Twardzik
3. Matt Lockwood
11. Ryan Conroy
22. Jamie Reid
29. Craig Beattie
16. Steven Doris
27. Christian Nadé
Jim Atkinson .12
Kevin Holt .19
Lewis Kidd .18
Stephen McKenna .17
Iain Russell .15
Dan Carmichael .16
Bob McHugh .14

Christian Nadé for Nicky Riley (73)
Ryan Conroy for Peter MacDonald (81)
Iain Russell for Ian McShane (74)
Dan Carmichael for Michael Paton (74)
Bob McHugh for Gavin Reilly (80)

None. Chris Higgins (74)
Chris Mitchell (83)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Euan Anderson (Referee)
Dougie Potter & Jordan Stokoe (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee maintained their single point lead at the top of the Championship by beating Queen of the South 1-0 at Dens Park tonight. Iain Davidson scored the goal that mattered early in the second half. Again the Dark Blues recovered from a poor first half and played their best football of the night after they scored.

For the second match running Paul Hartley made four changes. Benedictus, Nadé and Conroy dropped onto the bench and McBride was out of the squad. Saturday's goalscorer Peter MacDonald started along with Gavin Rae and Martin Boyle who returned. Adam Cummins made his debut in central defence.

Dundee have started slowly in the past two matches. Tonight they were much more lively in the opening exchanges. Martin Boyle should have put the Dee in the lead after eight minutes. He played a neat interchange with MacDonald and raced clear. He aimed for the top corner from 12 yards, but Zander Clark pulled off a magnificent save to touch the ball over the bar.

Five minutes later another good move ended with MacDonald sending Boyle into the penalty area to shoot wide, but from a more difficult angle than the first chance.

The Dee's good start didn't last and Queens came back strongly. They had the better of the last 20 minutes in the first half when the Dee were giving the ball away too easily. Dundee were also conceding too many free kicks in midfield, allowing Mitchell to swing dangerous balls into the box.

Midway through the half Reilly took a long ball and forced Letheren to make a good save from his 18 yard shot. Dundee couldn't clear the ball and Paton's shot was blocked by Cummins for a corner. Again Dundee didn't clear the ball when it came over and Burn's shot from the edge of the box flew narrowly wide. Still Dundee didn't learn the lesson and only a minute later gave the ball away to let Lyle test Letheren from a tight angle.

Queens centre back Durnan had a couple of half chances from set pieces, but failed to get his headers on target.

Boyle and MacDonald linked up well on occasions, but Dundee couldn't give them good possession in dangerous areas often enough.

Dundee improved after half time and started to close Queens down more effectively and keep more of the play in the visitors' half. The Dark Blues also started to get players into space down the wings. First Riley and then Boyle broke clear on the right, but neither could pick out a Dundee player with their crosses.

The vital goal arrived after 58 minutes. McAlister's free kick from wide on the left found Iain DAVIDSON who rose to head powerfully into the top corner from 10 yards.

The goal llfted Dundee, who looked far more comfortable now they were in the lead. For the most part the defence dealt coolly and confidently with the Doonhamers' attempts to get back into the game.

MacDonald opened up the Queens' defence with a neat backheel, but Rae's shot from 16 yards flew wide as Dundee threatened to add to their lead.

Queens had been offering little in attack after their bright first half, but a mistake by Gallagher triggered an awkward couple of minutes in which the visitors looked dangerous. The centre back tried to knock the ball out for a throw, but played it against Lyle, allowing the the ex-Dee to run into the penalty area and shoot from a difficult angle. Letheren beat the ball away, but Dundee couldn't clear. Burns found himself in space beyond the far post, but scooped the chance high and wide.

Christian Nadé replaced Riley after 72 minutes and his ability to hold up the ball proved valuable. Boyle moved to the right wing where he unsettled the Queens' defence with his blistering pace. The final change was Ryan Conroy replacing Peter MacDonald on 80 minutes.

Dundee had another nervous couple of minutes during which Queens were able to exert some worrying pressure. Again the Dark Blues rallied and should have made the points safe in injury time.

The Doonhamers won a free kick on the left, but Dundee cleared the ball comfortably and Boyle raced clear on the right. Instead of picking out the unmarked McAlister in front of goal he shot and Clark saved.

The four minutes of injury time felt twice as long, but Dundee held out without further scares to win three more precious points. Yet again it wasn't pretty. It was another tense ordeal for the fans, few of whom can have many fingernails left. The crowd did their bit tonight and got behind the team much more than in last week's draw against Raith.

Kyle Letheren won the sponsor's man of the match award. He didn't make any spectacular saves but dealt competently with everything that came his way. Newcomer Adam Cummins looked very much at home and the change didn't unsettle the defence, which was as stingy as ever, recording their fifth consecutive clean sheet.

Tonight was yet another example of the importance of a solid defence; stop the opposition scoring and you need to take only the once chance to win. It would be nice to score goals by the barrow load, but it is reassuring that this team have a defence that has conceded fewer goals than anyone in Scotland apart from Celtic and Rangers, who are running away with their divisions.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at March 25th, 2014)

2013-14 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)27 35 - 35 -
Adam Cummins21 1 - 1 -
Willie Dyer27 20 - 20 -
Declan Gallagher23 364645
Gary Irvine29 35 - 1532
Iain Davidson30 253654
Jim McAlister28 364789
Gavin Rae36 36129731
Nicky Riley27 25 - 12111
Martin Boyle20 271371
Peter MacDonald33 35193519
Ryan Conroy (sub)26 33611325
Christian Nadé (sub)29 8181

League Table (as at March 25th, 2014)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

On behalf of the coaching staff and myself, I would like to welcome the players & staff of Queen of the South to Dens Park tonight.

This is our second consecutive mid-week match as we approach the business end of the season, and although the match against Raith was tough we still picked up a point which was crucial. On Saturday past we faced a very tricky tie at Dumbarton and I was delighted to leave The Bet Butler Stadium with all three points.

Dumbarton made things difficult for us in the first half and in terms of how we want to play I informed the players that the performance in the first 45 was not acceptable, so it was pleasing to see an improvement in the second half and to get the winning goal. It was an exciting game that had a bit of everything, and I thought Dumbarton played well as they have been doing recently. Whilst we rode our luck at times during the 90 minutes, that's now 6 cleans sheets out of seven so we'll take the positives and gladly accept the points and look forward to tonight's game.

There is no doubt we are in for another difficult task this evening. Jim McIntyre has some good players at his disposal and we'll be looking for a performance similar to our last meeting in Dumfries where we had to be at our best to get the victory.

Again, I would like to thank the fans who travelled on Saturday and backed us in good numbers. The support for the players and I since my arrival here has been nothing short of tremendous and we are all desperate to repay them for their backing and give them something to shout about. Hopefully we can help lift each other during the run in, starting tonight.