Dundee 4
Cowdenbeath 0
League (Championship)

4 - 0

League (Championship)
Saturday, April 12th, 2014
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,751
3:00 PM Kick-off

Craig Wighton (6)
Martin Boyle (45)
Jim McAlister (60)
Martin Boyle (66)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Jimmy Nicholl

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
5. Willie Dyer
18. Declan Gallagher
30. Cammy Kerr
7. Nicky Riley
20. Jim McAlister
6. Iain Davidson
10. Gavin Rae
23. Martin Boyle
33. Craig Wighton
9. Peter MacDonald
Sebastian Usai .17
Dean Brett .14
John Armstrong .5
Thomas O'Brien .4
Rory McKeown .2
Jon Robertson .22
Lewis Milne .18
Kyle Miller .20
David Gold .12
Kane Hemmings .21
Greg Stewart .9

27. Dan Twardzik
17. Kyle Benedictus
25. Adam Cummins
8. Kevin McBride
11. Ryan Conroy
29. Craig Beattie
27. Christian Nadé
Thomas Flynn .1
Darren Brownlie .23
Kenny Adamson .3
Jamie Stevenson .8
Nat Wedderburn .6
Liam Callaghan .24
Jordan Morton .11

Christian Nadé for Peter MacDonald (73)
Ryan Conroy for Nicky Riley (79)
Craig Beattie for Craig Wighton (81)
Jordan Morton for Jon Robertson (46)
Nat Wedderburn for Kyle Miller (46)
Jamie Stevenson for Greg Stewart (61)

Peter MacDonald (49)
Lewis Milne (58)
Dean Brett (69)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Andy Milne & Mark McHendry (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee moved two points ahead at the top of the Championship with a convincing and highly entertaining 4-0 win over Cowdenbeath at Dens Park today. First half goals from Craig Wighton and Martin Boyle put the Dark Blues in charge. In the second half Jim McAlister and Boyle added more goals as the Dee thrilled the fans with exciting attacking football.

Paul Hartley reverted to a 4-4-2 formation and made two changes: bringing in youngsters Craig Wighton and 18 year old Cameron Kerr, who was making his first start. Kevin McBride dropped onto the bench and Gary Irvine was suspended.

The eye-catching name in the Cowdenbeath line up was Greg Stewart, who started in attack for the visitors after signing a pre-contract agreement with Dundee.

The Dark Blues have been slow starters this season, but today they got off to a blistering start. Martin Boyle beat his man on the right and his low cross was flicked beyond the far post by Wighton. The 16 year old was involved in every Dundee attack and he opened the scoring after only six minutes.

Peter MacDonald fed the ball through for WIGHTON who cut inside a defender and finished coolly from 15 yards.

The early goal was exactly what was needed to help the players relax and they settled down to play attractive and penetrating football. Boyle and Riley posed real danger to the Cowdenbeath down the flanks, where they got effective support from the full backs.

Jim McAlister and Gavin Rae were running the game from central midfield and the Cowdenbeath strikers struggled to get involved. The visitors did have a brief flurry in the middle of the first half when Dundee wobbled fleetingly. Kyle Letheren missed a high corner and Kerr had to hack the ball clear. Cowdenbeath then put together a neat move down the right that ended with Hemmings turning and shooting on the edge of the penalty area, but Letheren saved comfortably.

The Dark Blues then resumed normal service and the Blue Brazil dropped right out of contention for the rest of the match.

Yet another surging run by Martin Boyle on the right caused chaos in the away penalty area. Wighton wheeled on the ball and his shot was deflected for a corner. Riley's delivery from the left was met by a powerful Rae header, but goalkeeper Usai saved well.

Dundee continued to press hard for a second goal. Willie Dyer drove into the penalty area and his shot was deflected past the post by MacDonald.

It looked like Cowdenbeath would reach half time only a goal behind but Dundee's youngsters wrecked that hope. Craig Wighton showed the coolness of a veteran as he pulled a high ball down, turned away from Armstrong and hit a sweet pass out to Martin BOYLE, who raced past the last defender, and into the penalty area to smash in a beautiful second goal.

The second goal on the stroke of half time gave the supporters a real lift and there was a buzz about the ground as the fans waited for more entertainment. The Dark Blues responded with an aggressive start to the second half.

Cowdenbeath seemed to settle for damage limitation at half time, taking Robertson off from the midfield and sending on centre back Wedderburn as they switched to 5-3-2.

The cautious approach didn't help the visitors as Kerr and Boyle caused havoc with their swashbuckling adventures down the right. On the other wing Riley and Dyer were probing and stretching the Cowdenbeath defence, which was struggling to survive the onslaught, even with the extra man.

Riley moved to the right for a spell and made the third goal with a exciting mazy run in from the wing. His dinked cross was met by McALISTER, who calmly steered his header into the corner of the net from eight yards.

That was a delightful goal, but the fourth surpassed it. Again Wighton was the instigator as he made space and cleverly moved the ball on for BOYLE. The young speedster took off, hurtled past two defenders and flashed a glorious rising shot into the roof of the net from 18 yards. When you're going for promotion every goal is greeted hungrily by the fans, but this was one to bring the house down as four and half thousand Dees leapt to their feet to give young Boyle the ovation he deserved!

Iain Davidson came close to a fifth, but his header from Riley's free kick flew just wide. Dundee continued to play clever and attractive football as the play swept relentlessly towards Cowdenbeath's goal. There wasn't any more scoring, but the Dark Blues had made their point, and the fans loved it.

Christian Nadé, Ryan Conroy and Craig Beattie came on for MacDonald, Riley and Wighton, but Dundee remained in charge. Conroy combined cleverly with Beattie, whose curling shot was saved by Usai.

At the end the players were cheered off the pitch by the supporters, who were delighted not just by the score but by the performance and the quality of the goals. Paul Hartley's decision to go with the youngsters was rewarded handsomely. Craig Wighton and Cameron Kerr were outstanding, and Martin Boyle will surely be walking on air tonight after that display, and those two lovely goals.

The whole team worked together well today and made Cowdenbeath look very poor. The Blue Brazil have been a menace to the Dark Blues this season, but today they weren't allowed a sniff and Dundee rammed home the point that they were a cut above the visitors. Oh, and Kyle Letheren notched up yet another clean sheet.

With Hamilton drawing at Livingston Dundee's fate is now in their own hands. The Dee are two points ahead with three games to go, and on today's showing they are hitting form at exactly the right time. Today saw Dundee's biggest win of the season, their best performance and possibly some of the best goals. The supporters were right behind the players today. Let's keep this going! Let's do this!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at April 12th, 2014)

2013-14 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)27 38 - 38 -
Willie Dyer27 23 - 23 -
Cammy Kerr18 2 - 2 -
Declan Gallagher23 394675
Gavin Rae36 39130031
Iain Davidson30 283684
Jim McAlister28 3958110
Nicky Riley27 28 - 12411
Peter MacDonald33 38193819
Craig Wighton16 132132
Martin Boyle20 304404
Ryan Conroy (sub)26 36611625
Christian Nadé (sub)29 101101
Craig Beattie (sub)30 174174

League Table (as at April 12th, 2014)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

On our penultimate home game of the season I would like to welcome the players and staff of Cowdenbeath to Dens Park this afternoon.

It's a game we've been looking forward to and working towards all week, and we know we are in for another highly competitive 90 minutes.

Looking back at last week's game, I thought a point was a fair result on Saturday when I reflect over the 90 minutes.

Like every match, we wanted all three points, but I felt we looked solid and defended well as team, scored a good goal and some of our play going forward was good.

The boys have given me nothing but 100% in terms of commitment and dedication since I've arrived here, and there is no shortage of determination and belief in the dressing room which are hugely important attributes to have at this stage in the season.

I think the fans recognise that too, and again we were applauded off the park by our supporters who make each game feel like a home one. My coaching staff and I, along with the players know what success this season would mean to the people who have stood by this Club through thick and thin, and we are determined to finish this season strongly for them as much as anyone.

We took a few knocks last weekend which is not unusual following a game of that magnitude, but every single body I have here is desperate to be involved, and that desire has been mirrored each day in training.

Our visitors today have beaten us both home and away, and although they sit in the lower half of the table, they have proved time and time again that they have players in their ranks who are good enough to cause us problems.

We have been working on the positive aspects of our game over the past few days, and it would be an understatement to say the players can't wait for 3pm and getting this game underway.

I'm sure we will again see a big home crowd today, and if we didn't have enough already, sending them home with smiles on their faces gives us all the motivation we need.