Dundee 2
Dumbarton 1
League (Championship)

2 - 1

League (Championship)
Saturday, May 3rd, 2014
Dens Park
Attendance: 10,718
3:00 PM Kick-off

Christian Nadé (25)
Peter MacDonald (36)
Scott Agnew (pen.) (69)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Ian Murray

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
5. Willie Dyer
17. Kyle Benedictus
18. Declan Gallagher
2. Gary Irvine
20. Jim McAlister
10. Gavin Rae
8. Kevin McBride
27. Christian Nadé
23. Martin Boyle
9. Peter MacDonald
Jamie Ewings .19
Andy Graham .4
Scott Linton .16
Michael Miller .24
Paul McGinn .2
Garry Fleming .14
Scott Agnew .8
Mark Gilhaney .7
Chris Turner .6
Colin Nish .17
Mitch Megginson .9

27. Dan Twardzik
25. Adam Cummins
30. Cammy Kerr
11. Ryan Conroy
7. Nicky Riley
33. Craig Wighton
29. Craig Beattie
Stephen Grindlay .1
Mark McLaughlin .5
Jordan Kirkpatrick .15
Hugh Murray .27
Steven McDougall .11
Chris Kane .21
Bryan Prunty .12

Ryan Conroy for Martin Boyle (74)
Nicky Riley for Christian Nadé (80)
Craig Beattie for Peter MacDonald (88)
Chris Kane for Mitch Megginson (46)
Bryan Prunty for Garry Fleming (58)
Jordan Kirkpatrick for Chris Turner (65)

Kyle Letheren (75)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Bobby Madden (Referee)
Dougie Potter & Graham Fraser (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Yaaasss! We're up! Dundee's roller coaster season ended with the Dark Blues soaring to the highest of highs as promotion was earned in a hard fought 2-1 win over Dumbarton at Dens. The Dee faithful endured a heart-stoppingly stressful second half after first half goals from Christian Nadé and Peter MacDonald seemed to have settled the nerves.

A Scott Agnew penalty midway through the second half pulled Dumbarton back into the game and the Sons deserve huge credit for the way they fought to the end. With Morton collapsing at Hamilton a Sons' goal would have given Accies promotion. However, the Dee saw out the closing minutes keeping possession and 10,000 Dees erupted with joy when the referee blew his whistle after three minutes of injury time.

There was only one change from the team that defeated Alloa last week; Kyle Benedictus replaced the suspended Iain Davidson in central defence.

Dundee started eagerly, playing a controlled passing game that promised well. However, Dumbarton were clearly determined to play their proper professional role of party poopers and always looked dangerous coming forward. At the back the Sons were less impressive and they always looked likely to concede a goal.

The Sons had a couple of frights: Boyle snatched at a shot from the edge of the area and pulled it wide. Rae's 18 yard shot was saved by Ewings after a neat passing move. Nadé and MacDonald were combining cleverly. MacDonald took the ball from his partner and his shot was deflected for a corner.

The Dark Blues passed up a good chance after 21 minutes. Dyer's deep cross was fired back across goal by Boyle to McAlister. The midfielder should have scored, but put his shot too close to keeper Ewings, who saved.

The packed stands were trying to roar the ball home, and the fans were rewarded four minutes later.

Kevin McBride drilled a free kick into a crowded goalmouth and Christian NADÉ was the strongest challenger as he rose to head over Ewings and into the net.

Dens exploded with relief and happiness. Every player launched into the celebratory pile-up, with even Kyle Letheren sprinting 80 yards to join in.

The Sons came within a lick of paint of a quickfire equaliser. Colin Nish reacted quickest to a loose ball on the edge of the Dundee penalty area. His chip beat Letheren but came back off the crossbar, hit the keeper's back and rolled clear.

Dumbarton were looking dangerous and were making good use of Nish's height and experience. However, Dundee settled the nerves with a second goal.

A patient passing move brought the ball to Irvine on the right. He moved infield and floated a cross beyond the far post where Peter MACDONALD ghosted in to send a beautiful header back across Ewings and into the net. Cue more frenzy in the stands!

Dumbarton took off Megginson and sent on Chris Kane at the start of the second half. Playing 4-3-3 there was little chance of the visitors settling back and dreaming of their holidays!

However, it was the Dark Blues who came agonisingly close to settling the match when Nadé headed against the post from Dyer's cross.

Dumbarton withdrew their holding midfielder Turner to put on Kirkpatrick, an attacking midfielder, and replaced striker Fleming with Prunty.

Gavin Rae's 20 yard rocket flew just over the bar. A clever MacDonald chip nearly managed to play Boyle in, but Ewings grabbed the ball just in time. The keeper then bundled MacDonald over in collecting a cross, but the referee decided it wasn't a penalty. He had no doubts a few minutes later when Prunty tumbled over Dyer's challenge.

Scott AGNEW smashed the penalty home. 2-1, Dumbarton were going for it, and the news was coming through from Hamilton that Morton were disintegrating.

Dumbarton almost followed up their goal with a shock equaliser. Kane spun on the ball, but Letheren made a great fingertip save.

The tension was clearly getting to the players and Dumbarton were on top now. The Dee survived a terrifying scramble when the ball pinged around our goalmouth with Sons' players snatching at it and unable to force it in.

The two keepers each excelled in the last few minutes. First Ewings saved well from MacDonald's 18 yard shot that seemed sure to find the net. Then Letheren pulled off a brilliant save, stretching to tip Prunty's header wide.

Dundee managed to keep the ball through all three minutes of injury time down at the corner flag by the South Enclosure. The fans were trying to keep the ball stuck there by force of will, and incredible, passionate noise.

Finally the referee blew his whistle and the whole stadium shook with delighted joy! It's happened! It's finally happened. What a long, hard season, but it's over and the Dee are up!

Dundee had to dig deep and fight hard for the three points today. The players kept their heads, took their chances and won the title they deserved. There were fourteen heroes in Dark Blue today.

This is a great reward for all the hard work that many people have put in this season. Well done lads, and thank you from the fans! Phew!

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at May 3rd, 2014)

2013-14 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)27 41 - 41 -
Declan Gallagher23 424705
Kyle Benedictus22 191982
Willie Dyer27 26 - 26 -
Gary Irvine29 39 - 1572
Gavin Rae36 42130331
Jim McAlister28 4258410
Kevin McBride32 293674
Christian Nadé29 133133
Peter MacDonald33 41214121
Martin Boyle21 334434
Ryan Conroy (sub)27 38611825
Nicky Riley (sub)27 31 - 12711
Craig Beattie (sub)30 205205

League Table (as at May 3rd, 2014)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

The past few weeks seem to have flown in and it's hard to believe that I'm now writing my notes for our last Championship game of the season.

Since arriving here at Dens, I have been delighted with the response I have had from the group of players I inherited, and it's all credit to them that we are sitting at the top of the table with one game remaining.

We gave the players a very simple job last Saturday; make sure you take the title race in to the last home game of the season and they did just that with a very assured and professional performance. We scored good goals at the right time and limited the chances we gave the opposition and with other results going our way, it put our destiny back in our hands.

It would be wrong of me not to comment on the support, not just last Saturday but during my time as manager of the Club as a whole. From my first game back in February when we had over 5,000 home supporters to the past couple away games where our fans have outnumbered the home support, it has reaffirmed what I always believed and what played a major part in me coming here; Dundee FC are a Club that should be in Scottish Football's top flight.

It was always our goal to do just that, and we're delighted that we have a sell-out crowd today. I want the supporters to know what a huge part they've played in our season so far, and the players are just desperate to repay them for the backing they've received in every single match.

The last few weeks have been full of twists and turns, but it's been a fantastic advertisement for this division with big crowds, goals and excitement.

We have a job to do today, and the players have stayed very focussed on the task in hand. Ian Murray has done a terrific job at Dumbarton and has built a very good squad who play an exciting style of football scoring plenty of goals. They showed exactly that last week and we know we will have to be at our best giving them the respect they have earned.

I'm expecting an open and entertaining game, and hopefully we'll do the right things and achieve the desired result.

Enjoy the game.