Dundee 1
Kilmarnock 1
League (Premiership)

1 - 1

League (Premiership)
Saturday, August 9th, 2014
Dens Park
Attendance: 7,588
3:00 PM Kick-off

Gary Harkins (pen.) (17)
Craig Slater (24)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Allan Johnston

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
3. Willie Dyer
4. Thomas Konrad
19. Paul McGinn
5. James McPake
11. Simon Ferry
29. Gary Harkins
18. Paul McGowan
10. Kevin Thomson
15. Greg Stewart
21. Luka Tankulic
Craig Samson .1
Ross Barbour .2
Mark Connolly .6
Lee Ashcroft .18
Chris Johnston .10
Tope Obadeyi .16
Craig Slater .19
Chris Chantler .23
Manuel Pascali .29
Rory McKenzie .7
Josh Magennis .28

27. Grant Adam
2. Gary Irvine
6. Iain Davidson
20. Jim McAlister
8. Kevin McBride
9. Peter MacDonald
33. Craig Wighton
Conor Brennan .13
Mark O'Hara .26
Sammy Clingan .8
Paul Cairney .11
Aleksey Eremenko Jr. .20
Greg Kiltie .30
Robbie Muirhead .33

Peter MacDonald for Greg Stewart
Jim McAlister for Simon Ferry
Craig Wighton for Luka Tankulic
Aleksey Eremenko Jr. for Chris Johnston (66)
Sammy Clingan for Craig Slater (81)

None. Craig Slater (77)
Ross Barbour (85)
Manuel Pascali (94)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steven McLean (Referee)
Alastair Mather & Graeme Stewart (Assistants)
Nick Walsh (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee's flag day ended with honours even in an entertaining Premiership match with Kilmarnock.

After raising the SPFL Championship flag before kick off, Dundee signaled their return to the top tier with a very good performance in the 1-1 draw and could have won it at the death when Peter MacDonald fired a free kick against the bar with the last kick of the match.

Dundee started the game off brightly by keeping possession and created three good chances in the first 6 minutes. Firstly McGowan had two shots at goal from long range; the first from the edge of the box blocked on the six yard line and the second from a low Harkins comer which he fired over the bar. McGowan then became the provider when he clipped the ball to the back post only for Greg Stewart to head wide after Tankulic had done well to power up the left wing.

Kilmarnock started to come into the game and they created the best chance of the early period when a Magennis header bounced down inside the six yard box and looked a goal all the way before Kyle Letheren superbly tipped it round the post. The hero from the last minute of the last game of last season was the hero again with a stunning save and served warning of how dangerous Killie could be on the break.

Dundee continued to press forward however and a great Ferry ball almost played McGowan in, but The Dark Blues got the breakthrough in 17 minutes after a patient attacking move with lots of intricate passing. Gary Harkins danced his way into the box and as he tried to dribble past another defender he was brought crashing to the ground.

Harkins dusted himself off and took the penalty kick himself, firing it low into the bottom right hand corner to give The Dee a deserved lead after 17 minutes Dundee tried to add to their lead almost immediately when a Luka Tankulic shot from 25 yards was saved by Samson but Killie started to come more into the game after that.

Firstly a McKenzie shot from the edge of the box whistled just past the post before Tope Obadeyi found himself free inside the Dundee box and crashed the ball off the underside of the bar from twelve yards out.

The Ayshire men weren't to be denied however and were back on level terms after 24 minutes. A rash challenge from McPake gave Kilmarnock a free kick on the left side edge of Dundee's box and when Craig Slater stepped up to take it, he curled a beauty into the top right hand corner of the net to make it 1-1.

The game was fairly even now and former Aberdeen man Josh Magennis headed a Gary Harkins corner away from the front post on the half hour before Chris Johnson smashed a cracking half volley just wide of Letheren's left hand post from 25 yards out.

McPake had to go off the park for treatment minutes before the break which Killie tried to exploit as McKenzie fired a shot on goal from Bobby Glennie territory before the ref blew up for half time. The first half had been very entertaining with a fast pace and intensity to it and for the first half hour at least Dundee enjoyed good possession and displayed some slick passing.

The Dee came fast out the blocks in the second half almost took the lead within sixty seconds. Harkins jinxed his way into the box before shooting low at Samson and the ex-Dundee keeper had to look smart again minutes later when McGowan shot from the edge of the box and Samson managed to tip it away for a corner.

There was a let off for Dundee however when Letheren ran out of his box to head away a long through ball but he misjudged the flight and missed the ball completely.

The ball fell to Obadeyi just inside the box and as Den Park held its breath the Killie man could only tamely shoot wide with Konrad and McPake running back to cover.

Obadeyi had another chance a few minutes later when he was inches away from connecting with a cross into the six yard box as Killie looked dangerous each time they broke forward.

Dundee however were beginning to take a grip of the game and approaching the hour the impressive McGowan curled a shot towards the bottom right hand corner which Samson finger-tipped away.

Dundee continued to show intent as Tankulic headed wide before McKenzie fired over the bar after some neat play to remind The Dee that Killie were still dangerous.

Harkins next played McGowan into the box with a lovely flick but the former Buddie could only hit a low shot into Samson's arms with the outside of his boot. Dundee were well on top now and McGinn had a series of runs down the right wing which troubled Killie.

Kilmarnock boss Alan Johnston tried to change the pattern of play when he brought on Alexei Eremenko and although he started to organise Killie's possession and drive them on, it was still Dundee who looked more likely to score.

Greg Stewart fired a terrific ball across the six yard box after taking on the full back but there were unfortunately no takers while Harkins spun on a sixpence on the edge of the box before shooting straight at Samson.

Harkins was at the heart of most of Dundee's good work and he delicately chipped the ball to Simon Ferry at the edge of six yard box but the new boy couldn't quite make a clean connection and put it wide.

As the game wore on Dundee brought on McAlister and MacDonald and both of them had an impact and almost won the game. McAlister at first ran force-ably ran into the box and squared for Tankulic and as the ball broke back to him, McAlister fired the ball towards goal which forced Samson to make a good save with is feet.

In injury time Dundee came close to winning it when MacDonald hit a trademark free kick against the bar but in the end, The Dee had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw.

It was an excellent return to the Premiership for The Dee and they will feel unlucky not to have taken more than a point. There were several impressive performances in Dark Blue shirts with Paul McGowan getting the sponsor's man of the match but boss Paul Hartley will be pleased with the showing of all his troops.

Match report written by Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at August 9th, 2014)

2014-15 All Time
Kyle Letheren (GK)27 2 - 43 -
Willie Dyer27 2 - 28 -
Thomas Konrad24 2 - 2 -
Paul McGinn23 2 - 2 -
James McPake30 1 - 1 -
Simon Ferry26 2121
Gary Harkins29 2110226
Paul McGowan26 2 - 2 -
Kevin Thomson28 2 - 2 -
Greg Stewart24 2121
Luka Tankulic23 2121
Jim McAlister (sub)28 1 - 8510
Peter MacDonald (sub)33 214322
Craig Wighton (sub)17 1 - 152

League Table (as at August 9th, 2014)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

I would like to extend a warm welcome back to Dens Park to our fans for the opening game of the 2014/15 season in the Scottish Professional Football League. I hope that you are looking forward to a new start as much as we are.

I would also like to welcome Kilmarnock Football Club along with manager Allan Johnston and his assistant Gary Locke today for what is sure to be a challenging game.

We have been very pleased with our pre-season and our game against Peterhead was a tough one. However we showed ourselves to be strong against them and scored some good goals.

I have to say that we had another great backing from the fans too, who have been terrific so far. We need your backing from now right through to the season end and look forward to showing you some entertaining football on which we have worked hard.

We have a real blend of experienced and young players and over the last 5 or so weeks they have really come together and gelled well. Considering the many changes of personnel at the club, we are happy that this has been successful with the formation of a strong squad who have worked very hard pre-season.

There is a real sense of excitement around Dundee just now, both the city and the club with a true spirit being the foundation of this. This is the key to a good season for us and something that we intend to ensure remains. That spirit includes that of the fans, with the Dundee support being known for their noisy and spirited backing. Your backing is vital.

Now is the time for us to be judged from today and right throughout the season. We have worked hard on providing football for you to enjoy and will continue to do so.