Partick Thistle 1
Dundee 1
League (Premiership)


Partick 

1 - 1

Dundee


League (Premiership)
Saturday, December 20th, 2014
Firhill Stadium
Attendance: 3,203
3:00 PM Kick-off


Goalscorers
James Craigen (58) Conrad Balatoni (o.g.) (90)

Team Managers
Alan Archibald Paul Hartley

Starting Eleven
12. Paul Gallacher
14. Christie Elliott
2. Stephen O'Donnell
3. Danny Seaborne
6. Conrad Balatoni
7. James Craigen
8. Stuart Bannigan
10. Ryan Stevenson
18. Abdul Osman
22. Gary Fraser
23. Kallum Higginbotham
Kyle Letheren .1
Gary Irvine .2
Willie Dyer .3
James McPake .5
Thomas Konrad .4
Paul McGinn .19
Kevin Thomson .10
Jim McAlister .20
Simon Ferry .11
Greg Stewart .15
David Clarkson .16

Bench
1. Scott Fox
26. Liam Lindsay
23. David Wilson
33. Declan McDaid
11. Steven Lawless
9. Kris Doolan
19. Nathan Eccleston
Arvid Schenk .25
Kevin McBride .8
Dylan Carreiro .28
Iain Davidson .6
Luka Tankulic .21
Phillip Roberts .14
Martin Boyle .23

Substitutions
Kris Doolan for Ryan Stevenson (79) Martin Boyle for Simon Ferry (52)
Luka Tankulic for Kevin Thomson (67)
Phillip Roberts for Paul McGinn (67)

Cautions
Kallum Higginbotham (36)
James Craigen (80)
Danny Seaborne (92)
Gary Irvine (51)
Luka Tankulic (92)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Alastair Mather & Graeme Stewart (Assistants)



Photography by David Young

Match Report


Dundee ended their run of three league defeats with a 1-1 draw against Partick Thistle at Firhill. James Craigen put the Jags ahead early in the second half. The Dark Blues grabbed an equaliser after 89 minutes that Philip Roberts might try to claim but which will be recorded as a Balatoni own goal. The Dee were still some way short of their best and are unquestionably the happier club with a point.

Scott Bain was injured, allowing Kyle Letheren to return in goal. Kevin Thomson, Willie Dyer and Greg Stewart came into the starting line up, replacing Philip Roberts, Martin Boyle and the suspended Gary Harkins. Boyle and Roberts dropped onto the bench. The surprise in the starting formation was Paul McGinn playing in the right midfield slot. Gary Irvine crossed over to right back with Dyer playing at left back.

Dundee started very cautiously, looking much more secure than last week, but offering nothing in attack for the first 10 minutes. Thistle pressed, playing some neat football through the midfield, but they were unable to find the right passes to open up the Dee defence. Ryan Stevenson had the match's first shot after 10 minutes, but his effort from the edge of the penalty area was well over the bar.

The Dark Blues started to venture forward more; Stewart was combining well with Clarkson as the Dee built some patient moves. Stewart had a half chance when the ball broke to him when Dyer charged down a clearance, but from 16 yards he shot too high. Gary Irvine fired an angled shot narrowly wide after intercepting the ball as Thistle tried to break out of defence.

James Craigen had the best opportunity of the first half when he broke through the middle. He had to shoot quickly from 20 yards as the defence closed in and Letheren saved well.

Kevin Thomson came close with a 15 yard volley after good build up play by Irvine, Clarkson and Stewart. Irvine then headed wide from a corner when the Thistle defence struggled to deal with Dundee's massed late charge into the penalty area.

The game became increasingly scrappy as the half wore on, with Thistle being particularly guilty of overhitting their passes. The second half started in the same vein, with the home side dominating possession, but unable to do anything of note.

Dundee sent on Martin Boyle early in the half, replacing Simon Ferry. The change injected greater urgency into the Dark Blues' game and they had a promising spell of attacking. Paul McGinn ended a lengthy passing move deep in the Thistle half by shooting over the bar from 20 yards. However, any optimism amongs the Dee support vanished when the Jags took the lead with a sucker punch.

Dundee should probably have been given a throw just inside their half. The decision went to Thistle who caught out the Dee by taking it quickly, allowing Stevenson to reach the byline. He bulleted a fierce low cross into the goalmouth where James CRAIGEN stabbed in the opener.

The goal turned the game firmly in Thistle's favour. They were now picking their passes more carefully and stretching the Dundee defence with clever driving runs from a midfield that was always looking to burst beyond Dundee's back four.

Gary Fraser went very close with a low shot from 25 yards. Craigen then wasted a far better chance after Stevenson had led a fast break out of defence, but he carelessly shot well over the bar.

Midway through the half Paul Hartley went for broke, sending on Philip Roberts and Luka Tankulic to replace Kevin Thomson and Paul McGinn. The Dark Blues were now playing a very aggressive formation that was verging on 2-3-5 at times.

The changes saw Dundee spending more of the game in the Thistle half, but they offered little more threat to Paul Gallacher's goal. 10 minutes from time Gallacher had an easy take from a McPake header following a corner and that was his first save of the match.

The more that Dundee attacked, the more likely it seemed that Thistle would pick up an easy goal on the break. The home side continued to look more dangerous with less of the ball.

The game was in the final minute of normal time the Dark Blues scored an unexpected equaliser that was greeted with huge joy and relief in the away support. David Clarkson did well to hold onto the ball just outside the penalty area, and he found Philip Roberts on the left. The substitute cut inside and hit a fierce shot across goal. It might not have been goalbound, but the ball flew off BALATONI's outstretched leg and past the helpless Gallacher.

That was enough to stop the bad run and give the Dark Blues a point. They will have to do much better than this, however. In particular they will need to show more coming forward. David Clarkson worked hard, but yet again his teammates didn't create a single chance for him.

In defence the Dark Blues were much more solid than last week, and only looked vulnerable when they were chasing the game. However, this was mainly due to the more cautious midfield line-up. When Dundee re-organised and had to push forward they looked more likely to concede again than to equalise. The passing and movement weren't really any better than in the recent defeats, and Paul Hartley will surely still be looking for improvement - a lot of improvement. After falling behind Dundee could do little to trouble Thistle who will be kicking themselves that they had to share the points.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website



Squad Statistics (as at December 20th, 2014)


2014-15 All Time
Age
Kyle Letheren (GK)27 12 - 53 -
Paul McGinn24 211211
Thomas Konrad25 202202
James McPake30 191191
Willie Dyer27 6 - 32 -
Gary Irvine29 18 - 1752
Simon Ferry26 141141
Jim McAlister29 20 - 10410
Kevin Thomson29 11 - 11 -
David Clarkson29 118118
Greg Stewart24 199199
Luka Tankulic (sub)23 161161
Martin Boyle (sub)21 201635
Phillip Roberts (sub)20 9 - 9 -






League Table (as at December 20th, 2014)


No league table has been added for this season.