Dundee 3
Ross County 3
League (Premiership)

3 - 3
Ross County 

League (Premiership)
Saturday, September 26th, 2015
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,128
3:00 PM Kick-off

Greg Stewart (20)
Rory Loy (pen.) (54)
Rory Loy (69)
Liam Boyce (19)
James McPake (o.g.) (37)
Michael Gardyne (43)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Jim McIntyre

Starting Eleven
1. Scott Bain
19. Paul McGinn
3. Kevin Holt
16. Julen Etxabeguren
5. James McPake
10. Kevin Thomson
20. Riccardo Calder
17. Nick Ross
7. Greg Stewart
9. Rory Loy
15. Kane Hemmings
Scott Fox .1
Andrew Davies .15
Jamie Reckord .3
Marcus Fraser .2
Chris Robertson .6
Jackson Irvine .36
Michael Gardyne .7
Martin Woods .42
Raffaele De Vita .24
Liam Boyce .10
Brian Graham .9

46. Kyle Gourlay
6. Daryll Meggatt
25. Sam Dryden
4. Thomas Konrad
29. Gary Harkins
27. Jesse Curran
23. Rhys Healey
Gary Woods .21
Scott Boyd .5
Richard Foster .12
Stewart Murdoch .18
Jonathan Franks .17
Tony Dingwall .19
Ian McShane .8

Gary Harkins for Kevin Thomson (68)
Thomas Konrad for James McPake (73)
Rhys Healey for Kane Hemmings (79)
Stewart Murdoch for Martin Woods (45)
Scott Boyd for Brian Graham (54)
Richard Foster for Raffaele De Vita (72)

Kevin Thomson (31)
Greg Stewart (77)
Andrew Davies (17)
Andrew Davies (52)

Red Cards
None. Andrew Davies (52)
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Kylie McMullan & Gordon Crawford (Assistants)
David Lowe (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee came from two goals down to draw 3-3 against Ross County in a thrilling match at Dens Park today. Liam Boyce gave County an early lead, only for Greg Stewart to equalise immediately. County went in at the break with a 3-1 lead following a James McPake own goal and a Michael Gardyne goal late in the half. In a second half that the Dark Blues totally dominated two goals from Rory Loy on his home debut saved a point for the Dee. County captain Andrew Davies picked up a second yellow card conceding the penalty from which Loy scored his first. From then till the end it was backs to the wall for the Staggies, but they held on for a point.

The Dark Blues made four changes following the defeat by Celtic. Gary Irvine, Thomas Konrad, Gary Harkins and Nicky Low dropped out of the starting line up. In came Kevin Holt, Julen Etxebeguren, Riccardo Calder for his first start and Rory Loy who was making his home debut. County made only one change from their last league game, captain Andrew Davies returning in the place of Scott Boyd.

Sporting their Battle of Loos commemorative shirt Dundee started well with Riccardo Calder looking very lively on the left wing. County were relieved to escape an early scramble in their six yard box after a good build up by Calder and Greg Stewart.

Stewart was full of skill and invention on the right and neatly beat Davies to run clear, but a yard outside the penalty area he was pulled down by the County captain, who was duly booked. Dundee couldn't take advantage of the free kick and were punished when the visitors broke upfield to open the scoring after 19 minutes. Irvine raced over the half way line and gave Liam BOYCE the chance to nip past McGinn and score with a low, angled drive.

The goal was rather against the run of play, but Dundee roared back with an equaliser inside a minute. STEWART ran in from the right, beat a man and slid the ball inside Scott Fox's near post from 16 yards in a neat variation on his trademark curling finish across the keeper.

After those fireworks the game settled into a drabber midfield slog that suited the forceful pressing of County's midfield. It seemed likely the first half would provide no more goals, but Dundee made life unnecessarily difficult by conceding two bad, late goals. Marcus Fraser's inswinging cross from the right was nowhere near any County forwards. Scott Bain looked favourite to claim it, but the ball glanced off James MCPAKE's head and into the net past the helpless keeper.

The third goal was little better from the viewpoint of Dundee's defence. Irvine's deep cross from the left found Michael GARDYNE who scored with a looping header over Bain. A 3-1 deficit was harsh on the Dee, but they had only their own poor poor defending to blame.

The first half had been fairly even, but after the break the Dark Blues rose to the challenge of saving the game. They took charge from the start and never eased their grip on the game. An early goal was crucial and when it arrived nine minutes into the second half it completely changed the game and the atmosphere. Stewart whipped a free kick into goalmouth where Davies pulled McPake down to pick up a second yellow card and concede a penalty. Rory LOY wasn't fazed by a lengthy delay, and calmly stroked the spot kick past Fox.

County immediately pulled off Brian Graham and sent on Scott Boyd to shore up the defence. From then on the match was played almost entirely in the visitors' half as the Staggies sat deep and tried to stave off the equaliser as wave after wave of Dark Blue attacks poured into the penalty area.

Calder was seeing plenty of the ball and excited the crowd with his skill and determination. He should have scored when Stewart's corner found him unmarked, but he volleyed over the bar from six yards. Calder was unluckier when Fox pulled of a great diving save to keep out the youngster's low drive after he had linked cleverly with Stewart.

The pressure on the Staggies' goal was relentless and life didn't get any easier for their defence when Gary Harkins replaced Kevin Thomson, who was booked in the first half and looked to be in danger of picking up a red card.

Within a minute of the substitution Dundee were on level terms, thanks to an outstanding assist and an equally good finish. Paul McGinn picked up the ball just inside the Dundee half and set off on a great run, beating two men and slotting a perfect pass through for LOY, who had made a clever diagonal run, and finished off a classy move by rifling the ball across Fox and inside the far post.

It looked like Dundee might win a second penalty when Stewart went down under Murdoch's challenge, but the referee Mr Thomson was unimpressed.

Rhys Healey replaced Kane Hemmings in the closing stages during which Dundee pummelled the Staggies' defence. Kevin Holt nearly snatched a late winner but a terrific save by Fox turned his fierce low shot round the post. Deep into injury time Harkins came agonisingly close to a winner when his header beat Fox but Robertson saved a point for the Staggies by lunging to hook the ball off the line.

After being two goals down at half time a draw might seem like a good result. However, a one-sided second half meant that County were by far the happier side at the final whistle. There was much to enjoy in Dundee's attacking play, and this would certainly have been a win for the Dark Blues if very poor defending hadn't let them down in the first half. After conceding eight goals in the first seven games Dundee have lost nine goals in their last two games.

Riccardo Calder and Rory Loy had very good home debuts, and Greg Stewart posed a huge danger to County's defence throughout. The combination play of Loy, Stewart and Hemmings gave the Dark Blues plenty of attacking threat. With Calder also in the mix County didn't have a moment to relax, especially in the second half.

On a poignant afternoon for the club and the city this was certainly a spirited and entertaining match, but it could and should have been better for the Dee.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website.

Squad Statistics (as at September 26th, 2015)

2015-16 All Time
Scott Bain (GK)23 10 - 36 -
James McPake31 92474
Julen Etxabeguren24 8 - 8 -
Kevin Holt22 7 - 7 -
Paul McGinn24 10 - 492
Kevin Thomson29 7 - 33 -
Nick Ross23 10 - 10 -
Riccardo Calder19 3 - 3 -
Kane Hemmings24 104104
Rory Loy27 5454
Greg Stewart25 1054920
Thomas Konrad (sub)25 9 - 462
Gary Harkins (sub)30 9 - 14029
Rhys Healey (sub)20 2 - 2 -

League Table (as at September 26th, 2015)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

I'd like to welcome Jim McIntyre and his backroom staff and both sets of supporters.

It has been a few weeks since our last outing at Dens after the international break was followed by two away games.

In that time we also saw the end of the transfer window and managed to do a bit of business on the final days, bringing in Riccardo Calder and Rhys Healey from Aston Villa and Cardiff City. Both young players have fitted in with the first team right away and have been doing well in training.

I have watched Ross County twice in the past week against both Partick Thistle and Falkirk so know we will be in for a tough game this afternoon.

They have started very well but a win for us this afternoon would put us level on points with them. We have another international break just around the corner and with two home games between now and then we will be looking to put as many points on the board before going into the break.