Dundee 0
Heart of Midlothian 1
League (Premiership)

0 - 1

League (Premiership)
Saturday, March 12th, 2016
Dens Park
Attendance: 6,195
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Jamie Walker (52)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Robbie Neilson

Starting Eleven
1. Scott Bain
30. Cammy Kerr
26. Kostadin Gadzhalov
21. Darren O'Dea
19. Paul McGinn
3. Kevin Holt
29. Gary Harkins
17. Nick Ross
18. Paul McGowan
15. Kane Hemmings
7. Greg Stewart
Neil Alexander .1
Alim Öztürk .5
Jordan McGhee .22
John Souttar .24
Liam Smith .29
Prince Buaben .8
Sam Nicholson .11
Arnaud Djoum .16
Don Cowie .21
Jamie Walker .7
Juanma Delgado .19

12. David Mitchell
4. Thomas Konrad
6. Daryll Meggatt
8. Nicky Low
33. Craig Wighton
9. Rory Loy
22. Arturo Rodriguez
Jack Hamilton .13
Blazej Augustyn .4
Juwon Oshaniwa .17
Perry Kitchen .23
Miguel Pallardó .14
Abiola Dauda .25
Gavin Reilly .20

Craig Wighton for Kostadin Gadzhalov (73)
Rory Loy for Gary Harkins (78)
Perry Kitchen for Sam Nicholson (73)
Gavin Reilly for Juanma Delgado (77)
Miguel Pallardón for Jamie Walker (90)

Gary Harkins (69)
Alim Öztürk (35)
Liam Smith (56)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Willie Collum (Referee)
Frank Connor & Douglas Ross (Assistants)
David Munro (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Hearts edged out Dundee 1-0 at Dens Park this afternoon, thanks to an opportunist goal by Jamie Walker early in the second half. Hearts had the better of the first half and once they took the lead they settled back in defence and successfully frustrated all Dundee's efforts to break them down.`

Dundee made two changes; Kosta Gadzhalov and Cammy Kerr came in for Thomas Konrad and Rory Loy as Paul Hartley opted for a 3-5-2 formation. Hearts made only one change as Jordan McGhee replaced Igor Rossi.

There was nearly a horrible moment of deja vu at the start as Dundee nearly conceded a soft early goal. Within the first 20 seconds Walker was allowed to run through from the right, but he pulled his shot across goal.

Walker reached the byline in the third minute, but when he pulled the ball back
Juanma couldn't get enough power in his shot to worry Scott Bain. Both sides were
moving the ball forward quickly in the early stages. When Dundee won their first
corner it was curled in dangerously by Stewart and O'Dea only just failed to connect in front of goal.

A Hearts corner generated a frantic scramble in the home penalty area. Juanma's header forced a good save from Bain, and the ball pinged around the box for an eternity before eventually being cleared.

The Jam Tarts had most of the possession and chances in the first half, and Djoum headed a half chance wide from from Cowie's cross following a short corner.

Dundee almost took the lead when Hearts' captain Ozturk lunged at a dangerous low cross from Cammy Kerr, turning the ball inches past his own post. Stewart's corner caused problems but Alexander punched the inswinging ball away as it grazed the crossbar.

Dundee's best spell of the half came after the half hour mark. Ozturk fouled Harkins on the right, but Stewart salvaged the ball from the wreckage to run clear with Mr Collum playing the advantage. Stewart kept going, drew Alexander, but then pulled his cutback behind Hemmings.

Hearts regained the initiative to push Dundee back towards the end of the half. Cowie shot over the bar after good work on the right by the dangerous Walker. Jordan McGhee did manage to force a header from a free kick past Bain, but he was offside. Hearts' best chance of the half fell to Djoum, but he scuffed a weak effort well wide.

Kevin Holt had the last effort before the break, running on to Stewart's clever pass, but hitting his shot from 18 yards straight at Alexander.

Shooting down the hill Dundee stormed at Hearts at the start of the second half and had three great chances in the first five minutes. A lovely move on the left ended with Nick Ross running onto's Holt's pass and cutting the ball back for McGowan to power in a shot from 16 yards. Alexander saved superbly but luck was on his side as the rebound evaded Hemmings.

If the Hearts' keeper earned his luck on that occasion he was left red-faced when his luck held out a couple of minutes later. Alexander came too far out of the penalty area to deal with a loose ball by the touchline. Before he could clear Stewart nicked the ball away from him and played it back to Gary Harkins who laid it off for Paul McGowan to loft a shot over the rapidly covering defenders from 25 yards. With Alexander frantically trying to get back to his goal the ball sailed just over the bar.

Dundee kept at Hearts' throats and Cammy Kerr fired a great chance over the bar from 12 yards after Stewart and Hemmings had sliced open the Hearts' defence. Dundee were playing good football and looking well placed to take all the points. However, it was Hearts who grabbed a goal, against the run of play, which owed everything to quick thinking opportunism. The Jam Tarts won a free kick on the half way line, and with Dundee losing concentration, Djoum played a quick through ball for Jamie WALKER to run clear, take the ball round Bain and score.

The goal allowed Hearts to settle and dictate the pace of the game. They might have quickly added to their lead when Juanma twice muscled his way into good positions. Bain saved well from the first and Paul McGinn managed to block Cowie's shot the second time.

After that brief flurry Hearts were large content to sit back and attack on the break. For a frustratingly long time nothing much happened; Dundee passed their way around the Hearts defence without opening them up, and the visitors occasionally launched quick raids upfield.

The Dark Blues tried to force an opening by sending on Craig Wighton and Rory Loy for Gadzhalov and Harkins. The only chance created by Dundee after the goal fell to Loy 10 minutes from the end, and what a great opportunity it was. He was sent running clear but, with only Alexander to beat, allowed the keeper to parry, with Smith chasing back to clear the bouncing ball before it crossed the line.

Hearts came close themselves to a late goal, when Walker's persistence on the left gave McGhee a chance, but his shot was deflected wide. The very last action was a free kick for Dundee 30 yards from goal, but Stewart's effort was too high.

Dundee didn't play badly today, and in brief patches played some very nice football. However, they didn't play well enough consistently and they looked vulnerable to simple incisive balls through the middle, such as the one that led to the goal. Ultimately, in a game of many chances, they lost out to opponents who had the game knowledge to see the game out once they managed to take one of their chances. Aside from the great chance that fell to Rory Loy, the Hearts defence had the nous to deal with Dundee's pressure and earned their club the points.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at March 12th, 2016)

2015-16 All Time
Scott Bain (GK)24 34 - 60 -
Kevin Holt23 303303
Paul McGinn25 331723
Darren O'Dea29 10 - 10 -
Kostadin Gadzhalov26 11 - 20 -
Cammy Kerr20 6 - 11 -
Gary Harkins31 30416133
Paul McGowan28 291632
Nick Ross24 331331
Greg Stewart25 3397224
Kane Hemmings24 33203320
Craig Wighton (sub)18 7 - 383
Rory Loy (sub)27 287287

League Table (as at March 12th, 2016)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Good afternoon and welcome to Dens as we take on Hearts for the third time this season.

I'd like to start by welcoming Robbie Neilson and his back room staff as well as both sets of supporters along to the match today.

We have played out two close encounters with Hearts already this season. The previous game at Dens back in August saw us take the lead during a very impressive first half performance from the team.

Hearts hit back in the second half and we were disappointed not to take anything from that game.

The match at Tynecastle in November was a similarly close contest with Hearts taking the lead but this time we came back and took a point from a difficult venue.

Since then Hearts have continued their good form and find themselves in third place in the league. A great achievement to be in that position at this stage of the season, given it is their first season back in the top flight and we know we will be in for a tough contest this afternoon.

This will be the first of a number of tough games which are coming thick and fast as we look to secure our place in the top six.

Enjoy the match.