Dundee 3
Heart of Midlothian 0

3 - 0

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Dens Park
Attendance: 2,551
7:45 PM Kick-off

Gary Harkins (pen.) (32)
Luka Tankulic (49)
Luka Tankulic (74)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Robbie Neilson

Starting Eleven
1. Kyle Letheren
5. James McPake
3. Willie Dyer
19. Paul McGinn
4. Thomas Konrad
29. Gary Harkins
11. Simon Ferry
18. Paul McGowan
20. Jim McAlister
9. Peter MacDonald
15. Greg Stewart
Scott Gallacher .15
Callum Paterson .2
Jordan McGhee .30
Brad McKay .22
Kevin McHattie .3
Billy King .12
Jason Holt .10
Prince Buaben .17
David Smith .14
James Keatings .19
Dale Carrick .18

27. Grant Adam
17. Kyle Benedictus
30. Cammy Kerr
8. Kevin McBride
7. Nicky Riley
33. Craig Wighton
14. Phillip Roberts
23. Martin Boyle
21. Luka Tankulic
Neil Alexander .1
Danny Wilson .4
Alim Ozturk .5
Gary Oliver .16
Morgaro Gomis .6
Scott Robinson .8
Jamie Walker .7

Kyle Benedictus for James McPake (46)
Kevin McBride for Simon Ferry (46)
Martin Boyle for Gary Harkins (46)
Phillip Roberts for Jim McAlister (46)
Luka Tankulic for Peter MacDonald (46)
Craig Wighton for Greg Stewart (46)
Cammy Kerr for Paul McGinn (62)
Nicky Riley for Paul McGowan (62)
Jamie Walker for David Smith (46)
Gary Oliver for Billy King (58)
Morgaro Gomis for Jason Holt (58)
Scott Robinson for Prince Buaben (58)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Stuart Stevenson & Steven Traynor (Assistants)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee delighted their supporters with an excellent 3-0 win over Hearts in tonight's friendly at Dens Park. The scoreline reflected the Dark Blues' superiority all over the field and throughout the 90 minutes in spite of eight substitutions. Gary Harkins put the Dee ahead from the penalty spot. However, new signing Luka Tankulic will grab the headlines with two superb goals after coming on at half time.

Paul Hartley fielded an adventurous 4-4-2 formation with plenty of attacking threat. The midfield four adopted a diamond, with Ferry at the base, McGowan and McAlister at either side, and Harkins at the front just behind the strikers.

The Dark Blues' football matched the beautiful sunny evening and the supporters settled back to enjoy a treat. Dundee looked like they belonged in a division higher than a youthful Hearts team, who struggled to compete throughout.

Dundee should have taken the lead after seven minutes when Harkins stabbed McGinn's cross wide. The chance came at the end of a sweet, flowing move, the first of many.

Three minutes later MacDonald's flick sent the ball spinning wide of the post after McAlister's drive into the box had opened up the defence. MacDonald then came agonisingly close to the opening goal when his 23 yard free kick came back off the post with Gallacher beaten.

Dundee's movement and close passing was a delight to watch and showed a vast improvement on last season. The Dark Blues were aided by Hearts' carelessness. The visitors made life difficult by their sloppy tendency to give the ball away cheaply. Dundee's midfield was very much in control, while MacDonald and Stewart looked lively and threatening.

Midway through the half Hearts got their game together briefly with a fast break. King found Smith moving through the middle and his 25 yard shot was straight at Letheren who parried comfortably.

Just after the half hour McGowan played a pinpoint pass inside full back McHattie for McGinn to run onto. The cross found Harkins who pushed the ball past Paterson, who felled him. Mr Thomson pointed to the spot and HARKINS took the penalty to put Dundee ahead.

Hearts had only one half chance in the first half when Paterson got his head to a corner 15 yards out, but sent the ball straight to Letheren.

The Dark Blues made six changes at half time, but retained the diamond shape. McBride was now at the base, with McGowan at the head and the width being provided by the lightning fast pair of Boyle and Roberts. Wighton and Tankulic played together as strikers for the second half and tormented the Hearts' defence.

Tankulic nearly grabbed his first only a minute into the second half but Gallacher managed to block his 12 yard shot with his legs. The German striker had to wait only another four minutes, however. TANKULIC caught Holt in possession and ran on to smash a low 22 yard shot inside Gallagher's far post.

Hearts rallied briefly and enjoyed their best spell of the match, although they never matched the Dark Blues' penetration or invention. Buaben drove down the right and set up Holt who fired too high from 15 yards in a fleeting moment of danger to Letheren's goal.

Riley and Kerr replaced McGowan and McGinn midway through the half and Dundee took firm control once again. There was a slight hiccup when Gomis robbed Riley and sent Carrick through, but Dyer and Konrad recovered quickly to pressure him into shooting wide.

The last 25 minutes was totally one sided, and Hearts were fortunate to concede only one more goal. Boyle and Tankulic broke, two on one, but the young winger failed to find his team mate and saw his shot blocked.

Tankulic was looking highly impressive and his run into the box set up Boyle, whose shot was well saved by Gallacher.

Craig Wighton looked a class act as he glided around the Hearts defence, and after 74 minutes he was upended as he danced into the penalty area. The free kick was awarded on the edge of the box and Luka TANKULIC stepped forward to blast the ball home for the final goal.

The remaining 15 minutes was highly uncomfortable for the young Hearts' defence who struggled badly against Dundee's pace, movement and passing. Tankulic was slightly unlucky not to claim a hat trick as he was involved constantly in the Hearts' penalty area. He had a half chance from a corner, spinning on the ball and forcing Gallacher to save, and he flicked the ball wide from Roberts' cross.

It was no surprise when the tannoy announced that Alan Gilzean had chosen the young German as man of the match. His compatriot Thomas Konrad had a solid 90 minutes in the Dundee defence, which had a far more comfortable match than the visitors' rearguard.

As ever we have to be careful about what we read into friendlies and it's unlikely that Dundee will face many Premiership teams who will play as poorly as Hearts tonight. However, tonight's win was very impressive, very pleasing, and definitely entertaining. Paul Hartley has said that the supporters ought to be able to see a difference in approach from last season. That comment was backed up by tonight's display, which was a massive improvement on Dundee's football of just a few months ago. Dundee were particularly impressive in midfield, and that was without captain Kevin Thomson, who has been outstanding in pre-season. There will clearly be some serious and welcome competition for places in Paul Hartley's first choice team.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at July 22nd, 2014)

2014-15 All Time

League Table (as at July 22nd, 2014)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Welcome back to Dens Park. As we are getting further into pre-season, we are looking forward to letting the fans see how the team are coming together and giving them something to look forward to for the new season.

Myself and the staff at Dens Park would like to welcome Hearts Football Club, staff and manager Robbie Nelson for tonight's pre-season friendly.

Between the Manchester City and Brechin City games, most of the players have worked for 90 minutes which has pleased me. Things have been really encouraging in terms of play, working together, attacking football and keeping a clean sheet. Getting through these games with no injuries has been vital too, and I've been pleased to see them come through these pre-season games unscathed. I've been happy with how the team have been holding the ball and look forward to seeing more of that.

The creativity the team showed me at Brechin was good and we have been working hard on this and looking at different shapes and combinations.

We have been looking at the shape of the team again since Wednesday and will be putting a team on the park tonight ready to compete as well as work the visiting goalkeeper.

As the start of the season gets ever closer the players have given us plenty to think about during pre-season. As we continue to look at the shape and endeavour to continue improving fitness levels, we are looking forward to see the players work hard against tonight's visitors. Pre-season is all about performance and gives the players a chance to show what they've got. We've seen encouraging signs of the team getting stronger and there's still room to get stronger yet.

We look forward to welcoming the fans tonight who since I came to Dundee have welcomed me and shown a real passion for our team. We couldn't do it without you and look forward to another good game.