Raith Rovers 1
Dundee 2

Raith Rovers 

1 - 2


Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
Stark Park
7:45 PM Kick-off

James Craigen (51) Kane Hemmings (22)
Julen Etxabeguren (47)

Team Managers
Ray McKinnon Paul Hartley

Starting Eleven
20. David McGurn
2. Jason Thomson
5. Lewis Toshney
6. Kyle Benedictus
23. Rory McKeown
7. Grant Anderson
4. Ross Callachan
8. Ryan McCord
28. James Craigen
10. Lewis Vaughan
9. Mark Stewart
Scott Bain .1
James McPake .5
Gary Irvine .2
Thomas Konrad .4
Kevin Holt .3
Gary Harkins .29
Nicky Low .8
Nick Ross .17
Greg Stewart .7
Kane Hemmings .15
Rory Loy .9

1. Kevin Cuthbert
17. Ross Laidlaw
26. Jonny Court
27. Kieran Campbell
11. Mitchel Megginson
12. Ross Matthews
3. Darren Petrie
30. Scott Robertson
22. David Bates
25. Elliot Ford
David Mitchell .12
Paul McGinn .19
Daryll Meggatt .6
Julen Etxabeguren .16
Andrew Black .24
Phillip Roberts .14
Luka Tankulic .21

Mitchel Megginson for Grant Anderson (62)
Ross Matthews for Ross Callachan (69)
Darren Petrie for Ryan McCord (69)
Scott Robertson for James Craigen (75)
David Bates for Kyle Benedictus (75)
Elliot Ford for Jason Thomson (85)
Paul McGinn for Gary Irvine (46)
Julen Etxabeguren for Thomas Konrad (46)
Daryll Meggatt for James McPake (46)
Luka Tankulic for Rory Loy (46)
Andrew Black for Nick Ross (67)
Phillip Roberts for Kane Hemmings (67)

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

John McKendrick (Referee)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee opened their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 victory over Raith Rovers at Starks Park. Newcomers Kane Hemmings and Julen Etxabeguren put the Dark Blues two up before James Craigen pulled a goal back for Rovers in a match that was extremely tough and competitive for a friendly.

The game got off to such a lively start that referee Mr McKendrick's patience was stretched by some hefty challenges by both sides. The opening stages offered plenty of legal excitement as each team took turns to hit the woodwork. In the second minute Kane Hemmings moved onto a loose ball and lashed a low 25 yarder against keeper McGurn's post. Next it was the turn of Lewis Vaughan to rattle Scott Bain's crossbar after the Dee keeper had failed to hold Mark Stewart's shot.

Rovers never came nearly as close again in an increasingly one sided first half. Hemmings was keen to shoot on sight and another effort from distance was deflected wide for a corner. A neat move down the left ended with Hemmings spinning on the ball and shooting over the bar.

The opening goal came midway through the first half after Nick Ross broke up a Rovers' attack. Greg Stewart raced through the midfield and returned the ball to Ross, who found HEMMINGS in space to drill a low shot past McGurn.

The Dark Blues settled down in control of the match. Nicky Low was particularly prominent showing lots of energy and bite, and a good range of passing. Dundee were able to hold onto the ball patiently in the Rovers' half, probing dangerously for openings. The midfield diamond, with Gary Harkins in a surprisingly deep role, and Stewart in the advanced spot behind the strikers, was proving highly effective at dominating the home side. The final member of the midfield was Nick Ross, who showed himself to be a neat and clever player, linking well with his colleagues. Width was provided by energetic bursts up the wings by full backs Gary Irvine and Kevin Holt.

Up front Rory Loy and Kane Hemmings, ably assisted by Greg Stewart, were giving the Rovers' defence a testing evening. The home side must have been happy to reach the break only a goal behind. Hemmings came closest to a second after a lovely combination with Stewart, but his curling shot was well saved by McGurn.

The Dark Blues made four changes at half time; Paul McGinn, Darryl Meggatt and Julen Etxabeguren came on in defence for Gary Irvine, Thomas Konrad and James McPake. In attack Luka Tankulic replaced Rory Loy.

It took only two minutes of the second for the Dee to add to their lead. Stewart found space wide on the left from a free kick. His hard, low cross was missed by McGurn. Meggatt took a stab at the ball, but his central defensive partner Julen ETXABEGUREN tapped it over the line at the far post.

Rovers had looked out of contention, but surprisingly pulled a goal back quickly. Anderson's low cross from the right was deflected into the path of James CRAIGEN who scooped the ball past Bain for a goal that was almost as scruffy as the one the Dark Blues had just scored.

Craigen might not have connected cleanly with that shot, but when he took aim from 20 yards a few minutes later he couldn't have hit the ball any more sweetly. Bain was happy to push the thunderbolt round the post for a corner.

Rovers stepped up a gear after their goal and competed much more effectively. Etxabeguren and Meggatt both looked capable individually, but as a pairing they were still a work in progress. Rovers threatened to get through gaps in the Dee's defence on more than one occasion in the second half. Rovers had their best spell of the game in the 15 minutes that followed the goal and should have equalised after an hour. Vaughan beat a high and square defensive line to run clear. He rolled the ball across goal to set up a golden chance for former Dee Mark Stewart, who took a heavy touch and allowed a grateful Bain to block.

Dundee regained control after that scare and twice went close. Low and Stewart each had goal-bound shots deflected just outside the woodwork. Midway through the half the Dark Blues made their last two substitutions. Andy Black and Philip Roberts came on for Nick Ross and Kane Hemmings. The Dee had the better of the game in the closing stages, but long spells of possession football didn't produce any more clear chances. Rovers made all six of their substitutions in the last half hour, and lost much of the impetus their goal had given them.

The final attempt of the evening was by Lewis Vaughan, whose free kick from just outside the penalty area had to be tipped over the bar by Bain.

Tonight's game was conspicuously more robust than the average pre-season friendly. The frequent lectures from the referee following illegal tackles suggested that there may have been a good few bookings if this had been a competitive match. Dundee's approach was based on keeping the ball and working hard to get it back when Rovers did have it. Some of the Dark Blues possession football was very pleasing to watch, although they might have shown greater urgency at times to penetrate the home defence. Nevertheless, the win was well deserved and the Dark Blues looked a much sharper and more composed team than their Championship opponents.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at July 15th, 2015)

2015-16 All Time

League Table (as at July 15th, 2015)

No league table has been added for this season.