Falkirk 0
Dundee 3
Challenge Cup (Fourth Round)


0 - 3


Challenge Cup (Fourth Round)
Thursday, December 8th, 2022
Falkirk Stadium
Attendance: 1,700
7:45 PM Kick-off

None. Zak Rudden (pen.) (5)
Zak Rudden (14)
Finlay Robertson (77)

Team Managers
John McGlynn Gary Bowyer

Starting Eleven
1. PJ Morrison
22. Brad McKay
6. Coll Donaldson
26. Sean Mackie
15. Leon McCann
8. Steven Hetherington
4. Stephen McGinn
11. Craig McGuffie
73. Kai Kennedy
10. Aidan Nesbitt
19. Rumarn Burrell
Adam Legzdins .1
Ryan Sweeney .5
Cammy Kerr .2
Tyler French .4
Lee Ashcroft .14
Joe Grayson .38
Lyall Cameron .25
Finlay Robertson .19
Luke McCowan .17
Zak Rudden .20
Paul McMullan .18

31. Nicky Hogarth
12. Paddy Martin
28. Pearse Carroll
14. Finn Yeats
7. Callumn Morrison
21. Ola Lawal
16. Seb Ross
9. Juan Alegría
18. Gary Oliver
Harrison Sharp .30
Josh Mulligan .15
Max Anderson .24
Alex Jakubiak .7
Cillian Sheridan .23
Derick Osei .31

Callumn Morrison for Steven Hetherington (46)
Juan Alegría for Rumarn Burrell (46)
Ola Lawal for Craig McGuffie (46)
Gary Oliver for Brad McKay (78)
Finn Yeats for Steven Hetherington (78)
Max Anderson for Lyall Cameron (65)
Josh Mulligan for Paul McMullan (65)
Alex Jakubiak for Zak Rudden (75)
Cillian Sheridan for Luke McCowan (85)
Derick Osei for Joe Grayson (85)

None. Tyler French (43)
Lee Ashcroft (83)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Calum Scott (Referee)
Daniel McFarlane & David Doig (Assistants)
Stephen Kirkland (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee reached the quarter finals of the SPFL Trust Trophy after seeing off the Bairns with a comfortable 3-0 victory at the Falkirk Stadium. Zak Rudden put the Dee firmly in charge with two early goals, the first from the penalty spot. Falkirk tried to fight back in the second half but a glorious goal from Fin Robertson killed off the spirited Bairns. The margin of victory might have been harsh on Falkirk, but a Dee victory was never in serious doubt after the early goals.

There were four changes to the team that beat Inverness in the Championship on Saturday. Jordan McGhee, Shaun Byrne and Ben Williamson were unavailable, and Josh Mulligan was on the bench. Fin Robertson, Joe Grayson, Lyall Cameron and Luke McCowan came in as the Dee switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Dundee were almost ahead inside two minutes. Cammy Kerr crossed from the left and Zak Rudden’s volley clipped the top of the crossbar on its way over.

Both sides were quilty of giving the ball away in the opening minutes but it was Falkirk who were punished for it after five minutes. Tyler French disposessed Kai Kennedy in the Falkirk half. Paul McMullan took French’s pass and ran into the penalty area. He pushed the ball past Leon McCann, ran round him and was bundled over by the full back. Referee Calum Scott pointed to the spot and Zak RUDDEN slammed the penalty home. PJ Morrison got a hand to the shot but couldn’t keep it out.

Dundee took firm control and Falkirk struggled to get out of their own half for the next 10 minutes. It was no surprise when the Dark Blues went further ahead after 14 minutes. Luke McCowan fired over an inviting low cross from the left and Zak RUDDEN calmly stroked home his second goal of the evening from close range.

Almost immediately the Bairns created their only half chance of the first half. They had the break of the ball twice to give Kennedy space to cross. His delivery was firm and Craig McGuffie headed a couple of yards wide from eight yards.

Dundee were comfortably in control for the rest of the half. Falkirk occasionally worked their way into promising positions but couldn’t finish off moves against a strong Dee defence.

The Dark Blues looked the more likely to score the next goal and went close several times. Zak Rudden was obviously keen to complete his hat trick. He chased after a short backpass and knocked the ball past the keeper only for Sean Mackie to race back and clear before Rudden could score.

After a patient attack another fine low cross from McCowan almost forced an own goal by Sean Mackie who sliced the ball narrowly over his own bar.

Fin Robertson and Paul McMullan each had shots 20 yards that missed by a couple of feet, and Rudden had an angled drive saved by Morrison.

Falkirk’s brief recovery after the second goal fizzled out, and their play became increasingly untidy. They lost the ball repeatedly before they could get close enough to Adam Legzdins’ penalty area to worry the Dee keeper.

Dundee should have killed the game off in the first minute of the second half. Lyall Cameron had a header cleared off the goal line and Joe Grayson’s follow up flew a couple of yards wide.

The Bairns made three changes at half time, bringing on Calumn Morrison, Juan Alegria and Ola Lawal. The substitutions gave the Bairns a boost and their attacks were faster and more effective. The Dee defence was given a much tougher test for the remainder of the game. Calumn Morrison playing on the right was a constant nuisance, and Kai Kennedy was far more effective after the interval.

Falkirk’s attacks might have been more dangerous than in the first half but the Dark Blue defence ensured that Adam Legzdins did not have a serious save to make till the closing minutes.

Although the Bairns were doing far more attacking they were open in midfield and vulnerable to Dee breaks. Rudden almost punished them when he burst through the middle, but PJ Morrison raced out to clear.

Josh Mulligan and Max Anderson came off the bench to replace Paul McMullan and Lyall Cameron midway through the second half, bringing fresh energy to the Dee attacks. They were joined by Alex Jakubiak, replacing Zak Rudden who limped off after a heavy tackle.

Dundee finally settled the tie after 77 minutes when they provided a beautiful finish to a fast attack. Mulligan raced down the right, cut inside and passed across the penalty area. Jakubiak played a perfect pass back into the path of Fin ROBERTSON, who swept a delightful 22 yard shot into the corner of the net.

Two minutes later Mulligan powered through the middle and set up McCowan to shoot, but Morrison parried the angled drive.

In the last few minutes Dundee were perhaps a touch complacent and certainly too casual. The Bairns would have deserved a late consolation, and should have had a penalty when French pushed Alegria from behind as he was about to head for goal. The referee missed it, which was fortunate for the Dee defender who would otherwise have collected a second yellow card as well as conceding a penalty. French had another moment of poor judgment when he passed across his own penalty to set up a golden chance for Calumn Morrison, but Legzdins managed to block the close range shot.

The final scoreline was harsh on a Falkirk team who raised their game in the second half and made the cup tie competitive, but Dundee always looked like running out as comfortable winners after the two quick goals at the start of the match.

Despite the injury list the Dark Blues were still able to keep up the winning habit and were certainly worthy winners of what looked like being a very tricky cup tie. That is six wins on the trot now. Nobody has been able to stop the Dee winning since before Halloween. Consistency is vital, and the Dee are showing it now.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at December 8th, 2022)

2022-23 All Time
Adam Legzdins (GK)36 9 - 54 -
Lee Ashcroft29 2017510
Tyler French23 222222
Cammy Kerr27 2542478
Ryan Sweeney25 222605
Finlay Robertson20 92462
Lyall Cameron20 195235
Joe Grayson23 171171
Paul McMullan26 255898
Zak Rudden22 227358
Luke McCowan24 194559
Josh Mulligan (sub)20 232405
Max Anderson (sub)21 162837
Alex Jakubiak (sub)26 104255
Derick Osei (sub)24 9393
Cillian Sheridan (sub)33 81191

League Table (as at December 8th, 2022)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Ayr Utd 17 9 5 3 +14 32
2. Dundee 17 9 4 4 +8 31
3. Queen's Park 17 9 3 5 +6 30
4. Morton 17 8 5 4 +8 29
5. Partick 17 7 3 7 +2 24
6. Inverness CT 17 6 5 6 -2 23
7. Raith Rovers 17 7 1 9 -2 22
8. Cove Rangers 17 4 6 7 -3 18
9. Arbroath 17 2 7 8 -12 13
10. Hamilton 17 2 5 10 -19 11