Dundee 3
Aberdeen 2
League Cup (Third Round)

3 - 2

League Cup (Third Round)
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Dens Park
Attendance: 6,131
7:45 PM Kick-off

Eddie Malone (39)
Craig Forsyth (55)
Leigh Griffiths (105)
Michael Paton (63)
Michael Paton (88)

Team Managers
Jocky Scott
Mark McGhee

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
2. Eric Paton
3. Gary Mackenzie
4. David Cowan
5. Eddie Malone
6. Gary Harkins
7. Maroš Klimpl
8. Brian Kerr
9. Craig Forsyth
10. Sean Higgins
11. Colin McMenamin
Jamie Langfield .1
Jonathan Crawford .25
Andrew Considine .6
Jerel Ifil .22
Charlie Mulgrew .2
Richard Foster .3
Davide Grassi .18
Mark Kerr .8
Gary McDonald .4
Lee Miller .9
Darren Mackie .10

12. Tony Bullock
14. Chris Casement
15. Paul McHale
16. Leigh Griffiths
17. Pat Clarke
Stuart Nelson .21
Derek Young .14
Christopher Maguire .7
Peter Pawlett .19
Michael Paton .24

Tony Bullock for Robert Douglas (26)
Leigh Griffiths for Sean Higgins (74)
Pat Clarke for Colin McMenamin (98)
Peter Pawlett for Davide Grassi (9)
Michael Paton for Darren Mackie (57)
Christopher Maguire for Jonathan Crawford (57)

Maroš Klimpl (74)
Peter Pawlett (63)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steve Conroy (Referee)
Keith Sorbie & Willie Conquer (Assistants)
Iain Brines (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Dundee showed fantastic determination D and strength of character to win a thrilling league cup tie 3-2 here at Dens Park tonight. Substitute Leigh Griffiths was the hero with a winning goal in extra time.

Dundee made four changes to the team that lost on Saturday, with Rab Douglas, Brian Kerr, Craig Forsyth and Sean Higgins all starting. Tony Bullock, Paul McHale and Leigh Griffiths dropped onto the bench and Colin Cameron out of the squad. Gary Harkins moved over to right midfield with Forsyth replacing him on the left.

The away side got off to the stronger start and quickly established a firm grip in midfield, which they didn't relinquish throughout the first half. Dundee toiled to get into the game and couldn't keep the ball in the Aberdeen half for more than short spells.

If Dundee fans were worried by their sides poor start they were even more concerned when Rab Douglas limped off after 25 minutes, with Tony Bullock coming on to replace him.

However, in spite of their territorial dominance Aberdeen struggled to create clear chances, and fell behind to a sucker punch after 37 minutes.

Colin McMenamin won a free kick wide on the right and Gary Harkins whipped in a great free kick deep to the far post where Eddie Malone muscled his way in to head down and just inside the post.

Dundee got a huge lift from the opening goal and started to match Aberdeen for the first time in the game. However, it was clear that Dundee would have to improve greatly if they were to have a realistic chance of holding onto that lead.

That improvement duly arrived after half time, and McMenamin missed the first of three great chances just after the restart. A Harkins shot was deflected and spun into his path only 10 yards out. He took too long to bring the ball under control and Langfield was able to rush out and smother the shot.

After 53 minutes McMenamin missed an even better chance when he was put clear. He ran in on Langfield, delayed his shot till the keeper went down, and dinked it over him but narrowly wide.

The second goal was delayed only two minutes, however. In Dundee's best move of the match, Higgins and Harkins combined for Harkins to clip a lovely ball into McMenamin's feet in the centre of the penalty area. The Dundee number 9 controlled the ball quickly, and as the defence closed in on him he cleverly backheeled the ball to leave Craig Forsyth in space six yards out. The young midfielder lashed a fierce shot into the roof of the net to send the home fans wild with excitement!

Dundee grew in confidence from that goal and started to string passes together and stretch the Aberdeen defence. However, the next goal was at the other end, and what a freakish goal it was!

On 63 minutes Mulgrew hit another fierce inswinging corner to the near post that seemed to evade everyone and cross the line before Bullock could grab the ball. The goal was initially credited to Dons' substitute Michael Paton who was loitering with intent, but the fans behind the goal were adamant that no-one got a touch.

Just as Aberdeen looked as though they were falling out of the game they were suddenly right back in it with nearly half an hour to play. For the next 25 minutes play raged up and down the field, with Aberdeen pressing furiously for an equaliser and Dundee looking fully capable of grabbing a killer third. Colin McMenamin passed up a third great chance when he delayed his shot for too long when he seemed to have a clear sight of goal, and the shot was blocked. Chris Maguire squandered an equally good chance at the other end when he fired wastefully across goal.

With 15 minutes to play Dundee sent on Leigh Griffiths in place if Sean Higgins, and the youngsters pace, aggression and fresh legs immediately started to worry the Dons defence.

However, Aberdeen kept pressing and grabbed a deserved equaliser after 88 minutes when Michael Paton cut in from the right and curled a beautiful low shot round Bullock from 18 yards. The Dons players and fans celebrated the late goal wildly, and with good cause. After looking to be on the brink of losing they flourished the "get out of jail free" card and seemed odds on to be heading up the A90 with a victory. Surely Dundee couldn't pick themselves up after blowing a two goal lead?

Well, they could and did! As Aberdeen tired and left spaces in extra time Dundee started to play some cracking football and stretched the Dons defence time and again.

Harkins was magnificent in extra time, a huge contrast to an ineffectual first half. He made great use of the extra space he enjoyed, running at the Aberdeen defence and hitting great passes across the field. Leigh Griffiths chased everything, continually turning and running defenders ragged with his speed and skill.

Nevertheless, it was Paton of Aberdeen who nearly scored after 102 minutes with a fierce drive from outside the area that forced a fine save from Tony Bullock.

Dundee were quickly back on the attack, and just before the break Eddie Malone lifted a high cross into the Aberdeen penalty area. Griffiths and Langfield jumped together. The keeper got his hands to the ball, but dropped it on the far side of Griffiths, who was onto the loose ball in a flash. Langfield tried to grab the Dundee striker, but Griffiths evaded him, turned away from the panicking keeper and clipped the ball into the net, sparking off more jubilation amongst the Dundee fans.

Pat Clarke was now on for the Dee, replacing Colin McMenamin who limped off, and headed for the changing room on crutches.

The second period of extra time was classic cup tie hysteria! Aberdeen threw bodies forward trying frantically to grab another equaliser, while Dundee threatened to tear them open on the break. Dundee missed the best chance when a Clarke cross found Griffiths six yards out He should have killed the Dons off, but headed against the bar and over.

Aberdeen couldn't turn their effort and possession into worthwhile chances and Dundee ended the game by taking the ball into the corners. When the final whistle went the players and supporters celebrated long and loudly after a tough, tough win!

The sponsors man of the match was David Cowan in central defence. The much criticised Dundee defence was immense tonight, and the central defenders both deserve a big hand. For me, the man of the match would be Gary Mackenzie. He was solid, won nearly everything in the air, and took no chances.

The midfield was very disappointing in the first half, but got better and better throughout the game. Forsyth had a fine match on the left and deserved his goal. Harkins seemed to blossom as Aberdeen's midfielders faltered, and Griffiths was a star in the 45 minutes he played. This was a great team effort, but if Dundee are to get past the quarter finals, they will have to play from the start the way they played in extra time.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at September 22nd, 2009)

2009-10 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)37 2 - 173 -
David Cowan27 4 - 40 -
Maroš Klimpl29 4 - 4 -
Gary Mackenzie23 7 - 891
Eddie Malone24 101763
Eric Paton31 10 - 444
Craig Forsyth20 71111
Gary Harkins24 116116
Brian Kerr27 10 - 10 -
Sean Higgins24 8282
Colin McMenamin28 1045418
Tony Bullock (sub) (GK)37 11 - 11 -
Pat Clarke (sub)24 2 - 2 -
Leigh Griffiths (sub)19 116116

League Table (as at September 22nd, 2009)

No league table has been added for this season.