Dundee 2
Partick Thistle 1
League (Premier League)

2 - 1

League (Premier League)
Saturday, April 3rd, 2004
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,084
3:00 PM Kick-off

Steven Milne (2)
Nacho Novo (90)
Andy Thomson (14)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Derek Whyte

Starting Eleven
1. Julian Speroni
3. David Mackay
19. Lee Mair
18. Brent Sancho
30. Mark Fotheringham
26. Garry Brady
34. Dougie Cameron
24. Neil Barrett
17. Nacho Novo
25. Steve Lovell
15. Steven Milne
Jamie Langfield .1
Jean Yves Anis .28
Daniele Chiarini .30
Grant Murray .5
Billy Gibson .29
Jamie Mitchell .7
David Rowson. 19
Ian Ross .3
Derek Fleming .18
Stephane Bonnes .8
Andy Thomson .27

22. Derek Soutar
28. Stephen McNally
31. Chris Hegarty
21. Steven Robb
5. Sebastian Kneissl
Kenny Arthur. 12
Adrian Madaschi. 32
Gerry Britton .9
James Grady .16
Willie Howie .24

Steven Robb for Steven Milne (66)
Sebastian Kneissl for Steve Lovell (81)
James Grady for Stephane Bonnes (50)
Willie Howie for Derek Fleming (80)
Gerry Britton for Andy Thomson (83)

Steven Milne (44)
Stephane Bonnes (44)
Grant Murray (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Stuart Shearer & Willie Dishington (Assistants)
Andrew Hunter (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Nacho Novo pounced in the last minute to scramble home the goal which gave Dundee all three points after a match which proved more difficult than had appeared likely in the early stages.

Former Dens favourite James Grady was on the bench, but with Lee Wilkie and Barry Smith missing through long term injury not one of the players who were team mates from his final Dens season was included in the Dens line up. Brent Sancho started after his midweek exertions on international duty, but Jonay Hemandez wasn't included in the squad, Dougie Cameron again deputising. Neil Barrett was back in the starting eleven after missing the trip to Tynecastle through injury.

In beautiful sunshine Dundee started in top gear with Steven Milne racing onto Brent Sancho's lofted ball and lobbing a second minute opener over Jamie Langfield.

It was the kind of opening salvo which should have settled Dundee and initially that's what appeared to be happening, the Dark Blues having several chances to put them selves on easy street. Those including an awful miss by top scorer Novo who rounded Langfield and rolled the ball goalwards only to watch Grant Murray get back to clear off the line, just two minutes after Milne's opener.

The Dark Blues had another couple of good opportunities but failed to make Thistle pay for some indecisive defending. After spurning those chances, it was almost inevitable that Thistle would score with their first attack which was exactly what happened on the quarter hour as Thomson headed home Mitchell's cross Thereafter, Thistle strangled the quality out of the match and the sunshine disappeared with Dens lashed by heavy rain for the remainder of the contest.

Rowson fired a superb 30 yarder inches over on 36 minutes, and Speroni did well to tip Thomson's downward header round the post just before the interval. Steven Milne picked up a booking as half time approached for reacting to a Bonnes tackle.

James Grady came on just after the break to a great reception from all sides of the stadium and he fired in a shot on 50 minutes but straight at Speroni.

Five minutes later. Lovell jinked clear, leaving a couple of defenders on their backsides, but he mis-controlled as Langfield advanced and the former Dens catcher got down to gather.

Grady managed the difficult task of getting the home support to boo him a little later when he went down with ease. but at least there was a semblance of a challenge on that occasion, though twice later, Thistle players tumbled in comical manner and had the gall to appeal for penalties.

Midway through the second half, Jim Duffy threw on Steven Robb with goalscorer Milne making way for him and three minutes later, Lee Mair showed why he doesn't play up front as a comer arrived at his feet only to be despatched high into the Bobby Cox Stand.

With ten minutes to go, Sebastian Kneissl was introduced and almost made an instant impact, showing a neat touch to make space, only for his shot to be blocked.

The German's strength would be a factor in the winner however. The match looked to be heading for a share of the points until Murray downed Steven Robb wide on the left, with seconds to go. Garry Brady curled in the free kick and when substitute Sebastian Kneissl challenged Jamie Langfield, the ball broke to Novo who reacted quickly to poach the winner.

Nacho will have loved it, he's had plenty of abuse from Thistle fans since his days at Raith and has paid them back handsomely with goals in all three games against the Maryhill team this term.

In those games, Derek Whyte and Gerry Britton's men have undeniably been somewhat unlucky. They could easily have had at least a point from the previous two defeats, but Dundee just about deserved this one though, if only for the early dazzle and Nacho's predatory instincts when it mattered.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at April 3rd, 2004)

2003-04 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)24 40 - 107 -
David Mackay22 38 - 992
Brent Sancho27 18 - 18 -
Lee Mair23 381722
Mark Fotheringham20 254254
Neil Barrett22 101101
Dougie Cameron21 7 - 7 -
Garry Brady27 37 - 701
Steven Milne23 15411021
Steve Lovell23 2225717
Nacho Novo25 39228231
Sebastian Kneissl (sub) - 8181
Steven Robb (sub)22 141261

League Table (as at April 3rd, 2004)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Given that the last three

games were against Celtic, Rangers and Hearts, we couldn't have had it much tougher.

However, no matter how difficult that trio of games may have been, there is no disguising the fact that at the end of the day, we haven't picked up any points and that was a bit disappointing.

The facts speak from themselves and as things stand just now, I don't see any real purpose being served by being over critical of the players.

Right now, the most important thing is carrying the club forward, and being in existence next season.

That and having our own ground as well as coming out of administration go way beyond a few bad results.

Having said that, our next three games are all in the city of Dundee and they are games that we are capable of doing well in.

In addition to Partick Thistle this afternoon, we meet Hibs in a fortnight's time with the derby against United sandwiched between them.

A derby always lifts players and it is one fixture which we are most definitely looking forward to.

Before then, however, we face Partick Thistle who have been playing very well without getting the breaks as was very much the case when we beat them at Firhill.

We'll therefore have to ensure that we keep our level of commitment high and hope that the breaks favour us, because in the short-term, we need a victory to get us back on track.