Dundee 4
St Mirren 0
League (First Division)


Dundee
4 - 0
St Mirren 

League (First Division)
Saturday, December 10th, 2005
Dens Park
Attendance: 4,204
3:00 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Kevin McDonald (3)
Craig O'Reilly (72)
Craig O'Reilly (76)
Andy Ferguson (82)
None.

Team Managers
Alan Kernaghan
Gus MacPherson

Starting Eleven
1. Kelvin Jack
2. Barry Smith
3. Bobby Mann
4. Callum MacDonald
5. Paul Dixon
6. Iain Anderson
7. Scott Robertson
8. Kevin McDonald
9. Steven Robb
10. Simon Lynch
11. Steven Craig
Chris Smith .1
David van Zanten .2
Kirk Broadfoot .3
Andy Millen .4
Kevin McGowne .5
John Potter .6
Hugh Murray .7
Simon Lappin .8
Stewart Kean .9
John Sutton .10
Alan Reid .11

Bench
12. Scott Murray
14. Mark Allison
15. Garry Brady
16. Andy Ferguson
17. Craig O'Reilly
Danny McColgan .12
Mark Reilly .14
Charlie Adam .15
Mark Corcoran .16
Billy Mehmet .17

Substitutions
Craig O'Reilly for Simon Lynch (65)
Garry Brady for Iain Anderson (68)
Andy Ferguson for Steven Craig (80)
Charlie Adam for Alan Reid (58)
Billy Mehmet for Andy Millen (70)
Mark Corcoran for Stewart Kean (76)

Cautions
Simon Lynch (23)
Scott Robertson (87)
Kirk Broadfoot
Hugh Murray

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Brian Winter (Referee)
Gary Hilland & Jeff Banks (Assistants)



Match Report


A superb ten-minute display of creativity and finishing gave the clash between Dundee and the league leaders a lop-sided look, but this enthralling encounter would have been just almost as pleasing had it ended 1-0 or 4- 3, as it could have. Whilst this thumping victory was welcome to the home support, it was also an excellent football match.

St Mirren came to Dens having failed to beat the Dee in two previous meetings this term, but given their record against the everyone else, it was the Paisley side that were hot favourites at kick off time.

Dundee's youngsters though have over the last couple of weeks begun to show what they can do and it came to fruition here with masterful midfield performances from Kevin McDonald and Scott Robertson.

It was the former who got Dundee the perfect start with a deflected shot after just four minutes, his effort from the edge of the box deceived Chris Smith to find the net and subdue a noisy visiting support.

The Dark Blues looked right up for the challenge after that early boost and pinned the Buddies back throughout the opening fifteen minutes.

As time wore on Saints began to show some of the quality, which had seen them, establish a seven-point lead in the league going into this match.

On the half hour there was a big let off for the Dee when Alan Reid found space on the left of the area and fired in a low cross that, to the relief of Kelvin Jack and his defenders, found no takers.

Another let off came when Bobby Mann appeared to handle following a St Mirren free kick, but referee Brian Winter saw nothing wrong and play was allowed to continue.

The Dark Blues had been pinned back for a fair period of time, but as the interval loomed they twice carved out glorious opportunities. Firstly Steven Craig raced onto a bouncing through ball and clipped the ball over the advancing Smith before rolling his effort towards the unguarded goal, his celebrations were halted though as Broadfoot raced back to slide the ball off the line and away for a corner.

Moments later and Dundee were in again as Lynch found Robb in space, the winger took a touch and fired in a low shot that Smith finger-tipped away at full stretch.

It was a happy Dens Park as Deewok distributed sweets to the kids at half time but once the game started again it was apparent that Gus McPherson had ordered his men to up the pace in search of an equaliser. The came close in fifty minutes as John Sutton got away from the clutches of the Dens defence for the first time to fire just over from a Lappin cross.

At the other end Dundee came close just minutes after Sutton's effort, awarded a free kick twenty five yards out there was much debate between Craig, Anderson and Mann as to who would try their luck until from the bench came orders for Paul Dixon to be allowed to hit it. The youngster wandered up oh so casually and then ripped a dipping screamer towards the top corner of the net, it took a fantastic tip-over from Smith to stop Dundee's lead being doubled.

Dundee boy Charlie Adam came off the bench for the Buddies and brought the best from Kelvin Jack with a superbly struck shot which needed a save of World Cup Finals quality to keep the ball from the net.

Jack was in action again moments later when he got down incredibly quickly at Kean's feet and diverted the striker's close range effort just wide.

A goal was on the cards, but when it came it was at the other end and again via another of the Dens' kids. Craig O'Reilly had been introduced to replace Simon Lynch and had only been on the park seven minutes when he scored his first top team goal. Paul Dixon picked out Steven Robb with an excellent pass and the winger surged deep into the visitors' box before squaring for O'Reilly to net from six yards.

Kean had an instant opportunity to reduce that newly won two-goal margin as he raced free of the Dens defence, but as he prepared to pull the trigger the ball bobbled and he was left listening to howls of derision as the ball nestled safely in Jack's arms.

Saints would almost instantly rue that miss as thirty seconds later Dundee were three up via some fantastic individual play. Steven Robb twisted and turned past two challenges inside the centre circle before feeding Scott Robertson who set off on a lung bursting run, which took him through a crunching tackle from Broadfoot, once in the box he picked out Craig and although Smith parried his effort O'Reilly was on hand to gleefully pounce on the opportunity and clip home his second of the afternoon.

If O'Reilly had made a quick impact after his introduction then Andy Ferguson's was even more marked. He was introduced to the action, replacing Craig, in 80 minutes and just two minutes later was standing in front of the Bobby Cox Stand lapping up the adulation after notching his second goal of the season. His strike had come when he reacted quickest after Smith could only parry another blistering free kick from Dixon.

Still St Mirren wouldn't lie down and Jack demonstrated that David Beckham won't just be able to pick his spot from free kicks in Germany next summer as he pulled off a magnificent stop from an Adam dipping set piece.

Twice in the next couple of minutes Dundee scrambled the ball off the line as Saints strove in vain for a consolation strike, but by then many of the visiting support had headed for the buses, still defiantly singing "We're top of the league and you're no," It's a song which made it's debut on Scotland's terraces eight years ago as Dundee walked the First Division to it's tune.

Before this match the Buddies had looked likely to do much the same - Now there may just be a little doubt in the minds of those down Paisley way and just a glimmer of hope for the fans who had witnessed Dundee show how good a team they are for the first time this season.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme



Squad Statistics (as at December 10th, 2005)


2005-06 All Time
Age
Kelvin Jack (GK) - 14 - 16 -
Paul Dixon19 16 - 16 -
Bobby Mann31 222542
Barry Smith31 22 - 4104
Callum MacDonald22 12 - 541
Steven Robb23 16 - 804
Kevin McDonald17 101101
Iain Anderson28 15219025
Scott Robertson20 211311
Simon Lynch23 22112211
Steven Craig24 7373
Garry Brady (sub)29 19 - 1242
Andy Ferguson (sub) - 162162
Craig O'Reilly (sub)18 5252






League Table (as at December 10th, 2005)


No league table has been added for this season.


Manager's Programme Notes


Good afternoon and welcome to Dens for today's match against St Mirren. They have had a fantastic first half to the season and sit where we all would like to be at the top of the table. Gus McPherson is doing a fine job down at Love Street and in Sutton and Keane up front has a strike partnership who are scoring for fun.

A cutting edge up front is something we've been lacking in recent games, I was frustrated more than disappointed at Stranraer last week, we managed to match their work-rate and determination, and we played a little bit of decent football, but unfortunately it was all from defenders and midfield. We're building on performances but there's still not that cutting edge yet.

Our front players didn't look like creating or taking anything, that was disappointing and that bears out my frustration that it took us to the 89th minute to have a real decent effort at goal. I'd like to add a striker with more of a physical presence than we've got at the moment when the transfer window opens, but that's something a lot of clubs would like to do and we'll just have to see what's available. In certain areas we're doing a little better, I was pleased defensively last week and we battled away."

We were very fortunate that the Development Club dug deep and enabled us to stay overnight down in Stranraer, and the preparations couldn't have been any better. The players had looked bright all week, in fact it was the best week's training since I came to the club and it's just unfortunate that we didn't have that little bit extra when the match came along.

At them moment we're miles behind today's visitors in the league table, but we certainly haven't given up, Admittedly, it's a tough task, but, starting today, we'll keep trying to claw back the deficit. If we beat them, it would certainly help, and we are well capable of doing so, but one swallow doesn't make a summer. We're not kidding ourselves of the task we have, and we have to start building a team that looks like it's going to win games, it's the old draw thing that's been coming back to haunt us, but we have to keep going.