Dundee 1
Airdrieonians (2002) 0
League (First Division)


Dundee
1 - 0
Airdrie (2002) 

League (First Division)
Saturday, November 25th, 2006
Dens Park
Attendance: 3,528
3:00 PM Kick-off

Goalscorers
Gary Smith (37)
None.

Team Managers
Alex Rae
Kenny Black

Starting Eleven
1. Ludovic Roy
2. Danny Griffin
3. Bobby Mann
4. Gary Smith
5. Paul Dixon
6. Kevin McDonald
7. Scott Robertson
8. Alex Rae
9. Gavin Swankie
10. Derek Lyle
11. Bryan Deasley
Stevie Robertson .1
Marc Smyth .2
Paul Lovering. 3
Neil McGowan .4
Graeme Holmes .5
Stuart Taylor .6
Steven McDougall .7
Kevin McDonald .8
Stephen McKeown .9
Xavier Barrau .10
Bryan Prunty .11

Bench
12. Callum Reidford
14. Greg Strong
15. Jon Boggan
16. Callum MacDonald
17. Robert Campbell
Lee Hollis .12
Steven McKenna .14
Gary Tierney .15
Gary Twigg .16
Aimé Koudou .17

Substitutions
Greg Strong for Bryan Deasley (77)
Robert Campbell for Gavin Swankie (81)
Gary Tierney for Neil McGowan (46)
Gary Twigg for Bryan Prunty (68)
Aimé Koudou for Stephen McKeown (75)

Cautions
None. Marc Smyth (46)
Stuart Taylor (63)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Scott MacDonald (Referee)
Frank McDermott & Morag Pirie (Assistants)


Match Report


New boy Gary Smith celebrated his home debut with the only goal of the game as Dundee made sure that Airdrie United would remain rooted to the foot of the first division, and the veteran defender also showed much of the quality that prompted Alex Rae to bring him to Dens.

"He's got vast experience, you don't play at the top level for more than a decade if you can't perform" said Rae, adding "The goal was a bonus, but a deserved bonus as far as we were concerned"

It took Dundee just one minute of the match to create the first chance, Paul Dixon's ball up the left was met by Bryan Deasley and the striker's pace took him clean through on goal, he tried to be a little too cute with his chip though and Airdrie keeper Stephen Robertson saved.

But after that lively opening the first half settled down into a contest which saw both sides give the ball away all too regularly, Airdrie having a fair amount of pressure but rarely threatening though a hopeful free kick provided Bryan Prunty with a chance for the Diamonds on 34 minutes, his scissor kick clipping the top of the bar.

Just two minutes later came only the goal of the game, following a corner won when Alex Rae's rasping free kick was deflected just over the bar. Gavin Swankie's set-piece got a touch on from the head of Stephen McKeown and Smith had the goal at his mercy from a central position five yards out he made no mistake with a glancing header into the corner of the net.

Ludovic Roy had to be alert to keep Dundee ahead as McGowan picked up a long ball from Lovering and fired in a shot two minutes after the goal, but it was Dundee who came closest to adding to their tally seconds before the break.

Gavin Swankie curled in a free kick from the left with pace and Derek Lyle found himself space to attack it at the back post, the striker was at full stretch though and his effort went high and wide of the target.

Ten minutes into the second period Airdrie against struck woodwork as Dundee struggled the clear a corner, Roy parried a McDonald shot before Prunty's overhead flick found Stuart Taylor who looped a shot off the top of the bar.

That seemed to give Dundee the drive to attempt to kill off the game and with Alex Rae and the busy Scott Robertson driving them forward they came close on the hour A fine cross from Kevin McDonald finding the head of Derek Lyle who crashed a header inches wide.

There was a strong Dundee claim for a penalty as Deasley was sent crashing on the left corner of the penalty area, but referee Scott MacDonald gave a free kick inches outside the box instead, to be fair to the official it would have been near impossible for him to determine the exact spot the foul took place from his position on the pitch.

In 77 minutes the tiring Deasley departed the scene after a busy and lively display from the youngster, his replacement at first seemed to be defensive Greg Strong being the substitute, but it immediately became apparent that the Englishman would play up front, as he had on a few occasions with clubs down south.

Three minutes later Robert Campbell replaced Swankie and he was quickly involved firing a shot just wide in 83 minutes but he would come even closer a minute later, Derek Lyle picked out Kevin McDonald wide on the right and a great cross from the midfielder was met by Campbell at the back post, his effort crashing back off the underside of the bar.

As the game went into injury time there momentarily appeared to be a chance for makeshift centre-forward Strong, he showed good touches as he raced onto a through ball but the play was called back for a marginal offside decision.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme



Squad Statistics (as at November 25th, 2006)


2006-07 All Time
Age
Ludovic Roy (GK)29 11 - 11 -
Paul Dixon20 16 - 552
Gary Smith35 2121
Bobby Mann32 121895
Alex Rae37 152152
Kevin McDonald18 151484
Scott Robertson21 16 - 692
Danny Griffin29 14 - 14 -
Gavin Swankie23 175205
Derek Lyle25 9595
Bryan Deasley18 10 - 293
Greg Strong (sub)31 161161
Robert Campbell (sub) - 11 - 11 -






League Table (as at November 25th, 2006)


No league table has been added for this season.


Manager's Programme Notes


Obviously it was disappointing that last week's defeat at Dumfries left us trailing leaders Gretna by 10 points, but given that we are only a little over a third of the way through the season, I fully believe that we can still close that gap.

I keep saying it, but our problem is not so much consistency as a lack of bodies. When we have everyone available we are capable of competing with anyone in the division. What we need to do now is to win a few more games in the next couple of months and then, when the transfer window opens, add some more experience.

You only have to look at our last three games to see how up and down results in this league are, and not just our own.

For a start, despite losing 3-1 to Gretna in our last home game, I honestly don't think there was a lot between the teams.

In the end, Andy McLaren's sending-off was a factor and while their second goal was a good finish, the way the ball got to Steve Tosh involved a big slice of luck for them.

The one big thing in our favour that weekend was that we didn't fall any further behind the top of the table.

The following week I was particularly pleased with the character shown by the team to win at Livingston. Especially in the way they fought back after Livi had equalised early in the second half.

Losing a goal quickly after the break certainly wasn't in the game plan, but after a bit of pressure from them after they levelled, we got our noses back in front and I thought we were in control for much of the match.

When you look at us, we look like a team near the top of the table, but we are being hurt by the goals we are losing.

Last week at Dumfries, we started very brightly and played some good football, but then there was a lull in the game when neither team was doing much and that was when we gave away a bad goal. In fact both goals were poor ones to lose from a defensive point of view.

That's just being happening too often recently and is why we are where we are and not higher up the league. It's something that has to be rectified.

In all honesty I thought Queens deserved to win. We went there thinking we could have got something out of the game and it wasn't to be. We seem to be able to raise it against Livingston, St Johnstone and Gretna, teams like that, then when it comes to teams you would expect to do well against, we don't seem to do it.

As a result this afternoon's game against Airdrie United comes into the must win category. Despite Airdrie's league position, it won't be easy because they gave us a tough game down there earlier this season and, with Kenny Black taking full control of the team for the first time, they'll get a lift, and especially after beating St Johnstone last Saturday!