Dundee 2
St Johnstone 1
League (First Division)

2 - 1
St Johnstone 

League (First Division)
Saturday, February 10th, 2007
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,145
3:00 PM Kick-off

Derek Lyle (pen.) (64)
Gavin Swankie (81)
Jason Scotland (55)

Team Managers
Alex Rae
Owen Coyle

Starting Eleven
1. Ludovic Roy
2. Jay Shields
3. Gary Mackenzie
4. Gary Smith
5. Paul Dixon
6. Kevin McDonald
7. Scott Robertson
8. Paul McHale
9. Gavin Swankie
10. Derek Lyle
11. Robert Davidson
Kevin Cuthbert .1
Kevin James. 2
Allan McManus .3
Simon Mensing .4
Goran Stanic .5
Andy Lawrie .6
Derek McInnes .7
Martin Hardie .8
Paul Sheerin .9
Peter MacDonald .10
Jason Scotland .11

12. Danny Griffin
14. Alex Rae
15. Khalid Hamdaoui
16. Kevin Smith
17. Craig Higgins
Gordon O'Brien .12
Steven Anderson .14
Derek Lilley .15
Willie McLaren .16
Filipe Morais .17

Kevin Smith for Robert Davidson (75)
Derek Lilley for Peter MacDonald (68)
Willie McLaren for Paul Sheerin (77)
Filipe Morais for Filipe Morais (83)

Paul Dixon (57)
Scott Robertson (88)
Kevin James (16)
Simon Mensing (57)
Martin Hardie (63)
Andy Lawrie (65)
Martin Hardie (90)

Red Cards
None. Martin Hardie (90)
Match Officials

Willie Collum (Referee)

Match Report

Not for the first time this season, it took both teams time to get into their stride with the weather proving to be a vital factor, but ultimately the sides conquered the conditions and this turned into a thrilling match, decided by a magnificent goal.

After almost ten minutes of both teams trying to take command, a free kick was awarded for a foul on Bob Davidson. Gavin Swankie tried to float the ball in but the wind carried the ball wider than anticipated and the cross. was easily dealt with. Dundee were then confronted with a moment of panic just minutes later as a clearance from visiting keeper Kevin Cuthbert headed towards Ludovic Roy's goal, with Gary McKenzie saving any danger by heading the ball clear. Although in impressive form since his move from Rangers, Bob Davidson has still to net his first goal. After Kevin McDonald had cleverly danced past the St.Johnstone. defence, he squared the ball across the 18. yard line to Scott Robertson. His neat chip found Davidson whose turn and shot, fell just wide of the left hand post.

The visitors first chance came in the form of Peter MacDonald. Ex-united striker Jason. Scotland found MacDonald in space, and his fierce shot was equally matched by the in form Ludovic Roy. The first booking of the game, came in the 14th minute when away defender Kevin James fouled Scott Robertson just outside the area. Paul Dixon's free kick into the box was searching for a touch goal wards but everyone was left helpless as the wind carried the ball through the mass of players out for a goal kick.

Dundee continued to mount pressure on the visitors in search of the opening goal. After Cuthbert had again made a good save, this time from Kevin McDonald, Gavin Swankie's corner found Gary smith whose shot from the edge of the box was parried out for another corner. Davidson then had two great chance's to break the deadlock. The first came as he rushed to latch onto a loose ball, with his shot meeting the acrobatic Cuthbert, The second again came from a Swankie corner from the left. This time Davidson came even closer, as his well struck shot from the by-line was cleared off the line by the visiting defence.

It took St Johnstone until the 25th minute, to again create any sort of opportunity. A long clearance from Kevin Cuthbert, was headed out by Gary McKenzie, but unfortunately for Owen Coyle the resultant was blasted over the bar by Martin Hardie. Minutes later a ball into the box by Paul Sheerin was headed clear by Gary Smith as Jason Scotland looked ready to head into an almost empty Dundee net. This seemed to give the perth side more confidence as Peter MacDonald ran through on goal, but surprisingly, instead of heading straight towards goal, he took the ball wide on the right wing. Due to the visitors racing to get forward MacDonald squared the ball. across the box past an on looking Ludovic Roy, but there were no takers

Clever play from Peter MacDonald allowed him to lay the ball off to Jason Scotland whose shot from inside the box, was tipped out at the near past for a corner. From the comer Ludovic Roy saved Martin Hardie's overhead kick. Dundee handed St Johnstone the perfect opportunity to take the lead in the 33rd minute as a combination of Jay Shields and Gary Smith felled Paul Sheerin on the edge of the box as he rushed to retrieve a loose ball. Sheerin picked himself up to take the spot kick. Ludovic Roy pulled off the save of the day to keep the teams level.

Dundee tried to regain their composure and had the opportunity themselves to take the lead after play through the midfield allowed Paul Dixon to cross the ball perfectly onto Bob Davidson's head but his attempt fell short of the target allowing the teams to go in at the break level.

It has been proved many a time that not taking chances when they arise will always come back to haunt you, and that was the case in the 10th minute of the second half. Dundee thought they themselves had taken the lead after play from Kevin McDonald found Gavin Swankie. His shot from 20 yards out seemed destined to hit the back of the net, but unfortunately for all in dark blue his shot rebounded back into play through a combination of the upright and the crossbar. Less than a minute later the team were to regret their missed chances as Cuthbert's clearance found Jason Scotland on his own. After rounding advancing Ludovic Roy there was little more to do than stick the ball in the back of the net to give the visitors a somewhat undeserved advantage.

Having previously scared seven goals in his last six games, Derek Lyle would surely have been a firm favourite to again get his name on the score sheet. Clever play between. Davidson and Swankie allowed the latter to make a run into the box. Swankie's shot was saved by Cuthbert, but when the ball broke to Lyle he looked more than likely to score, but unfortunately for player and fans alike, his overhead kick was saved.

But Lyle was determined to get his name on the score sheet and that opportunity was handed to him on a plate in the form of Gavin Swankie as the ex-Arbroath man was hauled down in the area by Andrew Lawrie.. With the wind and rain lashing into the face of the former Queen of the South striker it was a tense moment but Lyle coolly slotted the ball past Cuthbert to make the score level at 1-1

Owen Coyle then threw on Derek Lilley in place of Peter McDonald and Paul Sheerin. being replaced by Willie McLaren. Alex Rae also rang the changes with Kevin Smith replacing Bob Davidson.

From then on Dundee picked up their game and allowed St. Johnstone little in opportunities in front of goal, with the main chance coming as Derek Lilley looked clear on to score with only Ludovic Roy to beat but as the keeper rushed to shield the ball the linesman ruled for offside, calming any danger for the Dark Blues.

Dundee and Alex Rae didn't look happy with a point however with an fine unbeaten run at home at stake. Kevin McDonald won the ball cleverly from the defence, with his ball across-field finding Gavin Swankie. He cut inside and from 22 yards out looped over the head of Kevin Cuthbert to make it 2-1. It was a deserved reward for the winger who had worked hard, like every player in Dark Blue, to establish the win.

As the final whistle approached Derek Lyle had one more chance to take his goal tally to nine goals in seven matches. Play between Kevin McDonald, Paul Dixon, Gavin Swankie found Kevin Smith whose turn and shot was saved by Cuthbert for a comer kick. The loose ball fell to Lyle but his snap shot from Swankie's swinging cross fell into the arms of the keeper once more.

For the Perth side the misery was compounded as Martin Hardie was shown a second yellow card in extra time for a late tackle on Jay Shields. Also booked in the match Dundee's Paul Dixon and St.Johnstone's Simon Mensing for an altercation between the players.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at February 10th, 2007)

2006-07 All Time
Ludovic Roy (GK)29 22 - 22 -
Paul Dixon20 28 - 672
Gary Mackenzie21 15 - 15 -
Gary Smith35 121121
Kevin McDonald18 251584
Paul McHale25 4 - 4 -
Scott Robertson21 282814
Jay Shields21 11 - 11 -
Robert Davidson20 4 - 4 -
Derek Lyle25 21132113
Gavin Swankie23 269299
Kevin Smith (sub)19 3 - 3 -

League Table (as at February 10th, 2007)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

The last three games have been very pleasing with us quietly going about our business and picking up seven out of a possible nine points.

I have to say that I was absolutely delighted with the way that the lads bounced back from the disappointment of the Scottish Cup exit at Queen of the South's hands by gaining revenge over them in the league to move up to third. By doing so, we overhauled last season's number of wins and is indicative of the progress we are making.

The goalless draw at Ross County ended a run of four straight away league defeats and I thought the team did pretty well. They certainly worked very hard for a hard fought point. We did have a couple of half chances that might have gone our way but didn't, but we couldn't have too many complaints at coming home with a point.

Dingwall is a hard place to go and we lost a couple of strikers (Kevin Smith and Bryan Deasley) to illness before the game, but the boys that came in did well.

Things panned out even better in last week's re- arranged game at Airdrie as we ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. For ninety minutes we were the team in the ascendancy and I couldn't fault anyone, it was a very good team performance. Everyone played exceptionally well. It was one of those days where everything fell into place. Earlier in the season we went to Gretna and played tremendously for forty-five minutes to secure a great result, but I think last week's game surpassed that as we did that throughout the whole ninety minutes.

Once again Derek Lyle was on target with his double at New Broomfield taking his tally to 12 since joining the Club last August. I brought him in because I knew he would lead the line and he's done that really well. And it's great to see him scoring regularly and having been able to add Kevin Smith and Bob Davidson to the squad helps take the burden off him. Derek definitely gives us something that we miss when he isn't playing and he was again in fine form last Saturday, which was capped by him scoring twice. Another very pleasing aspect of the Airdrie game was that it was our third clean sheet in a row.

All of which sets us up nicely for today's visit by St Johnstone for what I feel is arguably Scotland's match of the day. Owen Coyle's side come here on the back of an outstanding performance which saw them comprehensively beat Falkirk last Saturday on their own patch and with a bit of luck against Hibs in the CIS Cup semi-final, they would have made it an SPL double.

That tells you exactly what good form they are in and the size of our task this afternoon.

But with us also playing well, this top-of-the-table clash has the makings of being a real classic between two sides on the top of their form.