Dundee 3
St Johnstone 2
League (First Division)

3 - 2
St Johnstone 

League (First Division)
Saturday, March 1st, 2008
Dens Park
Attendance: 6,192
3:00 PM Kick-off

Mickaël Antoine-Curier (40)
Colin McMenamin (74)
Colin McMenamin (90)
Jody Morris (72)
Andy Jackson (80)

Team Managers
Alex Rae
Derek McInnes

Starting Eleven
1. Craig Samson
2. David Cowan
3. Gary Mackenzie
4. Milan Palenik
5. Paul Dixon
6. Frédéric Daquin
7. Scott Robertson
8. Kevin McDonald
9. Eddie Malone
10. Colin McMenamin
11. Mickaël Antoine-Curier
Alan Main .1
Allan McManus .2
Kevin Rutkiewicz .3
Goran Stanic .4
Gary Irvine .5
Rocco Quinn .6
Sean Lynch .7
Paul Sheerin .8
Andy Jackson .9
Peter MacDonald. 10
Steven Milne .11

12. Ludovic Roy
14. David Worrell
15. Robert Davidson
16. David O'Brien
17. Derek Lyle
Kevin Cuthbert .12
Kevin Moon .14
Barry Wilson .15
Jody Morris .16
David Weatherston .17

Derek Lyle for Scott Robertson (52)
David O'Brien for Frédéric Daquin (90)
Barry Wilson for Rocco Quinn (46)
Jody Morris for Sean Lynch (62)
David Weatherstone for Peter MacDonald (87)

Kevin McDonald (18)
Frédéric Daquin (70)
Gary Mackenzie (81)
Derek Lyle (82)
Colin McMenamin (90)
Kevin Rutkiewicz (52)
Andy Jackson (79)
Alan Main (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Stuart Dougal (Referee)
Matt Northcroft & Cammy McKay (Assistants)

Match Report

It looked to be a point apiece in this promotion battle but a winner deep into injury time by Colin McMenamin saw Dundee's bid for the First Division title boosted after being pegged back twice by the Perth side.

The partnership of Curier and McMenamin once again struck gold, sharing the three goals between them, and this run of form could prove vital as the gap on leaders Hamilton closed to two points with the teams still to meet both home and away before the the title will be decided.

Curier netted his sixth in four games while McMenamin scored his fourth and fifth of his short spell at the club. Curier opened the scoring just before half time with Jody Morris levelling things up mid-way through the second half. McMenamin's quick reply looked to have stunned the visitors before Andy Jackson once again drew Saints back but McMenamin sent the Dens Park faithful crazy with the last kick of the ball.

The first forty-five minutes saw Dundee take control and they should have taken a bigger lead into the interval. They set their stall out to attack from the start with Curier testing Alan Main as early as the first minute. His shot was parried by the keeper straight into the path of Scott Robertson who's shot was deflected wide. Curier then showed some fancy footwork down the right wing to set up Robertson whose first time shot found it's way into the visiting support.

Dundee and in particular, Curier, were causing Derek McInnes' men all sorts of problems as they failed to create a foothold in the game. The Frenchman found himself one on one with Main but the keeper won the race to the ball clearing only as far as Malone whose shot from thirty yards with the keeper off his line failed to land on target.

In the 36th minute Curier looked to have the goal his play deserved but it was chopped off for offside. Eddie Malone sent Curier, who looked to have timed his run to perfection, through before slipping the ball under the on-rushing Main but the celebrations were short-lived. However the on-loan Hibs forward did give the fans something to cheer about in the 41st minute as Dundee took the lead. Freddie Daquin's corner was met by a melee of players in the area with the ball somehow finding it's way out for a throw-in. Paul Dixon's throw broke to Curier who somehow netted what seemed to be his hardest chance of the first half to send the team in 1-0 up at half time.

With three minutes of the second half gone Scott Robertson fell awkwardly at the corner flag and was stretchered off to be replaced by Derek Lyle.

Curier grabbed a hat-trick in the previous week's fixture against Stirling and the striker looked dangerous every time he collected the ball. Kevin McDonald's through ball to Curier carried just too much pace with Main collecting ahead of the striker.

It was the 59th minute before St.Johnstone could muster an attack to test the Dundee rear-guard. Steven Milne looked to be in an offside position as he collected the ball but the linesman kept his flag down. Mackenzie and Palenik were both late to react with former Dens Park favourite Milne beating Samson but failing to hit the back of the net.

Once again Curier was in the centre of Dundee's attack and he should have doubled the side's advantage on the hour mark but for the intervention of the crossbar. His shot from six yards crashed back off the upright before being pushed onto the crossbar and out to Palenik. The Czech set up Gary Mackenzie who made space for himself before shooting just wide of Alan Main's left post.

In the 62nd minute new Saints signing Jody Morris replaced Sean Lynch and he was on the park a matter of minutes before he drew his side level. Goran Stanic's cross was met by Morris whose header soared into the top corner past Samson.

Only two minutes passed before Dundee once again took the lead. Eddie Malone was fouled by Gary Irvine on the left wing and from Paul Dixon's resultant free kick McMenamin netted his first of the day much to the delight of the home support. He was however booked for his celebration by referee Stuart Dougal.

With ten minutes remaining Andy Jackson looked to have kept his side's slim chance of promotion alive as he drew Saints level for a second time. Peter MacDonald's chip over the defence let in Jackson who neatly tucked the ball past Samson before the keeper could react. Steven Milne then had an over- head shot held by Samson while Bob Davidson - on to replace goal-scorer Curier, had the deftest of headers held by Main at the other end.

As the game reached the ninetieth minute Alan Main handled the ball outside the penalty area to award Dundee an indirect free kick. Malone's shot found itself through the wall but Main was waiting at the other side to gather.

3 Just as the game looked

44 600

to be over a Paul Dixon cross found McMenamin at the far post with the former Gretna man getting his head to the cross to send the ball past Main and send the fans wild. As news filtered through that Hamilton were losing to Queen of the South the home fans couldn't contain their excitement although a late goal from James McCarthy for Accies means that the gap now stands at two points.

In a game which wasn't an ill-tempered affair there were eight bookings, five for Alex Rae's men: McDonald, MacKenzie, McMenamin, Daquin and Lyle and three for the visitor's: Rutkiewicz, Jackson and Main.

Match report written by Joanna Topping - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at March 1st, 2008)

2007-08 All Time
Craig Samson (GK)23 27 - 27 -
David Cowan25 5 - 5 -
Paul Dixon21 28 - 1042
Gary Mackenzie22 28 - 52 -
Eddie Malone22 181181
Milan Palenik - 274274
Kevin McDonald19 30109715
Scott Robertson22 32611810
Mickaël Antoine-Curier24 4646
Frédéric Daquin29 282282
Colin McMenamin27 5555
David O'Brien (sub)24 141141
Derek Lyle (sub)27 2465421

League Table (as at March 1st, 2008)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

As we head into this afternoon's vital derby against St Johnstone, we do so on the back of two wins, which have seen us close the gap on Hamilton to four points.

Victory in our last home match with Morton was more about getting the three points rather than the performance.

It was crucial we got back to winning ways.

With two early goals, we got the job done early, but I would have liked to see us pass the ball at a higher tempo and maybe we could have capitalised a bit more.

I've always said when we pass the ball well we are as good as anybody in this league. Maybe the boys got a wee bit nervy, and I think that is something you are going to see more often by teams at the top and the bottom of the league as the season draws to a close.

One thing that did annoy me during that game was the hostile reaction of a section of our support to Derek Lyle when he came on.

Although I think pre-contract agreements are laughable, I would urge all the fans to get behind Lyle and the rest of the team as the race for a top-flight spot intensifies.

Derek is a thick-skinned lad and he won't let it get to him. He is a proud guy who wants to do well and will fight his corner.

I've said all along that everybody is in this together the players, the staff, the directors and the fans. We are trying to achieve something here.

And to that end, I was heartened by the way we won so handsomely at Stirling last week. It was terrific to see the strikers getting among goals and now the aim has to be to keep scoring.

The wind made conditions very hard, but particularly when they were against it in the second half, the boys adapted and played well.

That win sets us up very nicely for what is today's crunch meeting with St Johnstone. Meetings with the Perth side are always keenly contested, but with both sides still in the promotion race, this promises to be a real even more fiercely contested than ever - if that was possible!