Dundee 1
Aberdeen 1
League (Premier League)

1 - 1

League (Premier League)
Sunday, May 5th, 2013
Dens Park
Attendance: 6,441
3:00 PM Kick-off

Jim McAlister (20)
Niall McGinn (pen.) (70)

Team Managers
John Brown
Derek McInnes

Starting Eleven
45. Steve Simonsen
26. Brian Easton
18. Declan Gallagher
2. Gary Irvine
3. Matt Lockwood
25. Lewis Toshney
6. Iain Davidson
29. Gary Harkins
20. Jim McAlister
8. Kevin McBride
10. John Baird
Jamie Langfield .1
Clark Robertson .3
Mark Reynolds .22
Joe Shaughnessy .23
Ryan Jack .2
Gavin Rae .5
Peter Pawlett .15
Isaac Osbourne .16
Stephen Hughes .18
Niall McGinn .10
Rory Fallon .14

36. Alex Baird
32. James Thomson
11. Ryan Conroy
28. Mark Kerr
47. Andrew Barrowman
9. Carl Finnigan
24. Colin Nish
Dan Twardzik .20
Gary Naysmith .17
Rob Milsom .8
Nicky Low .13
Cammy Smith .38
Josh Magennis .21
Scott Vernon .9

Carl Finnigan for John Baird (75)
Ryan Conroy for Matt Lockwood (75)
Mark Kerr for Gary Irvine (83)
Nicky Low for Stephen Hughes (62)
Josh Magennis for Peter Pawlett (73)
Cammy Smith for Niall McGinn (89)

Brian Easton (70)

Red Cards
None. Rory Fallon (62)
Match Officials

Alan Muir (Referee)
Tom Murphy & Stuart Hodge (Assistants)
Don Robertson (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee's brave, late fight to stay in the SPL came to an end at Dens this afternoon with a cruelly disappointing 1-1 draw against Aberdeen. Jim McAlister gave the Dee a first half lead, but Niall McGinn's equaliser from a highly controversial second half penalty consigned Dundee to next season's First Division.

John Brown made two changes to last week's winning side. Gary Irvine came in for the suspended Kyle Benedictus. Gary Harkins played in spite of his rib injury, returning in place of Carl Finnigan.

For the first 10 minutes this looked more like a meaningless end of season match than a crucial relegation battle. Dundee gradually increased the tempo and looked far more eager and dangerous than a dozy Dons side.

Gary Harkins had the first shot, a half volley from 20 yards that flew a yard wide. Jim McAlister had more luck with a very similar effort. Harkins and Baird moved the ball through the middle for McALISTER to nod the ball into his own path and fire a rasping volley into the roof of the net. A slight deflection off a Dons defender ensured that Langfield had no chance.

The ex Dee keeper should have been left with no chance when John Baird teed up a perfect chance for Gary Harkins, who seemed certain to score from six yards. Langield flung himself in the way to pull off an amazing save.

Steve Simonsen came close to matching that when Aberdeen stirred themselves briefly from their lethargy. Simonsen first saved Jack's low 20 yarder, then turned Pawlett's close range follow up away for a corner.

For most of the first half the Dons were a mess, simply going through the motions with little apparent interest. Mentally some of them seemed to be on their holidays, hardly in the mood to get involved a battle.

They were lucky to reach half time only one goal behind. Fallon stupidly lost possession to Gary Irvine just outside his own penalty area, and Langfield had to beat Baird's fierce shot away. A Harkins' shot broke to Baird who flashed a cross shot across goal and narrowly past the far post.

In first half injury time Dundee had a very plausible looking penalty claim when Isaac Osbourne bundled McAlister over from behind. Referee Alan Muir was in a very lenient mood for the whole of the first half and waved play on.

Derek McInnes presumably gave the Dons a well-deserved tongue lashing at half time. He sent on young Nicky Low for Stephen Hughes, whose first half performance might charitably be classed as languid. A blunter assessment would be that he was ineffective and invisible, except for when he made conspicuous mistakes. Low was far more eager to impress and injected some badly needed vigour and dig to the Dons midfield.

After getting a managerial rocket up their backsides Aberdeen had a flurry of corners early in the second half without threatening the Dundee goal. Pawlett hit a dangerous long range shot narrowly wide and it was clear that the visitors were going to make the second half more of a contest.

Dundee weathered the early storm and started to play calmly without looking in any great danger. The game seemed to have swung decisively in favour of the Dark Blues when Declan Gallagher went down in an off the ball incident, with Rory Fallon suspiciously close by. The linesman saw the incident and flagged to attract the referee's attention. The decision was a straight red card for the Dons' striker.

Declan Gallagher might have quickly given Dundee a crucial second goal when he was gifted a free header from a corner. He didn't connect properly and Langfield had time to reach it on the line.

Osbourne caused problems for Dundee with a surge down the right, but Dundee seemed to have cleared the immediate danger when the ball was half cleared to the left. Toshney and Pawlett chased after it. Toshney seemed to pull out of the challenge; Pawlett went flying theatrically through the air and the referee horrified the home players and supporters by pointing to the spot.

It didn't look a very impressive claim from the press box, and Dons' legend Willie Miller emphatically asserted that it was a dive. However, Niall McGINN lashed the penalty into the roof of the net and Aberdeen were level. He then made a fool of himself by ignoring the Dons supporters in front of him and running to taunt the Dundee support in the South Enclosure, to earn an inevitable booking.

The goal ramped up the tension massively and set Dundee back on their heels. The Dons looked sporadically dangerous on the break, but the rest of the match was spent with Dundee trying to break the Aberdeen defence down.

Jim McAlister had two headed efforts. The first forced a fine save from Langfield. The second lacked the power to trouble the keeper. As the clock ticked over into injury time Conroy got his head to another cross, but again the header lacked the power to beat Langfield.

John Brown sent on all three substitutes, Finnigan, Conroy and Kerr replacing Baird, Lockwood and Irvine. However, this time the glorious finale wasn't to be. Dundee couldn't get the winner.

When the final whistle went there was a brief palpable sense of sadness and anti-climax. The crowd quickly rallied and rose to applaud the players who have given their all for the shirts. Some of the men in Dark Blue were clearly very emotional as they responded to the supporters'. When everyone left the mood was sombre but proud. We've been relegated before, but this time it was different. The words used most often in the aftermath of the game were pride and proud. John Brown's team went down with their pride intact, heads held up proudly.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at May 5th, 2013)

2012-13 All Time
Steve Simonsen (GK)34 6 - 6 -
Brian Easton25 19 - 19 -
Declan Gallagher22 261261
Gary Irvine28 37 - 1162
Matt Lockwood36 25110110
Lewis Toshney21 241241
Iain Davidson29 391391
Gary Harkins28 1229825
Jim McAlister27 405405
Kevin McBride31 251361
John Baird27 405405
Ryan Conroy (sub)26 3667818
Mark Kerr (sub)31 7 - 7 -
Carl Finnigan (sub)26 61114

League Table (as at May 5th, 2013)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

It's strange writing my programme notes this week, as due to print deadlines, I do not know the significance this game holds as St Mirren played at Tynecastle yesterday.

What I can promise supporters is that we will approach the game in exactly the same manner regardless and aspire to match the intensity, commitment and endeavour we have shown in the past few games.

Whilst the players have rightly been applauded for all the aforementioned attributes of late, what has also been pleasing is the quality they have shown in each of the games I have been here. They have been labelled as First Division players all season, but are now showing they are in this League on merit and can more than hold their own.

Although the situation has been out of our hands for a few weeks, it was pleasing to take it to this weekend with at solid performance last Saturday against Hearts. Gary Locke has some very good players at his disposal and they defended very resolutely when going down to ten men. Although we got a bit of a break with the goal, I felt it was no more than what we deserved over the 90 minutes. Having won our past three games, we rightly go into this game with confidence, but will show Aberdeen the respect they deserve.

Derek McInnes has proved over the years what a fine young manager he is, and his players will be looking to make an impression for their new boss in the last few games of the season.

I'm hoping the supporters will turn out in their numbers and continue to offer the team the same backing they have done in every single game since I have been in charge. There is nothing more pleasing for me personally than seeing the fans leave the game with smiles on their faces, and we'll be doing everything we can to ensure that's exactly what happens at quarter to five again this afternoon.

Finally, I would like to personally welcome Kirsty Falconer to Dens Park. Kirsty will lead the team out today and, as mascot, we are hoping she can bring us a little bit of additional good fortune. Kirsty is an incredibly courageous young girl, and her bravery should be an inspiration to us all.

Our Physio Karen Gibson is running. the New York Marathon this year to raise money for CLIC Sargent who have supported Kirsty for the last while, and I would ask those of you are in a position to do so to help Karen raise as much as possible for a fantastic cause. You can find more details at justgiving.com/ Karen-Gibson100.