Dundee 1
Partick Thistle 0
League (Premiership)

1 - 0

League (Premiership)
Saturday, February 14th, 2015
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,560
3:00 PM Kick-off

Paul McGowan (91)

Team Managers
Paul Hartley
Alan Archibald

Starting Eleven
12. Scott Bain
5. James McPake
19. Paul McGinn
4. Thomas Konrad
2. Gary Irvine
26. Kostadin Gadzhalov
18. Paul McGowan
48. Stephen McGinn
20. Jim McAlister
47. Alex Harris
49. Paul Heffernan
Scott Fox .1
Christie Elliott .14
Stephen O'Donnell .2
Callum Booth .5
Conrad Balatoni .6
Frédéric Frans .13
Stuart Bannigan .8
Abdul Osman .18
Gary Fraser .22
Declan McDaid .28
Lyle Taylor .29

1. Kyle Letheren
3. Willie Dyer
8. Kevin McBride
29. Gary Harkins
24. Andrew Black
33. Craig Wighton
16. David Clarkson
Paul Gallacher .12
Ben Richards-Everton .21
James Craigen .7
Steven Lawless .11
Kallum Higginbotham .15
Ryan Stevenson .10
Kris Doolan .9

Gary Harkins for Kostadin Gadzhalov (46)
Willie Dyer for Gary Irvine (46)
Craig Wighton for Paul Heffernan (70)
Paul Gallacher for Scott Fox (46)
Kris Doolan for Lyle Taylor (68)
Ryan Stevenson for Gary Fraser (74)

None. Stuart Bannigan (6)
Callum Booth (59)
Christie Elliott (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Craig Thomson (Referee)
Andrew McWilliam & Gordon Crawford (Assistants)
Kevin Graham (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee continued their good run in the league with a 1-0 win over Partick Thistle at Dens Park this afternoon. After a scrappy 90 minutes Paul McGowan poked home the winner in injury time, his first goal for the Dee, following a great build up by substitutes Gary Harkins and Craig Wighton.

Dundee made four changes from last week's cup tie. Paul Heffernan came in for his debut and Alex Harris returned; both players were cup tied last week. Thomas Konrad and Paul McGinn also came into the starting line-up. Willie Dyer, Craig Wighton and David Clarkson dropped onto the bench and Greg Stewart was suspended.

There were narrow escapes at either end in the opening minutes. The Dee defence was caught out by a high, looping ball that McDaid challenged for. The ball broke back to Lyle Taylor whose 15 yard shot skimmed past the post.

The Dark Blues then nearly grabbed an early goal with a lightning fast break. Scott Bain sent an accurate quick kick out to the right wing. Alex Harris raced onto it and flighted a neat ball into the penalty area. Jim McAlister took a great first touch to set up a chance but Scott Fox managed to block.

The first few minutes were even, but Thistle then started to exert control in midfield and put the home defence under some uncomfortable pressure. Dundee didn't look comfortable defending crosses, especially from set pieces. Midway through the half Thistle had five corners in as many minutes. Scott Bain's handling of everthing that he came for was impeccable throughout, but when the ball was out of his reach Dundee's defending wasn't convincing.

For most of the first half Dundee lacked composure and imagination in midfield. Thistle's defence was well protected by their midfield, but on occasion the Dark Blues showed hints of promise. Twice in quick succession Jim McAlister had fleeting half chances during a spell of pressure. For the most part the match was a nervous affair of Thistle probing and the Dundee defence handling them well in open play, though less so from set pieces.

The Dark Blues twice came close to breaking the deadlock at the end of the first half. Fox pulled off an great full length save to keep Harris's 25 free kick out. The resulting corner caused chaos in the Thistle goalmouth. Irvine seemed to be pushed as he went for the ball. Konrad did manage to get his head to it, but the ball was scrambled off the goal-line.

Gary Irvine needed treatment following that incident, and had to be substituted at half time; Willie Dyer came on. Gary Harkins was also thrown into the action, replacing Kosta Gadzhalov, as Paul Hartley tried to introduce some composure to the midfield. The Jags also made a change. Goalkeeper Scott Fox was replaced by Paul Gallacher. Fox had had a good first half, so the change must have been forced by injury.

Dundee certainly improved after the break, though it was hardly a commanding performance. Harkin's ability to hold the ball and make penetrating passes helped Dundee attack from midfield and find more space out wide. The whole midfield stepped up their game and Thistle found it harder to build attacks.

Early in the half Harris and Paul McGinn flashed dangerous low balls across the goalmouth, but after that the Thistle defence looked comfortable. With Thistle finding it equally difficult to create chances a goalless draw looked inevitable.

Craig Wighton replaced Paul Heffernan for the final 20 minutes. He found it tough when had to deal with Thistle's central defenders with his back to goal, but he looked clever and dangerous when he was able to turn and attack the defence.

As the match drifted into injury time, and the supporters started to gather around the exits, Thistle launched a dangerous break. It was stopped by a superb Konrad tackle on the edge of the penalty area, and Dundee charged upfield to score the winner with their best move of the game.

Harkins took the ball down the left and passed inside to Wighton. The youngster played a superb pass to send Harkins through on goal at an angle. With the fans leaping to their feet expecting a shot Harkins coolly played the ball across the six yard box for Paul McGOWAN to roll the winning goal into the back of the net.

Thistle launched the ball forward from the restart and managed to win a corner. Dundee dealt with it comfortable and the referee blew the final whistle.

This wasn't a great game of football, far from it. However, three points and an injury time winner was enough to send the fans on their way with a smile. A clean sheet was also pleasing. Dundee have now taken an impressive 15 points from a seven game undefeated run in the league. It would be hard to argue that Dundee were worthy winners today. The late winner was harsh on Thistle, who will certainly be disappointed to come away with nothing. A draw would have been fair but this was a very welcome win on a day when Dundee's team selection was disrupted by injuries and suspension.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at February 14th, 2015)

2014-15 All Time
Scott Bain (GK)23 17 - 17 -
James McPake30 271271
Paul McGinn24 271271
Thomas Konrad25 262262
Gary Irvine29 2841856
Kostadin Gadzhalov25 7 - 7 -
Paul McGowan27 251251
Stephen McGinn26 3 - 3 -
Jim McAlister29 30111411
Alex Harris20 7171
Paul Heffernan33 1 - 1 -
Willie Dyer (sub)27 14 - 40 -
Gary Harkins (sub)30 27412729
Craig Wighton (sub)17 111253

League Table (as at February 14th, 2015)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Good afternoon, I'd like to start by welcoming Alan Archibald, his backroom staff and all the Thistle players to Dens.

We are back in league duty this week after a disappointing exit from the Scottish Cup last weekend.

It wasn't a great performance from us and to go out of the cup in that manner was bitterly disappointing.

Celtic are always strong and we didn't really effect the game. Going in at the break at 1-0 we were fortunate and to lose a goal straight after the whistle killed us.

One positive from the match was the excellent performance by Scott Bain, I thought he was terrific and the saves that he made kept us in the game. He again showed what a top young goalkeeper he is.

I was at Firhill on Wednesday night to see Thistle take on Celtic and they also found it difficult against the league leaders.

We're back focused on the league now and the push for the top six. The two meetings so far this season between the sides have been good contests with two draws so we know we are in for another tough game this afternoon.

Enjoy the match