Dundee 1
Hamilton Academical 0
League (Premiership)

1 - 0

League (Premiership)
Saturday, May 5th, 2018
Dens Park
Attendance: 5,195
3:00 PM Kick-off

Kevin Holt (18)

Team Managers
Neil McCann
Martin Canning

Starting Eleven
12. Elliot Parish
4. Steven Caulker
3. Kevin Holt
2. Cammy Kerr
6. Darren O'Dea
21. Roarie Deacon
8. Glen Kamara
18. Paul McGowan
14. Mark O'Hara
17. Simon Murray
33. Craig Wighton
Gary Woods .1
Xavier Tomas .5
Kenny van der Weg .15
Shaun Want .27
Ross Jenkins .4
Daniel Redmond .10
Darian MacKinnon .18
Darren Lyon .22
Dougie Imrie .7
Rakish Bingham .9
Marios Ogboe .99

38. Calum Ferrie
15. Jon Aurtenetxe
25. Daniel Jefferies
28. Lewis Spence
7. A-Jay Leitch-Smith
35. Cedwyn Scott
23. Randy Wolters
12. Ryan Fulton
3. Scott McMann
6. Charlie Scott
23. Ronan Hughes
29. Jack Breen
28. Ross Cunningham
20. Antonio Rojano

Lewis Spence for Mark O'Hara (46)
Daniel Jefferies for Roarie Deacon (74)
Cedwyn Scott for Craig Wighton (90)
Ryan Fulton for Gary Woods (46)
Antonio Rojano for Daniel Redmond (67)
Scott McMann for Rakish Bingham (78)

Simon Murray (38)
Roarie Deacon (46)
Kenny van der Weg (31)
Shaun Want (36)
Ross Jenkins (55)
Daniel Redmond (61)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steven McLean (Referee)
Graeme Stewart & Alastair Mather (Assistants)
Don Robertson (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Kevin Holt scored the first half goal that gave Dundee a 1-0 win over Hamilton Accies at Dens Park this afternoon, guaranteeing the Dee won’t finish in the Premiership’s automatic relegation spot. Holt might have won the man of the match award, but it was goalkeeper Elliott Parish who triggered the loudest roar of the day with a match-winning penalty save after 86 minutes to ensure the Dee secured the win they needed and deserved.

Sofien Moussa and Genseric Kusuunga missed out through injury and were replaced by Roarie Deacon and Darren O’Dea. Accies had to make three changes; Xavier Tomas, Daniel Redmond and Rakish Bingham came in for Georgios Sarris, Lewis Ferguson and David Templeton.

The opening stages were bruisingly competitive with both teams keenly aware of the importance of the match. The Dark Blues were the first side to calm down and start playing football, with Glen Kamara conducting affairs in the centre of the park and Craig Wighton’s skill and incisive runs a constant threat to Hamilton.

After a lengthy delay for a head knock to Mark O’Hara the Dee moved smoothly into a spell of serious pressure. This was rewarded with a sweetly worked goal after 18 minutes. Kamara darted forward down the left and found Craig Wighton who skipped past Shaun Want and pulled a low cross into the penalty area. Kevin HOLT was up supporting the attack and took a fine first touch before sweeping his shot past Woods from 15 yards with the defence unable to react.

Hamilton responded well to the goal and put Dundee’s defence under pressure, forcing a few corners without creating any direct threat to Elliott Parish’s goal.

After dealing with that flurry the Dark Blues settled into menacing domination of the game for the rest of the half. The wide players, Deacon and Wighton, were targeting the space behind Accies’ wing backs. This left the two wide centre backs vulnerable and in constant difficulty. Shaun Want in particular was terrorised by Wighton whose extra strength helped him cope with Hamilton’s physical defending.

Simon Murray and Craig Wighton were both chopped down by desperate late tackles on the edge of the penalty area. Neither time could Dundee make anything of the free kicks. The Dee did go close twice from headers by Murray and Steven Caulker. The last effort of the half came when Paul McGowan tried to catch Woods out with a dipping shot from 35 yards, but the Accies keeper managed to get back in time to save.

Mark O’Hara’s head knock had cost him two teeth and he was kept in the dressing room at half time. Lewis Spence deputised, while Accies made a less predictable replacement, substitute keeper Ryan Fulton coming on for Woods. The visitors’ more significant change was to switch to a four man defence with Want being moved to left centre back, well away from Wighton’s raiding. Darren Lyon filled in at right back, and was quickly skinned by Wighton to remind Accies who was bossing that slice of territory.

The change to Hamilton’s shape, combined with a greater sense of urgency made Accies more competitive and they were a more potent force in the second half. However, potent would be too polite a word to describe some of the challenges designed to stop Dundee attacks.

Hamilton went close twice early in the half. A Bingham free kick shaved the outside of the post and a first time snapshot from 20 yards by Mackinnon was little further away. One of Accies’ better moves ended with Parish saving well from Bingham’s angled shot.

In the middle of the second half the game entered a frantic spell, with play flying from end to end. Dundee looked more dangerous with Hamilton struggling to deal with attacks by Kerr and Wighton down either wing.

Hamilton replaced a midfielder, Daniel Redmond, with a striker, Antonio Rojano, and opted for a 4-3-3 formation. This ensured that the rest of the game remained open and it was hard to believe there would be no further scoring.

After 74 minutes 19 year old Welsh defender Daniel Jefferies replaced Roarie Deacon and played in central defence to help Dundee match up to Accies’ extra attacker.

Frustratingly Dundee couldn’t turn some enterprising and entertaining attacks into clear chances, as Accies repeatedly managed to scramble the ball clear from their penalty area. Kevin Holt had a half chance for a second goal, but couldn’t get enough power into his right foot volley.

The game seemed to have turned sickeningly against the Dee after 86 minutes when the ball went out of play off a Hamilton player deep inside the Dundee half. The assistant referee surprised the Dark Blue players by signalling for a Hamilton throw, which Accies took quickly. Dundee were caught out by the mistake, and with players out of position Jefferies’ late challenge floored Marios Ogkmoe, giving Hamilton a lifeline from the penalty spot. It was harsh on the youngster who had been composed and solid since he came on.

It’s not often in recent years that we’ve seen a Dee keeper save a penalty at Dens, but Elliott Parish’s match-winning save was worth waiting for. Dougie Imrie opted for precision rather than power but managed neither. Parish pounced on the weak shot, producing scenes of deafening jubilation round three sides of the ground.

Hamilton tried frantically to salvage a point, but lacked the composure to unsettle Dundee, who spent much of the closing moments in Hamilton’s half protecting their win. After an outstanding performance Craig Wighton limped off to a richly deserved ovation and was replaced by Cedwyn Scott. Happily it was merely a spot of cramp rather than anything more serious.

This was a massively important win for the Dee, and the response from players and fans at the final whistle showed how much it meant to everyone with Dark Blue in their hearts.

Dundee played some fine attacking football at times, but when they had to get into the trenches and fight a war of attrition for the points the whole team responded valiantly. As with the victory over St Johnstone two weeks ago this win owed everything to teamwork and determination. Dundee can’t finish bottom, but they could still be pulled into the play-off spot. That can happen, but if the players show this attitude in the remaining two games the supporters can be confident.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at May 5th, 2018)

2017-18 All Time
Elliot Parish (GK)27 27 - 27 -
Steven Caulker26 111111
Kevin Holt25 3021118
Cammy Kerr22 39 - 961
Darren O'Dea31 21 - 795
Roarie Deacon26 341341
Glen Kamara22 44 - 44 -
Paul McGowan30 4021488
Mark O'Hara22 3967111
Simon Murray26 122122
Craig Wighton20 5 - 867
Daniel Jefferies (sub)19 1 - 1 -
Lewis Spence (sub)22 18 - 18 -
Cedwyn Scott (sub)19 2 - 2 -

League Table (as at May 5th, 2018)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

I'll be pleased to be back in the dugout at Dens this afternoon. As a manager it was really difficult not to be on the side of the pitch but Graham and Jimmy did a great job in the technical area in my absence.

It wasn't one of our best performances yet we collected a massive three points. We've played better this season in games and lost so I was pleased to see us send a fantastic home support away happy. We showed a real appetite to go and get the winner when it looked like we may only be heading for a draw.

Last week away to Motherwell was another example of outplaying a team and getting nothing from it. We again created so many opportunities without taking them. What I was pleased with though was again we showed that hunger to get what we wanted from the game right to the end. That spirit will have to be there in our final three games if we are to get the results we want.

Once more your support will be vital.