Dundee 3
Ayr United 1
League (Championship)

3 - 1
Ayr Utd 

League (Championship)
Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
Kilmac Stadium
Attendance: 4,007
7:45 PM Kick-off

Ryan Sweeney (13)
Alex Jakubiak (59)
Luke McCowan (80)
Dipo Akinyemi (17)

Team Managers
Gary Bowyer
Lee Bullen

Starting Eleven
1. Adam Legzdins
14. Lee Ashcroft
3. Jordan Marshall
6. Jordan McGhee
5. Ryan Sweeney
25. Lyall Cameron
11. Luke Hannant
15. Josh Mulligan
7. Alex Jakubiak
17. Luke McCowan
16. Zach Robinson
Charlie Albinson .21
Sean McGinty .5
Alex Kirk .15
Paddy Reading .3
Nick McAllister .17
Andy Murdoch .6
Reece McAlear .18
Ben Dempsey .8
Daire O'Connor .10
Sam Ashford .23
Dipo Akinyemi .9

21. Ian Lawlor
30. Harrison Sharp
28. Sam Fisher
24. Max Anderson
8. Shaun Byrne
19. Finlay Robertson
22. Ben Williamson
18. Paul McMullan
Aiden McAdams .1
Kinlay Bilham .26
Fraser Bryden .30
Chris Maguire .77
Mark McKenzie .23
Jayden Mitchell-Lawson .11
Mikey Hewitt .20
Paul Smith .31

Paul McMullan for Luke Hannant (72)
Max Anderson for Lyall Cameron (91)
Shaun Byrne for Alex Jakubiak (91)
Chris Maguire for Reece McAlear (63)
Mark McKenzie for Daire O'Connor (63)
Jayden Mitchell-Lawson for Sam Ashford (76)
Mikey Hewitt for Alex Kirk (82)
Paul Smith for Andy Murdoch (82)

Ryan Sweeney (71)
Andy Murdoch (75)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steven Kirkland (Referee)
Alan Mulvanny & Graeme Leslie (Assistants)

Match Report

The Dark Blues put in a crowd pleasing performance to see off Ayr United with a convincing 3-1 victory at the Kilmac Stadium tonight. Ryan Sweeney gave the Dee an early lead only for Dipo Akinyemi to grab a quick equaliser. Dundee shaded the first half, but went on to take charge after half time. Alex Jakubiak and Luke McCowan scored and there could have been a few more goals as the Dark Blues finished as comfortable winners.

Gary Bowyer made two changes from the team that drew at Partick. Luke McCowan and Alex Jakubiak kept their places after coming on as subs on Saturday. They replaced Ben Williamson and Paul McMullan, who were on the bench.

The Dark Blues started on top, but had an unnecessary scare in the second minute. Jordan Marshall’s header back to Adam Legzdins was slightly short and Sam Ashford got a toe to the ball, forcing the keeper to block.

Dundee’s attacking was soon posing serious problems for Ayr’s defence. Only a superb save by Charlie Albinson prevented Zach Robinson opening the scoring after lovely approach play by Lyall Cameron and Alex Jakubiak.

A minute later Luke McCowan burst into the penalty area and his shot was blocked by Albinson for the corner that gave the Dee the first goal. Luke McCowan’s inswinger from the right was met by Ryan SWEENEY’s glancing header at the near post and the Dee were a goal up after 13 minutes.

The lead lasted only four minutes. Over-eager attacking left Sweeney one on one with Dipo Akinyemi when the ball was thumped clear from Ayr’s penalty area. Sweeney couldn’t make a clean tackle and AKINYEMI ran clear to shoot past Legzdins.

The Dark Blues almost regained the lead within a minute. McCowan and Cameron had close range shots blocked in quick succession.

Another Dee corner was cleared as far as McCowan and his return cross produced a scramble with the ball being pawed off the line by Albinson.

The last 20 minutes of the first half were even and open. Ayr always looked dangerous when they attacked, but the Dee defence prevented them creating clear shooting opportunities in the penalty area.

The Dark Blues meanwhile played some good and inventive football in the final third but Ayr held on in the face of some prolonged attacks.

After half time the game swung decisively Dundee’s way. Ayr had often found space too easily in midfield. That stopped in the second half. Dundee didn’t give Ayr time or space in midfield and made it harder for the Honest Men to build attacks. Meanwhile the Dee forced the pace when they got the ball, repeatedly making space in the final third with some skillful, high tempo attacking football.

A beautiful long pass by Cameron allowed McCowan to run in from the right but he fired over the bar. First Robinson and then Mulligan ran along the byline from the right and hit low crosses through the goalmouth with no Dark Blues able to get on the end.

After 59 minutes the Dee broke through. Robinson burst into the penalty area and, instead of shooting, unselfishly set up Alex JAKUBIAK to shoot past the keeper from 12 yards.

The Dark Blues were breaking at speed from Ayr’s attacks. Indeed, the Ayr attacks looked more likely to end in a Dee goal than one for the Honest Men. Unfortunately Dundee couldn’t quite finish off some lightning moves.

At the end of one break Luke Hannant played Jordan Marshall in, but he shot over the bar. Jakubiak took the ball in another break and raced forty yards before firing too high.

Paul McMullan replaced Luke Hannant after 72 minutes and the change helped keep up the pressure on Ayr.

After 80 minutes Dundee finally scored the goal they deserved to make the points safe. Jakubiak and McCowan quickly swapped passes before McCOWAN cut inside and scored from 12 yards despite the efforts of a defender on the line.

Ayr were well beaten by now and the Dark Blues saw out the game easily. There might have been another goal or two, but the fans were in no mood to complain.

The rejigged formation worked a treat tonight. Robinson and Jakubiak combined impressively. Their interplay, close control and support for each other gave Ayr problems they couldn’t handle. Playing two strikers puts pressure on the midfield to deliver, and to avoid being overrun. The Dee midfield were up to the mark, working hard and setting up attacks for the strikers to work with.

There were no failures tonight, and it is hard to argue with Luke McCowan’s award of man of the match. However, there were a few other candidates. Both strikers were excellent, and Lyall Cameron impressed as a playmaker with some fine passing.

Ayr United are one of the best teams in the Championship, and at times in the first half they showed their quality. However, in the end they were second best against a very fine Dundee performance.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at March 21st, 2023)

2022-23 All Time
Adam Legzdins (GK)36 22 - 67 -
Lee Ashcroft29 3529011
Jordan Marshall26 27 - 1172
Jordan McGhee26 33312611
Ryan Sweeney25 374757
Lyall Cameron20 319359
Luke Hannant29 7 - 7 -
Josh Mulligan20 352525
Alex Jakubiak26 237388
Luke McCowan25 3386913
Zach Robinson20 27102710
Max Anderson (sub)21 273948
Shaun Byrne (sub)29 13 - 105 -
Paul McMullan (sub)27 40710410

League Table (as at March 21st, 2023)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Queen's Park 29 16 6 7 +20 54
2. Dundee 29 14 8 7 +15 50
3. Ayr Utd 29 13 7 9 +15 46
4. Partick 29 13 6 10 +10 45
5. Morton 29 11 10 8 +6 43
6. Raith Rovers 28 10 8 10 +2 38
7. Inverness CT 28 9 9 10 -2 36
8. Cove Rangers 29 6 8 15 -28 26
9. Arbroath 28 4 13 11 -16 25
10. Hamilton 28 6 7 15 -22 25