Kilmarnock 2
Dundee 0
Scottish Cup (4th Round)


2 - 0


Scottish Cup (4th Round)
Saturday, January 20th, 2024
Rugby Park
Attendance: 5,780
3:00 PM Kick-off

Kyle Vassell (1)
Marley Watkins (3)

Team Managers
Derek McInnes Tony Docherty

Starting Eleven
20. Kieran O'Hara
4. Joe Wright
17. Stuart Findlay
5. Lewis Mayo
31. Liam Polworth
7. Rory McKenzie
12. David Watson
10. Matthew Kennedy
11. Danny Armstrong
23. Marley Watkins
9. Kyle Vassell
Adam Legzdins .1
Lee Ashcroft .14
Jordan McGhee .6
Joe Shaughnessy .5
Ryan Howley .21
Josh Mulligan .15
Mo Sylla .28
Amadou Bakayoko .9
Dara Costelloe .44
Luke McCowan .17
Scott Tiffoney .7

50. Mark Birighitti
15. Fraser Murray
39. Gary Mackay-Steven
18. Innes Cameron
19. Tom Davies
3. Corrie Ndaba
22. Liam Donnelly
21. Greg Stewart
6. Robbie Deas
Harrison Sharp .30
Ryan Astley .4
Owen Dodgson .3
Malachi Boateng .23
Lyall Cameron .10
Charlie Reilly .18
Finlay Robertson .19
Curtis Main .8
Zach Robinson .16

Corrie Ndaba for Danny Armstrong (65)
Liam Donnelly for Liam Polworth (82)
Greg Stewart for Marley Watkins (90)
Robbie Deas for Matthew Kennedy (90)
Harrison Sharp for Adam Legzdins (37)
Owen Dodgson for Ryan Howley (57)
Curtis Main for Scott Tiffoney (57)
Charlie Reilly for Dara Costelloe (77)
Zach Robinson for Amadou Bakayoko (78)

Marley Watkins (42) None.

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Don Robertson (Referee)
Alan Mulvanny & Ross Nelson (Assistants)
Stuart Luke (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee’s hopes in the 2024 Scottish Gas Scottish Cup were dashed in the opening three minutes of today’s cup tie away to Kilmarnock. The hosts ran in early goals from Kyle Vassell and Marley Watkins before the Dark Blues woke up. Dundee fought back, but for all their attacking there was no way back. Killie were too well organised to let their early advantage slip and deservedly took their place in the 5th round.

There were three changes to the Dee’s starting eleven from the league game at Killie three weeks ago. Adam Legzdins and Lee Ashcroft came in for the injured Trevor Carson and Aaron Donnelly. Dara Costelloe made his debut, replacing the departed Owen Beck.

The Dark Blues couldn’t have got off to a worse start, falling two goals behind with little more than two minutes on the clock.

After the kick off Dundee lost the ball in midfield and an innocuous high ball was knocked into the Dee penalty area, falling between Joe Shaughnessy and Adam Legzdins. Both players were caught cold, allowing Kyle VASSELL to nip in and nudge a shot past Legzdins with the ball trickling over the line.

Killie were back on the attack from the kick off and won a free kick wide on the right. Daniel Armstrong flighted the cross towards the near post where Marley WATKINS had lost his marker to score with a diving header. The Dee were two goals adrift before they had even ventured into Kilmarnock’s half.

Dundee responded well to the setback and set up some promising attacks. Luke McCowan netted with a deflected 18 yard shot after six minutes but the goal was disallowed for offside.

The Dark Blue’s defence continued to look nervous for the next 20 minutes whenever Kilmarnock came forward. However, the home side’s defending was no more impressive and Killie were repeatedly sloppy at set pieces, allowing the ball to bounce in the goalmouth and failing to clear.

Dara Costelloe put in two dangerous crosses which Killie were happy to turn out for corners. Apart from that, Dundee’s attacks showed promise up to the point when the final ball or cross might set up a clear chance, and then nothing. Time and again shots from the Dark Blues struck well positioned blocking defenders. If Kilmarnock were shaky at set pieces in the first half they were solid in open play.

Kilmarnock centre back Stewart Findlay almost gave the Dee a lifeline when he slashed a McCowan cross narrowly past his own post. Killie were still not convincing defending set pieces, and Dundee went close when Costelloe headed on a McCowan corner and Amadou Bakayoko couldn’t quite stretch far enough for a tap in at the far post.

After 37 minutes Dundee’s defence was disrupted when Adam Legzdins had to go off with an injury. Harrison Sharp came on to replace him. Losing a keeper is always worrying, but Sharp was impressively calm and safe for the remainder of the match.

In first half injury time the Dark Blues put together their best move of the game when McCowan played neat exchanges with Josh Mulligan and Bakayoko to run clear, only to screw his shot wide.

The second half brought more of the same, but the big difference was that Kilmarmock were tighter in defence and midfield and contained Dundee’s attacking comfortably. A Killie goal on the break always looked at least as likely as Dundee scoring.

After 25 minutes without any real threat to either goal Kilmarnock broke away and Watkins sent Vassell clear. The striker’s first touch was poor. He left himself with a difficult angle and Sharp saved well. That was the best, and only real chance of a disappointing second half in which Kilmarnock were happy to sit on their two goal lead and close the game out, which they did very competently.

The Dark Blues ended up trying too many optimistic long balls when their attempts to play their way through Kilmarnock failed. None of these gave the home defence any problems.

Dundee kept plugging away to the final whistle and did manage some promising approach play, but there was never any end product. Curtis Main and Owen Dodgson came on for their debuts. Both fitted in, but the pattern of the game was already well set. Charlie Reilly put in a lively cameo for the last quarter of an hour, showing pace and skill to trouble Kilmarnock in wide areas, but the defence always dealt with his crosses.

Dundee’s fate in the 2024 Scottish FA Cup was settled in those opening three minutes. Both sides showed signs of rustiness after the three week break, but Kilmarnock never looked remotely like throwing away their lead. A trip to Rugby Park is always a tough prospect, but the Dark Blues didn’t give themselves a chance with their early carelessness. At their best Dundee might have been able to salvage something from that nightmarish start, but they were well short of that today. The better side on the day won through to the next round. There can be no argument about that.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at January 20th, 2024)

2023-24 All Time
Adam Legzdins (GK)37 2 - 76 -
Lee Ashcroft30 7 - 10412
Jordan McGhee27 19 - 14811
Joe Shaughnessy30 234234
Ryan Howley20 10 - 10 -
Josh Mulligan21 121716
Mo Sylla30 9 - 9 -
Amadou Bakayoko28 204204
Dara Costelloe21 1 - 1 -
Luke McCowan26 2239818
Scott Tiffoney25 171171
Harrison Sharp (sub) (GK)22 1 - 23 -
Owen Dodgson (sub)20 1 - 1 -
Charlie Reilly (sub)22 7 - 7 -
Curtis Main (sub)31 1 - 1 -
Zach Robinson (sub)21 1755018

League Table (as at January 20th, 2024)

Pld W D L +/- Pts

* - Table split into two divisions of six.