The Dark Blues were given another tough pre-season work out in a 1-1 draw at Alloa Athletic’s Indodrill Stadium tonight. Michael Duffy’s early goal put the Dee ahead on his debut, but the Wasps quickly equalised through Jim Goodwin.
The match got off to an entertaining start, with Dundee settling into a neat passing game while a hard-running Alloa side tried to catch the Dee on the break. The Dark Blues were first to threaten when Greg Stewart’s clever footwork started a flowing move from the Dundee penalty area. Michael Duffy took the ball on to send Rory Loy clear, but he stabbed his shot wide.
Dundee went ahead after 10 minutes with a delightful goal. Stewart cut in from the left wing, passing to DUFFY who beat a defender with his first touch and slotted the ball into the corner of the net from 16 yards.
The Dark Blues’ neat and patient possession game looked likely to extend their lead, but the Wasps equalised with a goal that has to be put down to poor defending. Jordan Kirkpatrick’s free kick from the left was well delivered, but there were no Dark Blues on hand to prevent former St Mirren player Jim GOODWIN nodding the ball past Scott Bain.
The cheer that goal raised was nothing compared to the roar when referee Mr Charleston got a bit too close to the midfield action and was wiped out by a robust challenge from Goodwin. Apparently that is not actually an offence under the laws of the game and play raged on whilst the crowd offered cheerful sympathy to the referee as he dug himself out of the plastic turf.
Dundee continued to hold onto the ball, probing and passing around the Alloa half without offering further serious threat to the home goal. Duffy twice tried his luck from distance, but home keeper Neil Parry handled both shots well.
After the break Alloa quickly posed a threat when Kevin Cawley was barged over only a foot outside the penalty area. Substitute Iain Flannigan’s shot was blocked by the wall. The Dark Blues then went close twice in quick succession. Danny Williams, who replaced Greg Stewart at half time, picked up a backpass, but Parry saved his angled shot. Duffy followed up and saw his fierce drive charged down.
The Wasps were looking more dangerous in the second half and looked capable of snatching a second goal. Centre forward Isaac Layne pleased the home support with his energetic hustling of the Dark Blues central defenders, who responded on robust style. As on Tuesday night there was no shortage of tough tackles and a few wild ones.
In the second half Dundee struggled to maintain the probing passing game that had made life difficult for Alloa in the first half. Too often the final ball failed to find a Dee player, with the home defence mostly holding firm.
Julen Etxebeguren went close from a Williams’ corner but he couldn’t keep his header down. The Dark Blues had a spell of sustained pressure and Parry did well to beat away Duffy’s curling shot from 20 yards. Gary Harkins drove through a crowded defence and into the penalty area, giving Yordi Teijsse a half chance, but his shot was deflected past the post.
Alloa looked just as likely to grab a winner as the game wore on, and wasted the last chance of the night when Lewis Baker blasted over from 20 yards when he had time and space to play Layne in on goal.
This was certainly a hard workout for the Dark Blues, who looked very good in the early stages. However, they failed to maintain that standard in the second half when play often seemed to break down through a lack of familiarity between the players. Nevertheless, there were plenty of promising signs from the new players, and Michael Duffy in particular can be pleased with his excellent goal.
Alloa Athletic FC 4-4-2
Taggart, Graham, Hoggan (McKinnon 65), Hetherington
Kirkpatrick (Flannigan half time), Goodwin (Wilson 74), Holmes, Cawley
Spence (Baker 65), Layne
Unused subs: McDowall (gk), Hynd.
Goal: Goodwin (19)
Dundee FC 4-4-2
Bain (Mitchell half time)
Kerr, Etxabeguren, O’Dea, Holt
Stewart (Williams half time), O’Hara, Ross (Harkins half time), Wighton
Loy (Teijsse), Duffy
Unused subs: Black, Dryden.
Goal: Duffy (10)
Referee: Craig Charleston. Assistants: Michael Banks, David Doig.
Report: James Christie