A Mark O’Hara goal earned Dundee a 1-1 draw against Hamilton Accies in a scrappy match at Dens Park tonight. Darren Lyon put the visitors ahead with a spectacular early goal only the Dee to grab a quick equaliser. The Dark Blues had the better of the first half, but faded after the break and had to be happy with a point at the end.
The Dark Blues made three changes; Nick Ross and Faissal El Bakhtaoui replacing the injured Paul McGowan and Michael Duffy. Accies’ only change was Darian Mackinnon coming in for Greg Docherty in midfield.
The greasy pitch caused mistakes throughout the game but Dundee made a promising start. They were passing and moving well and almost took an early lead when Matthews saved well from Rory Loy’s deflection of James Vincent’s shot after good approach play by Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
The Dark Blues might have started better but it was Hamilton who took the lead after 12 minutes with an astonishingly well struck 30 yard shot from full back Darren Lyon. An Accies attack seemed to have petered out, but when the ball broke to LYON he couldn’t possibly have connected any better and Scott Bain was helpless as the shot arrowed into his top corner.
Dundee responded well and took only four minutes to get back on level terms. Mark O’Hara won a corner on the right, which was taken by Danny Williams. Darren O’Dea’s run to the near post took a possee of Accies defenders with him and O’HARA was unmarked to sidefoot the equaliser past Matthews.
The exchange of goals gave the Dee a lift and they had the better of the remainder of the first half without really dominating an out of sorts Hamilton side. Dundee might have been on top, but some promising moves failed to produce any serious problems for visiting keeper Remi Matthews.
In the last few minutes of the first half Hamilton started to wake up and offered a hint of what was to come. Julen Etxabeguren brought Louis Longridge down just outside the penalty area, but Dougie Imrie’s free kick sailed high into the Bobby Cox Stand. Right at the end of the half Imrie’s dangerous run into the penalty area was foiled by a great tackle by Darren O’Dea.
Accies started the second half in the same vein and had gone close three times before the Dark Blues had got out of the blocks. Julen Etxabeguren might easily have conceded a penalty when Longridge skipped over his rash challenge. Next, Alex D’Acol sent Darian Mackinnon clear, but the Accies’ midfielder stabbed the ball wide as Scott Bain closed him down. O’Dea then had to hurl himself into the path of another Mackinnon shot as Accies created more danger in the first five minutes of the second half than they had in the whole first half.
When Dundee did get going they were aided by carelessness in the Hamilton defence. They gifted the ball to Mark O’Hara in the penalty area, and Matthews had to make an instinctive save to keep out Rory Loy’s effort.
Louis Longridge had been largely anonymous in the first half, but was far more effective in the second half. Operating in the space behind Cammy Kerr he caused repeated danger by running at Etxabeguren.
Dundee’s threadbare squad meant that Paul Hartley had limited options to change the game with substitutions. Just after the hour he sent on Yordi Teijsse to replace James Vincent. Teijsse had a quick chance from a Williams corner, but mistimed his header, sending the ball back towards Williams who ran into the penalty area and cracked a shot across goal from a difficult angle.
The misfiring Dark Blues failed to offer any real threat in the last 20 minutes, during which Hamilton looked increasingly confident and dangerous. The visitors twice went desperately close from corners. Substitute Gramoz Kurtaj bundled the ball wide at the far post from the first, then Michael Devlin saw his header cleared off the line by Kevin Holt.
Hamilton had no intention of settling for a point, and although they looked dangerous in open play they couldn’t quite put a move together that would have given them a winner. The slippery pitch continued to cause problems with both sides making too many mistakes. The difference between the sides towards the end was that Accies’ mistakes stopped them finishing promising moves, but Dundee’s errors stopped them building any dangerous moves.
The tricky pitch and shortage of players don’t offer any acceptable excuses. This was a sub-standard performance, especially in the second half. When Dundee are playing well they are passing effectively and moving well off the ball. We saw very little of either after half time, and in the end the Dark Blues had to be grateful for a single point on a night they might well have got none.
Dundee FC 3-5-2
Etxabeguren, O’Dea (c), Holt
Kerr, Vincent (Teijsse 62), O’Hara, Ross, Williams
Loy, El Bakhtaoui
Unused subs: Mitchell (gk), Gadzhalov, Curran, Quigley, Smyth.
Goal: O’Hara (16).
Booked: Etxabeguren (foul on Longridge).
Hamilton Academical 4-3-2-1
Lyon, Devlin (c), Sarris, Gillespie
Mackinnon, Donati (Docherty 87), Crawford
Imrie, Longridge (Kurtaj 78)
D’Acol (Brophy 74)
Unused subs: Woods (gk), Roy, McMann, Want.
Goals: Lyon (12).
Booked: Lyon (foul on Williams), Donati (foul on El Bakhtaoui).
Referee: Kevin Clancy. Assistants: John McCrossan, Ralph Gordon. Fourth official: Graham Beaton.
Report: James Christie.