The Dee paid a harsh price for a few moments of slackness in defence and some horrendous finishing as they went down 3-0 away to Hamilton Accies. Darian MacKinnon and Steven Boyd put Accies two up at half time, and Dougie Imrie added a third with a late penalty. All the best chances fell to the Dee who failed to convert a series of excellent chances, including a penalty.
Both clubs made two changes. Darren O’Dea returned from suspension with Kerr Waddell on the bench, and Randy Wolters started in the place of the injured Roarie Deacon. Accies brought in Ioannis Skondras and Massimo Donati in place of Xavier Tomas and Grant Gillespie.
Accies defence was all at sea in the opening minutes and the Dee twice had players clean through on goal without being able to score. Scott Allan took advantage of defensive hesitancy to take the ball and run through with only keeper Woods to beat. Instead of shooting he chose to pass sideways, trying to set up Marcus Haber or Faissal El Bakhtaoui for a tap in. The pass was slightly behind the Dee forwards, and the defence had time to get back and block Haber’s shot. The ball rebounded to Allan who also saw his effort blocked. Only a minute later El Bakhtaoui ran clear onto Cammy Kerr’s pass. Gary Woods saved his first shot, then El Bakhtaoui fired against the post and hit his third effort wide.
Hamilton hadn’t threatened in attack, apart from an early half chance that Steven Boyd volleyed yards over the bar. After Dundee had spurned wonderful chances it was galling to see the Dee offer up a cheap goal from a set piece. Hamilton’s first corner was half cleared to the edge of the area where Darian MACKINNON’s volley flew through a crowd of players, past the unsighted Scott Bain and off the inside of the post.
Dundee’s problems increased when Randy Wolters limped off after treatment. Danny Williams came on to play on the left with Scott Allan moving to the right.
Accies took confidence from their goal and the game was more even. The home defence was still unconvincing and Dundee looked dangerous every time they attacked. However, Hamilton added to their lead with a simple, but beautifully taken goal. Steven BOYD made an angled run into space on the end of a long pass from MacKinnon. While running away from goal he lifted the ball expertly over Bain and into the net from the edge of the penalty area, with the Dee defence red faced at the space he had been given.
Accies defence continued to offer hope to the Dee, who were gifted another chance before half time. Marcus Haber helped himself to the ball in the penalty area, but couldn’t find Scott Allan with his pass across goal. In injury time Jack Hendry sent a powerful header from a corner straight at Woods.
Darren O’Dea needed treatment just before the half time whistle and lasted only seven minutes of the second half before Kerr Waddell replaced him. O’Dea nevertheless came close with a header from a corner that zipped past the post with Hendry just failing to connect.
In the second half Dundee pushed Williams and El Bakhtaoui further forward to support Haber, regularly hitting long balls trying to catch out a suspect defence. The changes kept the Dee on top, but for a 20 minute spell they struggled to turn possession into chances. Midway through the half the game sprang to life when Hamilton’s defence went through a prolonged breakdown during which only goalkeeper Woods offered serious restistance to the Dundee attacks.
Giorgios Sarris misjudged a high ball, allowing Danny Williams to run clear with only Woods to beat, but the keeper touched his shot round the post. Woods then had to save well from Scott Allan, who jinked past a man before hitting an angled shot.
After 78 minutes Dundee seemed certain to score at last when they were awarded a penalty. Williams took a pass from Allan, only to be pulled down by Ioannis Skondras before he could shoot. Scott Allan’s spot kick was awful, the ball rocketing several feet over the bar. Unbelievably the Dee passed up two more fantastic chances in little more than a minute after the penalty. El Bakhtaoui ran clear onto an Allan pass, but his first touch was poor and Woods blocked. Williams then ran in on goal and set up what should have been an easy chance for Haber, whose six yard shot was weak allowing a surprised and relieved Woods to save.
Hamilton had offered very little in attack but in the last few minutes they started to look more dangerous on the break as Dundee pushed frantically forward. Accies won a penalty themselves when Kevin Holt slipped and brought down substitute David Templeton as they went for a cross. Dougie IMRIE showed how to take a penalty, thrashing his shot high into the net.
Bizarrely this was a game that Dundee could and should have won on the balance of play. Hamilton’s defence was always vulnerable and fell apart in two spells. However, Dundee’s woes were entirely self-inflicted. No side that misses such excellent chances and gives away soft goals deserves any sympathy. In addition to the penalty Dundee players were clean through with only the keeper to beat on five occasions and still allowed a highly dodgy defence to keep a clean sheet. Hamilton didn’t have a chance in open play all day as good as the ones that Dundee missed, but they helped themselves to three goals and the first two will certainly have infuriated the coaching staff.
Dundee started the match well today against an Accies team that looked well off the pace in the early stages. If Dundee had scored first, as they certainly should have done, the game could have turned out very differently. Even at half time the game was not lost as the Dee came out and dominated the second half. The big story from this game, however, was Dundee’s finishing. Rarely can the Dee have created and missed so many simple chances.
Hamilton Academical 3-5-1-1
Donati, Sarris, McMann
Skondras, Docherty, MacKinnon Crawford (Redmond 85), Imrie (c)
Boyd (Templeton 64)
Bingham (Longridge 56)
Subs Unused: Fulton (gk), Gillespie, Gogic, Lyon.
Goals: MacKinnon (24), Boyd (36), Imrie (85 pen).
Booked: Donati (foul on El Bakhtaoui), McMann (foul on Allan).
Dundee FC 4-2-3-1
Kerr, Hendry, O’Dea (c) (Waddell 53), Holt
McGowan (O’Hara 78), Kamara
Wolters (Williams 32), El Bakhtaoui, Allan
Unused subs: Parish (gk), Vincent, Hateley, Spence.
Booked: O’Dea (foul on Boyd), Waddel (foul on Templeton), Kerr (foul on Imrie).
Referee: Bobby Madden. Assistants: Douglas Ross, Alastair Mather. Fourth official: Steven Reid.
Report: James Christie.