The Dark Blues delighted the travelling support with a winner by A-Jay Leitch-Smith in the 98th minute at Hamilton this afternoon. Dundee recovered well from a disastrous start, conceding an own goal by Mark O’Hara in the second minute. Although the Dee dominated, they couldn’t grab an equaliser until 18 year old substitute Matty Henvey scored his first senior goal after 77 minutes. Accies were down to 10 men after David Templeton’s sending off, and lost Darian MacKinnon through injury in stoppage time. The nine men had their backs to the wall, but couldn’t keep the Dark Blues out.
Sofien Moussa returned from suspension for the Dee, and Kevin Holt started afer coming off the bench on Wednesday. Jon Aurtenetxe and Jesse Curran dropped out of the starting eleven. Accies brought in Shaun Want, Ioannis Skondras and Antonio Rojano instead of Scott McMann, Darren Lyon and Marios Ogboe.
There were only 93 seconds on the clock when the Dark Blues gifted Accies a goal of a start. A free kick from 40 yards out should not have posed a serious problem, but Lewis Ferguson, unchallenged beyond the far post, headed the ball into the goalmouth where Mark O’Hara deflected it into his own net. It was a dreadful, totally unnecessary goal to concede, a terrible way to start the game.
To their credit the Dee responded well to the setback. Hamilton failed to register another serious attack for the remainder of the first half and were largely strangers to the Dundee penalty area. In contrast the Dark Blues must have visited every inch of the Hamilton 18 yard box, while failing to turn possession, dominance and countless attacks into clear chances.
Glen Kamara was the outstanding player on the pitch, acting like a ball magnet in the middle of the park. He started attack after attack, but invariably the moves petered out before putting Accies’ keeper Gary Woods under real threat.
Woods was called upon to save smartly from Paul McGowan’s 18 yard drive but couldn’t hold the ball, which was hacked clear before A-Jay Leitch-Smith could take advantage. Woods handling was better when he made a good interception to cut out Leitch-Smith’s dangerous low cross after neat footwork by O’Hara had opened Hamilton up.
Both teams made changes at half time. Kerr Waddell came on for Josh Meekings and Darren Lyons replaced Danny Redmond in the home midfield.
Dundee were back on the attack right from the start of the second half and Woods had to save El Bakhtaoui’s header after neat turn and cross by Moussa. However, Accies then came back into the game, competing much more strongly in midfield.
After 55 minutes the Dark Blues enjoyed a moment of luck that allowed them to go on and win the game. A clumsy O’Hara challenge gave Accies a free kick 20 yards from goal. Templeton’s curling free kick left Parish helpless but the ball came off the inside of the post, flew across goal and out for a goal kick beyond the far post. If Dundee had fallen two goals behind the points would almost certainly have been lost. As it was Hamilton offered little threat after that.
For a few minutes the Dark Blues seemed to have lost some of their zip in midfield and the play became worryingly scrappy. Dundee soon snapped back into gear and from then till the end it was just a question of whether Hamilton could hold out.
Sofien Moussa did get the ball into the net, but was flagged offside. Scott Allan replaced Paul McGowan just before the hour and proceed to turn the screw on Hamilton, keeping them pinned back with his skill and accurate passing.
Accies escaped a goalmouth scramble from an Allan cross, but then their luck ran out. David Templeton picked up two yellow cards within five minutes and his sending off left substitute striker Marios Ogkmpoe isolated up front and it was backs to the wall for Accies till the final whistle.
Matty Henvey joined the siege after 70 minutes and his first ever goal for the Dee arrived seven minutes later. Scott Allan took a corner, exchanging passes with O’Hara, and then run along the byline before hitting a hard low cross into the goalmouth where HENVEY volleyed high into the net, a great striker’s finish.
Four minutes later Henvey was close to a second when he was inches away from reaching Moussa’s low cross. Dundee were swarming all over Hamilton, who were sitting deeper and deeper, gifting huge areas of the pitch to the Dark Blues. Henvey shot into the side netting after Woods had saved a Moussa header. In a rare Accies excursion up the park they won a free kick and Kevin Holt gave Elliott Parish a scare by heading the ball goalwards, but the keeper pushed the ball round the post.
The fourth official signalled five minutes of injury time, but with Hamilton’s time wasting and an injury to Darian MacKinnon that was extended to eight minutes, crucially for the Dee. Before the desperately late finalé Mark O’Hara sent a low cross shot inches past the post, and Woods saved with his feet from Scott Allan.
At last, as the clock ticked past 97 minutes Dundee won a free kick on the right, from which they scored. Allan played the free kick to Glen Kamara, who coolly took his time to make space and fire a low ball into the six yard box where A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH shot into the roof of the net right in front of the ecsatic Dees in the away stand.
Winning goals don’t feel any better than when they arrive deep into injury time, and this goal couldn’t have come any later. Hamilton’s artificial pitch was greasy today in the rain and it didn’t help the game. Dundee weren’t quite at their best, but they were utterly relentless. They were determined that they weren’t going to settle for anything less than a win and it was richly deserved. The whole team worked like Trojans, but in the vital last half hour the extra composure and skill that Glen Kamara and Scott Allan brought to the match proved decisive.
Hamilton Academical 3-5-2
Want, Tomas, Gogic
Skondras, Redmond (Lyon at half time), MacKinnon, Ferguson (Sarris 86), Imrie
Templeton, Rojano (Ogkmpoe 67)
Unused subs: Fulton (gk), McMann, Hughes, Cunnningham.
Goal: O’Hara og (2).
Booked: Redmond (foul on Kerr), Ferguson (foul on Holt), Rojano (persistent fouling), Templeton (foul on Kamara), Templeton (foul on Allan), Woods (time-wasting).
Sent off: Templeton (two bookings).
Dundee FC 4-3-3
Kerr (c), Hendry, Meekings (Waddell at half time), Holt
O’Hara, Kamara, McGowan (Allan 59)
Leitch-Smith, Moussa, El Bakhtaoui (Henvey 70)
Unused subs: Malherbe (gk), O’Dea, Etxabeguren, Wolters.
Booked: O’Hara (foul on Lyons), Holt (foul on Rojano).
Goals: Henvey (77), Leitch-Smith (90+8).
Attendance: 1,776 (440 Dees).
Referee: Kevin Clancy. Assistants: Paul O’Neill, Calum Spence. Fourth Official: Craig Napier.
Report: James Christie.