A series of defensive lapses by the Dark Blues allowed Hamilton to leave Dens Park with a 3-1 win. Ioannis Sondras gave Accies a half time lead. David Templeton made it two midway through the second half. Although A-Jay Leitch-Smith scored from the penalty spot a late goal by Antonio Rojano ensured Dundee would take nothing from the game.
Both clubs made three changes. The Dee brought in Kerr Waddell, Randy Wolters and A-Jay Leitch-Smith with Darren O’Dea, Kevin Holt and Sofien Moussa dropping out. Massimo Donati, David Templeton and Rakish Bingham came in for Accies, replacing Steven Boyd, Antonio Rojano and Botti Baibi.
The first half hour was remarkable for a complete lack of goalmouth action, or even incidents to get the fans talking. The Dark Blues had one shot, when Paul McGowan stabbed the ball wide after taking a layoff from Marcus Haber. That was one more serious attempt at goal than Accies were able to muster.
Dundee were playing the ball patiently out from the back, trying to pull Accies out of shape and create space to exploit. They were successful to a certain extent; they worked the ball into some promising positions but the final cross or pass was never good enough.
Shortly after the half hour mark the Dark Blues put in a burst of intense attacking that encouraged the fans. Glen Kamara opened up Accies on the left, but Randy Wolters’ cross flew across goal with no Dees able to reach it. Keeper Gary Wood then saved well to keep out a low 22 yard shot from Lewis Spence at the end of a drive through Accies midfield.
However, it was the visitors who took the lead with a goal out of the blue that was all down to an excellent, early cross by Dougie Imrie. The ball swung away from Scott Bain, bounced and arrived perfectly for Ioannis Skondras racing in from the right to guide his header into the net. Hamilton executed the goal well, but the failure of any Dark Blues to spot or follow the run of Accies wing back was glaring.
Sadly the second half didn’t bring any significant change. Dundee continued to dominate possession and moved the ball around smoothly in midfield without any end product. With a goal in their pocket Accies sat deep, granting Dundee as much space as they wanted in midfield, happy to defend in depth around their penalty area. Josh Meekings saw his volley from a corner cleared by Rakish Bingham, but Dundee struggled to create chances from open play.
Cammy Kerr came on for Jesse Curran at right wing back, and then the other wing back Randy Wolters was replaced by Jon Aurtenetxe. The second substitution was made as Hamilton were waiting to take a free kick and the change might have led to a misunderstanding in the Dundee defence. Certainly the defending was dreadful when the cross came over. David TEMPLETON was left unmarked on the left of the Dee defence and he had time to pull the ball down and shoot past Bain with 63 minutes gone.
Dundee were handed a chance to fight back into the game three minutes later. A-Jay Leitch-Smith ran onto a Kamara pass, but before he could shoot Skondras slid in to tackle with his arm sweeping the ball away. LEITCH-SMITH took the penalty himself, and confidently thumped it home.
Dundee switched to 4-3-3, with Sofien Moussa coming off the bench to replace Josh Meekings. As the fans grew increasingly agitated the Dee couldn’t develop any momentum, or build attacks with any real intensity. The game was mainly in Accies half, but consisted of a series of frustrating and unconvincing attacks that fizzled out with no convincing threat to Hamilton’s defence.
As Dundee pushed forward there was always the chance of being caught out by a break, and that nearly happened when Antonio Rojano set up a great chance for Imrie, whose shot was well saved by Scott Bain with his feet.
Dundee were given another boost when Hamilton were reduced to 10 men by an act of ludicrous stupidity by Massimo Donati. He might have been lucky to pick up only a yellow card for a dangerous lunge at Cammy Kerr. A second yellow followed by the red card duly appeared when he disagreed with the referee’s decision to award a goal kick rather than a corner, and battered the dead ball deep into the Bobby Cox Stand.
The Dundee pressure in the last 15 minutes produced nothing worth reporting and the game died completely when the Dark Blues handed Hamilton a late third goal. Dundee tried to play their way out of defence following a rare Accies attack but lost the ball. Greg Docherty exploited the breakdown in Dundee’s organisation by running to the byline and hitting the ball across for Antonio ROJANO to miscue his finish from a couple of yards out, sending the ball bobbling over the goal line for an ugly horror goal that fitted the Halloween season.
This season Dundee have frustrated the fans by losing matches in which they have dominated and played good football. Today there was still good football on display, but it was all harmless, in areas where the deep lying visitors were happy to watch Dundee play. The Dark Blues lacked drive and intensity and seemed passive, devoid of any conviction they would get back into the game. When Dundee tried to get the ball into the penalty area they could never find the quality of delivery that looked like opening up Hamilton. The sorry truth is that the Dundee attack was toothless today, and with the defence switching off at key moments Accies didn’t have to play particularly well to earn their win. They simply had to keep their concentration and turn up to take advantage of Dundee’s mistakes.
Dundee FC 3-4-1-2
Waddell, Hendry, Meekings (Moussa 67)
Curran (Kerr 53), Kamara, Spence, Wolters (Aurtenetxe 62)
Unused subs: Parish (gk), O’Hara, El Bakhtaoui, Deacon.
Goal: Leitch-Smith (66 pen).
Booked: Spence (foul on McMann), Curran (foul on Imrie), Waddell (foul on Imrie).
Hamilton Academical 3-1-4-2
Gogic, Tomas, McMann
Skondras, Docherty, Mackinnon, Imrie (c)
Bingham (Rojano 55), Templeton (Boyd 68 (Lyon 90+2))
Unused subs: Jamieson (gk), Baibi, Ferguson, Cunningham.
Goals: Skondras (39), Templeton (63), Rojano (84).
Booked: Donati (foul on Kerr, dissent). Rojano (foul on Hendry), MacKinnon (foul on Leitch-Smith).
Sent off: Donati (two bookings).
Attendance: 4,863 (121 away fans).
Referee: Greg Aitken. Assistants: Stephen Mitchell, Daniel McFarlane (Lan). Fourth official: David Munro.
Report: James Christie.