Kerr Waddell was the unlikely hero as the Dees beat Hearts 2-1. The 19-year-old headed home at the end of both halves to cancel out Kyle Lafferty’s equaliser.
Manager Neil McCann made four changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Kilmarnock. Cammy Kerr, Scott Allan, Faissal El Bakhtaoui and A-Jay Leitch-Smith all dropped out, as Mark O’Hara, Sofien Moussa, Paul McGowan and Kerr Waddell came into a revamped side set up to match Hearts 3-5-2 shape.
The visitors were forced into an early change as Aaron Hughes was replaced by Prince Buaben after six minutes. Jamie Walker nearly opened the scoring for Hearts when Scott Bain’s clearance cannoned off the Hearts forward. Thankfully for the Dee, the ball went wide of the post.
Both sides were battling all over the park, which meant clear cut chances were at a premium. Lewis Spence’s pop shot from the edge of the box was the closest either side came to a proper chance.
With half time on the horizon, Dundee went ahead. Kevin Holt floated a corner into the box, and when Kerr Waddell found himself unmarked, there was only ever one outcome, as he headed the ball low into the corner of the net.
Roarie Deacon forced McLaughlin into a save just after the restart, following a counterattack from a Hearts corner. Scott Bain did well to keep out Esmael Gonclaves deflected effort. The Hearts striker got to the by-line, and Bain managed to stop the ball spinning back into the net.
The Portuguese frontman was a handful for the Dundee back three, and nearly equalised on the hour mark when he fired a venomous strike against the crossbar.
Dundee broke, and should have made to two when O’Hara’s cut back found Moussa, but he could only shoot straight at McLaughlin. The Dundee striker seemed to be taken by surprise the ball had reached him, but it was still a chance that should have been taken.
Then after 70 minutes, disaster struck for the Dundee frontman as he inadvertently set up the equaliser. His attempt to volley the ball back to Bain from the half way line was unsuccessful, giving Kyle Lafferty the opportunity to knock the ball past the Dundee keeper, and slide it into the net.
The visitors were in the ascendency as the game neared its conclusion. Bain twice denied Walker, first beating away a powerful strike from 12 yards, and then pushing a low drive against the post. Lafferty slammed the ball into the side netting in the final minute of normal time.
A-Jay Leitch-Smith had replaced Moussa after 77 minutes, and he forced McLaughlin into a fine save two minutes into injury time.
The resulting corner was sent in by Paul McGowan, and yet again Waddell was unmarked, and he powered home another header to seal all three points for the Dark Blues.
Dundee (3-5-2): Bain, Holt, O’Dea (Kerr 64), Kamara, Moussa (Leitch-Smith 77), O’Hara, McGowan, Deacon (El Bakhtaoui 82), Hendry, Spence, Waddell
Subs Unused: Parish, Allan, Aurtenetxe, Wolters
Goals: Waddell 43’, 90+3’
Hearts (3-5-2): McLaughlin, Smith, Souttar, Hughes (Buaben 6’), Berra, Walker, Lafferty, Randall, Callachan, Cochrane (Milinkovic 72), Gonclaves
Subs Unused: Hamilton, Martin, Cole, Grezlak, Henderson
Goal: Lafferty 70’
Referee: Steven McLean
Report: Andrew Creegan