A Nick Ross brace secured all three points for the U20s in their Development League fixture with Dunfermline. The Dees fielded a strong starting 11 with Ross, James Vincent, Danny Williams and Marc Klok all featuring, and were in control for much of the game against a young Dunfermline side.
Dundee were moving the ball well in the opening stages, but failed to test Cammy Gill in the Dunfermline goal. Marc Klok’s fierce volley after 20 minutes was the keeper’s first test. James Vincent headed Ian Smith’s cross wide not long after.
With just over half an hour gone, the Dees took the lead. Danny Williams won the ball high up the pitch and laid the ball back for Vincent, who found Ross, and the midfielder drilled the ball past Gill from the top of the box.
It took just four minutes for the Dark Blues to add a second. Sam Dryden’s cross was met by Ian Smith, who volleyed the ball across the face of goal to Ross, who steered the ball home from close range.
The Dees were threatening to run riot, as Williams saw his shot blocked by a Dunfermline defender before Gill made a fingertip save to push Ian Smith’s shot round the post. Vincent was next to have a go, but was also denied by Gill.
Dunfermline started the second half looking for a route back into the match and saw Callum Smith’s shot saved by Calum Ferrie after 52 minutes. The Pars number nine fired wide moments later.
With just over an hour gone, Ross, Vincent and Williams were replaced by Matty Smyth, Connor Coupe and Mark Smith. The Dees continued in search of a third goal. Brian Rice saw his effort saved by Gill, before Kerr Waddell saw his shot blocked by a Dunfermline defender.
Mark Smith was denied by Gill after 81 minutes, the striker turned Dryden’s cross towards goal, but a fine save from the keeper kept the ball out the net. Gill was called into action with 60 seconds remaining. Coupe’s volley was flicked by Waddell, and the keeper did well to readjust and push the ball over the bar.
This was a fine performance from a strong Dundee side. Nick Ross and James Vincent have done their chances of featuring against Rangers no harm, while Marc Klok will benefit from 90 minutes under his belt. Sam Dryden and Brian Rice both put in a good shift in the full back positions, while Higgins, Waddell and Smyth were largely untroubled.
Dundee (4-3-3): Ferrie, Dryden, Higgins, Waddell, Rice, Ross (Smyth 65), Vincent (Coupe 65), Klok, Clark, Williams (M. Smith 65), I. Smith
Subs Unused: Gourlay
Goals: Ross 32’, 36’
Dunfermline (4-3-3): Gill, Robertson, Duthie, Allan, Duncan, Galloway (Andrew 59), Crawford, Horne, C. Smith, Todd (Mclair 45), Luke
Subs Unused: Dunn
Report: Andrew Creegan