Dundee went down to a 1-0 defeat at Airdrie in the Viaplay Cup group E this afternoon. A match with few chances was settled by two second half penalties. Lyall Cameron’s spot kick midway through the half was saved by Josh Rae, then in the last minute of normal time Rhys McCabe converted a penalty to give the Diamonds all three points.
There were three changes to the Dee team that beat Bonnyrigg Rose on Tuesday. Owen Beck and Zach Robinson were injured and replaced by Jack Wilkie and Josh Mulligan. Malachi Boateng kept his place after coming on for Max Anderson. New Mexican signing Diego Pineda was on the bench.
The Dark Blues started on the attack and the first 10 minutes were spent almost entirely in the Airdrie half. There were only a couple of tame shots from distance to show for the attacking and home keeper Josh Rae had little to worry about.
The first serious attempt on goal came from the Diamonds midway through the first half. They got a man over on the left and his cross found Adam Frizzell beyond the far post. Lyall Cameron put in a great block to knock the shot out for a corner.
Dundee played some nice football through the midfield, but struggled to find the right final ball or cross to set up a chance.
Ten minutes from half time the Dark Blues finally did create a good chance. Luke McCowan ran down the right and crossed for Cammy Kerr, who had two shots from 12 yards blocked. Neither Zak Rudden nor Scott Tiffoney could get shots away in the resulting scramble before Rae fell on the ball in relief.
At the very end of a frustrating half the Dee botched a great opportunity to hit Airdrie on the break. Rudden failed to control the ball when he could have ran clear on goal, then Josh Mulligan overhit his pass trying to send Tiffoney away. That was the story of the game for the Dark Blues today.
Little changed after half time. Dundee continued to do most of the attacking, but without ever looking convincing. The Diamonds’ attacks were rare and carried no more danger than Dundee’s.
Just before the hour Diego Pineda came on to make his debut, replacing Zak Rudden. Within a couple of minutes Dundee were awarded a penalty that arrived out of nothing. Jon McCracken launched a long clearance that sailed over the heads of the Diamonds’ defenders. Scott Tiffoney raced after it and nudged the ball past Josh Rae before being flattened for an obvious penalty.
Lyall Cameron stepped forward to take the penalty, but his low shot was pushed round the post by Rae. Dundee were sparked into more urgent action by the disappointment, but there was still little penetration.
Diego Pineda did manage to get a shot from 15 yards on target after Josh Mulligan intercepted a loose clearance by Rae, but there was not enough power in the shot to trouble the keeper.
After 89 minutes Airdrie were awarded a penalty which, like Dundee’s, arrived as a surprise when there was no obvious danger. With his back to goal wide left in the penalty area Diamonds’ substitute Josh O’Connor went down with Jack Wilkie behind him. The referee decided it was a push and pointed to the spot. Player manager Rhys McCabe took the kick and scored with a firm shot as McCracken went the wrong way.
In the five minutes of injury time Dundee frantically tried to save the game but despite forcing the ball into the goalmouth a few times they couldn’t get any shots or headers on target, or even close.
Dundee paid today for their inability to turn possession and territorial domination into goals. Airdrie were able to do little attacking, but it would hardly be fair to say they carried any less threat than the Dark Blues. Dundee rarely looked in trouble at the back, and the winning penalty was Airdrie’s only real shot on target. But apart from Lyall Cameron’s penalty Airdrie keeper Josh Rae didn’t have to make anything but the occasional simple save. Sadly today the Dark Blues were punchless, and were punished for it.
Watson, Fordyce, Taylor-Sinclair, Ballantyne
Frizzell (Telfer 80), McCabe
McGill (O’Connor 52), Aiken, McGregor
Gallagher (Todorov 77)
Unused subs: Hutton (gk), McMaster, Devenny, Dunlop, Fellows, Gunn.
Goal: McCabe 89 (pen).
Booked: Rae (foul on Tiffoney), Fordyce (foul on Tiffoney), McCabe (disssent), Todorov (foul on McCracken), O’Connor (foul on Wilkie).
Dundee FC 4-2-3-1
Kerr, Shaughnessy, Ashcroft, Wilkie
Boateng, Cameron (Robertson 68)
McCowan, Mulligan, Tiffoney
Rudden (Pineda 59)
Unused substitutes: Legzdins (gk), Sharp (gk), McGhee, Byrne, Anderson, Graham, Lamb.
Booked: McCowan (dissent), Wilkie (foul on O’Connor).
Referee: Colin Steven. Dougie Potter, Paul O’Neill.
Attendance: to be announced.
Report: James Christie.