Dundee Vs Hearts

Dundee’s injury hit team went down to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Hearts at the Kilmac Stadium this afternoon. The Dark Blues had the edge in the first half of a scrappy game. After half time Hearts improved and 15 minutes from the end Jamie Walker scored an untidy winner that was typical of the match.

The Dundee starting eleven had only two changes, with Christie Elliott and Leigh Griffiths replacing Ryan Sweeney and Jordan Marshall. However, four of the players who startred against Hibs had to move to different positions. Cammy Kerr switched from right to left back. Jordan McGhee dropped back into central defence. Paul McGowan and Danny Mullen each moved back into deeper roles. There were only five players named for the bench. Alex Jakubiak was the only who has played for the Dee in the Premiership.

Hearts started on the attack and they had more of the ball throughout the first half. But their pedestrian movement through the midfield always allowed the Dee time to cover. Dundee’s faster attacking unsettled Hearts’ defence and looked more likely to break the stalemate.

The Jam Tarts had to replace Stephen Kingsley, who picked up an early injury. Alex Cochrane replaced him on the left of the back three. He was soon busy as Dundee regularly targeted the gap between him and left wing back Andrew Halliday. Paul McMullan, with able support from Christie Elliot, was a constant threat.

Hearts had the first half chance after 18 minutes when Ben Woodburn could do little with an awkwardly bouncing ball and scooped a shot over the bar.

The Dark Blues were playing some good, fast football through the midfield, but couldn’t find the right final ball. The Hearts defenders created problems for themselves with some sloppy distribution, and failure to unload the ball before they were closed down by the Dee’s eager pressing.

It took until the last few minutes of the half for either keeper to be tested. Dundee broke at speed through Max Anderson and Paul McGowan. Luke McCowan cut inside from the left and his low shot from 18 yards was saved by Craig Gordon at full stretch.

A messy game failed to improve after the interval, with mistakes and careless passes breaking up attacks as often as the defenders did.

As the half wore on Hearts began to dominate against a tiring Dundee side. Adam Legzdins had to deal with the occasional cross, but he was not called upon to make any saves as Hearts failed to get a shot on target until the scored after 75 minutes.

Barrie McKay set up substitute Aaron McEneff to shoot from 18 yards. The shot was weak and straight at Legzdins but Liam Fontaine stuck out a foot, diverting the ball onto the post. The rebound flew across goal for Jamie WALKER to shoot high into the net at the far post.

The Dark Blues threw on Alex Jakubiak in the place of Luke McCowan as they tried to fight their way back onto level terms. There was plenty of effort from tiring legs, from players who had overcome injuries to turn out for the club and who might not have been called upon if the squad had been at full strength. Sadly, however, there was no happy finalé as the Dee could not find the right final ball to set up a match saving chance.

Dundee’s makeshift defence did very well today, restricting Hearts to only a single shot on target. However, in the second half the Dee were unable to sustain the high energy, fast moving attacking that beat Motherwell and St Johnstone so impressively in the previous two home games. With no experienced match-fit players on the bench there was little scope for livening up the attack.

If it had been the Dee, rather than Hearts, who had a wee bit of luck when they were the better side today’s result would have been different. The outcome was disappointing, but hardly a cause for despair.

Dundee FC 4-2-3-1

Elliott, Fontaine, McGhee (c), Kerr
Anderson, McGowan
McMullan, Mullen, McCowan (Jakunbiak 81)

Unused subs: Lawlor (gk), Panter, Donald, Lamb.

Booked: Anderson (foul on Mackay-Steven), McGowan (foul on McKay), Mullen (foul on Moore), Griffiths (dissent).

Hearts 3-4-2-1

Gordon (c)
Souttar, Halkett, Kingsley (Cochrane 23)
Moore, Haring, Devlin, Halliday
McKay, Mackay-Steven (Walker 58)
Woodburn (McAneff 73)

Unused subs: Stewart (gk), Smith, Gnanduillet, Logan.

Goal: Walker (75).

Booked: Walker (foul on Elliott), Souttar (foul on Griffiths).

Attendance: 5,874.

Referee: William Collum. Assistants: Dougie Potter, Graham McNeillie.
Fourth Official: Euan Anderson.

Report: James Christie.

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