The Dark Blues returned from Inverness with a point from a 2-2 draw thanks to Jordan McGhee’s late equaliser. Liam Fontaine had given the Dee a first half lead, only for Caley Thistle to grab two goals in three minutes midway through the second half. The Dee equaliser was deserved, but both sides will rue their inability to hold onto the lead in a game that could have gone either way.
Dundee made only one change to the team that beat Arbroath last week. Jordan McGhee came into the midfield as a straight replacement for Max Anderson, who was on the bench. Caley Thistle sent out an unchanged line-up after their 3-0 away win against Queen of the South.
The Dark Blues almost opened the scoring after a couple of minutes when Alex Jakubiak’s volley from the edge of the area flew narrowly wide. Caley Thistle went close with their first serious attack when Shane Sutherland was allowed to pick up a cross and shoot past the post.
Dundee had the home defence under pressure again when Jordan Marshall’s dangerous cross forced a good headed clearance from Robbie Deas. At the other end Jack Hamilton saved well to keep out Roddy MacGregor’s drive from 18 yards.
Charlie Adam’s fine pass sent Danny Mullen away on the right, but Danny Devine got back to block the shot. Mullen required lengthy treatment after the challenge before he could continue.
Dundee took the lead after 37 minutes following an Adam corner. Jordan McGhee powered a header against the crossbar, and Liam FONTAINE poked home the loose ball from a couple of yards out.
The home side twice came very close to equalising in the remaining few minutes of the first half. A fine move on the left sent Kai Kennedy to the touchline and it took the combined efforts of Jack Hamilton and Jordan Marshall to stop James Keatings turning the cross in. Hamilton again saved the Dee’s lead when Miles Storey was gifted far too much space on the edge of the penalty area. The keeper did well to parry the low drive and then block Shane Sutherland’s follow up.
The Dark Blues could have extended their lead early in the second half when Caley Thistle again failed to deal with a corner. The ball broke to Mullen, who shot wastefully over the crossbar. Inverness then almost grabbed an equaliser when Dundee couldn’t clear a corner. Robbie Deas’ shot was blocked on the goalline and Keatings failed to connect properly with the rebound, allowing Hamilton to save.
Dundee started to settle comfortably on the ball and make some promising threats, none of which ended with any real threat to the home goal. Caley Thistle were struggling to create chances in open play, but turned the match on its head with two quick and avoidable goals.
Slack passing in midfield allowed Storey to break down the right. His dangerous low cross gave Keatings and then Dorrans the chance to shoot, but the Dee defence managed to block, at the expense of a corner. The ball was whipped into the goalmouth, glancing off a defender’s head and DEAS reacted quickly to score at the far post with 72 minutes gone.
Three minutes later Caley Thistle were in front. Sutherland headed down for KEATINGS to turn and shoot past Hamilton from close range.
The Dark Blues had made all three substitutions by the time that Caley Thistle equalised. Osman Sow, Declan McDaid and Max Anderson came on for Danny Mullen, Paul McGowan and Alex Jakubiak. The first two subs combined to set up Dundee’s equalliser after 82 minutes. McDaid’s cross from the right was switched first time by Sow into the path of Jordan McGhee to finish off a beautifully worked goal from six yards range.
Dundee had the creative edge in the later stages and always looked capable of pinching a winner. Max Anderson had a couple of good runs. McGhee stabbed his shot wide following the first, and the second was ended by Brad McKay taking a booking for his team to stop Anderson breaking through from midfield.
Inverness might have been second best after Dundee’s equaliser, but they had the pace in attack to threaten when Dundee lost the ball. Right on the end of the regulation 90 minutes substitute Nikolay Todorov did force the ball into the Dee net, but from an offside position.
The match ended with both sides keen to keep play flowing in the hope of a winner. Both clubs will probably feel disappointed they couldn’t hold on for three points, and they would both have a point. The Dark Blues should certainly not have allowed Caley Thistle to grab those two quick goals, and the home side will rightly be annoyed that they failed to settle on their lead and allowed Dundee to work a deserved equaliser. In the circumstances a point apiece was fair, and that is the best result that the Dee have ever managed to secure on a league visit to Inverness. A first league win at that difficult venue will have to wait a bit longer.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 4-4-2
Brad McKay, Devine, Deas, Harper
Sutherland (Todorov 81), Allardice, MacGregor, Kennedy (Doran 66)
Unused subs: Cameron Mackay (gk), Duffy, Welsh, Vincent, Daniel Mackay.
Goals: Deas (72), Keatings (75).
Booked: Deas (foul on Jakubiak), Allardice (foul on Byrne), Keatings (dissent), B McKay (foul on Anderson).
Dundee FC 4-3-1-2
Elliott, Fontaine, Ashcroft, Marshall
McGhee, Byrne, Adam
McGowan (McDaid 66)
Jakubiak (Anderson 71), Mullen (Sow 63)
Unused subs: Ferrie (gk), Kerr, Forster, Robertson.
Goals: Fontaine (37), McGhee (82).
Booked: Byrne (foul on Allardice), Adam (confrontation with Storey).
Referee: Craig Napier. Assistants: Calum Spence, Chris Rae.
Report: James Christie.