Dundee had to make do with a single point after drawing 0-0 at the Kilmac Stadium against Livingston this afternoon. The Dark Blues dominated the first half and should have been in the lead by half time. Livingston came back into the game in the second half and Dundee couldn’t dig out the win.
The Dee made four changes from the team that played Motherwell. Jordan Marshall, Ryan Sweeney and Alex Jakubiak returned to the starting eleven, and Leigh Griffiths made his debut, second time around. Jason Cummings and Liam Fontaine moved onto the bench, while Charlie Adam and Paul McMullan were injured.
The Dark Blues dominated from the start and had Livingston’s defence in trouble within a minute. Weak defending allowed Jordan McGhee to power his way along the byline, but his cutback was too close to keeper Stryjek.
Livingston’s Polish goalkeeper had to be on top form to keep out the Dee and pulled off a superb save to deny Max Anderson who had been sent clear by Luke McCowan after a fast passing move.
Dundee’s quick passing, movement and pressing caused the visitors constant problems. Livingston kept giving away possession cheaply and looked vulnerable to Dundee’s fast breaks when they did venture forward.
A Dee breakaway ended with McCowan’s 20 yard shot being deflected over the bar. McCowan started another break when he robbed Penrice. Anderson kept the move going and gave McGhee space to shoot from the edge of the penalty area, but the Dee captain sent his shot deep into the Bobby Cox Stand.
The Dark Blues kept making chances and kept missing them. Leigh Griffiths failed to connect properly with his header from Jordan Marshall’s cross.
Ryan Sweeney brought another fine save from Stryjek who touched his looping header onto the crossbar as Dundee kept the pressure on following a partially cleared corner.
Livingstson offered very little in attack in a one sided first half. They did manage two shots on target, both from distance and both straight at Adam Legzdins who had no trouble dealing with them. Their best effort of the half was a dipping 20 yard shot from Ben Williamson that cleared the crossbar by a foot.
In the second half the quality of the game sagged and never recovered. Dundee never managed to recover the fluent, high energy that allowed them to dominate the first 45 minutes.
The Dark Blues still created chances, however. Cammy Kerr ran onto a loose ball 18 yards from goal and his fierce shot was deflected over the crossbar.
A crunching tackle by Shaun Byrne in midfield stopped a prospective Livingston, allowing the Dee to launch a quick counter-attack. Max Anderson raced into the penalty area. He passed to Leigh Griffiths who cut back into space to shoot, and his shot took a huge deflection that sent the ball looping gently over Stryjek who managed to recover and push the ball round the post before it crossed the goalline.
Dundee’s final chance was a header by Luke McCowan that went straight at Stryjek.
The game became increasingly messy, broken up by mistakes, fouls and timewasting. Livingston looked much more dangerous in attack in the last half hour but without creating any chances. On a few occasions they created fleeting moments of danger in the Dee penalty area, but each time the Dundee defence managed to clear before a Livingston player could shoot.
Jason Cummings and Declan McDaid replaced Alex Jakubiak and Luke McCowan for the last half hour. The change did not bring the breakthrough the fans were desperate to see.
The Dark Blues launched attack after attack, but they couldn’t find the right pass or cross to set up a chance. Too many crosses were easily dealt with by Livingston’s packed defence.
So Dundee had to settle for a point in a game that they should really have won. If the Dark Blues had been able to take the lead it would have opened the game up, to Dundee’s advantage. As it was the Dee lacked the creativity and cutting edge they needed to take all three points.
Dundee FC 4-3-3
Kerr, Ashcroft, Sweeney, Marshall
Anderson (McGowan 81), Byrne, McGhee (c)
McCowan (McDaid 64), Griffiths, Jakubiak (Cummings 64)
Unused subs: Lawlor (gk), Fontaine, Panter, Sheridan.
Booked: Ashcroft (foul on Anderson).
Devlin (c), Obileye, Fitzwater, Penrice
Holt, Williamson (Jacobs 73)
Sibbald (Bailey 27), Shinnie, Forrest
Anderson (Hamilton 58)
Unused subs: Barden (gk), Montano, Longridge, Lewis.
Booked: Williamson (foul on Byrne), Holt (foul on McDaid), Bailey (foul on Marshall), Forrest (foul on Kerr).
Referee: Alan Muir. Assistants: Frank Connor, Sean Carr. Fourth Official: Chris Graham.
Report: James Christie.