The Dark Blues’ second pre-season friendly ended with a 2-2 draw against Montrose at Links Park. The Dee took the lead early in each half, but defensive frailties allowed Montrose an equaliser each time. Graham Dorrans gave the Dark Blues and early lead from the penalty spot, only for Craig Johnston to force home a scrappy equaliser. Lee Ashcroft restored Dundee’s lead at the start of the second half, but ex-Dee Graham Webster equalised near the end.
Charlie Adam started for the Dark Blues, who adopted a three man central defence throughout the match. Montrose had two former Dundee players, Matty Allan and Kerr Waddell, in their starting eleven, in addition to Webster who came on as a second half substitute.
Dundee began confidently, stroking the ball around to make space, and won a penalty after only a minute. Declan McDaid took the ball from Graham Dorrans, and cut inside the right back Cammy Ballantyne but was brought down clumsily. DORRANS sent the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards to open the scoring.
After that bright start the game fell away and neither goal was in any danger until Montrose scored a messy equaliser after 27 minutes. The Gable Endies’ other Cammy Ballantyne, the midfielder, crossed from the left. Calum Ferrie and Craig Johnston threw themselves at the ball. Neither made a proper connection and the ball ended up in the net despite Jordon Forster’s attempts to keep it out. JOHNSTON claimed the goal.
The goal sparked the game into life and the Dee went close within a minute. Forster headed down at a corner and Lyall Cameron lashed his shot over the bar from 10 yards. In Montrose’s best attack of the first half Johnston found space on the right and crossed for the midfield Cammy Ballantyne to throw himself into a diving header that Ferrie saved well. Matty Allan headed a dangerous cross from McDaid narrowly past his own post in the last action of the half.
The Dark Blues started the second half as they had the first, by taking the lead. Charlie Adam flighted a free kick from 40 yards perfectly into the goalmouth for Lee ASHCROFT to rise and nod the ball past the keeper.
Montrose almost managed a quick equaliser when they showed great persistence to keep their attacks alive. They forced two dangerous crosses through Dundee’s goalmouth in rapid succession with nobody able to finish.
The massed substitutions started after an hour, and one interesting change for Dundee was the sight of 17 year old Josh Mulligan coming on to play at centre back. The youngster looked confident bringing the ball out of defence to start attacks and began a couple of promising moves that way.
Montrose might have equalised in dubious circumstances when Liam Callaghan pushed Dorrans off the ball and ran clear, only to clip his shot narrowly wide.
The Dark Blues could have made the win secure with the best passage of play in the match when Christie Elliot and Dorrans combined superbly on the right. Fin Robertson took Dorrans cross, dragged the ball back into space and flashed his shot inches wide.
With six minutes left Montrose equalised with a goal that might have been highly controversial in a competitive game. Dundee’s improvised back three weren’t alert to Montrose’s runners as the home side played their way into the penalty area. Fraser Macleod looked certain to shoot, but instead played the ball across goal for Graham WEBSTER, seemingly well offide, to tap the ball home.
The second half ended as the first had, with Matty Allan heading wide, but this time it was attacking the Dark Blue’s goal at a corner.
Like Tuesday night’s win against Peterhead this was a good work out, and in beautiful conditions. The defending for both of Montrose’s goals should have been better, regardless of any offside controversy. On the plus side there was some pleasing passing in the Dark Blue midfield, and not only from Charlie Adam. Fin Robertson looked very much at home partnering the former Scotland international at the heart of the Dee midfield. However, Dundee were never consistently on top, or able to impose themselves on Montrose. The Dark Blues did not make enough good chances and they can hardly complain about the home side grabbing the draw that they deserved.
Montrose FC 3-5-2
Waddell (Connelly 80), Allan, Quinn
C Ballantyne, CF Ballantyne (Macleod 80), Masson (Webster 66), Callaghan, Steeves
Hawke (Ross Campbell 58), Johnston
Goals: Johnston (27), Webster (84).
Dundee FC 3-4-1-2
Ferrien (Hamilton at half time)
McGhee (Trialist 80), Forster (Mulligan 58), Ashcroft
Kerr, Adam (Anderson 69), Robertson, McDaid
McGowan, Cameron (Elliott 58)
Unused subs: Hamilton (gk),
Goals: Dorrans (2 pen), Ashcroft (47).
Report: James Christie.