Dundee played out a 1-1 draw in the BBC’s Friday night match at Queen of the South. The Doonhamers’ Jack Hamilton gave the home side an early lead but Jordan McGhee quickly brought the Dee level. Both sides had chances in an open game on a difficult artificial pitch and the Dark Blues had to settle for a point.
The Dark Blues made three changes from Saturday’s defeat at Morton. Graham Dorrans came in for his first start, in central midfield, with Kane Hemmings and Andrew Nelson starting up front. They replaced Shaun Byrne and Daniel Johnson, who were on the bench, and Paul McGowan, who was ill. Queens two changes were Jack Hamilton and Michael Paton coming in for Connor Murray and Gary Oliver.
Ex-Dee Kevin Holt had the first shot when he tested Jack Hamilton with an angled drive, but it was directly at the keeper and caused no problems. However, Hamilton was helpless after five minutes when Stephen Dobbie was allowed far too much space and he pinged a low shot from 25 yards against the post. The Dee keeper’s namesake, Queens’ Jack HAMILTON, followed up to shoot into the empty net.
Dundee didn’t let the setback unsettle them and almost equalised with a beautiful attack down the left. Fin Robertson made space cleverly and sent Kane Hemmings away to race around Scott Mercer and pull the ball back for Andrew Nelson. The number nine’s shot looked a certain goal but Robbie McRorie pulled off a magificent save to turn the ball round the post.
That delayed the equaliser for only a few seconds. When the corner was half cleared Graham Dorrans returned a delightfully flighted cross for Jordan McGHEE to head firmly inside the far post.
Queens were always dangerous when Dobbie was on the ball and Hamilton saved well after he ran in from the right.
McRorie foiled the Dee again with another great save when he managed to reach a shot by Josh McPake that took a tricky deflection. Cammy Kerr dragged a left foot shot wide after battling his way through to the penalty area.
Dundee were doing most of the attacking at this stage but were almost caught out by a fast break, started predictably by Dobbie. The Dee managed to get players back quickly and twice threw bodies in the way to block shots.
The longer the first half lasted the scrappier the game became on a poor pitch. Declan McDaid powered a shot wide after racing away from a Hamilton throw out. Kevin Holt tried a spectacular overhead kick that sailed far off into the gathering darkness and that was the end of a first half that started in thrilling style but fell away.
Dundee made a change early in the second half, bringing Shaun Byrne on for Josh McPake. That allowed the Dee to control the midfield for long spells, but without creating enough danger in the home penalty area.
After an hour McRorie made his third excellent save when he touched away a free kick by Graham Dorrans from 25 yards that was heading inside the post.
The game became increasingly open, but play was still too scrappy. The pitch didn’t help, with the ball often failing to run true on the plastic. Uncharacteristically, Stephen Dobbie fluffed two half chances in quick succession. He sclaffed a shot wide after a poor header by Cammy Kerr then blasted into the side netting from a difficult angle when a cutback was the better option.
Although Dundee had more possession and were doing more attacking Queens had more chances in the second half. Darren Brownlie sent a free header from 16 yards straight at Hamilton. 10 minutes from time Cammy Kerr rescued the Dee with a clearance off the line from Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
Both teams might have done better with late headers. First Queens’ Hamilton headed weakly into the arms of the Dee’s Hamilton and then Kane Hemmings sent his header well wide from Marshall’s cross.
There were four minutes of injury time, but neither keeper was given anything to worry about as the game drifted to a draw. After a bright start the game deteriorated badly. Neither side could find the composure, movement or penetration to earn a winner and Dundee again had difficulty turning ample possession into real danger to the opposition goal.
Queen of the South 4-4-2
Mercer (Lyon 83), Brownlie, Kilday, Holt
Pybus, Kidd, Paton, El Bakhtaoui
Hamilton, Dobbie (c)
Unused subs: Burns (gk), Murray, Oliver, McCarthy, Irving, Gourlay.
Goal: Hamilton (5).
Booked: Holt (foul on Kerr), Paton (foul on Johnson), El Bakhtaoui (dissent).
Dundee FC 4-4-2
Kerr, McGhee (c), Forster, Marshall
McDaid, Robertson, Dorrans, McPake (Byrne 50)
Nelson (Johnson 67), Hemmings
Unused subs: Ferrie (gk), Meekings, Todd, Mackie, Moore.
Goal: McGhee (10).
Booked: Forster (foul on Holt), Robertson (foul on El Bakhtaoui).
Attendance: 1,249 (154 Dees).
Referee: Willie Collum. Assistants: John McCrossan, Barry Reid. 4th official: Scott Lambie.
Report: James Christie.