Dundee Reserves made it three wins on the spin with a 3-2 victory over top of the league Raith Rovers in the SPFL Reserve league, in a match where the final scoreline didn’t really reflect Dundee’s dominance.
Dundee controlled the first half and went in at the break 3-0 up although the home side did also have chances to find the net.
And after the break the Dark Blues again did most of the attacking but were slack in front of goal while Raith with much less of the ball took their two clear cut chances and almost snatched a draw
The match kicked off in bitterly cold conditions and it was Raith who had the first of many chances created during the ninety minutes by both sides, Lewis Vaughan spinning to shoot over from Jamie Watson’s headed knock down in the second minute.
Martin Boyle was next to try his luck, racing past left back Lee Foggin onto Monti’s through ball before firing wide of the goal.
Boyle was involved in much of the good play in the first period and his whipped cross soon after was just out of the reach of Leighton McIntosh.
And Boyle came close again on 12 minutes when he controlled Mcintosh’s knock down before bringing a good save from Jordan Roberts, the home keeper diving to his right to fingertip away the angled shot.
Raith hit back and Dan Twardzik in the Dark Blues‘ goal was glad that Watson’s touch from a Vaughan through ball was heavy enough to enable him to nick it off the striker’s toes.
By midway through the first half it was evident that Boyle had the beating of the home full back almost at will and McIntosh was close to getting on the end of another good delivery from the winger.
A fine cross field ball from Jamie Reid on 28 minutes provided Monti with space for a cross which was half cleared with Kevin McBride firing in a shot which Roberts held.
With half an hour on the clock Dundee should have been ahead, Cammy kerr’s long ball forward was flicked on by McIntosh to Boyle who raced past two challenges, but with just the keeper to beat he lashed his shot off the cross bar.
That miss could have proved costly as just minutes later a quick throw in saw Watson with space on the left of the Dundee penalty area – he cut the ball back for Callum Robertson but the striker skied his near post effort over the bar from just three yards out.
It was a real let off for Dundee and they redoubled their attacking efforts. Leighton McIntosh should have scored from a Boyle cut back and seconds later Raith full back Jon McInally blocked Monti’s goalbound effort.
At the other end Watson got on the end of a free kick into the box but Twardzik held his awkward attempt at goal and as we entered the last five minutes of the half Dundee were about to be rewarded for their dominance of possession and attacking intent.
James Thomson’s pass found Monti on the half way line and he strode forward before sliding a pass through to Boyle cutting in from the left who slid the ball low past Roberts’ right hand and into the corner of the net.
Just two minutes later Dundee were two up, Matty Allan nicked the ball to Kevin McBride to stop a Raith break and the midfielder’s long diagonal ball fell perfectly for Boyle who skipped past Foggin before being downed by David Bates as he raced in on goal. Monti stepped up to take the penalty and expertly send Roberts the wrong way.
Dundee were running riot now and as the half entered its final minute Leighton McIntosh turned home Monti’s cross from close range to give Dundee a three goal lead at half time.
Heavy rain started at half time and didn’t let up as Raith went about trying to get back into the match.
It was Monti who had the first effort of the half though, but his 30 yarder didn’t trouble the home keeper as it slid just wide.
Roberts did have to work with Dundee’s next attempt as Cammy Kerr thundered in an effort from ever further out, the keeper doing well to tip the youngster’s piledriver over, he was considerably less troubled by his next call to action, safely gathering Matty Allan’s header from Monti’s cross.
Fifteen minutes into the half the Dee should really have been four ahead as Boyle raced from the half way line, played a one-two off a defender and raced clear, Roberts getting down to his left to save with his foot. Dundee kept up the pressure and McIntosh’s cross found Boyle with space at the back post but he miscued his shot and it went across the goal and past the post.
Six minutes later Raith gave themselves a lifeline as Lewis Vaughan got space on the left to cross for Jamie Watson who got the home side back into the match with a low effort into the bottom corner.
It was Dundee who had the next couple of chances though, first Jamie Reid stung the hands of Roberts with a rasping twenty five yarder and then Steven Doris screwed a close range angled effort wide after great work from Monti on the left.
With the game into the last six minutes Raith were right back in the hunt as Andy Munro and Callum Robertson combined to feed in Lewis Vaughan, and although Twardzik made a fabulous save, diving at the midfielder’s feet, the ball broke kindly for Vaughan who netted at the second attempt.
Monti had the ball in the net at the other end minutes later but he had carried it over the touchline before shooting, referee Gavin Ross rightly ruling it out.
Raith were trying to press but it wasn’t until the very last kick of the game that they troubled the Dark Blues’ goal but that was a fantastic effort Watson chesting the ball down twenty five yards out before twisting into a shooting position and curling an almost great effort inches wide of the junction of crossbar and post.
Seconds later the final whistle went, leaving Dundee with a deserved win but one which should have been more comfortable than it eventually appeared.
Raith Rovers: Roberts, McInally, Foggin, Callachan, Bates, Munro, Matthews, Vaughan, Watson, Robertson, McCroary
Subs: Campbell, Lawson, Taylor
Dundee: Twardzik, Kerr, Thomson, Allan, Mollison, Boyle, McBride, Reid, Monti, Doris, McIntosh
Subs: Carberry, Sivewright, Cameron, Duggan, Colquhoun