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The Dark Blues
  • Match Reports 2011

    It was a sadly familiar story at Dens today as Dundee lost again to a poorly defended goal after failing to kill the opposition off when they were on top.

    The Dee missed numerous chances as they dominated a largely toothless Accies team for the first hour. However, after Mark McLaughlin scored a ridiculously soft goal from a corner the visitors had little difficult seeing the game out and taking the points home.

    Barry Smith responded to his lack of strikers by fielding a three man central midfield and playing Nicky Riley and Jamie McCluskey on the flanks supporting sole striker Steven Milne.

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    Stephen O'Donnell returned after suspension and Gary Irvine remained in the central midfield, with Ross Chisholm completing the midfield.

    Steve Masterton, formerly of Clyde and Morton, was on the bench as a trialist.

    Hamilton fielded a similar formation, but deployed it in a more cautious style.

    The congested midfield meant that there was a lack of thrills to excite the students taking advantage of cheap tickets, but Dundee had more possession and carried far more threat throughout the half.

    Dundee's early attacks tended to grind to a halt when the final pass or cross was mistimed or mishit. The Dee started to get it right and created enough chances to give the supporters confidence that it would come right in the end, but sadly it wasn't to be.

    Jamie McCluskey played a beautiful pass through for Milne, but the striker's shot was comfortably dealt with by Cerny.

    The Accies keeper had more trouble turning a scuffed Milne shot round the post and then had to move smartly to turn a fine 20 yarder over from the same player.

    Just before half time Gary Irvine drove into the penalty area. Milne's first shot was blocked but he followed up to force a good save from Cerny.

    Accies had struggled to impose themselves on the game and were anonymous in attack. Neil McGregor and Kyle Benedictus each had to make fine penalty box tackles to stop Accies attacks, but the Dee's defence was largely untroubled in the first half.

    After half time Nicky Riley moved into the middle with Steven Milne dropping wide. The change nearly brought an immediate reward.

    Riley surged through the middle and set up O'Donnell but his shot hit the inside of the post and agonisingly stayed out allowing McLaughlin to clear before a Dundee player could follow up.

    Kyle Benedictus had a free header from the corner, but sent the ball over. Dundee kept storming forward and Riley raced clear through the middle onto a Milne pass, but shot just wide.

    Hamilton weathered the storm and took the lead rather against the run of play on 64 minutes.

    A right wing corner was mishit, dropping outside the area. The Dundee defence seemed to switch off when it was scooped back in and Mark MCLAUGHLIN sent a gentle looping header over Douglas and just inside the top corner from 12 yards.

    The goal simultaneously took the wind from Dundee's sails and steeled Accies' resolve. Up till that point Hamilton had been second best. After the goal they were in charge and Dundee never looked like saving the game.

    The Dee kept working away, but they couldn't get men into dangerous positions, or send menacing balls into the penalty area. Time and again they worked the ball round the area and then wasted the opportunity with a poor pass or cross.

    Accies were largely content to sit on their lead, but they came closest to a goal as the match drifted to its conclusion.

    Dougie Imrie, a talented and infuriating individual, had been involved in most of Accies' good play and beat Douglas to a long punt, but steered his shot high and wide from a difficult angle.

    This was yet another infuriating and highly frustrating game for everyone associated with the Dee. The players responded well to the problems caused by the lack of strikers and dominated Accies for long spells.

    If they had taken the lead when they were well on top it would surely have boosted their confidence and lifted the crowd. The game turned completely when Hamilton took the lead, and from then on the Dundee players looked badly short of confidence, while the visitors clearly expected to go on and win.

    For most of the game Dundee looked far too good a team to be struggling at the bottom of the league, and they surely have the players to turn the season around. Today was one of those days when they needed a break. It didn't come. Accies may have got a couple of breaks but to their credit they exploited them professionally to graft out the win.

    Dundee FC 4-3-2-1

    Benedictus (Masterton 77), McKeown, McGregor (Weston 80), Lockwood
    Irvine, O'Donnell, Chisholm (Conroy 83)
    Riley. McCluskey

    Unused subs; Gibson (gk), Webster

    Hamilton Academical 4-3-2-1

    McAlister, Canning, McLaughlin, Gordon
    Imrie, Mensing, Crawford (Chamber 59)
    Anderson (Gillespie 59), Lyle
    Spence (Paterson 69)

    Unused subs; Hutton (gk), Devlin

    Goal; McLaughlin 64

    Booked; Gillespie (foul on Chisholm)

    Attendance; 4,186

    Referee; Bobby Madden

    Report; James Christie

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    • By TheDarkBlues
      James McAlister was at Dens for three seasons and was considered a fan favourite.
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