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The Dark Blues
  • Match Reports 2011

    The muted reaction to the final whistle at the end of Dundee's frantic 2-2 draw with Hamilton at Dens suggested that neither set of supporters were happy with a point. There may have been no shortage of excitement or talking points as play swung from end to end with both teams looking for a winner, but there was a disappointing lack of quality.

    Dundee were some way short of their best and failed to sustain their composed passing game. Hamilton's performance on the other hand was far better than in either of the previous two meetings of the clubs this season, but a lack of composure while attacking Dundee's unusually vulnerable defence cost them victory.

    Following the departure of Gavin Rae, and with Nicky Riley still injured, Dundee kicked off with the same 11 that started the second half against Partick in their last game, a full three weeks ago.

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    After a quiet opening 10 minutes Accies took the lead through a dreadful gift from the Dundee defence. Neil McGregor's loose header backwards found Jon McSHANE returning from an offside position. The Accies' striker simply turned around and ran on to slip the ball past Douglas before any covering defenders could get anywhere near him.

    Dundee's response was either patient or lacking urgency, depending on whether you want to be generous or critical. Whatever the verdict the visiting keeper, David Hutton, didn't have much to trouble him.

    The home supporters started to get irritable as the first half wore on without Dundee threatening. The Dee were able to find space in the Hamilton half, but couldn't exploit it. Conroy and McCluskey put in some good crosses, but all were dealt with comfortable by the Hamilton defence.

    The visitors carried far more threat with less of the ball and would have been more than one goal ahead if they'd managed to keep their head in good positions.

    James McAlister wasted two good chances, shooting weakly and allowing Douglas to save. McShane and Spence beat the high defensive line and ran clear. McShane should have set up Spence for a tap in, but his cut back was too close to Douglas.

    Dundee had an early let off in the second half when Redmond's fine free kick from wide on the right curled over Douglas and came back off the bar.

    Dundee made the most of the escape by grabbing a barely deserved equaliser a few minutes later. From 30 yards CONROY bent the ball over the wall and just under the bar for a lovely goal that gave the home support a huge lift.

    Conroy tried the same trick two minutes later but Hutton managed to save his 25 yard free kick.

    Hamilton didn't sit back and pushed forward, knowing they could win the game. Play surged from end to end in a style that was highly entertaining so long as you didn't focus too much on all the mistakes.

    Dundee's best move of the match saw Hyde and McCluskey work the ball down the right. When the cross came over there was a mass scramble in the Accies goal mouth, but Dundee couldn't force the ball over the line.

    Hamilton substitute Mark Stewart came within inches of winning a penalty when he cut in from the right and was bundled over by Lockwood almost on the edge of the penalty area.

    Dundee had more luck with their shout for a penalty when McCluskey ran into the box and past Kilday who barged him over. Steven MILNE stepped forward to take the penalty. Hutton managed to get a hand to the ball, but couldn't keep it out and at last, after three misses, Dundee had scored from a penalty.

    Milne could have sealed the win a couple of minutes later when Graham Bayne cushioned a header into his path, but he blazed his volley over the bar.

    Rhys Weston came on for Jamie McCluskey with seven minutes to go as Dundee started to look like they were going to hang on for the win. However, they were almost immediately pegged back.

    Milne found himself with his back to goal heading towards the half way line. He was tackled from behind and Accies broke quickly to take full advantage. Stewart shot against the post from McShane's cut back, and Andrew RYAN rammed the rebound back into the net.

    Dundee were left claiming for a foul on Milne, but from my view it looked like he had taken a chance on the referee awarding a free kick rather than getting rid of the ball when he had the chance.

    Hamilton finished the stronger side and could well have snatched a winner in the dying minutes. Douglas managed to stop McAlister's header from a corner on the line, and Mark Stewart came close with a shot that flashed just wide of Douglas's right hand post.

    The home fans and players were left rightly frustrated at two points dropped when they were in a winning position, but if they're being honest they'll admit that if Dundee had won today they would have robbed Hamilton. They didn't play well enough and failed to cause the visitor's defence enough problems or to match Accies' penetrating passing from midfield. It was surely no coincidence that Hamilton look a far better side now that playmaker Alex Neil is available after missing the first five months of the season.

    There were plenty of good individual moments from Dundee players today, but none of it amounted to a good team performance. I don't think that's all down to Gavin Rae's departure. The players available should have done better and I'm sure they will do in the future. Today things didn't quite come off against a team who were clearly determined to make amends for their humiliation at Dundee's hands in December.

    Dundee FC 4-4-2

    Douglas
    Irvine, McGregor, McKeown, Lockwood
    McCluskey (Weston 80), Chisholm, O'Donnell, Conroy
    Hyde (Bayne 74), Milne

    Unused subs; Gibson (gk), Benedictus, McIntosh

    Goals; Conroy (52), Milne pen (78)

    Bookings; Lockwood (foul on Stewart)

    Hamilton Accies 4-1-3-2

    Hutton
    Kilday, Canning, Mensing, Hendrie (Ryan 80)
    Neil
    Redmond, Crawford (Routledge 16), McAlister
    McShane, Spence (Stewart 46)

    Unused subs; Currie (gk), Gordon

    Goals; McShane (11), Ryan (84)

    Bookings; Kilday (foul on McCluskey for penalty), Neil (foul on McCluskey), Ryan (foul on Conroy)

    Attendance; 4,065

    Referee; George Salmond

    Report; James Christie

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