Dundee went down to a disappointing 3-2 defeat at home to Aberdeen at Dens today. The Dark Blues played well, but poor defending cost them a point. The Dons took the lead three times through Considine, a McPake own goal and Goodwillie. Dundee pulled themslves back into the match twice with goals from Gary Harkins and a David Clarkson penalty, but couldn't get the final equaliser that their good football deserved.
Paul Hartley made three changes to the team. Thomas Konrad, Kevin McBride and David Clarkson came in for Simon Ferry, Martin Boyle and Luka Tankulic.
The match started at a furious pace with the teams trading goals in the first six minutes. The Dons took the lead following a free kick swept into the box by Barry Robson. The ball was half cleared and returned for David Goodwillie to hook a cross over for the unmarked Andy CONSIDINE, who didn't even have to leap for the ball as he lunged to score with a strong header.
Dundee fought back strongly and equalised within three minutes. Ash Taylor made a mess of dealing with a Greg Stewart run, and sent the ball straight to Gary HARKINS who rifled a superb low shot into the corner of the net from 25 yards.
Both sides attacked aggressively in an entertaining first half and more goals seemed certain to come. David Clarkson was busy and effective on his first start for the Dee. He got on the end of McGinn's cross, but his header was just too high.
Aberdeen regained the lead after 27 minutes. Niall McGinn made space on the right to send over a dangerous cross. Shay Logan and James McPake both challenged for it, and the ball glanced off the defender's head to leave Letheren helpless.
Again Dundee responded well and pushed the visitors onto the back foot. McAlister headed on a Stewart cross for Clarkson who couldn't quite reach the ball to turn it in at the far post. Clarkson was unlucky again when his shot cannoned off the post after Harkins' run had opened up the defence.
Dundee would have deserved an equaliser before the break, but had a lucky escape when Taylor's mishit shot sent the ball flying across goal, off Considine's head and narrowly past the post.
The Dark Blues started the second half well and were well worth their early equaliser. Referee Mr Collum pointed to the penalty spot after Taylor first seemed to handle and then caught McAlister late. It wasn't clear which was the crucial offence, but it hardly mattered. CLARKSON duly smashed home the spot kick.
Dundee were looking good now, but let themselves down yet again with a poorly defended goal. GOODWILLIE was allowed far too much time and space to direct his header from Logan's cross past Letheren.
The Dark Blues kept fighting, but couldn't pull Aberdeen back for a third time. Craig Wighton came on for Clarkson, and then Martin Boyle for McBride. Late on Peter McDonald replaced Greg Stewart. However, the substitutes couldn't turn the game round and Aberdeen were street-smart enough to take the pace out of the match and frustrate Dundee.
McAlister's well struck 20 yard shot was well taken by Langfield. Boyle had space to shoot from the edge of the penalty area, but blazed over. However, Dundee were struggling to create opportunities against a determined Dons' defence.
Aberdeen were content to sit back and hit on the break, looking dangerous on occasion. Goodwillie managed to push his way past McPake and set up Rooney, whose shot was blocked.
In the final stages the Dee came close when Boyle's fierce low cross deflected off Taylor and forced Langield to tip the ball over the bar. Harkins then had a 25 yard effort that wasn't far wide before the Dons killed the match in injury time keeping the ball by corner flag down by the tunnel.
Dundee did manage to get upfield for one final corner that caused momentary confusion in the Dons' goalmouth, but as soon as the ball was hoofed clear the final whistle went.
There were plenty of encouraging signs in today's performance, but ultimately you can't expect to get anything in the Premiership if you concede three simple goals from crosses. David Clarkson's performance was promising and Dundee always looked dangerous in attack till the Dons decided to sit back for the last 20 minutes.
With a little bit more concentration in defence this could easily have been a good afternoon for the Dee. A home defeat is always disappointing, but there's no reason for the support to feel despondent. Paul Hartley has assembled a good enough squad to cope in this league and the international break will give him the chance to get players fit again after injury.
Dundee FC 4-4-2
McGinn, McPake, Konrad, Irvine
McGowan, McBride (Boyle 78), McAlister, Harkins
Clarkson (Wighton 67), Stewart (McDonald 82)
Unused subs: Bain (gk), Roberts, Kerr, Allan
Goal: Harkins (6), Clarkson (54 pen)
Booked: McPake (foul on Flood), McBride (foul on Robson)
Aberdeen FC 4-4-2
Logan, Taylor, Considine, Reynolds
McGinn (Smith 90+1), Robson, Flood, Pawlett (Murray 87)
Rooney, Goodwillie (Low 77)
Unused subs: Brown (gk), Rose, Monakana, Felek
Goals: Considine (3), McPake OG (27), Goodwillie (63)
Booked: Robson (foul on McAlister), Considine (foul on Wighton)
Referee: Willie Collum
Report: James Christie