Dundee safely made their way through to the second round of the Communities League Cup with a comfortable 4-0 win over Peterhead at Dens Park. Simon Ferry and Greg Stewart put the Dee 2-0 up half time, with Peter MacDonald and Luka Tankulic completing the scoring in the second half. The Dark Blues were in charge throughout and pleased the home fans with their attractive passing game.
Paul Hartley opted for an adventurous formation, fielding two strikers, Tankulic and Stewart, with Harkins in the free role between the strikers and midfield.
The Dark Blues moved smoothly into gear right from the start. Tankulic worked a clever move with Harkins, who smashed a 15 yard shot against the crossbar.
The new German striker then glided past three defenders before crossing for Stewart to glance a header wide. A wicked cross from McGowan flew across goal with Harkins and Tankulic both hurtling in and failing to connect.
Dundee were impressing the fans with their passing, movement and vision while the Blue Toon were struggling to get out of their own half.
The Dee should have taken the lead after 15 minutes. Thomson's excellent through pass sent Harkins clear, but his second touch was heavy and allowed Smith enough time to block the shot for a corner.
The goal that Dundee were threatening soon arrived. A fast, incisive move down the right from McGowan to McGinn and on to Ferry gave Tankulic space to shoot. Keeper Smith managed to parry but he was helpless when Simon FERRY followed up to stab home his first goal for the Dee from four yards.
Harkins nearly added a second with a fierce 22 yard shot that Smith tipped over the bar. Dundee looked firmly in control, but it took an astonishing goal line clearance from Kevin Thomson to preserve their lead. Ross Smith's powerful header from a corner was heading inside the post till the Dee skipper dived sideways to head the ball away.
This was in one of Peterhead's few first half attacks and Dundee settled down again to control the game. Konrad had a free header from a corner, but the ball struck a defender and bounced wide.
Dundee looked dangerous with every attack and the Blue Toon struggled to pick up the intelligent runs from the Dundee midfield. In the last minute of the half Dundee scored the second goal they deserved.
Thomson took a quick free kick to McGowan who found Greg STEWART in space to rifle in his first goal for the Dee from 12 yards.
Dundee started the second half sluggishly and the Blue Toon should have pulled a goal back only a minute after the break. Sloppy play, following a Dundee goal kick, allowed Rogers to fire in a low cross from the left. Rory McAllister has scored in each of his last 11 matches, notching 16 goals. He should have made it 12 matches on the bounce, but skyed the ball over the bar from close in.
More carelessness in defence allowed Rogers a half chance from a quick McAllister free kick, but he flicked the ball well wide.
Dundee settled down again and looked every bit as smooth and dangerous in the first half. Peter MacDonald and Kevin McBride came on for Stewart and Ferry. The game entered a flat spell for 10 minutes. Peterhead pushed forward more, but offered little threat.
The Dark Blues sprang to life for the last 15 minutes and scored two more fine goals. Tankulic combined superbly with McGinn on the right and his cross picked out MACDONALD, who headed in the third.
Dundee nearly scored a fourth almost straight from the kick off. McGowan's through ball found Harkins, but Smith dived at his feet to save.
The final goal followed quickly. Harkins broke down the left wing and swept over an inviting cross. Luka TANKULIC gratefully accepted the invitation, crashing a fierce volley past Smith.
Tankulic was immediately substituted to let Martin Boyle have a run out for the last few minutes. The German striker got a well deserved standing ovation as he left the park.
Peterhead ran away with last season's League Two, scoring freely and would have approached this cup tie confidently. However, Dundee looked a full two divisions above their visitors today and were never in danger of being the fall guys in a cup upset.
Paul Hartley will surely be delighted that three of his strikers opened their account for the season today. Four goals, a clean sheet and an impressive determination to keep playing attractive football all added up to a very pleasing afternoon. If there was anything to quibble about it would have been a few careless moments in defence that a Premiership side would have punished.
The Dark Blues now have a team of players who are comfortable in possession. They are clearly happy to move the ball around trying to unpick a defence, rather than than attempting to bludgeon their way through to goal. It is certainly very easy on the eye. Every fan will be hoping fervently that the Dee can maintain the high quality of football and rack up the points they need when the league campaign starts next week.
Dundee FC 4-3-1-2
McGinn, Benedictus, Konrad, Dyer
Ferry (McBride 66), Thomson, McGowan
Stewart (MacDonald 61), Tankulic (Boyle 83)
Unused subs: Adam (gk), Kerr
Goals: Ferry (19), Stewart (44), MacDonald (77), Tankulic (81)
Peterhead FC 4-3-2-1
Sharp, Ross, Smith, Noble
Redman, Strachan (Gilfillan 70), Donaldson
Stevenson (Brown 82), Rogers (Cox 51)
Unused subs: Jarvie (gk), McCann, Richardson
Booked: Strachan (foul on Harkins)
Referee: Willie Collum
Report: James Christie