The Dark Blues Of Dundee Get Off To A Shaky Start But Finally See Off A Spirited Raith Rovers Side.
The Dark Blues new signing Sofian Moussa comes off the bench to open the scoring, before Hendry scored a dramatic late winner in injury time to secure all three points in the first round of the Betfred Cup.
After all the excitement of the pre-season flurry of signings, Neil McCann's new look Dundee side didn't exactly hit the heather alight, in what was a pretty dull and lethargic game to start off with. However this changed in the last 10 minutes when both sides upped their game after tempers started to flare from both side and referee Stephen Finnie did as much as possible to keep the game from flowing along.
Dundee lined up against Raith Rovers with seven new faces from last year. Manager McCann handed competitive debuts to five players, Hendry, Kamara, Deacon, Allan and Wolters in the starting eleven. While Spence and Moussa were both consigned to the bench for the start of the game.
Raith Rovers Boss Barry Smith made just one change to the side that lost to Dundee United last Saturday, Yaw Osei came in for the injured Bobby Marr. The Rovers had a few familiar faces with ex-Dee Players Davidson and Benedictus at the heart of their defence.
The Dark Blues played in their Red away strip and blue shorts and stockings.
The match started on an immaculate Stark's Park Surface and the Dark Blues of Dundee seemed quite content in retaining possession for large parts of the first ten to fifteen minutes of the game, without really troubling Lennox in the Raith goal. Both sides were prone to slack passing and frequently gave the ball away and both teams could not find a way past either sides defence.
Raith's keeper Lennox had to look sharp after Allan found Wolters who nearly caught the keeper out at his far post. In the 17th minute, Buchanan struck the ball from outside the Dundee box, and the ball deflects off Spence into the arms of Bain. A couple of minutes later, Buchanan who lays off Callachan, however his shot comes off a Dundee red Shirt. A minute later, a Thomson cross from the right finds Vaughan and his shot is palmed away from danger by Scott Bain.
The game started to come alive in the 38th minute. Wolters made space for himself inside the box, his shot hit the crossbar from 16 yards and Lennox was left standing on his goal line watching ball. El Bahktaoui also had two chances in quick succession, his first was blocked by Davidson and the second was saved by Lennox.
Spence was the first player of the day to end up in the ref's little book. He was judged to have dived in the box and referee Finnie booked him for simulation.
The first half ended in a stalemate and there were no changes to either line ups when both teams came out for the second half.
McCann 'I was disappointed with the way we played at times because I know we can do better. But the main thing was getting a win and I was delighted with the response to losing the equaliser".
Right after the second half started, the ball broke to Deacon on the edge of the Raith box but his shot flew well over the top of the bar. Dundee had a massive let off a few minutes later when Buchanan and Vaughan played a 1 -2, but fortunately for The Dark Blues Buchanan sliced his shot wide of Bain's goal.
Dundee made their first change of the second half when McGowan came on for O'Hara, and within a few minutes McGowan was complaining that he was hit in the head from a stray elbow, to which he had to receive treatment from the physio. After a lengthy pause in the game Allan then went on to waste a free-kick by nearly kicking it out Starks Park.
Roarie Deacon got his first yellow card in a Dundee shirt after having a little spat with Murray, and then gave the ref no choice but to produce the yellow for a foul on Buchanan.
Spence is denied a goal scoring opportunity when Kevin Holt puts in a fantastic last ditch tackle as Spence is about to shoot with only Bain to beat. However, Spence goes down easily in the box and Raith players and fans appeal for a penalty but the ref is not interested stating that Holt played the ball.
Dundee make another substitution, controversial signing Moussa comes on for Wolters and nearly gets a goal within minutes of his debut. Cammy Kerr cross defects of McGowan and straight into the path of Moussa, however he can't get the ball from under his feet and Lennox comes in to smother.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 83rd minute. An Allan free-kick in from the left found Moussa who controlled the ball with his back to the goal, turned and hit the ball high past Lennox in goal. Moussa was then booked for celebration in front of the away crowd.
Raith Rovers equalised on the 90th minute through Vaughan who was unmarked at the edge of the penalty box, he struck from 12 yards and his shot flew past a helpless Bain.
With the game almost to a close and looking like it would finish with penalties, Dundee struck in the 92nd minute to secure all three points. Allan played a short 1-2 corner with McGowan and Allan swung his cross high into the box and Hendry header past Lennox.
The Dark blues get their first win of the season under Neil McCann.
Dundee will now face highland opposition Buckie Thistle on Saturday at Dens Park.
Raith Rovers: 4-5-1
- 1 Lennox
- 2 Thomson
- 14 Davidson
- 6 Benedictus
- 5 Murray
- 15 Osei-Opoku Matthewsat 67
- 8 Robertson
- 4 Callachan
- 10 Vaughan
- 9 Buchanan
- 7 Spence Courtat 79
- 3 Thorsen
- 11 Berry
- 12 Matthews
- 16 Court
- 17 Brian
- 18 McKay
- 19 Valentine
Dundee : 4-2-3-1
- 1 Bain
- 2 Kerr
- 22 Hendry
- 6 O'Dea Waddell 82'
- 3 Holt
- 14 O'Hara McGowan 57'
- 8 Kamara
- 21 Deacon
- 10 Allan
- 23 Wolters Moussa 70'
- 20 El Bakhtaoui
- 9 Moussa
- 11 Williams
- 18 McGowan
- 28 Spence
- 33 Wighton
- 34 Waddell
- 38 Ferie