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Found 60 results

  1. TheDarkBlues

    Dundee 0 - 3 Hearts

  2. barkblue

    Winging It

    Making his Dundee debut in his teens, becoming the club’s youngest ever goal scorer along the way and having been lauded by his peers and elders are all bold boasts. And yet, it was his squirting, squirming trundler that sauntered its way through the entire Dundee United defence to nestle in their goal in the final moments of the never to be forgotten Doon Derby that will always see ‘CW33’ as part of our club’s history. That Craig leaves an impressive legacy at Dens is an understatement, especially considering he’s still only 21. With so much going his way, Wighton’s departure for a reported £250,000, doesn’t seem that much of a shock. However, unlike his manager before him, the major difference this time is that this youngster, so far, has failed to truly fulfil his potential. Most people believe that Wighton’s ultimate position within a team will be the traditional No.10 role as the playmaker sitting behind the front two; pulling the strings, tormenting opposition midfielders and chipping in with more than a few goals of his own. Hence, the question really needs to be, why have Dundee supporters, seldom, if ever, seen ‘The Wizard’, as he was dubbed by the likes of Gary Harkins no less, in that role? In truth, only his one-time Dundee managers, John Brown, Paul Hartley and Neil McCann, can answer that question. Instead, the role that the tricky ball player was most often asked to fill was one that has proved to be a poisoned chalice for many a Dee. All manner of players squeezed and squashed into a role that was never going to suit them. The dreaded wide left midfield berth… We don’t have to go any further back than last season to find Neil McCann asking the, admittedly at a much mower level, free scoring Faissal El Bakhtaoui to play on the left wing. The slightly built whippet looking a forlorn figure as games passed him by. Admittedly El-Bak would also be tried unsuccessfully in umpteen other positions, but as often as not the striker could be found struggling to take on the opposition right back and over hitting crosses into The Derry. So, obviously this is a weakness of Neil McCann’s managerial style? Well, probably yes, and possibly no, for he is not alone. From the top of my head Dee legends Jim Duffy and Jocky Scott were equally afflicted by a desire to utilise players completely unsuited to the role of a winger, as their wide left option. Don’t believe me? Well, ask yourself why Colin McMenamin, who scored a barrowload of goals for the likes of Livingston and Gretna before coming to Dundee, and Queen of the South and Ross County after his departure, had his early goal scoring form for The Dee’s ignored as Jocky asked him to protect the full back and whip in crosses from the left. After all, this was a player who needed to stop a stranger and ask him for directions if he found himself anywhere other than in the opposition’s penalty box. Something that could also be said for Rory Loy, a poacher who found himself, quite rightly, surplus to goalscoring requirements when Kane Hemmings hit a career high purple patch for Dundee. Harrying defenders and putting in crunching tackles was never on Loy’s agenda and arguably his spell under Paul Hartley’s tutelage ruined the striker’s career. Other less obvious ‘wingers’ to plough the wide left furrow at Dens include a couple of players whose own individual talent proved enough to rise above being played out of position. Leigh Griffith’s tenacity, blistering pace and accuracy from distance more than enough to hide his questionable deployment. While the glorious one, Gary Harkins, was (and still is) capable of mesmerising defenders with his fleet footwork and the merest shimmy of his ample hips. Still, like Craig Wighton, ‘GGH’ was a maestro you wanted pulling the strings from the centre of the park, devastating defences as he did so. Less successful was the man of not one goal, but of Juan, two three strikes against Dundee United, Juan Sara. Who, once the goals dried up under Jim Duffy’s direction, also found himself playing deeper and deeper and, on occasion, marginalised out on the left. With his confidence already shot through his sudden lack of goals, playing in a position that he was never suited to was only going to end one way. The DAB destroyer becoming a pale, impotent shadow of the player he had once been. However, the most ludicrous left winger I’ve seen in my time going to watch Dundee is actually one of our cult heroes. A goal scoring target man with time spent at Celtic, Aberdeen, Middlesbrough and Watford – and fresh from a reasonably prolific spell with Motherwell – Willie Falconer is undoubtedly one of the most effective, out and out, frontmen we’ve seen at Dens over the past twenty years. So what his manager at the time, the much moustachioed Jocky Scott, was thinking as Dundee lined up at home to Rangers on a cold February evening in 2000, with the hustling, bustling, centre back bursting Falconer hugging the left hand touchline, I don’t think anyone – including Jocky – will ever know. Old ladies used to ask ‘Big Wullie’ if he needed a hand to cross the street, so the only shock when the seasoned frontman spent 90 minutes falling over his own feet, hitting defenders with ‘crosses’ and losing the ball over and over, was that his manager didn’t see it coming. Rangers did and promptly left Dens with a victory of seven goals to one. To Willie’s great credit, he outlasted his manager at Dens, resisted Ivano Bonetti’s cull of Scottish players and went on to successfully partner no less than Claudio Caniggia in the Dee’s frontline. Quickly putting to rest one of the most bizarre midfield ‘experiments’ we’ve ever seen. In fairness to these strikers come left wingers, even players who were supposedly ‘meant’ to play out there, have found the position too much for them when they arrived at Dundee. Mark Gilhaney, having destroyed The Dark Blues for Hamilton Accies down the left wing on numerous occasions, looking like a lost wee laddie asking for his Mum when he pulled on a Dark Blue shirt. While Freddie Daquin is legendary for his ability to run down the wing and straight out of play. Although to be fair to the Frenchman, he proved just as adept at that skill on his favoured right flank as he did when hunting for some never to be found form on the left! And yet, last season, with the welcome exception of his top flight securing cross onto the head of Simon Murray, Randy Wolters made nearly all of these men look like world beaters. The burly, attitude packed wide-o showing up without a trick in his bag, or an end product to sell. But surely not every player to play wide left over the past few decades for Dundee has been absolutely, dreadfully awful in that role? Well, when he was played a little deeper, Gavin Swankie gave it a half decent go, while, to be fair, it’s hard to say that the much maligned Ryan Conroy doesn’t show up rather favourably against most of those both before and after his time at the club. Ryan’s wing-partner Nicky Riley, also gave it a half decent go when he was put on his less favoured side. While there’s no denying that the man of many, all and sometimes no midfield position at all, Greg Stewart, did a lot of his best work while playing down that flank. Although a certain Kevin Holt might not be so keen to agree... Hence, we might just need to go back to the gaffer, Mr Neil McCann, to unearth the last Dundee player to truly make the left wing his own. Dropping his shoulder to beat players, hitting the byline to expertly stick the ball on Jim Hamilton’s napper and scoring the occasional wonder goal, just as he did the night he helped send Dundee to the Coca Cola cup final. Which, of course, begs the questions of why our current manager, a man who spent years tormenting right backs, prefers such a narrow formation, and why can’t he find a left midfielder with even a tenth of the potency he possessed? With Craig Wighton now wearing the maroon of Hearts, who will be next to be left out in the cold? Well, we’ve already seen Jean Alassane Mendy run about lost against St Johnstone out there and, of course, one of Scotland’s most prolific goal scorers of the past couple of decades, Kenny Miller, become more and more frustrated as the curse tried to overcome him on his debut for Dundee. Calvin Miller, it’s over to you. No pressure now...
  3. UWTB1893

    Hearts 1 - 0 Dundee

    Goncalves goal gives Hearts win over Dee Esmael Goncalves scored the only goal of the game for Hearts as they beat Dundee 1-0 at Tynecastle in the SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership, condemning Paul Hartley’s men to their sixth consecutive defeat.
  4. TheDarkBlues

    Dundee 3 - 2 Hearts

    Brilliant Dee comeback stuns Hearts at Dens Dundee came from two goals down to score an injury time winner and beat Hearts 3-2 at Dens Park in the SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership. Jamie Walker and Callum Paterson had given Ian Cathro’s men a comfortable lead but Darren O’Dea and Paul McGowan levelled the scores before Marcus Haber’s late winner completed the turnaround.
  5. TheDarkBlues

    Hearts 2 - 0 Dundee

    Bjorn Johnsen opens his Hearts account to secure win over Dundee. Bjorn Johnsen netted his first goal for Hearts as they rode their luck to overcome Dundee in a pulsating encounter at Tynecastle. The American striker climbed off the bench to wrap up the victory a minute from time after Scotland defender Callum Paterson had headed the hosts in front in the 68th minute. But Dundee will feel aggrieved that they left the capital with nothing to show for their efforts after striking the woodwork several times.
  6. UWTB1893

    Dundee 2 - 1 Hearts

    Kerr Waddell scored deep into stoppage time to earn Dundee a 2-1 win over Hearts at Dens Park in the SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership. Hearts gave a debut to 16 year old midfielder Harry Cochrane but Waddell opened the scoring for the hosts before the break. Kyle Lafferty’s equaliser looked to have earned Craig Levein’s men a point before Waddell grabbed his second at the death.
  7. UWTB1893

    Dundee 1 - 1 Hearts

    Hearts and Dundee picked up a crucial point apiece to boost their respective chances in their individual battles in the SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership. Ross Callachan and Sofien Moussa got the goals in the 1-1 draw, as Hearts consolidated their hold on the last top six place, while Dundee edged further clear of the relegation dogfight below them.
  8. UWTB1893

    Dundee Sign Jack Hamilton From Hearts

    The 24-year-old product of the Hearts youth system comes to Dens Park on a three-year-deal. He made his debut for the Jam Tarts against Hibs in August 2014 following loan spells with Forfar, East Fife and Stenhousemuir. Jack has also represented Scotland from the under 15s to the under 21s and has also been called up to the senior squad numerous times but has yet to make an appearance. “Speaking to the manager he really sold the club to me. He was brilliant, he was very keen on getting me in and it’s something that I thought would be brilliant for me,” said Hamilton as he spoke to DEETV. It’s a massive club, a massive Premiership club that has real ambition so I thought it would be a great place to come and be involved.”
  9. TheDarkBlues

    Dundee 1 - 1 Hearts

    There is no match report yet. Please come back later.
  10. Go down 1 nil in the first few minutes and this brought us to life and we got an equalizer through Moussa in the 28th minute. A game I feel we could have gone on and won, but a point means that we are 4 points ahead of Partick. Dundee 1 - 1 Hearts
  11. UWTB1893

    Hearts: The View From The Opposition

    Dundee are currently in the middle of an horrendous run of form at home which has seen five straight league defeats and the club teetering on the edge of the bottom two places in the table. Hearts away form isn't that much better either with only two wins on the road out of ten. Both teams are in need of a win. Hearts will be hoping to catch up on a resurgent Kilmarnock side in fifth place while Dundee are in dire need to ending their barren run of defeats at Dens and creating some breathing space between Partick Thistle and Ross County. In the lead up to Sundays game, we spoke to SPFL Blogger, Scotsman Sport online-writer and The Terrace Podcast editor-in-chief Craig Fowler to chat about his beloved Hearts. Hearts look destined for a third top six finish since promotion. This must have been the aim for the team at the start of the season but do you think that this term has been a disappointment for the club? Undoubtedly. It's hard to summarise expectations at the outset because of the whole Ian Cathro saga. As soon as Hearts lost to Peterhead in the Betfred Cup I think everyone knew it was going to be a tough season even if the club did the right thing, which they did, in binning the head coach. Probably the most disappointing aspect is that when Hearts finally did get on the right path - the clean sheet run, beating Hibs in the cup - it looked like the chance was really there to kick on and challenge Hibs for fourth place, but instead the two sides have gone in different directions, really. They've gotten better while Hearts have been weakened. Injuries have played a part but it goes back to the previous summer and how the squad was set up. There's a real imbalance and one or two key players being out causes the house of cards to come tumbling down. In the league you have also seen Hibs come out on top in the Edinburgh Derby with Hearts failing to find the net once. You did however get a win against them in the Scottish Cup which gave birth to Craig Leveins ‘Natural order’ comment. It must be tough to see a team you have normally dominated to have the upper hand? It's Hibs' best sequence of games against Hearts since the 1970s so there's absolutely no doubt this is tough to take. What's most troubling from a Hearts perspective is the general rejuvenation around Hibs. A couple of years ago Hearts were in the top flight averaging 16k a week while Hibs were in the second tier struggling to break 10k. Next season I wouldn't be too surprised if Hibs average a higher attendance than Hearts, which would be the first time that has happened for a long, long time. It's definitely the most positive I'm seen my Hibs supporting mates in years - probably a decade - while it's just a slog for Hearts fans right now. Steven Naismith was a massive coup for Hearts when you brought him in on-loan in January. Most clubs would love to have a forward line with a player of the calibre like him along with Kyle Lafferty. For any fans that have yet to see any Hearts matches, how has the signing worked out for the Jam Tarts? He's not quite lived up to the hype but I, for one, would still love to see him stick around for next season. He's lost a bit of the spark he once had - that little bit of explosiveness around the final third - but he's still technically and intelligently well ahead of most of his team-mates. He and Lafferty don't work particularly well in isolation because there's a lack of pace between the two, but they did link up well together in the recent win over Partick Thistle so there's perhaps more to come. Getting David Milinkovic fit again would be huge for the front three functioning well together. He's got that bit of pace and quickness that Hearts otherwise lack. I know you are in the process of watching every top flight match this season so you will have witnessed the good and bad that Dundee have produced. What’s your thoughts on our league position? Is it fully deserved or are you surprised? For a lot of the season I thought Dundee were in a false position and that it was only a matter of time before they figured things out and moved away from immediate danger of relegation. However, that was based on the assumption that they'd get a little bit more ruthless in the opposing penalty area and a bit more street-wise in their own. Seeing as that hasn't happened and we're now into the season's final quarter, I can't say I am surprised. You can knock the ball about with as much confidence as you like, but if you're poor in both boxes then there's only one thing that's going to happen. What players in our current team have impressed you and who should Hearts be weary of? Glen Kamara is probably the only Dundee player who has "impressed" me over the course of the season. If Neil McCann fancies another spectacular falling out with a first-team player, ala Scott Bain, I would love to see the defensive midfielder at Tynecastle. As for who Hearts should be wary of, Simon Murray didn't set the heather alight at Hibs and still managed to bag the winner in an Edinburgh derby. It would be typical of this season if he did likewise in a Dundee shirt. And vice-versa, what players should Dundee look out for in the Hearts team? Hard to say because it's always difficult to know who's going to play. Levein likes to chop and change his starting XI, often with little rhyme or reason. In attack, Lafferty is probably the only nailed-on starter if fit, so I'll have to plump for him. I'm not even a huge fan of the Northern Irishman, he's quite ungainly and a bit of a liability at times, and yet he's looking likely to be Hearts' first 20-goal season scorer since John Robertson. Football, eh? Dundee have went five home games without a win at home, only finding the net once and are in a battle to save their Premiership status. Can the Dark Blues end their run of bad form or will Hearts inflict more misery on the home support? While Dundee are on a terrible run at home, Hearts have been dreadful away from Tynecastle, where they are still undefeated. It's a problem that's been around for over a decade and means you can never be too confident going to watch the team away from home, even when they're good, which this team isn't. This one is a toss up.
  12. TheDarkBlues

    Fixture Amendment: Hearts

    Dundee game against Hearts which was originally to played on Saturday 31 March has been moved to Sunday 1st April and the kick off will now take place at 12.30 pm. The newly scheduled game will be shown live on Sky Sports TV.
  13. TheDarkBlues

    Hearts 2 - 0 Dundee

    There is no match report yet. Please come back later.
  14. Goals either side of the break from Esmael Goncalves and Christophe Berra were enough for Hearts to see off a Dundee side who were missing the vital end product that has been absent all of this season and of last. This result seen Dundee slip into the play-off position with a massive game looming this Saturday at Dens Park against bottom of the table Partick Thistle. “I thought we were better in the second half for a wee spell,” said McCann. “But I am not going to say that cheered me up any. That was a shocking performance tonight. I didn’t see it coming and it won’t be accepted. “It is something we work on at this club, where everything is geared to winning. “Everything we do in training has a purpose, everything we do has an end point where it is about standards but tonight’s performance was a joke. “Anything in the second half would have been an improvement on the first. “I am not accepting that. When you set standards you should stick to them and if you fall below them, something like that can creep in so I am not accepting that. “I think you can take it from my tone that I am not happy with them (the players) and they know that. “That’s not right. The fans who travelled down from Dundee have been short-changed.”
  15. UWTB1893

    Hearts: The View From The Opposition

    We caught up with Hearts Till We Die again to speak about their brand new Stand, how the Levein era is going so far and his predictions for Tuesdays game. ‪The last time we spoke, the new main stand at Tynecastle was under construction. It’s now up and running. How does the old lady look?‬ The new stand is looking fantastic, still work to be done inside but after that's all done, it'll look even better! ‪The opening hasn’t gone by without any controversy. There was the possibility the first game against Partick might not go ahead right up to the day it was due to take place. Then after being giving the go ahead to play the game was put back to 3.15 as there was a problem with the turnstiles. And then two fire alarms went off before the Hamilton game also pushing the kick off time to 3.15. Hopefully that’s the end of the teething problems?‬ Yeah those delays were pretty annoying but at the end of the day, 15 minutes isn't much. I'm sure there won't be anymore delays. ‪Since your return to Tynecastle, the team have three draws and one win. Have you been disappointed with that return or have these results been expected?‬ Yeah, I'm not going to sit here and lie. Results have been pretty poor but thankfully we finally got a win at the weekend to end our poor form. I’m just hope the winning continues. ‪Until your victory at the weekend, there was only a three point gap between yourselves and the play-off spot. I think you were also six games without a win. Did you start to have a wee glance over your shoulder?‬ To be honest, I haven't paid a lot of attention to the league. It’s still very tight to call. I, of course, have had the odd think of where we could actually finish but there's still a long way to go. ‪You described the appointment of Craig Levein as satisfying but you weren’t over the moon with it. What’s your feelings so far into his current reign?‬ Of course, results haven't went to plan and the style of play hasn't been very intriguing but I always stick by a manager. I'm very much rooting for Levein and hope he succeeds in his second spell. ‪We have already clashed this season with Dundee coming out on top with a last minute winner at Dens. Understandably I was happy with the result and thought we deserved the win. That was my verdict through my dark blue specs but what was yours through your maroon ones?‬ It was a very disappointing result, especially losing it in the last minute. But hopefully, we are the ones to come out on top this time around! ‪We end it as always with a score prediction. Hearts will be bouncing after their first win in six and first in front of the new Stand while Dundee have picked up a bit of form and were unlucky to not come away with at least a point on Friday against Aberdeen. How do you think this one will end?‬ I reckon it'll be a very tight game like our last four have been and I expect Dundee to make it hard for us but as long as we make use of big Laff, we should pip it. I'm going for a 1-0 Hearts - Lafferty the goalscorer. Good Luck for tomorrow!
  16. TheDarkBlues

    Hearts 1 - 0 Dundee

    The Dee made two changes from Tuesday’s match in Dingwall. Tom Hateley came in at right wing back, with Daniel Higgins making his debut at centre back on his 19th birthday. Kevin Gomis dropped onto the bench Danny Williams was suspended. Cammy Kerr moved across the park to play left wing back. There were three changes in the Hearts’ line-up. Prince Buaben, Liam Smith and Arnaud Djoum started in the places of Anastasios Avlonitis, Lennard Sowah and Bjorn Johnsen. The match started quietly with both teams struggling to put moves together until Hearts scored after 13 minutes. The home side had tried on a few occasions to slot diagonal passes between the Dee centre backs looking for runners and they got it right when Don Cowie found Esmael GONCALVES, who dragged the ball wide of Paul McGowan’s challenge and scored with an angled shot despite the efforts of Darren O’Dea on the line to keep it out. Hearts failed to capitalise on that lead and the match entered a lengthy, scrappy phase. The Dark Blues were struggling to work worthwhile balls into the Hearts’ penalty area, but nearly crafted a chance from a long throw. Marcus Haber nodded the ball on and Jamie Walker did enough at the far post to stop Tom Hateley reaching the ball. The Jam Tarts gradually discovered some fluency and began to move the ball around smoothly, looking dangerous for a spell. Goncalves’ power and skill was always a threat, but Hearts couldn’t add the right final ball to some neat moves. Don Cowie did put over a perfect cross that was met by a strong header from 10 yards by Arnaud Djoum, but Scott Bain’s fine save at full length kept the ball out. The Dark Blues then went even closer when Tom Hateley whipped in a great free kick from the left that no-one could reach. The ball was hurtling inside the far post, but Jack Hamilton reacted superbly to turn the ball onto the post. Dundee started the second half positively, spending more time on the attack than they had in the first half. They did manage to play a few good crosses into the goalmouth, but couldn’t find a Dundee player on the end of any of them. Just after the hour the Dark Blues had their best chance of the match. Craig Wighton had only just arrived on the park, replacing Henrik Ojamaa, when Andraz Struna gifted the ball to him. Kristian Nowak should have recovered but was brushed aside by the Dee youngster who was through one on one with Hamilton. Sadly Wighton pulled his shot well wide. Hearts then had a lengthy period of pressure but a solid Dundee defence didn’t allow them any clear chances. Scott Bain again showed quick reactions when Goncalves’ 25 yard shot struck Hearts’ substitute Malaury Martin, sending the ball looping towards the net, but the Dee keeper adjusted his feet to save comfortably. At the other end Jack Hamilton didn’t look quite so composed when he dropped a high cross under pressure from Mark O’Hara, but Hearts escaped in the ensuing scramble. Towards the end Darren O’Dea moved up front to join Haber and Wighton, but to no avail. The Dark Blues had plenty of possession in the Hearts’ half but the home defence held out without any scares. The brightest aspect of this game was Gorgie’s gorgeous warm sunshine. The football was seldom better than disappointing. Both sides looked like they have been well out of form. What little fluency there was came only in patches from Hearts. Dundee worked hard, and like the home team, pressed energetically as the ball pinged to and fro. There was little to bring cheer to the travelling Dees but the most positive feature of the game was an excellent debut performance in central defence by Daniel Higgins, who looked very much at home after being thrown in at the deep end. Hearts 4-2-3-1 Hamilton Smith, Buaben, Nowak, Struna Kitchen (c), Tziolis Cowie, Djoum (Martin 60), Walker (Currie 64) Goncalves (Johnsen 89) Unused subs: Noring (gk), Avlonitis, Choulay, Beith. Goals: Goncalves (13). Booked: none. Dundee FC 3-5-2 Bain Higgins, O’Dea (c), Holt Hateley, O’Hara, Vincent, McGowan, Kerr Ojamaa (Wighton 58), Haber Unused subs: Mitchell (gk), Ross, Dryden, Ian Smith, Kevin Gomis. Booked: Kerr (foul on Smith). Attendance: 16,304 (605 Dees). Referee: Crawford Allan. Assistants: Gordon Crawford, Ralph Gordon. Fourth official: Don Robertson. Report: James Christie.
  17. TheDarkBlues

    Dundee 3 - 2 Hearts

    The Dark Blues only change from the team that narrowly lost to Celtic on Saturday was the return of Mark O’Hara to the starting line-up in the place of Danny Williams, who was named as a substitute. Paul McGowan was available after suspension and took a place on the bench. Hearts also made only one change, replacing midfielder Prince Buaben with Krystian Nowak. Hearts took an early lead when they won a penalty in their first attack, after three minutes. Bjorn Johnsen played the ball infield along the 18 yard line. Jamie Walker touched it past Kevin Gomis, who caught him late. WALKER took the spot kick and scored, sending Scott Bain the wrong way. The early stages were difficult for the Dark Blues, who struggled to get the ball off Hearts. The visitors were keeping possession well and spraying the ball around confidently. Krystian Nowak went close with a snapshot from 18 yards. Jamie Walker ran clear onto a John Souttar chip, only for Scott Bain to push his angled drive round the post. After a tough opening 15 minutes Dundee worked their back into the game without offering any serious threat to Jack Hamilton’s goal. If Hearts looked good coming forward they were less impressive in defence where they took unnecessary chances and were inclined to lose concentration. Nowak dived in on Craig Wighton who slipped clear and cut the ball back for James Vincent to blaze his shot well over. Tom Hateley was no closer when he tried his luck from 30 yards. It was hardly vintage attacking, but at last Dundee were carrying the game to Hearts. As the first half wound to a conclusion Hearts picked up their game again, looking dangerous every time they attacked. Bain saved well from a Paterson header at a corner. The Dee keeper was then called into action again to keep out Johnsen and Walker. Centre back John Souttar burst forward and his powerful 20 yard shot was turned away for a corner by Bain. When the half time whistle sounded the Dark Blues were happy to be only a goal in arrears with the hope that the second half might bring an improvement. Julen Etxabeguren came on as a straight replacement for Kevin Gomis at half time. The second half started just as badly for the Dee as the first had done; Hearts extended their lead only three minutes after the restart. Don Cowie’s free kick from the right was met by Callum PATERSON and his header flew inside the far post. Paul McGowan was sent into the fray, replacing Mark O’Hara, and the battling midfielder was immediately involved. Hearts couldn’t clear a Hateley free kick and McGowan knocked the ball back into the danger area. Marcus Haber headed down for Wighton, whose shot was blocked. Darren O’DEA took the ball, showed neat footwork to make space, and scored with a low shot from 10 yards. Hearts responded with their best attack of the second half, and Walker shot high and wide after Paterson had dummied over a Johnsen cross. It was the last clear chance that Hearts managed to create. They had plenty of possession and pressure but the Dundee defence was resolute, unlike the Jam Tarts rearguard who always looked fragile under pressure. There was a lengthy delay while Don Cowie received treatment after colliding with Scott Bain. Eventually he was stretchered off and replaced by Robbie Muirhead. After that Hearts were never again the same force and while Dundee were far from their best they were fighting furiously and always looked capable of unsettling the visitors’ defence. After 71 minutes the Dark Blues scored the sort of goal that Hearts had been threatening to concede. 30 yards from his own goal Liam Smith lost out to the pressing of Craig Wighton. James Vincent picked up the ball, ran into the penalty area and set up Paul McGOWAN who stabbed the ball past Hamilton from close range. Hearts didn’t learn their lesson, and Muirhead lost the ball on the half way line to Hateley who ran 40 yards before his shot was blocked for a corner. As other players tired Cammy Kerr seemed to grow stronger, and his powerful runs down the right started to cause Hearts real problems. Kerr ran onto a long pass from Etxabeguren, checked back and flighted over a lovely cross for Wighton, who couldn’t get enough power on his header from six yards out, sending the ball straight at Hamilton. Three minutes into injury time Cammy Kerr slipped past Liam Smith, who fouled him just outside the penalty area. Tom Hateley whipped in a great free kick for Marcus HABER to smash a match-winning header past Hamilton, a goal that was celebrated as wildly in the stands as on the park. The injury to Cowie, and other delays, meant that were a remarkable 11 minutes of injury time. Hearts attacked frantically, but with little composure and the Dundee defence kept their heads, defending superbly. The final whistle was met with joy from the home stands, the win being all the sweeter after defeat had seemed inevitable early in the second half. The Hearts fans looked on in horrified disbelief. They will doubtless feel that their team threw away the points tonight, and they would be right. Hearts were impressive going forward in the first half, but in the second half, after they went 2-0 ahead they were casual at the back and in midfield. Dundee won not because they played pretty football, but because they stuck to their jobs with steely determination and fought their way back from what looked a hopeless position. While Dundee increasingly forced errors from Hearts they made few themselves in the second half, and ruthlessly punished Hearts’ failings. This was a tremendous team performance in which the players rose magnificently to the challenge. It was a cold, wet, miserable night at Dens, but the fighting spirit of the Dundee players warmed the hearts of the supporters. It was a fine Christmas present for the fans! Dundee FC 3-5-2 Bain Gomis (Etxabeguren, half time), Gadzhalov, O’Dea (c) Kerr, Hateley, Vincent, O’Hara (McGowan 52), Holt Haber, Wighton Unused subs: Mitchell (gk), Williams, Ross, El Bakhtaoui, Loy. Goals: O’Dea (53), McGowan (71), Haber (90+3). Booked: Holt (preventing quick free kick being taken). Hearts 4-4-1-1 Hamilton Paterson, Souttar, Rossi, Smith (Rherras 90+4) Cowie (Muirhead 64), Nowak, Kitchen, Djoum Walker (Watt 90+1) Johnsen Unused subs: Noring (gk), Ozturk, Sammon, Zanatta. Goals: Walker (3 pen), Paterson (48). Booked: Smith (foul on Kerr). Attendance: 6,160 (1,400 Hearts supporters). Referee: Kevin Clancy. Assistants: Graham McNeillie, John McCrossan. 4th official: Andrew Dallas. Report: James Christie.
  18. TheDarkBlues

    Hearts 2 - 0 Dundee

    Dundee made three changes. Darren O’Dea and Nicky Low were injured and Cammy Kerr started on the bench. Kosta Gadzhalov, James Vincent and Tom Hateley came into the starting eleven. Hearts made two changes, bringing in Alim Ozturk and Don Cowie in place of Faycal Rherras and Sam Nicholson. Faissal El Bakhatoui almost burst clean through in the first minute, but was denied by an Ozturk tackle at the expense of a corner. The hosts were quickly into their stride, however, and put the Dark Blue defence under serious pressure in the first 10 minutes. Jamie Walker got in the way of a Kevin Gomis clearance and the ball rebounded to Connor Sammon whose shot was blocked by Scott Bain. Hearts’ right back Callum Paterson was always keen to get forward and he shot just wide of Bain’s near post after cutting in from the right. After 10 minutes Don Cowie’s curling shot was heading for the top corner till Tony Watt’s glancing header sent the ball over the bar. Dundee fought their way back into the match and caused Hearts problems with the running of Yordi Teijsse and Faissal El Bakhtaoui, who was showing some neat touches on the ball. After El Bakhtaoui was fouled just outside the penalty area Tom Hateley struck the top of the crossbar with his free kick. On the half hour mark Dundee escaped in a goalmouth scramble which ended with Watt’s shot striking Walker. At the other end Hearts’ defence got into a mess following a corner and Kosta Gadzhalov’s 25 yard rocket was bravely turned over the bar by John Souttar with his head. The Dee’s best spell of the first half followed, with the midfield holding the ball well and keeping Hearts under pressure for a spell. However, Scott Bain had to be at his best to keep out Aranud Djoum’s 18 yard shot, then beat away Callum Paterson’s header from the corner. The fist half action ended with Gadzhalov heading over from a Hateley corner. If Hearts had the best of the first half it was certainly Dundee who started the stronger side after the break. Terrific persistence by Teijsse kept Hearts’ defence under pressure and the ball broke to Hateley who rifled in a swerving ahot from 18 yards only to see the ball beat Hamilton and come back off the post. El Bakhatoui brought a good save from 20 yards out of Jack Hamilton after drifting deep to pick up the ball in space and running at the defence. When the resulting corner came over Gadzhalov’s powerful header crashed against the crossbar. For the next few minutes play raced from end to end and Scott Bain saved well from Walker after the Hearts’ winger cut in from the left. Teijsse passed up a great chance after muscling Rossi off the ball, but pulled his shot wide from 15 yards with a clear sight of goal. The Dark Blues had a scare when Gadzhalov miscued a clearance in his penalty area and the ball struck his hand, but the referee Mr Clancy decided, correctly, that it was an accident. Dundee struck the post for the fouth time when Teijsse turned neatly and hit a low shot against the bottom of Hamilton’s post from the edge of the penalty area. Hearts were still dangerous when they got the chance to attack, and Danny Williams made a goal saving block from Djoum in a goalmouth stramash. Teijsse’s eager pressing again won the ball deep in Hearts’ half and Hateley’s hard, low cross flew across goal and was deflected wide for a corner. Hearts finally broke the deadlock after 68 minutse with a simple set piece goal. Substitute Robbie Muirhead’s free kick delivery from the left was beautifully flighted for Callum PATERSON to rise and head across Bain and into the top corner. The goal rocked Dundee and it took them a few minutes to get back into their flow. Paul Hartley sent on Michael Duffy and Cammy Kerr to replace James Vincent and Tom Hateley, then with five minutes left replaced Gadzhalov with Rory Loy. A fine Djoum pass sent Walker to the byline but Kevin Holt cut out his cross. Igor Rossi headed over from the corner. Djoum had a couple of efforts, the first a 22 yard shot blasted straight into Bain’s midriff. He then wriggled his way into the penalty area but Holt blocked his shot. From the corner Bain pulled off a marvellous save at point blank range from substitute Bjorn Johnsen. Hearts had an escape themselves following a corner when Yordi Teijsse was free 10 yards out, but he powered his header just wide. After 89 minutes Hearts put the game out of Dundee’s reach when JOHNSEN turned in Walker’s cutback at the near post. In injury time Rory Loy was denied a consolation goal that would have been the least the Dee deserved, but Hamilton saved his angled drive superbly. This defeat leave the Dark Blues at the foot of the table, but if they continue to play like this they will surely climb the table. The team was hard working, kept their shape, and created some good chances. All that was missing was a clinical finish or a stroke of luck. Certainly the players have no need to be despondent after their performances today. Dundee were competitive all over the pitch, and gave Hearts a very hard match with the result in doubt until the 89th minute. Heart of Midlothian FC 4-4-2 Hamilton Paterson, Ozturk, Souttar, Rossi Djoum, Cowie (Buaben 86), Kitchen, Walker Sammon (Johnsen 72), Watt (Muirhead 56) Unused subs: Noring (gk), Oshaniwa, Nowak, Currie. Goals: Paterson (68), Johnsen (89). Booked: Ozturk (foul on El Bakhataoui), Dundee FC 3-5-2 Bain Gomis, Gadzhalov (Loy 85), Holt Hateley (Kerr 76, McGowan, Vincent (Duffy 76), O’Hara, Williams El Bakhtaoui, Teijsse Unused subs: Gourlay (gk), Etxabeguren, Ross, Wighton. Booked: McGowan (foul on Rossi). Attendance: 16,512 (734 Dundee supporters). Referee: Kevin Clancy. Assistants: Brian Templeton, Graham McNeillie. Fourth official: Alan Newlands. Report: James Christie.
  19. TheDarkBlues

    Dundee 0 - 1 Hearts

    Dundee made two changes; Kosta Gadzhalov and Cammy Kerr came in for Thomas Konrad and Rory Loy as Paul Hartley opted for a 3-5-2 formation. Hearts made only one change as Jordan McGhee replaced Igor Rossi. There was nearly a horrible moment of deja vu at the start as Dundee nearly conceded a soft early goal. Within the first 20 seconds Walker was allowed to run through from the right, but he pulled his shot across goal. Walker reached the byline in the third minute, but when he pulled the ball back Juanma couldn't get enough power in his shot to worry Scott Bain. Both sides were moving the ball forward quickly in the early stages. When Dundee won their first corner it was curled in dangerously by Stewart and O'Dea only just failed to connect in front of goal. A Hearts corner generated a frantic scramble in the home penalty area. Juanma's header forced a good save from Bain, and the ball pinged around the box for an eternity before eventually being cleared. The Jam Tarts had most of the possession and chances in the first half, and Djoum headed a half chance wide from from Cowie's cross following a short corner. Dundee almost took the lead when Hearts' captain Ozturk lunged at a dangerous low cross from Cammy Kerr, turning the ball inches past his own post. Stewart's corner caused problems but Alexander punched the inswinging ball away as it grazed the crossbar. Dundee's best spell of the half came after the half hour mark. Ozturk fouled Harkins on the right, but Stewart salvaged the ball from the wreckage to run clear with Mr Collum playing the advantage. Stewart kept going, drew Alexander, but then pulled his cutback behind Hemmings. Hearts regained the initiative to push Dundee back towards the end of the half. Cowie shot over the bar after good work on the right by the dangerous Walker. Jordan McGhee did manage to force a header from a free kick past Bain, but he was offside. Hearts' best chance of the half fell to Djoum, but he scuffed a weak effort well wide. Kevin Holt had the last effort before the break, running on to Stewart's clever pass, but hitting his shot from 18 yards straight at Alexander. Shooting down the hill Dundee stormed at Hearts at the start of the second half and had three great chances in the first five minutes. A lovely move on the left ended with Nick Ross running onto's Holt's pass and cutting the ball back for McGowan to power in a shot from 16 yards. Alexander saved superbly but luck was on his side as the rebound evaded Hemmings. If the Hearts' keeper earned his luck on that occasion he was left red-faced when his luck held out a couple of minutes later. Alexander came too far out of the penalty area to deal with a loose ball by the touchline. Before he could clear Stewart nicked the ball away from him and played it back to Gary Harkins who laid it off for Paul McGowan to loft a shot over the rapidly covering defenders from 25 yards. With Alexander frantically trying to get back to his goal the ball sailed just over the bar. Dundee kept at Hearts' throats and Cammy Kerr fired a great chance over the bar from 12 yards after Stewart and Hemmings had sliced open the Hearts' defence. Dundee were playing good football and looking well placed to take all the points. However, it was Hearts who grabbed a goal, against the run of play, which owed everything to quick thinking opportunism. The Jam Tarts won a free kick on the half way line, and with Dundee losing concentration, Djoum played a quick through ball for Jamie WALKER to run clear, take the ball round Bain and score. The goal allowed Hearts to settle and dictate the pace of the game. They might have quickly added to their lead when Juanma twice muscled his way into good positions. Bain saved well from the first and Paul McGinn managed to block Cowie's shot the second time. After that brief flurry Hearts were large content to sit back and attack on the break. For a frustratingly long time nothing much happened; Dundee passed their way around the Hearts defence without opening them up, and the visitors occasionally launched quick raids upfield. The Dark Blues tried to force an opening by sending on Craig Wighton and Rory Loy for Gadzhalov and Harkins. The only chance created by Dundee after the goal fell to Loy 10 minutes from the end, and what a great opportunity it was. He was sent running clear but, with only Alexander to beat, allowed the keeper to parry, with Smith chasing back to clear the bouncing ball before it crossed the line. Hearts came close themselves to a late goal, when Walker's persistence on the left gave McGhee a chance, but his shot was deflected wide. The very last action was a free kick for Dundee 30 yards from goal, but Stewart's effort was too high. Dundee didn't play badly today, and in brief patches played some very nice football. However, they didn't play well enough consistently and they looked vulnerable to simple incisive balls through the middle, such as the one that led to the goal. Ultimately, in a game of many chances, they lost out to opponents who had the game knowledge to see the game out once they managed to take one of their chances. Aside from the great chance that fell to Rory Loy, the Hearts defence had the nous to deal with Dundee's pressure and earned their club the points. Dundee FC 3-5-2 Bain Gadzhalov (Wighton 72), McGinn, O'Dea Kerr, McGowan, Harkins (c) (Loy 79), Ross, Holt Stewart, Hemmings Unused subs: Mitchell (gk), Konrad, Meggatt, Low, Arturo. Booked: Harkins (foul on Djoum) Hearts 4-2-3-1 Alexander Smith, Ozturk (c), Souttar, McGhee Cowie, Buaben Nicholson (Kitchen 72), Djoum, Walker (Pallardo 89) Juanma (Reilly 76) Unused subs: Hamilton (gk), Augustyn, Oshaniwa, Dauda. Goal: Walker (52) Booked: Ozturk (foul on Harkins), Smith (foul on Hemmings) Referee: Willie Collum. Assistants: Frank Connor, Douglas Ross. Fourth official: David Munro. Attendance: 6,195 (1,493 Hearts fans) Report: James Christie
  20. TheDarkBlues

    Hearts 1 - 1 Dundee

    Dundee made four changes from the home draw against Partick Thistle. James McPake, Julen Etxabeguren and Kevin Thomson all returned from injury. Kane Hemmings started in the place of the injured Rhys Healey. Hearts made three changes; Oshinawa, Pallardo and King replaced McGhee, Gomis and Juanma. Backed by a noisy home support Hearts started strongly, putting the Dark Blues under pressure. Scott Bain was soon called into action, saving well from Osman Low after a fast break by Sam Nicholson. Kevin Holt nearly got into trouble on the edge of his penalty area, but recovered well to block Billy King's shot. After a frantic opening Dundee gradually managed to calm the game down, winning the ball and holding it to take the sting out of Hearts' attacks. The breather didn't last long enough and by the middle of the first half the Jam Tarts were tearing back at the Dee. Hearts took the lead after 23 minutes with a well worked move down the right. Buaben switched play into space on the wing where full back Callum Paterson fired over a perfect cross for the inrushing Arnaud DJOUM to head powerfully past Scott Bain from 10 yards. The Dark Blues managed only one shot on target in the first half, shortly after the goal. Kane Hemmings effort was deflected into the gloves of Neil Alexander following neat play by Rory Loy and Greg Stewart. Djoum nearly added a second goal when his low shot took a huge deflection off Etxbeguren and seemed certain to loop under the bar. However, Scott Bain brought the away fans to their feet with a superb recovery to touch the ball to safety. Hearts had plenty of pressure in the remainder of the half, but the Dark Blues defence was impressively solid and well organised. In the first half the Dark Blues had been tight and hard working without offering much threat. That changed right from the start of the second half as Dundee started to turn the screw on the Hearts' defence. The unmarked McPake narrowly failed to connect with a Stewart free kick that ended up sailing past the post. Dundee were now winning the ball well and pushing Hearts back. The Jam Tarts had a spell of sustained pressure, with a series of corners. However, their only serious shot was an ambitious dipping 35 yard free kick that Bain had to turn over the bar. Hearts charge soon petered out. As the home side's performance became flat Dundee grew stronger. The Dark Blues had never been out of the match and seized the chance to get back on terms when the Hearts' defence lost concentration. Stewart's through pass found Rory Loy in space on the left wing with the home defence appealing in vain for offside. LOY ran on, cut inside and whipped a great finish round Alexander and inside the far post; the first goal Hearts had conceded since the start of October following four clean sheets. Hearts were never able to regain control or build momentum for a late charge at Dundee. The Dundee defence handled the Jam Tarts increasingly desperate attacks confidently. James McPake had been unwell during the week and with 20 minutes to go he had to leave the fiekd. Thomas Konrad replaced him, but the change made no visible difference to a solid defence. Greg Stewart's intelligent and skillful play was a constant danger to Hearts. A twisting run ended with him being downed right on the edge of the penalty area. Kane Hemmings shot narrowly wide from the free kick. Any concern at the sight of Julen Etxabeguren limping off with a knock after 81 minutes proved to be misplaced. Kosta Gadzhalov came on, and again the defence didn't miss a beat. Hearts struggled to turn possession into danger in the closing stages, and the Dark Blues always looked capable of making the opening for a winner. In the end a draw was a fair result and Dundee were certainly the happier with the point. The Dundee team were hard working, organised and totally committed. After largely nullifying a good Hearts side they dug out a very good draw at one of the most difficult venues in Scotland. Doing so in spite of massive disruption to the defence reflects great credit on the whole team. Hearts 4-2-3-1 Alexander Paterson, Augustyn, Rossi, Oshaniwa Pallardo, Buaben (Reilly 65) King (Gomis 34), Djoum (Swanson 84), Nicholson Sow Unused subs: Hamilton (gk), McGhee, Smith, Zanatta Goal: Djoum (23) Booked: Rossi (dissent). Dundee FC 4-3-3 Bain McGinn, McPake (Konrad 70), Etxabeguren (Gadzhalov 81), Holt Ross, Thomson, McGowan Stewart, Loy, Hemmings Unused subs: Gourlay (gk), Irvine, Low, Calder, Harkins Goal: Loy (67) Booked: McPake (foul on Djoum), McGinn (foul on Swanson) Referee: Kevin Clancy. Assistants: Graeme Stewart, Gordon Crawford. 4th official: Gavin Ross. Attendance: 16,736 (744 Dees) Report: James Christie
  21. TheDarkBlues

    Dundee 1 - 2 Hearts

    The Dark Blues made two changes: James McPake returned from suspension and Thomas Konrad dropped onto the bench, while Paul McGowan came in for the injured Rory Loy. Hearts made one change. Nigerian international left back Jowan Oshaniwa replaced midfielder Sam Nicholson. Right from the start Dundee clicked into the slick attacking style on display last week. Kane Hemmings showed great skill to take a McGinn pass on the right and burrow his way through the Hearts defence. Alexander did well to turn his shot round the post, but the Hearts keeper was left helpless when the corner came over. Greg Stewart took a short corner to McGowan, who returned it for Stewart to dink a delightful cross over for HEMMINGS to guide his header into the net with four minutes gone. Dundee were knocking the ball around confidently and causing Hearts serious problems with their inventive movement and passing. However, in Hearts first serious attack after 13 minutes they should have scored. Juanma touched Buaben's deep cross on for Walker, who had only Bain to beat. The Dee keeper saved magnificently at close range, and looked on gratefully as the off-balance Jambos' midfielder sent his follow up header sailing over the bar. Dundee should have punished that miss, but wasted a great chance of their own only a minute later. Hemmings burst into the penalty area on the left and rolled the ball across for Paul McGowan, who should have left Alexander without a hope. The Dee midfielder didn't get enough on his shot and Alexander's blocking save took enough pace off the ball for it to be scrambled off the line. The match continued in exciting fashion as Dundee missed another wonderful chance. The Dark Blues sliced Hearts' defence open with a clever free kick; Harkins shot wide at the near post after Stewart had played him in. After a frantic opening 20 minutes dominated by the Dee Hearts started to come back into the game. The visitors were more competitive in midfield and Dundee eased back on the pace, concentrating on keeping possession and trying to stop Hearts building any momentum. It was Hearts turn next to miss a great chance when Dundee's defence struggled to deal with a corner. The second ball in found the Spanish striker right in front of goal with the easiest of chances, but he appalled the Hearts support behind the goal by heading wide. The final chances of the half fell to Dundee. Nick Ross found space on the left after linking beautifully with Stewart, and his low cross was almost turned in by Hemmings at the near post, but Alexander blocked for a corner. The Hearts keeper had to make another great save before the break, getting down to parry Holt's header from Harkins' chipped cross. Hearts reorganised at half time, pushing left back Oshinawa forward into midfield, moving Ozturk back into central defence and Rossi out to left back. They quickly threatened the home goal but Walker's dangerous low cross into the goalmouth found no Hearts players. Twice in quick succession Kevin Holt caused Hearts problems down the left, but Dundee were now finding it much harder to play the game they wanted in midfield. There were fewer opportunities for the front players and the signs were ominous. Hearts' big defenders were causing Dundee problems from set pieces, and 10 minutes into the second half the Dark Blues were caught out from a corner. The first ball floated beyond the crowded goalmouth, but when it was returned James McPake could have no complaints when a Hearts' header caught his outstretched hand and Mr Thomson awarded a penalty. JUANMA rolled the ball into the corner with Bain going the wrong way, and Hearts were right back in the game. The Dark Blues' defence had been looking composed in open play, but disappointingly gave away a quick second goal. Only five minutes after the equaliser play broke down thirty yards from Dundee's goal. Players from both sides dived in, and when the ball broke free JUANMA had far too much space to run in, cut inside and clip the ball past Bain. After struggling to contain Dundee's attacking in the first half Hearts now strangled the life out of the game, pressing Dundee hard in midfield and not giving the Dark Blues' danger men an inch of space. The flowing football and thrills were at an end as Hearts professionally saw out the game. Dundee did put a few neat moves together, but the Hearts defence was always in place to snuff out the danger. Holt popped up in attack again with another dangerous far post header from McGinn's cross, but Ozturk cleared the ball past his own post. Harkins and Stewart worked a neat passing move, only for Harkins' run into the box to be blocked by Paterson, with the home fans appealing for a penalty Mr Thomson never looked like giving. After that Dundee struggled to get close to Alexander's goal, and could have conceded a bad third goal when they carelessly lost possession coming out of defence. Substitute Billy King set up Walker, but his low drive was well taken by Bain. This was a game that Dundee should have taken something from. The loss of Rory Loy meant that Greg Stewart had to play further forward and he couldn't find the space he exploited so successfully last week. Dundee nevertheless played very well in the first half, and should have put the game out of Hearts' reach. The Jam Tarts couldn't build attacks as impressively as the Dark Blues, but it was an ominous sign that they could nevertheless fashion two great chances. Hearts were always dangerous when they sent their big defenders forward for set pieces, and that was the route from which the equaliser came. The winning goal was entirely avoidable, but the key to the match was Hearts midfield, which was far more effective and competitive in the second half and ensured that the visitors were able to dictate the game after taking the lead. Frustratingly, Dundee failed to put the match out of Hearts reach when it was the Dark Blues midfield that was in charge. It shouldn't be forgotten that four players were making their competitive debut at Dens Park today. All four, Kevin Holt, Julen Etxabeguren, Nick Ross and Kane Hemmings had their moments, and they are sure to be important players when they settle in fully. Today's defeat was certainly disappointing, but there are promising signs for the season ahead. Dundee FC 4-4-2 Bain McGinn, McPake, Etxabeguren, Holt McGowan, Ross, Thomson, Harkins Stewart, Hemmings Unused subs: Mitchell (gk), Meggatt, Irvine, Ferry, Kerr, Konrad, Roberts Goal: Hemmings (4) Booked: McPake (handball), Thomson (foul on Nicholson), Etxabeguren (foul on Walker), Hemmings (tussle with Augustyn), McGinn (foul on King) Hearts 4-3-2-1 Alexander Paterson, Augustyn, Rossi, Oshaniwa (King 74) Gomis, Ozturk, Buaben, Walker, Sow (Nicholson 53) Juanma (Reilly 79) Unused subs: Hamilton (gk), McHattie, McGhee, McKirdy Goals: Juanma (55 pen, 60) Booked: Buaben (foul on Stewart), Paterson (foul on Stewart), Ozturk (foul on Hemmings), Augustyn (tussle with Hemmings) Referee: Craig Thomson Assistants: Gavin Harris, Kylie McMullan Attendance: 8,222 (2,316 away fans) Report: James Christie
  22. TheDarkBlues

    Dundee 3 - 0 Hearts

    Paul Hartley fielded an adventurous 4-4-2 formation with plenty of attacking threat. The midfield four adopted a diamond, with Ferry at the base, McGowan and McAlister at either side, and Harkins at the front just behind the strikers. The Dark Blues' football matched the beautiful sunny evening and the supporters settled back to enjoy a treat. Dundee looked like they belonged in a division higher than a youthful Hearts team, who struggled to compete throughout. Dundee should have taken the lead after seven minutes when Harkins stabbed McGinn's cross wide. The chance came at the end of a sweet, flowing move, the first of many. Three minutes later MacDonald's flick sent the ball spinning wide of the post after McAlister's drive into the box had opened up the defence. MacDonald then came agonisingly close to the opening goal when his 23 yard free kick came back off the post with Gallacher beaten. Dundee's movement and close passing was a delight to watch and showed a vast improvement on last season. The Dark Blues were aided by Hearts' carelessness. The visitors made life difficult by their sloppy tendency to give the ball away cheaply. Dundee's midfield was very much in control, while MacDonald and Stewart looked lively and threatening. Midway through the half Hearts got their game together briefly with a fast break. King found Smith moving through the middle and his 25 yard shot was straight at Letheren who parried comfortably. Just after the half hour McGowan played a pinpoint pass inside full back McHattie for McGinn to run onto. The cross found Harkins who pushed the ball past McKay, who felled him. Mr Thomson pointed to the spot and HARKINS took the penalty to put Dundee ahead. Hearts had only one half chance in the first half when Paterson got his head to a corner 15 yards out, but sent the ball straight to Letheren. The Dark Blues made six changes at half time, but retained the diamond shape. McBride was now at the base, with McGowan at the head and the width being provided by the lightning fast pair of Boyle and Roberts. Wighton and Tankulic played together as strikers for the second half and tormented the Hearts' defence. Tankulic nearly grabbed his first only a minute into the second half but Gallacher managed to block his 12 yard shot with his legs. The German striker had to wait only another three minutes, however. TANKULIC caught Holt in possession and ran on to smash a low 22 yard shot inside Gallacher's far post. Hearts rallied briefly and enjoyed their best spell of the match, although they never matched the Dark Blues' penetration or invention. Buaben drove down the right and set up Holt who fired too high from 15 yards in a fleeting moment of danger to Letheren's goal. Riley and Kerr replaced McGowan and McGinn midway through the half and Dundee took firm control once again. There was a slight hiccup when Gomis robbed Riley and sent Carrick through, but Dyer and Konrad recovered quickly to pressure him into shooting wide. The last 25 minutes was totally one sided, and Hearts were fortunate to concede only one more goal. Boyle and Tankulic broke, two on one, but the young winger failed to find his team mate and saw his shot blocked. Tankulic was looking highly impressive and his run into the box set up Boyle, whose shot was well saved by Gallacher. Craig Wighton looked a class act as he glided around the Hearts defence, and after 74 minutes he was upended as he danced into the penalty area. The free kick was awarded on the edge of the box and Luka TANKULIC stepped forward to blast the ball home for the final goal. The remaining 15 minutes was highly uncomfortable for the young Hearts' defence who struggled badly against Dundee's pace, movement and passing. Tankulic was slightly unlucky not to claim a hat trick as he was involved constantly in the Hearts' penalty area. He had a half chance from a corner, spinning on the ball and forcing Gallacher to save, and he flicked the ball wide from Roberts' cross. It was no surprise when the tannoy announced that Alan Gilzean had chosen the young German as man of the match. His compatriot Thomas Konrad had a solid 90 minutes in the Dundee defence, which had a far more comfortable match than the visitors' rearguard. As ever we have to be careful about what we read into friendlies and it's unlikely that Dundee will face many Premiership teams who will play as poorly as Hearts tonight. However, tonight's win was very impressive, very pleasing, and definitely entertaining. Paul Hartley has said that the supporters ought to be able to see a difference in approach from last season. That comment was backed up by tonight's display, which was a massive improvement on Dundee's football of just a few months ago. Dundee were particularly impressive in midfield, and that was without captain Kevin Thomson, who has been outstanding in pre-season. There will clearly be some serious and welcome competition for places in Paul Hartley's first choice team. Dundee FC 4-4-2 Letheren McGinn (Kerr 62), McPake (Benedictus HT), Konrad, Dyer McGowan (Riley 62), Ferry (McBride HT), Harkins (Boyle HT), McAlister (Roberts HT) MacDonald (Tankulic HT), Stewart (Wighton HT) Unused sub: Adam (gk) Goals: Harkins (32 pen), Tankulic (49, Heart of Midlothian 4-4-2 Gallacher Paterson, McGhee, McKay, McHattie King (Oliver 58), Holt (Gomis 58), Buaben (Robinson 58), Smith (Walker HT) Keatings, Carrick Unused subs: Alexander (gk), Wilson, Ozturk Referee: Craig Thomson Attendance: 2,551 Report: James Christie
  23. TheDarkBlues

    Dundee 1 - 0 Hearts

    A first half red card for Andy Webster allowed Dundee to dominate and their patience was rewarded by the late winner. Nicky Riley picked up a red card, possibly for retaliation after being fouled, but it was far too late to let Hearts back into the match. The eye-catching change to the Dundee line-up was Carl Finnigan, starting his first match in over a year, in place of the injured Gary Harkins. Apart from that, Dundee fielded the same players who won the two previous games. Finnigan played as the lead striker with Baird playing deeper. Hearts started more strongly, and had the first shot. Benedictus fouled Holt just outside the penalty area. Hamill's free kick beat the wall, but Simonsen managed to hold the ball. It took Dundee quarter of an hour to get going, but once they did they stayed on top for the rest of the game. Carl Finnigan's determined pressing unsettled the Hearts' defence, and was key in tilting the match in Dundee's favour. He was warned by the referee that he was in danger of being booked for persistent fouling, and he subsequently kept out of trouble without easing up on his legitimate campaign of harrassment. Hearts' captain Andy Webster picked up a yellow card for hauling Finnigan down after the striker had hustled him into losing possession. Kyle Benedictus hammered the free kick from 30 yards and Jamie MacDonald did well to turn it over the bar. Ten minutes later the referee reached for the red card when Webster flattened Finnigan from behind with an aggressive aerial challenge that left both players needing treatment for head knocks. Manager Gary Locke was unhappy afterwards about the decision, claiming that it was an accidental collision of heads. From my angle it didn't look like the head knock was relevant; Webster had simply wiped Finnigan out with his jump from behind, a crazy act for a player who had already been booked. Dundee were already on top, but the sending off left them firmly in the driving seat. Darren Barr dropped back from midfield into defence, and the ineffective Ngoo was replaced by Mehdi Taouil to shore up the midfield. Hearts settled into two banks of four, sitting deep, with John Sutton left as the lone striker. The Dark Blues played composed football, knocking the ball around well, but struggling to get through Hearts deep defence. The closest they came to a goal was when Lewis Toshney flashed a 15 yard shot just over following a corner. John Brown maintained his reputation for decisive changes when he took off Matt Lockwood and sent on Ryan Conroy at half time. Lockwood had been playing well, but Dundee didn't need a covering defender, and they badly needed the sort of dangerous crosses that Conroy can provide. It nearly paid off immediately when Conroy's pacey, in-swinging corner from the right was met by Easton's head, but his powerful header came crashing back off the crossbar. The game settled down into a stomach churningly tense affair, with Dundee constantly frustrated in their efforts to break Hearts down, and the visitors making only the occasional tentative foray upfield. If Dundee were struggling to create clear chances, Hearts were struggling just to get a hold of the ball, never mind threaten the Dundee goal. John Brown made two more changes, with Colin Nish replacing Iain Davidson, then Nicky Riley coming on for John Baird. Nish's arrival gave Dundee an extra aerial option, but Dundee didn't resort to repeated route one assaults. Ryan Conroy came close with a right footed shot from 25 yards that flew just past the post, but it was a shot with his more favoured left foot from even further out that won the points for the Dee. When Dundee were awarded a free kick 40 yards out no-one was seriously expecting a shot. Fortunately Ryan CONROY was more optimistic, and oh boy, did it pay off! His shot deflected off Ryan Stevenson and nestled just inside the MacDonald's right hand post with the keeper wrong footed. The players and supporters celebrated long and hard, but the goal didn't ease the gut-wrenching tension even by a fraction. There were still 11 minutes, plus three minutes injury time to go. Dundee's determination and concentration ensured they saw the game out safely. Stevenson had a fleeting half chance when the ball broke to him on the edge of the area, but his shot through a crowd of players was straight into Simonsen's midriff. The only late disappointment for Dundee was Nicky Riley's red card at the death. He was fouled near the Hearts corner flag, and there seemed to be a spot of jostling during which the referee Mr Beaton saw something he judged worthy of a straight red for the Dundee winger. The constantly changing scoreline from Easter Road kept the nervous excitement at boiling point, and when the home fans erupted a few minutes from time it was obvious that Hibs had grabbed a late equaliser against St Mirren that keeps the fight going till next weekend. Any neutral who'd wandered in from the street to watch the game without knowing the backstory would have thought it a dull, poor affair. For every single Dee around the ground this was a gripping game that they couldn't take their eyes off for a moment. Yet again the players deserve enormous credit for keeping their heads, working furiously, and refusing to settle for anything less than three points. That's the sort of attitude supporters love, and it's to John Brown's credit that he's been able to instill those qualities into the team. Who'd have thought a few months ago that Dundee would still be alive and refusing to accept relegation as the season moved into May? We might still go down, but the players are ensuring we do it with heads held high. Dundee FC 3-5-1-1 Simonsen Benedictus, Lockwood (Conroy 46) , Gallagher Toshney, McBride, Davidson (Nish ), McAlister, Easton Baird (Riley 65) Finnigan Unused subs; Alex Baird (gk), Irvine, Riley, Barrowman Goal; Conroy (79) Bookings; Conroy (timewasting) Sent off; Riley (retaliation? 88) Hearts 4-4-2 MacDonald Hamill, McGowan, Webster, McHattie Holt (King 81), Barr, Stevenson, Walker (Carrick 46) Sutton, Ngoo (Taouil 31) Unused subs; Ridgers (gk), Smith, Tapping, McKay Bookings; Webster (two bookings for fouls on Finnigan), Taouil (dissent), Hammill (foul on Conroy) Sent off; Webster (for second yellow, 27) Attendance; 5,896 Referee; John Beaton Report; James Christie
  24. TheDarkBlues

    Hearts 1 - 0 Dundee

    Hearts dominated a game played in dreadful conditions and wasted many chances before the late winner. Dundee defended resolutely but never managed to pose any serious threat to the home goal. Gary Harkins made his debut on his return from Kilmarnock and Nicky Riley also started. Mark Stewart dropped onto the bench and Steven Milne was out injured. Hearts are giving the younger players a chance these days; the mobility and enthusiasm of King, Holt and Walker playing behind Ngoo caused problems for Dundee throughout the match. The evening started with Hearts chasing forward eagerly and that was the pattern for the rest of the game. Dundee had an astonishing escape when Walker drove into the area. The defence managed to block his shot and then Ngoo's follow up. The ball rebounded to Walker. He seemed to have toe poked it home but Douglas managed to grab it with the home players claiming it had already crossed the line. Douglas again foiled Walker tipping his well struck low shot from 20 yards round the post. Ngoo should have scored after a corner was partially cleared to King. The youngster's cross was begging to be turned into the goal, but Ngoo headed against Nish, the ball looped onto the top of the bar and out of play. Dundee's first shot didn't come till just before half time when Riley fired too high from a wide angle. The Dark Blues were relieved to reach half time with the scores level, but the second half didn't bring any change to the pattern of the game. If anything the flood of Hearts attacks became even more intense as Dundee were forced to defend desperately, with backs to the wall. The swirling wind was making life difficult for the defenders. A dangerous Mullen cross to the back post held up in the wind and Irvine turned it against Walker and past the post. Jason Holt then hit the top of the bar with a great shot from 30 yards. As the pressure built up Holt blocked an Irvine clearance and ran in from the left. King controlled his pass and seemed sure to score from eight yards, but his shot shaved the outside of the post. The same player then hammered a 20 yarder straight at Douglas, who beat the ball away and Dundee again escaped in the scramble that followed. For all Hearts' pressure they lacked the composure that would surely have brought a goal. Their attacks became increasingly frantic and less dangerous as they started to run out of ideas. In the later stages Dundee spent more time in the Hearts half, but couldn't force a save from MacDonald in the Hearts goal. Surprisingly Hearts manager John McGlynn waited until 84 minutes before sending on any substitutes. When he eventually did the impact was immediate. Hearts broke quickly from a Dundee corner. Substitute Novikovas took a poor first touch, but recovered to send over a perfect cross for the other substitute John SUTTON to score from eight yards with a diving header. There were only four minutes of normal time left, and three minutes of injury time. Dundee pushed forward in the hope of an equaliser, but this left space for Hearts who looked more likely to grab another goal. Novikovas turned Ngoo's cross just wide, and then Douglas had to save at full stretch from Walker's curling shot. There wasn't much entertainment on offer for Dundee supporters tonight. The pitch was bobbly and the biting wind swirled evilly around the stadium. That didn't seem to trouble the Hearts players, but Dundee never managed to get their game going. The defence did well. Toshney was excellent again, and Gallagher did a good job of dealing with the gangling menace of Ngoo. However, the midfield was never able to settle on the ball and couldn't create any worthwhile openings, leaving the front players chasing around hopefully but to no great effect. It was good to see Gary Harkins back in a Dundee shirt. There was the odd flash of skill, but this was a night when no-one on either side was able to settle on the ball, show some composure and dictate play. The ball spent the match being battered to and fro; sadly for Dundee it was mostly towards our goal. It was desperately disappointing to lose a goal so late, but it's hard to deny that Hearts deserved all the points. Hearts 3-3-3-1 MacDonald Wilson, Webster, Zaliukas Mullen, Stevenson, Tapping King (Novikovas 84), Holt (Sutton 85), Walker (Driver 90) Ngoo Unused subs; Ridgers (gk), Barr, Taouil, McGowan Goal; Sutton (86) Bookings; Stevenson (squaring up to Davidson) Dundee FC 4-2-3-1 Douglas Irvine, Toshney, Gallagher, Easton Davidson, McAlister Riley (McBride 75), Harkins, Baird Nish Unused subs; Alex Baird (gk), Lockwood, Benedictus, McGregor, Conroy, Stewart Booking; Davidson (squaring up to Stevenson) Attendance; 11,284 Referee; Crawford Allan Report; James Christie
  25. TheDarkBlues

    Dundee V Hearts

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