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Dundee Don Late On With Aberdeen Comeback


JoeCovenant

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Source: The Evening Telegraph

For almost 87 minutes, Saturday, January 17, looked like being coined the day Dundee killed the Premiership title race.

But a late two-goal recovery by hosts Aberdeen rescued a point and kept them ticking at the top end of the table. It was an unlikely point gained at the top-flight table-toppers but it could, and should, have been so much more. Some will say a point gained but you can’t help but feel it’s two points dropped.

The Dark Blues deservedly fell behind after just seven minutes when a mistake by Gary Irvine allowed Niall McGinn to find Adam Rooney, who, in turn, crossed for former Dundee United man David Goodwillie to lash home from close range.

It was no less than the Dons deserved.

For the best part of half-an-hour, they looked every bit title contenders. Their slick, pacey attacking play was a joy. Their midfield tenacity, no-nonsense defending and potent frontline was just too much for Dundee, like many before them, to cope with. Had Rooney hit the back of the net rather than miss an open goal at the back post soon after, the outcome of this one, I’m sure, would have been very, very different.

But, as much as there was a clear gulf in class between the duo for the opening half-hour, watching the next 50-odd minutes you’d have said Dundee were the side on top of the pile.

Making up for his earlier error, full-back Irvine — living up to his nickname of ‘White Cafu’ — sauntered forward to level against the run of play. A top finish from a man not renowned in front of goal but with three to his name already this campaign. If Dark Blues fans were shell-shocked by their side beating Scott Brown for the first time in eight games, they were in dreamland within two minutes when an outstanding team goal put the visitors in front.

On the break, an exquisite back flick by Luka Tankulic set up who else but Greg Stewart, who hammered in with the outside of his boot. After the break, Rooney hit the upright as Derek McInnes’ men looked to get back in it but their eagerness to press left gaps for the Dark Blues to exploit. And exploit they did when, from a hurried clearance, Gary Harkins volleyed a belter, via Ash Taylor, past Brown for No 3.

A lot of huff and puff ensued from the hosts but Dundee looked comfortable.

That was until new boy Kostadin Gadzhalov felled Lawrence Shankland in the area. Jonny Hayes made no mistake from 12 yards. And, with just seconds left on the clock, a hopeful ball by Shay Logan was knocked down and Ryan Jack was on hand to net. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a very positive result. But losing a two-goal lead so late was a tough one to take.

The result, with some time to reflect, further underlines the Dark Blues’ recent recovery, making sure any idea of the comprehensive Motherwell win being a flash in the pan was dispelled.

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