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Dundee 1 Kilmarnock 0: Dark Blues Goal King Greg Stewart Spot On In Dens Victory


JoeCovenant

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Source: The Courier

Greg Stewart blasted in his lucky 13th goal of the season for Dundee, with his penalty after 19 minutes securing a vital victory over Kilmarnock at Dens.

However, fortune — good or bad — wasn’t a factor as the striker stroked the ball home from the spot after Manny Pascali had fouled Jim McAlister. The result put the hosts into seventh spot in the Premiership, jumping over Killie, and they are now definitely looking up.

Importantly, it meant the Dark Blues built on what was still a great point against Aberdeen on Saturday, despite the disappointment of throwing away a two-goal lead over the Dons late on. They certainly deserved these three points, always looking just that bit better than a Kilmarnock side that was neat and tidy at times but lacked any real bite in attack.

It could have been more for Dundee, too, with the second half seeing Gary 
Harkins smack the bar and McAlister missing an absolute sitter right in front of goal. As it turned out, one was enough and it was no surprise that it came from Stewart, surely the best signing of the many made by manager Paul Hartley.

The Dens men made three changes to the line-up that started that pulsating 3-3 draw at Pittodrie.

Central defender James McPake came back in to replace Kostadin Gadzhalov, while Paul McGowan was back from suspension to replace Kevin Thomson. Both Gadzhalov and Thomson dropped to the bench. Willie Dyer was the third change, slotting in at full-back instead of the injured Paul McGinn.

Killie came out of the tunnel wearing their tangerine away strip, giving the fixture a bit of a Dundee derby look about it.

On five minutes there was a half-chance for the visitors when Chris Chantler lobbed the ball to the back post but it was just too high for striker Josh Magennis. Magennis had a shot from the edge of the box blocked by McPake for a corner before Craig Slater brought a save out of home keeper Scott Bain with a 20-yard effort as the Ayrshire team started brightly.

Bain then produced a wonder save on 16 minutes when he dived to keep out a Lee Ashcroft header after Alexei Eremenko had fired in a dangerous corner. So it was slightly against the run of play that Dundee took the lead three minutes later.

Stewart slammed the ball into the net after McAlister was fouled by Pascali not too far away from referee Andrew Dallas. On the half-hour, Bain did well once again when he used both hands to beat out an Eremenko shot after great footwork inside the box by the Killie playmaker. It was a nice, open game and Alex Harris threatened for Dundee when he cut in from the right but visiting goalie Craig Samson gathered well.

On 38 minutes, a Harkins free-kick was helped on to Iain Davidson, who was lurking just inside the left-hand side of the box. The former Raith Rovers man sent a shot flying back across goal and the ball didn’t miss the far post by much. Minutes later, McAlister flicked the ball just wide after good play by Stewart as the Dark Blues put the pressure on as half-time approached.

After a free-flowing, entertaining first period, the second half took a wee while to get going. But when the game did come to life again on 55 minutes there was an amazing escape for Kilmarnock.

Harkins it was who weaved his magic to create space for himself at the edge of the box. The Dundee midfielder then smacked a shot off the Killie bar, the ball bounced down, hit keeper Samson and spun behind for a corner. It was hard to believe that it was not 2-0 to the Dens men and Harkins was left to curse his rotten luck as he was subbed by David Clarkson on 63 minutes.

A lot of the visitors’ football was easy on the eye but they lacked a cutting edge when they got into the final third of the park. They made a double switch on 68 minutes, bringing on Robbie Muirhead and Paul Cairney, but it was the Dark Blues who had the next chance — and it was a cracker.

McAlister was the guilty party, though, as he miskicked right in front of goal and the ball flew up and into the arms of a grateful Samson. The unmarked midfielder must have been only six or seven yards out.

With just 10 minutes to go, Dundee replaced Luka Tankulic with Craig Wighton. There was warm applause from the home supporters to welcome the youngster back to Dens after his successful loan spell at Brechin City came to an end at the weekend. However, neither Wighton nor anyone else could add to Stewart’s spot-kick and the home team played out the final minutes without too much trouble.

Attendance: 5,141.

Dundee: Bain, Irvine, Dyer, McPake (Gadzhalov 74), Davidson, Stewart, McGowan, McAlister, Tankulic (Wighton 80), Harkins (Clarkson 63), Harris. Subs not used: Schenk, Konrad, Thomson, Ferry.

Kilmarnock: Samson, Barbour, 
Clingan, Johnston (Muirhead 68), Obadeyi (Cairney 68), Ashcroft, Slater, Eremenko, Chantler, Magennis, Pascali. Subs not used: Brennan, Smith, Westlake, O’Hara, Syme.

Referee: Andrew Dallas.

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