Ladbrokes Championship: Dundee 4 Dunfermline 3: 14/12/19
Seven goals were served up in this festive feast of goals. The drama was compelling and for a neutral this was a game that had everything. After going down to ten men when 4-1 down the visitors fought back seeking just one goal for a draw and there was a thrilling end to the game with Dundee relieved to hear the final whistle.
Stevie Crawford brought back Ryan Scully between the posts and Lee Ashcroft returned to captain the side. Cammy Gill dropped to the bench and there was no sign of Josh Edwards.
It was the hosts final home game of 2019 and their manager James McPake was looking for his players to be really positive and take the game to Dunfermline. He made three changes from the side that drew at Arbroath. Back on to the bench went Josh Todd, Sean Mackie and former Par Shaun Byrne. Into his team came Paul McGowan, seventeen year old Finlay Robertson and former Queen of the South defender, Jordan Marshall.
The teams changed ends before Kane Hemmings kicked off with Dundee attacking the goal in front of the already vocal 551 strong, travelling support. The first save of the afternoon was a splendid one handed effort from Scully sending a well struck net bound shot from Graham Dorrans behind for a seventh minute corner on the left that was successfully defended.
The Pars response was a strong run from Greg Kiltie to pick out Kyle Turner on the left and his swift return set up the on loan Killie player but the defence closed him out before he could test Jack Hamilton.
From a long Kyle Turner pass, Kevin Nisbet took advantage of a Jordan Forster slip up on the right side of the Dundee defence and cut in for a shot that was deflected behind by Jordan McGhee but it was Dundee who were to score as a consequence. McGhee headed the ball out and Declan McDaid broke at speed. When he reached the Pars box delivered an angled cross that with two Dundee men attacking the unfortunate Danny Devine directed into his own goal. 1-0
Dunfermline went up the park and duly equalised. Nisbet sent the ball across the penalty box, Tom Beadling drove a shot low towards the left side of the goal, it was deflected by the keeper but Ryan DOW was well placed to net. 1-1
There was some good defending to be done with Ashcroft blocking a McDaid effort in 20 minutes and moments later Lewis Martin reacting fast to clear. Dundee however were to restore their lead on 25 minutes when a Cammy Kerr cross from the right was easy meat for Kane HEMMINGS to rise above everyone, his header dropping just inside the right upright. 2-2
Turner sent a 31st minute free kick over the crossbar before McDaid stole the ball as it was being shielded out for a goal kick by Ashcroft. The ball was crossed through Danny Johnson for McGOWAN to net from the left of the goal. 3-1
A Johnson shot was beaten away by Scully as the home side looked for still more. Turner and Cochrane dealt with two Dorrans corners from the left and in 45th minute Scully had to dive to his left to hold a 20 yard effort from Hemmings.
Dorrans dispatched a rather loose effort off target in the two minutes of added time but the first half stats would show Dundee with eight shots, five on target to the Fifers four shots with just one on target despite 55% possession.
Half time: Dundee 3 Dunfermline 1
Although Turner kicked off Dundee had scored a fourth goal within 27 seconds of the restart. The ball had gone directly to keeper Hamilton and his kick out allowed Hemmings to take advantage of an Ashcroft slip and when his shot from 15 yards out rebounded off Comrie, JOHNSON crashed the ball home. 4-1
Paul Paton was the first substitution made replacing Harry Cochrane in the fourth minute of the half. Kiltie created a chance but when meeting the ball on the edge of the box Beadling sent it into the stand.
Then a 56th minute corner saw the ball drop for firstly Nisbet to shoot and then when blocked Dow drove the ball on target but Hamilton dropped on top of it before anyone else could. Joe Thomson was introduced for Kyle Turner before Kiltie powered a shot narrowly wide.
It was proving difficult to get back into this match and things got even worse with Dunfermline were reduced to ten men in 62 minutes when Greg Kiltie was shown a second yellow card. On halfway he evaded a Shaun Byrne challenge but then Kerr ran into Kiltieâ€™s outstretched leg. Referee Kevin Clancy after some pause for consideration, pulled out his yellow card, followed by a red.
With the home side on the attack Beadling belted the ball upfield and NISBET latched on to it probably just ten yards inside his own half. He made ground and from just inside the box hit an angle shot past Hamilton to net at the left post. 4-2
Remarkably the Pars were to snatch another goal back just three minutes later. Dow passed across field to MARTIN who popped a shot from the left corner of the penalty box and his bouncing effort found the net at the far post, 4-3 with 18 minutes remaining.
Lewis McCann was the final throw of the dice for the Fifers as he replaced Tom Beadling with seven minutes left. Thomson launched over a free kick from the left but Hamilton held as a group of yellow shirt hunted the ball. The pressure was certainly being put on Dundee and their fans were growing increasingly impatient with their team.
Nisbetâ€™s low shot from the left edge of the box was held by Hamilton. There was to be a really nervous end to the match for the home team and their supporters. The Pars threw everything into trying to find a late equaliser and even Scully was up for an added time corner. The final chance fell to Comrie but his overhead kick went wide.
A real fighting comeback from the ten men but three points for Dundee brings them level with Dunfermline on 25 points, the Pars ahead in fourth by virtue of goal difference.
DUNDEE: Jack Hamilton: Cammy Kerr, Jordan McGhee (Josh Meekings 65), Jordan Forster, Jordan Marshall: Finlay Robertson, Paul McGowan (c), Graham Dorrans, Declan McDaid (Shaun Byrne 53), Danny Johnson (Andrew Nelson 84), Kane Hemmings.
SUBS NOT USED: Josh Todd, Sean Mackie, Josh McPake, Calum Ferrie (GK)
SCORERS: Devine (o.g. 15), Hemmings (25), McGowan (34), Johnson (46)
YELLOW CARD: Dorrans (38), McGowan (55), Meekings (72), Robertson (79), Forster (80)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Scully: Aaron Comrie, Danny Devine, Lee Ashcroft (c), Lewis Martin: Ryan Dow, Harry Cochrane (Paul Paton 49), Tom Beadling (Lewis McCann 83), Kyle Turner (Joe Thomson 58, Greg Kiltie, Kevin Nisbet.
SUBS NOT USED: Stuart Morrison, Anthony McDonald, Miller Fenton, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: Dow (16), Nisbet (69), Martin (72)
YELLOW CARD: Kiltie (19), Nisbet (85)
RED CARD: Kiltie (62)
REFEREE: Kevin Clancy
WEATHER: Cloudy 5C
NEXT MATCH: Ladbrokes Championship (away) v Inverness Caley Thistle, Saturday 21st December, 3.00pm kick off at Caledonian Stadium.
Match video highlights