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Sunday, 30 August 2009

2009-2010 Season Review - August

The 09-10 season was the most eagerly awaited season for a Dundee fan since the 03-04 season. Back then, of course, we had a European campaign to look forward to as well as realistic hopes of a trophy and high league placing. The events of November 2003 put paid to that, but that's another story.
The pre season saw the board eradicate all bank debt as well as attract Calum Melville to the club; and it was to be largely Calum's investment that would bring in some top First Division players as well as players with SPL and international experience.
The pre season friendlies brought mixed fortunes with defeats to FC Augsburg (0-2) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (0-2) in Austria followed up by draws with Aberdeen (1-1, Dens) and Arbroath (1-1, Gayfield). The first, and only victory came at Forfar (1-0). Royal Antwerp and their band of lively supporters were invited to Dens and the teams played out a 3-3 draw.

The first competitive game was the 1st round League Cup home tie against Stranraer. Dundee cruised to a 5-0 victory to give the fans a tasty morsal of what to expect in the forthcoming season. Goals from
Higgins (23), Harkins (29), Cameron (37), McMenamin (47), Griffiths (67) sealed Stranraer's fate. The performance impressed some Stranraer fans:

"Dundee were very impressive, particularly Harkins who was tremendous and ably assisted by McHale and Hart in midfield. The guys up front are going to enjoy the ammunition supplied from there this season. Young Kyle Benedictus looks like a real good find too." Blue Moon, P & B.

The opening league game was against Morton, who have proved themselves to be no slouches in the 1st division. After a poor first half showing, Dundee managed a vital 1-0 win after Higgins got on the end of a McHale cross. The away fans' perspective wasn't quite so gushing this time:

Dee looked an okay side but certainly nothing special. No doubt they'll improve once their new signings bed down. Overall Dee probably deserved to win by virtue of creating a few more chances, but over the piece there wasn't much between the sides." Steak & Barley, P & B

Next up was Raith and Dundee's first competitive away game. Dundee took a healthy support and Raith showed up in large numbers for their flag presentation. Despite Dundee taking the lead, the game ended 2-2.

Harkins is some player though. Great composure on the ball and always playing with his head up. Dundee should play through him as much as possible. Griffiths too, when he came on, was very good. The rest? Hmmn, not so sure. I still think they'll win the league although maybe I should wait 'till I witness Caley & the Pars before commenting further." Pantene proV, P&B.

Another trip to Fife ensued in the form of Alba Cup business with Cowdenbeath our opponents. A 3-0 victory saw Dundee progress to the quarter finals. Cowden fans weren't optomistic going into the fixture but were pleasantly surprised by the way their team went about things, despite the loss:

"I thought we played well for most of the match. The first goal was a bizarre affair and Dundee didn't take over until the final ten minutes, even then we still pushed forward." Centralparker, P&B.

Five and a half thousand turned out for the 2-2 draw versus ICT. Dundee were aided by the large home support and ICT were aided by our defence, who were abysmal. In an otherwise entertaining match, Dundee twice took the lead, only to concede equalisers, twice. The second half saw chances for both sides to nick it but the scoreline ended 2-2. On that game alone and in my opinion, Malone, Paton, MacKenzie, Lauchlan, Kerr, McHale and McMenamin didn't perform. Bullock, Hart and Higgins did well with Harkins stealing the show. Griffiths and Cameron did well for the time they were on also- and must start at Airdrie.

"At HT I thought Dundee were very fortunate to be level, and they looked a one man team. Mind you, Harkins is a helluva player to have at this level and looks a cert for player of the year. Cracking game, end to end stuff, but I was mighty relieved when the whistle went as Dundee fared better out of the flurry of substitutions. They should have started with Griffiths."
Yngwie, P & B.

Dundee took their shaky defence up to Station Park in the 2nd round of the League Cup soon after the ICT game. A couple of changes were made to the starting line-up and it paid of as Dundee cruised to a 3-0 lead at half time, but as is becoming a bad habit, that momentum did not last. In the end Dundee settled for, an admittedly comfortable, 4-2 win. Craig Forsyth won man-of-the-match.

"Was very impressed with Forsyth. Great to see a player looking to take players on everytime he gets the ball. Cant make my mind up if we were that bad the 1st half or whether Dundee were good, we improved 2nd half but a deserved win for Dundee" Cresto11, P&B.

Back to the league and a visit to Airdrie United. A ficture that hasn't been particularly kind to Dundee and this game was to be no different. McMenamin opened the scoring but Lauchlan's O.G. levelled things and that is how it remained. Another draw in the league and it's clear we need to bring in a couple of players before the transfer deadline.

"we were quite lucky to get the goal at the end of the half which helped us going into the second. thought our defence was great although griffiths did outpace our right back a few times. (i'm sure he was offside once or twice).

when baird came on he started a couple of attacks down the left and I thought we were going to win it near the end when (Lagana or Keegan?) curled it by the keepers left hand post.

overall a decent game i thought, and we certainly deserved at least a point although we could've sneeked the three. " Proud to be a Diamond, P&B.

So, Dundee go through the month of August unbeaten and win all of their cup matches easily, but it is apparent that we need to strengthen key areas if we are to win the league. Too many points have been lost due to only performing for only patches of games and having a very unbalanced squad. The honeymoon is over, but all is far from lost. Roll on September!

1st- Dundee 5-0 Stranraer, League Cup 1st Round, 2,345
Higgins, Harkins, Cameron, McMenamin, Griffiths

Bullock, Paton (Casement 49), Malone, McHale, Benedictus, Lauchlan, Hart, Cameron (Kerr 68), Higgins, McMenamin (Griffiths 55), Harkins.
Subs Not Used: Forsyth, Geddes.

8th- Dundee 1-0 Morton, League, 5,449 (league position- joint 2nd)

Bullock, Paton, Malone, McHale, MacKenzie, Lauchlan, Hart, Cameron (Kerr 75), McMenamin (Griffiths 68), Higgins, Harkins (Forsyth 87). Subs Not Used: A Trialist (D Soutar), Casement.

15th- Raith Rovers 2-2 Dundee, league 4,744 (league position- 1st)
Harkins, McMenamin

Bullock, Paton, Malone, McHale (Forsyth 84), MacKenzie, Lauchlan, Hart (Kerr 62), Cameron, McMenamin, Higgins (Griffiths 67), Harkins. Subs Not Used: Cowan, A Trialist (D Soutar).

18th- Cowdenbeath 0-3 Dundee, 457, Alba Challenge Cup 2nd Round,
Harkins, Griffiths, Antoine-Curier

Bullock, Cowan, Benedictus, Lauchlan, Forsyth, Casement, McHale (Harkins 66), Cameron, Kerr, Antoine-Curier, Griffiths (McMenamin 70). Subs Not Used: Geddes, Rennie, Timmons.

22nd- Dundee 2-2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle, 5,507, league (league position- 2nd)
Harkins (2)

Bullock, Paton, Malone, McHale, MacKenzie, Lauchlan, Hart (Cameron 78), Kerr, McMenamin, Higgins (Griffiths 67), Harkins.

Subs Not Used: A Trialist (D Soutar), Casement, Antoine-Curier.

25th- Forfar 2-4 Dundee, League Cup 2nd Round, 1,929
Griffiths, Antoine-Curier (2), Tod (O.G.)

Bullock, Casement (Kerr 80), Malone, Paton, Lauchlan, Benedictus, Cameron, Forsyth, Harkins, Antoine-Curier, Griffiths.

Subs Not Used: Geddes, MacKenzie, Higgins, McMenamin.

29th- Airdrie United 1-1 Dundee, 1,516, league (league position- 4th)

Bullock, Paton, Malone, Benedictus, Lauchlan, McHale, Cameron (Hart 68), Kerr, Harkins, McMenamin, Griffiths (Higgins 76) .

Subs Not Used: MacKenzie, Forsyth, Geddes.

August Goal Count:
(L-League; LC-League Cup; LCC-League Challenge Cup)
  1. Harkins 5 (3-L; 1-LC; 1-LCC)
  2. McMenamin 3 (2-L; 1-LC)
  3. Courier 3 (2-LC; 1-LCC)
  4. Griffiths 3 (2-LC; 1-LCC)
  5. Higgins 2 (1 L; 1 LC)
  6. Cameron 1 (1-LC)

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