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Dundee 3-1 Hibernian: Hosts slim hopes of survival alive after ending 11-game winless run

Dundee 3-1 Hibernian: Hosts slim hopes of survival alive after ending 11-game winless run

Watch Dundee beat Hibs for McGhee’s first win

Dundee kept their slim hopes of Scottish Premiership survival alive after ending an 11-game winless run under Mark McGhee with victory at home to Hibernian.

Only a win would would do for the hosts, who scored after three minutes through Niall McGinn before James Scott capitalised on poor defending to level.

The home side were incensed when Josh Mulligan’s header was ruled out, but the teenager nodded in after the interval, with Charlie Adam sealing the win with a stunning late strike.

Should St Johnstone avoid defeat at home to Aberdeen on Wednesday, Dundee’s relegation will be confirmed.

But just a second win in 21 league games has provided a lifeline to McGhee’s men, who are now three points off the Perth side with an inferior goal difference of five and one game left to play.

Managerless Hibs, who remain eighth, dominated the contest for large spells but failed to make that count against the Premiership’s bottom club.

Dundee boss McGhee hardly filled his squad with much optimism after stating survival was « nigh impossible » after Saturday’s defeat at St Mirren.

But his players started like a group who had belief in spades as Zak Rudden’s shot across goal was only parried as far as McGinn, who fired in the rebound.

The home players raced into the net to retrieve the ball, knowing goal difference will be a crucial factor if they are to survive.

The hosts’ attacking intent was non-existent for a long period thereafter, however, with Hibs taking hold of the game as Scott drilled straight at Harrison Sharp from close range before Harry Clarke saw a brave header drop just wide.

Dundee were fortunate not to concede on both occasions, but their luck ran out when Scott robbed McGhee to race into the box and finish low under the grasp of Sharp. It was the Hull City loanee’s first Hibs goal in his 18th game.

Out of nowhere, McGhee’s men looked to have regained the lead when McGinn’s deep free-kick was met by the head of Mulligan, whose header crashed off the bar and into the Hibs net.

But the linesman’s flag was raised for what could have only been an offside call, but Mulligan appeared to be well on.

After withstanding a long spell of Hibs pressure, Dundee managed to get a foothold in the game with the introduction of Adam and Luke McCowan from the bench.

It was McCowan who would provide the hosts’ second when the substitute rose at the back post to tee up Mulligan, who nodded in for a second time. No flag this time.

The home side again cut their gleeful celebrations short to place the ball in the centre circle, with two Zak Rudden efforts – one hacked away by Rocky Bushiri and one dragged wide – bookending another Mulligan header that was cleared off the line.

After missing a catalogue of glaring opportunities, it took for the inspired Adam to drill in a beautiful bending effort from 25 yards to add a third.

The veteran midfielder, who has endured a tough run of form individually, celebrated emotionally in front of a boisterous home crowd, who are now believing the great escape may be on.

Man of the match – Charlie Adam

Charlie Adam & Ryan Sweeney
The 36-year-old (left) only played half an hour but, along with McCowan, was integral in changing the course of the game

What did we learn?

Is something special brewing at Dens Park? The reality is the bottom side still need St Johnstone to lose both their final games – something McGhee is far from confident will happen – but this win cranks up the pressure on Callum Davidson’s side.

On a night of positives, the big frustration for Dundee is they have shown this performance level all too fleetingly this term.

But, for one more day at least, they remain a Premiership club. Defeat for St Johnstone on Wednesday may make things very interesting heading into the weekend.

Late Sunday afternoon cannot come quick enough for Hibs. Looking tidy for spells but ultimately feeble in the big moments has been the story in a season that has seen two managers lose their jobs.

Major surgery to the playing squad is required for a club that is performing well, well below their level. The issue is there isn’t yet a manager in place to oversee it. That must change immediately.

What did they say?

Dundee manager Mark McGhee: « I didn’t feel any great need for a celebration, we’ve still got a job to do on Sunday and we still don’t know what state we’ll be at by the time we get to that game.

« I’ve always described the team as a running team as opposed to a passing team and I think that’s what you saw, loads of energy, not always joined up football, but this team has legs, it has endeavour. »

Caretaker Hibernian manager David Gray: « It’s extremely disappointing. As much as Dundee need to win, we need to win.

« There’s an expectation when you play for this club. We are in a position that’s not good enough and we need to win every game. It’s not an excuse. »

What’s next?

Both sides end their campaigns on Sunday (12:00 BST) as Hibernian host St Johnstone and Dundee travel to Livingston.

‘There were tears – this could be my last game here’

Player of the match

McGinnNiall McGinn

with an average of 8.25

Dundee

  1. Squad number77Player nameMcGinn

  2. Squad number15Player nameMulligan

  3. Squad number26Player nameAdam

  4. Squad number30Player nameSharp

  5. Squad number24Player nameAnderson

  6. Squad number5Player nameSweeney

  7. Squad number3Player nameMarshall

  8. Squad number18Player nameMcMullan

  9. Squad number6Player nameMcGhee

  10. Squad number2Player nameKerr

  11. Squad number17Player nameMcCowan

  12. Squad number8Player nameByrne

  13. Squad number20Player nameRudden

  14. Squad number4Player nameFontaine

Hibernian

  1. Squad number25Player nameScott

  2. Squad number16Player nameStevenson

  3. Squad number1Player nameMacey

  4. Squad number80Player nameHenderson

  5. Squad number2Player nameClarke

  6. Squad number6Player nameMcGinn

  7. Squad number34Player nameMelkersen

  8. Squad number20Player nameJasper

  9. Squad number3Player nameDoig

  10. Squad number22Player nameDoyle-Hayes

  11. Squad number33Player nameBushiri

  12. Squad number32Player nameCampbell

  13. Squad number5Player namePorteous

  14. Squad number11Player nameNewell

Line-ups

Dundee

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 30Sharp
  • 2Kerr
  • 6McGheeBooked at 48mins
  • 5Sweeney
  • 3Marshall
  • 8ByrneSubstituted forAdamat 61′minutes
  • 18McMullanSubstituted forMcCowanat 61′minutes
  • 15MulliganBooked at 24mins
  • 24Anderson
  • 77McGinn
  • 20RuddenSubstituted forFontaineat 90+4′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Fontaine
  • 10McGowan
  • 12Chapman
  • 17McCowan
  • 19Robertson
  • 22Daley-Campbell
  • 26Adam
  • 41Welsh

Hibernian

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Macey
  • 6McGinn
  • 33BushiriBooked at 38mins
  • 5PorteousSubstituted forDoyle-Hayesat 74′minutes
  • 3Doig
  • 16StevensonBooked at 30mins
  • 11NewellBooked at 88mins
  • 2Clarke
  • 80HendersonSubstituted forJasperat 61′minutes
  • 32CampbellSubstituted forMelkersenat 73′minutes
  • 25Scott

Substitutes

  • 20Jasper
  • 21Dabrowski
  • 22Doyle-Hayes
  • 24McGregor
  • 30Hauge
  • 34Melkersen
  • 36Delferriere
  • 43Laidlaw
  • 47Aiken

Referee:
Craig Napier

Attendance:
5,452

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Dundee 3, Hibernian 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Dundee 3, Hibernian 1.

  3. Jake Doyle-Hayes (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Foul by Niall McGinn (Dundee).

  5. Substitution, Dundee. Liam Fontaine replaces Zak Rudden.

  6. Attempt blocked. Sylvester Jasper (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  7. Attempt blocked. Joe Newell (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  8. Offside, Hibernian. Josh Doig tries a through ball, but Elias Hoff Melkersen is caught offside.

  9. Joe Newell (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Foul by Joe Newell (Hibernian).

  11. Max Anderson (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Goal! Dundee 3, Hibernian 1. Charlie Adam (Dundee) left footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner.

  13. Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Foul by Zak Rudden (Dundee).

  15. Attempt saved. Josh Mulligan (Dundee) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Cammy Kerr.

  16. Jake Doyle-Hayes (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Foul by Charlie Adam (Dundee).

  18. Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Zak Rudden.

  19. Attempt blocked. James Scott (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jake Doyle-Hayes.

  20. Attempt blocked. Jordan McGhee (Dundee) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

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