Friday 6th October
It was a very entertaining evening at McDiarmid Park tonight as Dundee ran out 5-3 winners in Dave Mackay’s testimonial match. Both teams fielded current first team players for the first half as Dundee went in at half time 3-0 up thanks to goals from Mark O’Hara, Jack Lambert and Sofien Moussa.
The second half saw a number of former players for both sides take part in the match. Denny Johnstone pulled a goal back for Saints on 54 minutes with a 30-yard strike. Dundee then scored a couple more goals courtesy of Steven Milne and Max Anderson. The final 10 minutes saw Saints score two more goals. First the man of the night Dave Mackay netted from the penalty spot on 85 minutes after Steven Anderson had been fouled in the box by Graham Gartland. Then in the final minute the legendary Roddy Grant found the back of the net as he capitalised on a slack pass by Dundee manager Neil McCann.
Saints fans were this evening given the opportunity to say a proper farewell to former captain Dave Mackay. The Scottish Cup winning captain, who is now manager of Stirling Albion, had to hang up his boots last season due to a persistent hip injury.
Before the match got underway Dave Mackay received a standing ovation and guard of honour as he made his return to the McDiarmid Park.
Dundee got the game underway and the first chance of the match came after 6 minutes as David Wotherspoon cut inside from the left before having a shot at goal which was comfortably gathered by Elliot Parish.
Dundee took the lead on 9 minutes as Jack Lambert’s corner picked out Mark O’Hara who headed the ball past Zander Clark.
Saints were awarded a free kick just outside the box on 14 minutes after Murray Davidson had been fouled. The free kick was taken by David Wotherspoon and he played it short to Liam Craig who saw his shot at goal deflected for a corner. Then a minute later Stefan Scougall setup Wotherspoon who curled his effort just over Parish’s goal.
On 20 minutes Saints came very close to equalising as Denny Johnstone flicked the ball onto Scougall who wriggled through the Dundee defence before unleashing a shot at goal that went inches wide.
5 minutes later Craig saw his free kick tipped over for a corner by Parish. From the corner the ball into the box evaded everyone and it was picked up out on the right by Gilchrist and he delivered a great ball into the box which picked out Denny Johnstone whose header was palmed away by Parish.
Despite the pressure Dundee doubled their lead on 29 minutes as Jack Lambert curled a fine strike past Clark from the edge of the 18-yard box.
With 10 minutes of the first half remaining Scougall did well to get away from his marker before having a shot at goal which was saved by Parish.
Zander Clark was called into action on 40 minutes as he palmed away a swerving shot from Faissal El Bakhtaoui. Then just before half time Dundee almost made it 3 as Cammy Kerr did well to setup Lambert who saw his effort at goal blocked by the Saints defence.
Dundee did though get a third right on half time as Faissal El Bakhtaoui crossed a pin point ball for Sofien Moussa and the Tunisian striker headed home at the back post.
Saints made three changes at the start of the second half as Brian Easton, Graham Cummins and Jody Morris, now a youth coach at Chelsea, came on for Scott Tanser, Liam Craig and Stefan Scougall. Whilst Dundee brought on Rab Douglas, Barry Smith, Steven Milne, Peter MacDonald, Gary Harkins and Stoke City star Charlie Adam.
On 53 minutes Wotherspoon played the ball out to Aaron Comrie who slipped it to Graham Cummins but the Saints striker couldn’t get his effort on target.
Saints though did pull a goal back a minute later as Denny Johnstone fired home a great shot from 30 yards that gave Douglas no chance in the visitors goal.
Saints made 3 more changes on 56 minutes as Murray Davidson, Joe Shaughnessy and David Wotherspoon made way for Paul Sheerin, Danny Griffin and Martin Hardie.
The main man himself Dave Mackay received a standing ovation from both sets of supporters as he entered the action on 62 minutes, replacing Comrie.
3 minutes later Nathan Lowndes came on for Saints replacing scorer Denny Johnstone. The changes kept on coming as a minute later John O’Neill came on for Craig Thomson and Zander Clark was replaced in goal by Murray Davidson!
The visitors almost got a fourth on 67 minutes as Peter MacDonald setup Steven Milne however, his shot from a tight angle hit the post.
The plethora of changes continued on 69 minutes as Darren Dods and Frazer Wright came on, replacing Ally Gilchrist and Danny Griffin. Then shortly after the legendary Roddy Grant entered the action replacing Graham Cummins.
Dundee got a fourth goal on 73 minutes as Matty Henvey slipped the ball to Milne, who was one-on-one with Davidson, as he calmly slotted it into the net.
With 10 minutes remaining Dave Mackay got a chance to pull a goal back as he burst through the Dee defence but at the crucial moment fired well over.
Dundee made it 5 on 83 minutes as Gary Harkins setup Henvey whose strike hit the post however, Max Anderson was on hand to net the rebound.
2 minutes later Saints were awarded a penalty as Graham Gartland fouled Steven Anderson in the box. Dave Mackay stepped up to take the penalty and he made no mistake from the spot as he coolly sent Douglas the wrong way.
Then with a minute remaining Saints got a third as Roddy Grant capitalised on a slack pass for Dundee manager Neil McCann and the Saints legend rolled back the years as he beat Douglas with a cool finish.
There was still enough time for stand-in keeper Davidson to keep out an audacious halfway line effort from Lambert, and then Muzz had to palm away a powerful shot from Callum Moore.
Saints: Clark, Tanser, Shaughnessy, Davidson, Wotherspoon, Comrie, Johnstone, Scougall, Craig, Thomson, Gilchrist
Substitutes: McKenzie (GK), Anderson, Millar, MacLean, Gordon, Easton, Cummins, Hendry, Griffin, O’Neil, Dods, Hardie, Sheerin, Mackay, Lowndes, Morris, Wright, Grant
Scorers: Johnstone (54), Mackay (85 pen), Grant (89)
Dundee: Parish, Piggott, Lambert, Moussa, Williams, O'Hara, Aurtenetxe, Etxabeguren, El Bakhtaoui, Gadzhalov, Kerr
Substitutes: Douglas (GK), B. Smith, Harkins, MacDonald, Milne, McCann, Gartland, Adam, Curran, Anderson, Henvey, J. Smith, Moore
Scorers: O’Hara (9), Lambert (29), Moussa (45), Milne (73), Anderson (83)
Referee: Gavin Duncan
Match Report by Daryl Scott
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