A massive game between two of the bottom three took place at Dens Park under the lights with Hamilton Accies, after an emphatic win over St Mirren in Paisley, looking to get the better of fellow strugglers, and bottom side, Dundee in yet another away match.
Jim McIntyre named an unchanged 11 following Dundee’s fighting 2-2 draw at Easter Road against Hibs in which they recovered from two goals down. Still in search of his first victory in charge, the Dee were alsoin search of their first home win this campaign.
Martin Canning opted to make just the one change following Accies’ win in Paisley. Matt Kilgallon made way in defence for Delphin Tshiembe to start as part of a back three, Hamilton looking to register two massive back-to-back wins against sides accompanying them at the foot of the table.
End-to-end early on
The visitors would register the first opportunity. Scott Martin made a lung-bursting run before sliding inside towards James Keatings, whose low drive was met with a routine save for Jack Hamilton in the Dundee goal.
Dundee were close to taking the lead themselves through a patient build-up which was rounded off by a 20-yard strike from Curran that missed Jan Mucha’s right-hand post by an inch with the goalie rooted to the spot. The Slovak beaten all ends up as Curran flashed wide.
Dundee’s pressure would pay off
Glen Kamara, at the heart of midfield, was the creator as the Finn danced evaded his marker several times before he played a reverse pass to captain Kenny Miller, whose clipped shot from all of six yards ended up in the top corner. Mucha got a touch but couldn’t keep out the shot. 1-0 Dundee.
The home side could’ve and should’ve doubled their advantage when another decent move saw Jesse Curran exchange with Cammy Kerr, who slipped inside to Paul McGowan. The midfielder then fed the ball on to Kenny Miller but he ballooned a curling effort over the bar when he should have done better and doubled his tally, doubling Dundee’s lead in the process.
Marvellous from the Millers
Hamilton tried to get back on level terms following a mazy Mickel Miller run but James Keatings’ shot from just outside the area whizzed just wide. Miller’s hard work undone with Keatings very unlucky to not draw Accies level, a strong effort from his weaker right foot.
Dundee doubled their lead not long after play had begun in the second 45. Paul McGowan’s initial effort was blocked before Kenny Miller collected the ball after an attempted clearance by Delphin Tshiembe, back in the Accies team, with Miller picking up before bending home from 20 yards.
It appeared to be one of those nights for Dundee. Their third goal coming from Accies defender Ziggy Gordon’s misfortune. Jesse Curran, after receiving from Kamara, shot from the corner of the box and it deflected off Gordon to pass Mucha for Dundee to go three up thanks to Curran’s first senior goal.
Kenny Miller, scoring for the third game in a row, was the main man for the third time, collecting a ball in midfield following a Lewis Spence header that had gone astray, surging forward and then blasting a 20-yard shot past Mucha, a carbon copy of the veteran’s second goal.
The 38 year old, who turns 39 just before Christmas, scoring the fourth hat trick of his career, his first since a hat trick for Rangers against Kilmarnock in November 2010.
Accies looked to find a consolation goal. A blockbuster save from Hamilton denied substitute Rakish Bingham who looked to send a looping header into the top corner before full time. Hamilton, who created very little, well and truly beaten by the better team.
They next host Hibs in Lanarkshire with both teams looking to get back to winning ways. Dundee, fresh from McIntyre’s first win, thanks to Kenny Miller’s hat-trick, face one of his former clubs Rangers at Dens.