WITH round ten minutes to go till kick-off, the Dundee gamers jogged in the direction of their nook of the primary stand and saluted the house assist.
However simply because the final blue shirt disappeared down the tunnel, the Dee followers noticed one man but to make his approach throughout the Dens Park pitch. Cheers broke out. Some whistled. Others chanted his identify.
Whether or not by selection or not it was Leigh Griffiths who had earned the solo serenade. For all his faults it was clear the blue half of town had determined to place these to 1 aspect and welcome him again.
They’ll hope he’ll pay again their generosity with targets and there was sufficient yesterday to recommend he’ll just do that, albeit the longer the competition wore on the extra he appeared like a participant who hadn’t performed since Might. That stated he may have ended the day the hero had been it not for the spectacular reflexes of Max Stryjek.
However Griffiths and Dundee needed to accept some extent in what was, in the end, a bitty, principally forgettable affair which owed a lot to how Livingston contained their hosts.
Whereas all eyes had been on Griffiths – one in all 4 modifications for the hosts and within the place of Jason Cummings – it was left to his new team-mates to inject pleasure right into a contest which, in its opening phases, was being dragged into trench warfare by Livingston. From the primary minute the winless visitors had been deploying the darkish arts to eat away the seconds, seemingly pleased to take their first level of the season and get out of dodge.
However often a flurry of pleasure broke out. Alex Jakubiak flicked the ball over his marker’s head and darted off down the left. Max Anderson appeared assured in possession and was making his approach into pockets of house. Griffiths noticed his first Dundee shot in a decade blocked to security to a ripple of applause.
It was Anderson, nevertheless, who practically broke the impasse when he pressured Stryjek right into a flying save to his proper. It was the Pole’s first of many. Choosing the ball up in the course of the park, Anderson drove in the direction of a retreating Livi backline, performed a neat one-two with Jakubiak, and out of the blue discovered himself contained in the visitors’ field solely to be denied.
Stryjek was having a busy day and earlier than the break he’d be referred to as upon to cease Cammy Kerr, Jordan McGhee, and, most impressively, Ryan Sweeney, clawing the latter’s header onto the crossbar when the ball appeared destined for the web.
However, in fact, it was principally a half to neglect with Livingston spending most of it punting the ball in the direction of Bruce Anderson and searching shocked when he did not wrestle it away from the 2 relative behemoths marking him. Not less than that was till they confirmed some sparkles of life in its dying embers.
With the ball on the deck and Alan Forrest lastly given the prospect to stretch his legs, the Dee defence was pressured to retreat in the direction of Adam Legzdins purpose and he needed to sharply deny the little winger from distance and later Andrew Shinnie at shut vary.
Nonetheless, the script had certainly already been written for this one: Griffiths was sure to be the hero, proper? By the point his second appeared to have come, murmurs of discontent had been rising louder as Dundee’s play turned more and more fraught. Step ahead Griffiths.
Twisting and turning, he despatched the ball in the direction of Stryjek’s purpose, just for the trouble to take a nick off a defender, spin devilishly and provides Stryjek the time he wanted to push it clear.
That acquired the Dundee crowd going once more however the Lions quickly put paid to their enthusiasm by killing the house aspect’s momentum in high-quality model. Chalk this one up as some extent gained for each groups and all conform to by no means communicate of it once more.
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