We all know that football can be a bit of a bastard at times but it truly excelled itself this weekend when Dundee entered the last five minutes of our match against Partick Thistle, one-goal in front, only to lose the match 3-1.
It was a huge boot in the balls for us supporters but judging by our second half display, one that some of us had seen coming, though not in the way it would unfold. In a sadistic way, we all knew what was coming and though not enjoyable at all, we could only look on and prepare for the force of this imaginary punt to reach our…. erm…. imaginary nether region.
It could and really should have been a totally different story to the one that we all had to bear witness to.
Dundee started the game and immediately took control. We played some of the best football I’ve seen us play all season and you could easily insert last term into the mix. The tempo, the pressure, the passing and being able to keep the ball and control the game had Thistle chasing shadows all over the park. We all knew a goal was coming and it did with some beautiful play.
One can only describe the passing which resulted in the opening goal from this Dundee team as crisp and elegant. Paul McGowan has a habit of squandering chances in front of goal at the best of times but on this, his 200th appearance in a Dee top, there was no such mistake for the veteran.
It was glorious stuff from us yet there was something in the back of my head that was screaming out for another goal before half time as there is just something bout an Ian McCall side that means you can never settle with just the one-goal advantage.
Those nerves I had would be tested before the end of the first 45 when Thistle started to come into the match and though we would go into the interval still in the lead, the beginning of the second half immediately showed a different Thistle side, vying for an equaliser.
From their first attack of the half, there was just something in my gut that told me they would find a way to put the ball in our net. They seemed to be passing the ball more openly and pressing us back. We did stay competitive but as the match worn on and Thistle changed their shape, our management team were unable to counter this and with some baffling substitutions, fell out of the game when we needed a new direction the most.
But still, we were nearing the end of the match and looked like holding on with five minutes to go and with two of the three teams above us being beaten, it looked like we would be cutting the gap a bit at the top.
Then we pushed the self-destruct button, nay, we jumped on the self-destruct button with both feet, full force.
Boom. It was 1-1 when former Dee Kenny Miller found himself unmarked in the box.
Wham. Some more shite defending just a few minutes later gave Thistle the lead sparking joyous scenes in the away end and utter devastation in the home.
Wallop. Then more amazing scenes when Thistle made it three goals in the space of six minutes. Three bloody goals in six ******* minutes. I’ve used the phrase ‘Peak Dundee’ countless times when things go wrong for us but this one has to be in my top three in recent times.
It was a criminal and shambolic way to lose a match and though these players played some outstanding stuff in the first half, the second 45 was enough for this to mean absolutely zilch come the final whistle. There were players out on the park that were giving their all or at least had a good game but the way this match panned out means It would feel fruitless to pick out any positives.
The manager takes the full blame for this in my eyes. We ended this match with three wingers on the park and not being able to adapt to Thistles change of play. There were eleven players on the park for us and everyone will take their share of the blame but the buck stops with McPake on this one.
So we drop out the play-off spot and it only backs my prediction a few weeks back that unless we get our act together, it will be a fight for this team to get into the top four. We now face a tough trip down to Ayr on Friday night in front of the cameras to try and banish Saturday’s result and closing the gap with the Honest Men to three-points.
Truth be told, I’ve not got a good feeling about this match but if the team and manager can learn from their mistakes and give us the Dundee team that showed up for the first thirty-minutes, we may just have something to cheer about.
MON THE DEE!