November 26, 2022
Scottish Cup round 3
Paul McMullan 45
Zak Rudden 54
Derick Osei 103, 108
Finlay Robertson 112
Luke McCowan 117
Calum Gallagher 21
Callum Smith 66
Cammy Ballantyne 🟥 90+5
Dundee finished with a comfortable Scottish Cup win over Airdrie, but it took the Championship side extra-time - and an extra man - to see off the battling Diamonds.
It was a typically thrilling cup tie at Dens Park, with goals from Calum Gallagher and Callum Smith earning a well deserved draw in 90 minutes, but a controversial red card for Cammy Ballantyne left Rhys McCabe’s men with a mountain to climb in extra-time.
The Diamonds player-boss returned to the starting XI following illness, with striker Lewis Jamieson unavailable.
Dundee came into the match on the back of a three-match winning run which sees them challenging at the top of the second tier, but for much of the game it was Airdrie who took the game to their hosts.
The Diamonds almost took an early lead through Justin Devenny, a well-struck effort from the edge of the box forcing Ian Lawlor into a fingertip save after the midfielder had been left in acres of space.
Ballantyne was next to try his luck for Airdrie, but his ninth-minute effort bent away from the target.
A spell of pressure followed for the Dark Blues, Dean Lyness clutching Jordan McGhee’s headed effort from a 12th-minute corner before the keeper had to dive to his left to push away Paul McMullan’s free-kick five minutes later.
Euan Deveney raced across the box to head a teasing cross away on 20 minutes, but just as it looked like the home side were taking control of the match, Airdrie took the lead through a superb Gallagher finish.
Devenny stepped over a pass to allow the ball to run to the Diamonds number 9, who strode forward and jinked away from McGhee before driving a low shot into the corner of the net.
Lyness had to be alert to prevent an immediate equaliser, palming Zak Rudden’s dipping effort over the bar on 24 minutes.
Max Anderson saw a low shot comfortably saved by the Airdrie keeper on the half-hour mark before the Dundee man curled a strike over the bar just before half-time.
With the whistle about to go, the lively McMullan levelled the scores. The midfielder took full advantage as Lyness lay prone after colliding with Rudden as the pair challenged for a cross, slotting home despite the visiting defence’s efforts to block.
The Dee pressed for an equaliser straight from the second half kick off, and McMullan should perhaps have done better with a 48th-minute header which Lyness gratefully smothered.
A thrusting counter attack two minutes later ended with a low driven cross from Ballantyne, but nobody in a Diamond shirt was close enough to get the vital touch.
Charlie Telfer went close with a stinging shot on 52 minutes after good play by Gallagher, but it was the hosts who took the lead two minutes later, Rudden curling home after Lyness had raced from his box only to touch the ball into the former Partick Thistle striker’s path.
The Diamonds keeper made amends with a good save from McMullan two minutes later, and it spurred Airdrie into a spell of pressure which brought a 66th-minute equaliser.
Substitute Gabby McGill did well to win a header from a high crossfield pass, and the striker continued his run to get onto Gallagher cheeky backheel pass. Advancing into the box, McGill squared to Callum Smith who placed a calm finish beyond Lawlor to make it 2-2.
Lawlor denied Smith a second on 73 minutes with a fine diving save, but the Dundee keeper crashed into the upright and was unable to continue after lengthy treatment.
Substitute Adam Legzdins’ first involvement was to save an improvised effort from Gallagher with 12 minutes remaining, and as the Dundee wall blocked an 82nd-minute McCabe free-kick, it looked like the Diamonds were in the ascendency.
With a minute remaining Gallagher spun onto a ball over the top, but his effort went just wide with Smith unable to close in on the ball in time.
Two minutes into stoppage time Ballantyne was shown a yellow card after a late challenge on the far touchline, and three minutes later disaster struck as the defender collided with Alex Jakubiak in a similar position. Referee Lloyd Wilson raced across to flash a second yellow card, followed by the inevitable red.
Dundee almost grabbed a winner seven minutes into stoppage time, but the impressive Craig Watson made a superb block to take the tie to extra-time.
A man down, Airdrie tired quickly as players attempted to close down spaces after already putting in a tremendous effort over 90 minutes.
With Dundee calling on fresh legs and vital experience from the bench, Gary Bowyer’s side took the led two minutes before the break, Derick Osei reacting quickest to turn home after Lyness had pushed out Jakubiak’s shot.
Three minutes into the second period, Osei’s second killed the tie as a deflection wrongfooted Lyness and the ball rolled into the empty net.
Substitutes Finlay Robertson and Luke McCowan put some gloss on the scoreline for the Championship side with two nice finishes against the beleaguered Diamonds, but there was time for academy youngsters Alasdair Spalding, Dylan Watt and Dom Kavanagh to make their Airdrie debuts.
A 90-minute performance to be proud of for the Diamonds, who took time to acknowledge a noisy travelling support as they left the pitch, but extra time with ten men proved a step too far.
A return to league action follows next weekend with a trip to the Falkirk Stadium.
Stuart Mathie at Kilmac Stadium Dens Park.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.