Dundee closed the gap on Championship leaders Hamilton Accies to just three points with an empathic three, nil win at New Douglas Park.
Headed goals from defenders Iain Davidson and Declan Gallagher either side of half-time and a last minute Peter MacDonald effort meant the Dark Blues left Lanarkshire with all three points.
Dundee went into the match on the back off a disappointing draw at home to Falkirk while Accies were buoyed having staged a great escape the weekend before in Fife against Cowdenbeath.
The Dark Blue’s took the lead with 16 minutes gone. A Riley corner caused a skirmish in the box which eventually fell to Davidson who expertly volleyed the ball past Cuthbert and into the net.
Dundee could have being two up a couple of minutes later when some link up play and fancy footwork from McAlister set-up MacDonald but the striker was unable to test Cuthbert as his chip went over the bar.
The main talking point from the first-half was an incident of crowd trouble between the Hamilton and Dundee supporters which led to the match being halted for a couple of minutes before police, stewards and Dundee manager John Brown could calm the situation.
When asked to comment on the incident, Brown said with tongue in cheek: “It was a Dundee fan which thought the pie prices here were a disgrace, he wasn’t happy.”
Accies best chance of the first half came through Mackinnon when his darting run and cross from the line found Ali Crawford, but the youngsters header towards the top corner sailed just wide of goal.
The New Douglas crowd were trying to push their side on for an equaliser but they were hit with a sucker punch when Nicky Riley floated a corner to the back post which found Declan Gallagher who rose highest to nod the ball down into the bottom corner.
The third and final goal came on 90 minutes. A Dundee break away spearheaded by Riley ended with the winger firing a shot off the crossbar with the rebound going straight into the path of a diving MacDonald who headed into the empty net.
It was a double celebration for MacDonald who was also celebrating becoming a father for the first time to a young boy.
After the match, Dundee manager John Brown said his sides performance was excellent and showed Dundee are a side to be reckoned with: “We knew we couldn’t get beat, we had a six point gap.
“I told the players today that if you won here, then it tells everybody that wrote us off at the start of the season that Dundee are in with a shout. It’s a difficult place because parts of the park were frozen over and even the Hamilton boys were concerned with it.
“I thought my teams, attitude and commitment and the way that we played was excellent.”
For Accies player-manager Alex Neil, he felt his side just wasn’t clinical enough in front of goal: “It was a strange game, I certainly didn’t think three nil was a reflection of the match. I thought a lot of our general play was decent to a point. But in terms of cutting edge when we were getting in good areas it was really disappointing.
“I thought we worked the ball really well, tried to pass and play the way we generally play. We controlled the ball throughout most of the game, but we weren’t clinical enough, the final pass, the final cross, the final shot just wasn’t good enough and we got done from two set pieces.”
Hamilton Accies have a free weekend to look forward having already exited the Scottish Cup with their next match coming in the Championship at home to Alloa Athletic on December 7th. For Dundee they have a fourth round tie at home to Raith Rovers.
Hamilton Accies: Kevin Cuthbert, Ziggy Gordon, Stephen Hendrie (Lee Kilday), Mikey Devlin, Martin Canning, Grant Gillespie (Jesus Garcia Tena), James Keatings (Louis Longridge), Jon McShane, Ali Crawford, Darian Mackinnon, Tony Andreu
Subs not used: Blair Currie, Craig Watson, Eamonn Brophy, Andy Ryan
Dundee: Kyle Letheren, Gary Irvine, Matt Lockwood, Iain Davidson, Nicky Riley (Craig Beattie), Peter MacDonald (Kevin McBride), Gavin Rae, Ryan Conroy, Declan Gallagher, Jim McAllister, Craig Wighton (Martin Boyle)
Subs not used: John Gibson, Carlo Monti, Steven Doris, James Thomson
Referee: Bobby Madden