Hamilton Accies were devastated by a magnificent first half performance from Dundee and by an equally inept defensive performance, writes Martin O’Connell.
A hat-trick from the rampant Kane Hemmings and a Greg Stewart strike, lifted Dundee into the top six, one point above Hamilton.
Accies neither retained possession long enough to create anything, or dealt with the long aerial balls sent into the heart of their defence. At times making it look like Stewart, Harkins and especially Hemmings, were stealing candy from the proverbial baby.
The second half was almost, but not quite a complete turnaround. Hamilton dominated possession, helped by the appearance of Gramoz Kurtaj in the second half, who was able to hold the ball up and give Accies the breathing space they didn’t have in the first half.
Saying that, they weren’t able to create in and around the penalty area, making their efforts null and void. Dundee fully deserved their win, with their fans ecstatic with the football witnessed in the first half.
Hamilton manager Martin Canning made only one change to the side beaten by Ross County, with Greg Docherty coming in for Gramoz Kurtaj. Paul Hartley made three changes, Konrad came in for Etxabeguren, Harkins for Loy and Holt for McGinn.
It had been only four minutes since kick off when Gary Irvine cleared with a long ball into the Accies half, the ball sailed over the heads of the Hamilton defence, Hemmings stole the ball and rounded McGovern before slotting into the net, 1-0.
Moments later the same ball cleared the same heads, leaving Hemmings to pick up and sending a pinpoint ball toward the back post, Stewart struck but McGovern denied Dundee for their second. Stewart then turned provider for Hemmings, who headed on goal, but McGovern saved.
Harkins curled a shot just wide from 25 yards, then Dundee grabbed their second. Harkins made a powerful run through the midfield, matching his pass to Stewart’s run, he cut inside and curled the ball beyond the reach of McGovern and into the net, 2-0.
Then it was three, Stewart played a through ball to the edge of the Accies penalty area, the Hamilton defence failed completely in dealing with it, and once again Hemmings pounced and stuck into the net, 3-0. Another long ball, Hemming attempted a lob, but McGovern managed to touch over the crossbar.
Then four, when the ball was sent forward to Hemmings and he went one way then another, leaving Tagliapietra and Sendles-White in his wake, before striking past McGovern from eighteen yards, 4-0.
Kurtaj came on at half time for Docherty, adding something missing in the first half. Accies then managed to hold onto the ball, passing it about with confidence, finishing with a soft Crawford strike on goal. Crawford had a second strike, but Bain saved once again.
Jesus Garcia Tena sent a 35 yard free kick fizzing past the post. Dougie Imrie then gave the Dundee defence the runaround, taking a somewhat circular route to goal before striking from thirty yards, Scott Bain saved comfortably.
Dundee manager Paul Hartley said: “I thought we were terrific and especially in the first half, it was two contrasting halves.
“The second half was always going to be like that, it was played in terms of us not conceding. I said to them at half time, keep a clean sheet and don’t concede and I think that’s really important for us also. We got some terrific goals today, we were a threat all day.”
A disappointed Accies boss Martin Canning, added: “If we were going to defend like that, we were always going to find it difficult, you’d find it hard to win in a pub league playing like that, never mind in the Premiership.
“It’s easy to see where the mistakes have been made and its individual errors, in the first half, as a team we didn’t pick up enough second balls. The second half was completely different, all being that we’re four goals down, we were well in the game without getting a goal to get us back in.”
Dundee: Bain, Irvine (McGinn 58), Holt, Konrad, McPake, Stewart, Low, Thomson (Ross 39), Hemmings (Loy 78), McGowan, Harkins. Subs Unused: Mitchell, Calder, Gadzhalov, Skelly.
Accies: McGovern, Gordon, Kurakins, Gillespie, Imrie, Crawford, Morris (Brophy 81), Sendles-White (Garcia Tena 26), MacKinnon, Docherty (Kurtaj 45), Tagliapietra. Subs Unused: Martin, Longridge, Nade, Boyd.