This always looked to be the hardest of the early season fixtures on paper and so it proved on a bright sunny day in the land of jute, jam and journalism. Injury to Stephen Payne meant one change from the side that drew with Brechin last weekend. Back from suspension came Gary Wood at right back with Eric Paton moving forward to right midfield, his third different position in three league games. The home side put out a strong looking side, most of whom were in the SPL last season.
It was a slow start to the game and fully ten minutes before either side managed an effort on target. That effort came from Bowey who won a challenge in an advanced position and chipped a shot at goal from 25 yards which failed to trouble Kelvin Jack in the home goal. Queens had plenty of the play in the opening twenty minutes without troubling Dundee enormously but after that the home side stepped up a gear. Their first effort came in 23 minutes when Jim Thomson mis-controlled the ball and lost possession to Lynch. He stepped forward and found McManus who wrong-footed the defence with a turn and shot from 20 yards that Barnard had to turn behind for a corner low to his right. Two minutes later the deadlock was broken somewhat fortuitously. A harsh free kick was awarded against Brian Reid not too far inside his own half in a central position and incredibly Ian Anderson lined up to hit a shot from forty odd yards. Never in a month of Sundays was he going to score from there but his low fired effort struck Gary Wood on the back and dropped perfectly for centre back Bobby Mann to sweep into the bottom right corner from 10 yards. We could however have done without Tam McManus running to the Queens fans to give a rather offensive gesture, something that would surely have incurred the wrath of referee Underhill had he seen it.
As if that wasn't bad enough it got worse ten minutes later. Steven Robb went on a fine mazy run from the left side and slid a diagonal ball through the penalty area that reached overlapping full back Barry Smith. Smith seemed certain to score but was denied by a flying Barnard block. The wonder block was to no avail though as when the resulting corner came in Bobby Mann's header beat Barnard. Steve Bowey nodded the ball away from behind the line but it only reached Simon Lynch who fairly rifled the ball into the roof of the net from 6 yards.The stadium announcer gave the goal to Lynch who also took the plaudits of his team-mates but the far away assistant had already run off to the centre line after Mann's header. It remains to be seen who will take official credit for the goal.
Incredibly though on 39 minutes Queens were back in the match. Bowey and English exchanged passes on the left side before the latter swept in a low near post cross that was flicked beyond Jack by McNiven and turned in to the empty net at the back post by Derek Lyle. Never the less, it was Dundee who finished the half in the ascendancy with McManus out-pacing Jim Thomson to get a strike at goal that deflected off the big centre half and behind Barnard but fortunately past the post for a corner too.
A minute into the second period Barnard was called into action again, flying to his left to tip over Robertson's bicycle kick effort from the edge of the penalty area. The resulting corner was turned back out for another one and that one was floated to the back post and very nearly went in before being scrambled clear. The game's first booking arrived in 50 minutes when Brian Reid was late on Scott Robertson. He could have no complaint and the young Dundee player failed to shake off the knock, being replaced by Spaniard Jacinto two minutes later. He almost had a quickfire influence when his looping cross from the right side on the hour struck the far post and was cleared off the line by Brian Reid. The game was killed off as a contest on 62 minutes when Ian Anderson nipped forward of the near post to meet a McManus corner and loop a back header over everyone and in at the back post. Iain Scott immediately reacted and introduced Chris Carr for David McNiven with Gary Wood moving up front along with Lyle. Sadly the new pairing didn't last long though. Five minutes later McManus cut the defence open down the right side again and crossed for Lynch to head wide from about eight yards out as the home side turned the screw on their control of the game.
The controversy of the game arrived on 66 minutes. Derek Lyle had been in fiery mode for a few minutes before he arrived late into a challenge on Dundee's Tom Hutchinson. It was a foul though nothing too serious but the defender got up to shove Lyle back with both hands to the chest. Back game Lyle and was shoved away again. This time he fired back into the big defender forehead first and left referee John Underhill with no choice but to show him a straight red card. Whether Hutchinson should have also seen red for his raised hands is another question? Instead he saw only yellow. Lyle was furious and had to be restrained by several team-mates before leaving the field. The next booking was also for a Dundee player. This time Barry Smith saw a card for a late challenge on Bowey as he tried to send English clear on the left.