Christie Elliott says it’ll be a different game next time around after Dundee were drawn away to Hibs in the Betfred Cup just minutes after losing 4-1 at Easter Road.
The Premiership side took advantage of slack defending from their Championship opponents late on to secure what looked a convincing victory at the final whistle.
However, it didn’t tell the full story as the Dark Blues took the game to their top flight hosts in the second half and were full value for the equaliser through Elliott on 71 minutes.
After that, though, Hibs took the game away from Dundee with three goals in just six minutes to seal top spot in Group B.
That gave them seeding in the next round, only to see them drawn against the same opponents in the same venue once more.
After not creating much in the opening half, Dundee’s equaliser had been coming after chances for Danny Mullen and two for Paul McGowan went begging.
And, despite defensive frailties costing them late on, Elliott says there is plenty to take out of the game going forward.
“It was a tough one to take,” said the full-back.
“A lot of the boys are frustrated at the goals we conceded after getting back in the game. And we played well, that’s the frustration.
“We matched them but then conceded three in six minutes. We’ll have to look back over that and cut out those mistakes when we come back here in two weeks.
“We can take a lot out of that game – we matched them for 70-odd minutes. We did a lot of good stuff but conceding those three goals that killed the game we need to cut out.
“If we do that in the next round, it could go either way.”
Dundee’s defence was once more a makeshift one with Elliott taking Cammy Kerr’s place as right full-back.
That’s because Kerr was standing in as an emergency centre-back with both Jordon Forster and Lee Ashcroft missing.
The Dark Blues had seven first-team players missing through illness, injury or suspension and manager James McPake could only name five substitutes.
Either inexperienced youngsters or the likes of Nicholas Hamilton who is still some way short of fitness, the Dark Blues boss didn’t use any of them leaving their starting XI to complete the 90 minutes.
“I thought the boys were brilliant,” said Elliott.
“We’ve got a few injuries and in a couple of weeks we should have bodies back so if we need to make subs we can.
“The team yesterday, though, were brilliant.
“All the boys are frustrated but we have to take as many positives out of the game as we can.
“The next game will be a different game.”
It was midfielder Stevie Mallan who opened the scoring, finishing off a passing move with a fine strike from 25 yards that flew past Jack Hamilton.
And the Hibees could’ve had more before the break with Joe Newell clipping the post and Kevin Nisbet heading wide. Dundee’s closest effort coming from Declan McDaid, a deflected effort dropping just over the bar.
Boyle and Nisbet went close again after half-time before Dundee came into the ascendancy but they were unable to make the most of chances for Mullen and a couple of opportunities for McGowan.
The latter did, though, send Elliott through on goal and the former Partick man finished with confidence only to see Nisbet’s goal added to by subs Jamie Gullan and Melker Hallberg kill the game off shortly afterwards.
The final scoreline ended up a harsh one and Elliott says the Dark Blues will learn from the goals they let in.
He’s also delighted to get off the mark for Dundee after joining in January.
He said: “I think my last goal was for Carlisle – it was a while ago anyway!
“I should get a few each season, to be honest. I get in good positions and if I get chances I will score a few goals, especially with players like Paul McGowan and Charlie Adam looking for the passes.
“It’s always nice to get a goal but we need to look back on the goals we conceded.”