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Dundee v Dunfermline: Key battles down the years as Pars search for first Dens league win since 2004

Leigh Griffiths celebrates scoring against Dunfermline.
Leigh Griffiths celebrates scoring against Dunfermline.

Dundee welcome Dunfermline to Dens Park this weekend for a pivotal Championship clash in the race for the prime play-off position.

Down the years, face offs between the Dee and the Pars have often proved crucial points in promotion and relegation battles.

This season the two sit neck and neck in the table with Saturday’s victor gaining the upper hand in the scramble for second place.

Neither side heads into the contest in sparkling form, though the Dark Blues raised their spirits last time out by recording their best league win of the season at Alloa Athletic, winning 3-0 in Clackmannanshire.

The Pars, meanwhile, have won just three of their last 10 league outings, scoring just once in their last four games in all competitions.

History

Dundee also have recent history on their side, too – it’s been 16 years since Dunfermline last left Dens with all three points.

Their last meeting on Sandeman Street may well have felt like a defeat to Dark Blues manager James McPake after a late collapse saw his side surrender a 3-0 lead in 12 minutes.

However, Dunfermline – under the likes of current boss Stevie Crawford as well as predecessors Jim McIntyre, Stephen Kenny and David Hay – have failed to win a league match at Dens in their last 11 visits.

For a win in the second tier, Pars fans will have to remember all the way back to 1995 for a win at Dundee.

They did, however, shock Neil McCann’s Premiership Dundee in a League Cup match in 2018. Current Dens defender Lee Ashcroft helped the Championship club to a 1-0 win.


Key Dundee v Dunfermline clashes at Dens

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Dundee 3-3 Dunfermline

Declan McManus makes it 3-3 with the last kick of the game in December.

Everything was going swimmingly for a rampant Dark Blues side for much of this contest. The season had been a struggle up until this point but with 15 minutes to go, it looked like McPake’s men had finally got it together.

Charlie Adam thundered in a Goal of the Season contender early on before Osman Sow had nodded in his first goal for the club and Liam Fontaine added a third.

Seemingly cruising, Dundee crumbled after Paul Watson headed in from a corner on 78 minutes. Declan McManus then netted from the spot before curling in a beauty of a free-kick with the last action of the match to make it 3-3.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Dundee 4-3 Dunfermline

Almost exactly a year previously, this match almost followed a very similar story to 2020.

A vibrant Dundee romped into a big lead – Kane Hemmings, Paul McGowan and Danny Johnson added to an early Danny Devine own goal to make it 4-1 after just 46 minutes.

Then Dunfermline had Greg Kiltie sent off. Despite being in control against 10 men, the Dark Blues wobbled. Kevin Nisbet and Lewis Martin cut the arrears before Dundee held on to win.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dundee 1-1 Dunfermline

Season 2010/11 turned out to be a memorable one for both clubs – Dundee were on their way to avoiding relegation despite a 25-point penalty while Dunfermline would be First Division champions by 10 points come the end of the campaign.

The Deefiant Dark Blues were on a remarkable unbeaten run of 21 matches before they faced the title challengers thanks to the likes of Leigh Griffiths, Gary Harkins and Rab Douglas among others.

That day it was trialist Jake Hyde – picked up from Lochee United – who netted on his debut, levelling Alex Burke’s opener.

Dundee trialist Jake Hyde heads in the equaliser.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dundee 3-2 Dunfermline

Another clash with plenty of goals in it – this time a young Leigh Griffiths was the home hero.

Griffiths and Colin McMenamin exchanged goals with David Graham and Andy Kirk before the future Scotland star sent his side 11 points clear at the top of Division One late on.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Dundee 1-2 Dunfermline

Fabian Caballero in action for Dundee against Dunfermline.

The last away league win in this fixture came 16 years ago as both sides battled against the drop from the SPL.

Scott Thomson and Derek Young had David Hay’s Pars 2-0 up by the 47th minute before Iain Anderson replied.

Fabian Caballero would come off the bench but Jim Duffy’s side couldn’t find a way back into the contest and it proved critical come the end of the campaign.

Dunfermline won three of the four meetings that season and finished one point above bottom, with Dundee heading down.

Saturday, December 9, 1995

Dundee 2-4 Dunfermline

Again it was Duffy in the home dugout, this time in his first spell at Dens Park and this time in the First Division.

After both sides finished just one point behind champions Raith Rovers the previous season – and Dundee missing out on the play-off spot on goal difference – the two were battling it out for promotion once more.

Jim Duffy in the Dundee dugout.

Within 10 minutes George Shaw and a Jim Hamilton penalty had the Dark Blues 2-0 up and looking certain to take top spot.

However, Dunfermline were ahead by half-time thanks to a spectacular Andy Todd overhead kick with Dundee’s Michel Pageaud not covering himself in glory.

The Pars would win the league while Dundee finished a disappointing sixth.

Dundee boss James McPake talks manager pressure as he targets victory over Dunfermline

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