Dens Park, 6 o’clock, miserable weather and two teams desperately struggling for three points.
Charlie Adam was back, Leigh Griffiths was back – the pair teamed together in Dundee shirts for the first time.
Those were the ingredients for the Dark Blues to turn around their fortunes, finally breaking their winning duck with the 2-1 success over Aberdeen.
More than breaking their duck, they also broke the stranglehold the Dons had held over them for almost two decades.
This was Dundee’s first win over Aberdeen in 17 attempts and their first league victory since 2004.
So what do we take away from the Dark Blues’ best display of the season?
Dundee finally secured their first league win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Aberdeen at Dens Park, to move off the foot of the table! pic.twitter.com/EtQoIoTNlq
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) October 16, 2021
Key men returning to play key roles
It didn’t take a genius to notice Dundee had missed skipper Charlie Adam over the past few weeks.
What was clear from the first whistle on Saturday was Adam had missed being out there too.
The concern coming back from injury might have been a lack of match sharpness. However, there was no sign of that.
Pinging cross-field balls, nutmegging Scott Brown and rattling into tackles, the skipper led by example.
Also playing a leading role was Leigh Griffiths.
Back after an injury himself and still searching for goals and sharpness, questions had been raised over his recent form.
The Scotland man, though, shrugged those off to open the scoring with a key goal, notching the 34th Dundee goal of his career.
Dundee didn’t defend their box well at St Johnstone a fortnight ago.
The two week break, though, gave them time to sort that out and they obviously used that time wisely.
Lee Ashcroft ended the match with a bandaged head following a head knock with Ryan Sweeney similarly unflappable throughout the 90 minutes.
The spirit of the Dundee players was typified midway through the first half as first Lee Ashcroft blocked from Ryan Hedges, then Cammy Kerr threw himself in front of the next effort from Christian Ramirez before Jordan McGhee did the same to stop Lewis Ferguson’s strike.
And with 10 minutes added on at the end, the Dark Blues had to be strong deep into the Saturday night.
As much as Dundee gained in the rain on Saturday evening, with three points and the returns of Charlie Adam and Leigh Griffiths, there may also have been a hefty cost.
Midfielder Shaun Byrne has been a standout all season for the Dark Blues but suffered a worrying injury late on in a challenge with Declan Gallagher and was stretchered off.
As important as seeing captain Adam back in the middle of the park, losing the protection at the base of the midfield would be a huge blow should Byrne be sidelined for a significant length of time.