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Dundee 1 Elgin City 2: Ten-man Dark Blues suffer huge cup upset against League 2 part-timers

The Elgin players celebrate their memorable win.
The Elgin players celebrate their memorable win.

After last week’s demolition derby defeat, the Dundee fans would have been looking for a big response from their team against Elgin City.

Instead, there was just the bitter taste of another humbling loss in the third round of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup at Dens that really took the biscuit.

A strong-looking Dark Blues side were put to the sword by the League 2 part-timers with a barrage of boos ringing out from the home support at the final whistle.

Dundee opened the scoring in the first half with a goal straight out of the top drawer from Cammy Kerr.

However, Elgin equalised in the second 45 through Rabin Omar and then took the lead shortly after thanks to Shane Sutherland with insult being added to injury with home keeper Calum Ferrie being given his marching orders for a challenge in the lead up to the second goal.

Dundee boss James McPake made four changes from the team that lost at Tannadice with Calum Ferrie replacing Jack Hamilton between the sticks, while Josh Meekings, Sean Mackie and Paul McGowan came in for Jordon Forster, Jordan Marshall and Danny Johnson.

On-loan Hibs left-back Mackie was making his debut for the Dark Blues in what was the first competitive fixture between the two sides.

Not surprisingly, the home team made all the early running against the team from two divisions below them however there was little for the fans to get excited about until the 10th minute when Dundee created their first clear-cut opportunity.

McGowan played a great ball into Kane Hemmings with the striker hitting an angled drive that Elgin keeper Thomas McHale saved low to his left.

Shortly after, there were half-hearted appeals for a penalty as the Dark Blues’ Declan McDaid went down in the City box but referee Grant Irvine was not convinced there was a case to answer.

The official was certain, though, that Shaun Byrne had dived right on the edge of the Elgin penalty area in the 17th minute and promptly booked the Dundee midfielder.

However, the breakthrough came just a minute later – and from an unlikely source.

Right-back Kerr collected the ball and hit a superb, unstoppable left-foot shot from more than 25 yards high past McHale.

Following that goal, Dundee continued to dominate possession and territory but Ferrie had to come to the rescue in the 28th minute after a rare Elgin attack.

Kane Hester sent an inviting cross in from the left with Matthew Cooper rising highest to power a header goalward with Ferrie producing an acrobatic save to tip the ball over his bar for a corner.

Then right on the stroke of half-time, the League 2 side had another chance when a Sutherland strike was deflected just wide of Ferrie’s left-hand post.

McPake made a change at the interval with striker Andy Nelson coming on for midfielder Jamie Ness.

And the front man made an immediate impact in the 48th minute, unleashing a fierce 25-yard shot that flew low just past McHale’s left-hand post.

The Elgin keeper then had to make a save from a Jordan McGhee header at a Mackie corner from the Dundee right.

City had a chance in the 55th minute when the ball broke to Hester but the former Arbroath striker sent his snap shot flying just wide.

However, the small band of Elgin fans in the stadium only had to wait another minute to celebrate a goal as Rabin Omar sent a superb shot from the edge of the Dundee box high past Ferrie to equalise.

And that travelling support were in dreamland as their side took a sensational lead in the 58th minute.

Ferrie came racing out of his box to try to clear but clattered into Hester with the referee waving play on as the ball broke to Sutherland who fired into the back of the empty net from 30 yards out.

Mr Irvine then reached into his pocket and flashed a red card at Ferrie for his challenge on Hester with young keeper Harrison Sharp coming off the bench and Mackie being sacrificed.

Elgin tails were up and they had another chance when skipper Brian Cameron sent a thunderous long-range drive just wide.

Dundee struggled to respond although McHale had to look lively in the 80th minute to save a Meekings header.

As the clock ticked down, the Dark Blues continued to huff and puff but Elgin held on to secure a memorable cup victory.

Attendance – 1,619.

Dundee – Ferrie, Kerr, McGhee, Ness (Nelson, 45), Meekings, Todd, Byrne (Anderson, 76), McGowan, McDaid, Mackie (Sharp, 60), Hemmings.

Subs not used – Sharp, Forster, Moore, Mulligan, Cunningham.

Elgin City – McHale, Wilson, Spark, McDonald, Bronsky, Dingwall, Cooper, Cameron, Hester (MacEwan, 70), Sutherland, Omar (Sopel, 83).

Subs not used – Willis, McGowan, Thomson, Scott, Dunn.

Referee – Grant Irvine.