Morton 1 - 2 Dundee: Dundee lead from front

Dundee's Craig Beattie rounds Morton keeper Nicolas Caraux to set up his side's opener. Picture: SNS
Dundee's Craig Beattie rounds Morton keeper Nicolas Caraux to set up his side's opener. Picture: SNS
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DUNDEE moved to the top of the Championship with win over rock-bottom Morton, although they did, in truth, make heavy weather of taking the points against a home team who have now shipped 11 goals in their last three outings.

Dark Blues manager, John Brown, will just be delighted with his new summit position, and will know keeping the league’s best strike pairing of Peter MacDonald and Craig Beattie fit could be key.

The home team opened well enough with players showing a willingness to press high up the park and work hard for stand-in manager David Hopkin, who would have been pleased with what he saw from his charges going forward. Defensively was another issue, as once Dundee got motoring, the home defence crumbled.

MacDonald and Beattie had way too much movement, guile and touch for a one-paced back four, and it was little surprise when Beattie played a major role in the opener after quarter of an hour, evading the Morton defence and rounding Nicolas Caraux before seeing his off-target effort deflected in off the torso of Mark McLaughlin.

The Dark Blues strolled the rest of the half with the only surprise being that it took until the dying seconds for a second to arrive. Nicky Reilly was denied by the fingertips of Caraux only to then pick out Declan Gallagher with the resultant corner, which the big defender powered home unmarked.

Dundee should have been out of sight inside the opening ten 
minutes of the second half, but Jim McAlister was denied by Caraux and Beattie somehow again failed to hit the target having once more completely escaped the attentions of a by now re-jigged home rearguard.

Beattie’s miss quickly threatened to come back to haunt Dundee as Dougie Imrie brilliantly swept home an angled drive to halve the deficit. Indeed only a superb stop from visiting keeper, Kyle Letheren, denied Imrie and Morton an equaliser seconds later as he dived full-length to beat away the winger’s powerful strike as Morton came as close as they could muster to grabbing an ill-deserved point.