First team

Match report: Dundee 2-3 Hearts

03 February 2024

A second half strike from Alan Forrest, coupled with a brace from Lawrence Shankland, saw Hearts come from behind twice to take three points at Dens Park on Saturday afternoon.


Jordan McGhee had given the home side the lead, just like he did at Tynecastle less than a fortnight ago. Alan Forrest’s equaliser for the Jambos shortly after the interval was quickly cancelled out by Lyall Cameron, before Shankland took centre stage. Equalising from the penalty spot, before firing home the winner three minutes from time.


Steven Naismith made one change to the side that defeated Aberdeen at Tynecastle Park last weekend. Stephen Kingsley missed out through illness and was replaced by Toby Sibbick.


It was a bright start from the Jambos, who were dominating the early possession without testing Trevor Carson in the Dee goal.


Alan Forrest and Yutaro Oda were both prominent figures in the early stages, but it was Lawrence Shankland who had the first effort of the afternoon on 14 minutes, however, it was deflected away from goal by a dark blue jersey.


The league’s top scorer came even closer eight minutes later. It was positive play from Dexter Lembikisa down the right channel, he faced up Owen Beck and slipped the ball into the feet of Shankland. The number nine with his back to goal, shifted the ball on to his left foot and sent a curling effort that crashed back off the post, with Carson stranded.


Dundee had yet to fashion much in the way of opportunities, however Amadou Bakayoko changed that on 24 minutes. Luke McCowan sprinted down the left and his teasing cross was flicked on by Bakayoko at the front post, but straight into the arms of Zander Clark.


The home side opened the scoring just two minutes later. McCowan was again at the heart of it, as his cross from the left found Jordan McGhee, unmarked at the back post, to power a header low into the bottom corner.


That goal spooked Hearts and the home side could easily have doubled their lead in the next five minutes, most notably when Shankland was in the right place to clear off the line from a Michael Mellon header.


You couldn’t say Hearts weren’t creating opportunities, a further two presented themselves before the break. Firstly, Alan Forrest was sent clear down the left and after cutting inside, his low shot towards the front post was beaten away by Carson.


Alex Cochrane had the final opportunity of the half in stoppage time, but again, Carson kept Hearts at bay.


Half-time: Dundee 1-0 Hearts


The Jambos levelled the scores nine minutes after the break. A smart turn inside the box from Shankland, saw Alan Forrest take over, and his shot was deflected in off an unfortunate dark blue jersey.


The game was very open at this point and the hosts regained the lead just five minutes later. Bakayoko was given too much space to control the ball and turn, before threading the ball into the feet of Lyall Cameron. He ran at the Hearts defence unchallenged and fired low into the corner past Clark.


Scott Fraser was introduced immediately after for his Hearts debut, alongside Kenneth Vargas, but it was once again Shankland who hauled Hearts out of trouble.


His shot from the edge of the box was adjudged to have hit the hand of Lee Ashcroft and the league’s top scorer stepped up to bag his 20th goal in all competitions and restore parity with 11 minutes remaining.


And just as it was looking like the spoils would be shared, up popped that man Shankland to win it for Hearts. It was a fast break from the Jambos and when Vargas slipped in the skipper, he shifted the ball back inside, on to his right foot and fired the ball home to ensure all three points returned to the capital.


Dundee: Carson, Dodgson, Shaughnessy, McGhee, Bakayoko, Cameron, Ashcroft, McCowan, Boateng, Mellon (Robinson, 66), Beck


Subs: Legzdins, Sharp, Astley, Tiffoney, Main, Mulligan, Robinson, Robertson, Sylla


Hearts: Clark, Kent, Baningime (Tait, 72), Grant (Fraser, 61), Nieuwenhof, Shankland ©, Oda (Vargas, 60), Forrest (Halkett, 89), Cochrane, Sibbick, Lembikisa


Subs: Gordon, Halkett, Denholm, Pollock, Tait, Fraser, Tagawa, Wilson, Vargas


Attendance: 7,506