Hem­mings dou­bles up to grab three points on the road for

The Herald - Herald Sport - - SPFL PREMIERSHIP -

THERE was plenty of legroom on the Dundee coach that me­an­dered down to Mary­hill on Satur­day, as man­ager Paul Hart­ley trav­elled light with a squad of just 15 play­ers to take on Partick This­tle.

The two names that mat­ter most to the Dark Blues – Kane Hem­mings and Greg Ste­wart – were on the teamsheet though, and again they proved their worth by com­bin­ing to de­liver three points that put the vis­i­tors into pole po­si­tion for the ti­tle of “best of the rest” in the Premier­ship’s bot­tom six.

It was Hem­mings that got the goals, but it was Ste­wart that was the cre­ative force as the for­mer Cow­den­beath team­mates again dis­played the tele­pathic un­der­stand­ing forged in the rus­tic sur­round­ings of Cen­tral Park.

“As soon as I get the ball, I al­ways try to get my head up and look for him. He knows where I’m go­ing to put it and vice versa,” Ste­wart said.

“You never know things are go­ing to work out quite this well when you’re at the likes of Cow­den­beath.

“But we struck up a good part­ner­ship and have kept it go­ing. It’s the com­bi­na­tion play. It comes quite nat­u­rally to us be­cause we just click.”

The early knock­ings in this match went much bet­ter for the hosts than the last visit from Dundee, when they were three down within quar­ter of an hour. They missed a cou­ple of de­cent early op­por­tu­ni­ties when Kris Doolan failed to con­nect prop­erly with a vol­ley, be­fore Scott Bain had to look lively to block from Ryan Ed­wards.

The nor­mally tech­ni­cally-pro­fi­cient Gary Harkins sclaffed a great op­por­tu­nity high and wide for the vis­i­tors, but it was still a sur­prise when they went ahead af­ter 34 min­utes. Not only be­cause This­tle had shaded pro­ceed­ings, but be­cause the game by that stage had de­scended into the type of end-of­sea­son fare that would have you reach­ing for the drapes if it was tak­ing place in your gar­den.

Ste­wart fed the ball wide to the ad­vanc­ing Paul McGinn on the right, and his low ball into the area was al­lowed to travel through to the wait­ing Hem­mings, who thumped the ball high into the net.

The sec­ond-half started at a much bet­ter pace, and Doolan knocked at the Dundee door again when his bob­bling ef­fort was touched around the post by Bain. Ste­wart would have got him­self on the score­sheet when through on Ryan Scully at the other end, but the stand-in keeper punc­tu­ated a solid per­for­mance with a great block.

This­tle hauled them­selves level with 20 min­utes re­main­ing as Ab­dul Os­man picked the ball up on the left wing, be­fore cut­ting in­side and curl­ing a de­light­ful in-swing­ing ball into the Dundee area. Doolan was the most ea­ger to ac­cept the in­vi­ta­tion, and

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