Hemmings doubles up to grab three points on the road for
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