With 2012 having begun with back-to-back home defeats, the Lions were keen to turn their fortunes around with a trip to Dens Park.
There were three changes to the side that crashed out of the Scottish Cup with Callum Fordyce, Stefan Scougall and Marc McNulty making way for Maurice Ross, Liam Fox and Kenny Deuchar.
Despite an early half chance for Iain Russell, Dundee started the game the brighter of the two sides and only needed 19 minutes to break the deadlock. A fantastic passing move, which saw every Dundee player touch the ball, resulted in Gavin Rae feeding the ball wide to Ryan Conroy who drilled a low, left-footed strike beyond Andy McNeill.
Livi quickly went in search of an equaliser but two long range efforts from Liam Fox both had the same outcome with ex-Lion Rab Douglas doing well to save and hold both shots.
Dundee weren’t looking like sitting back on their one goal advantage and they too looked to increase their lead. Stevie Milne was given too much time after picking the ball up in Livi’s half and he let loose with a thunderous strike that McNeill excellently tipped wide of the post. Moments later, Conroy tried to beat McNeill with a 20-yard free kick but again, the stopper parried the ball away at full stretch.
Into the second half and the away side looked to have settled into the game more and were beginning to create some good opportunities. A goal kick from McNeill was flicked on by Deuchar and showing some great awareness, Liam Fox attempted to loft the ball over Douglas from just outside the area but the big ‘keeper was able to get back just in time to flick the attempt over the bar.
Kenny Deuchar then should have put the Lions back on level terms. A superb through ball from Kyle Jacobs sent Bobby Barr in behind the Dundee defence and after driving in from the wing, he pulled the ball back to the six-yard line but Deuchar could only look on in dismay as his shot sailed high, over the crossbar.
It proved to be a costly miss as with Dundee’s next attack, their lead was doubled. Conroy’s free-kick from the right was glanced on by Craig McKeown and despite not knowing much about it, Neil McGregor chested the ball beyond McNeill and into the net. It was a goal that looked unlikely, with Livi having dominated but is was welcomed by the home fans and all but sealed the game.
Iain Russell had another half chance to try and claw Livi back into the game but his tame shot from Keaghan Jacobs pass was easily saved by Douglas. This was to be our last chance of any significance and after Mark Fotheringham was shown a second yellow card for a late tackle on Gavin Rae, Dundee went on to wrap up the points with a third. McNeill made a good save to push Jake Hyde’s header over the bar, but from the resultant corner, Stephen O’Donnell found Nicky Riley at the front post and he headed the ball into the top corner.
Maurice Ross had a late chance to grab a consolation but again, Douglas was equal to his tame effort on what was ultimately a bad day at the office for the Lions.
Douglas, Irvine, McGregor, McKeown, Lockwood, Chisholm, Rae, McCluskey (Riley 70), O'Donnell, Conroy, Milne (Hyde 70), Riley (Bayne 88)
Subs not used: Gibson, Weston
McNeil, Ky.Jacobs, C.Barr, Watson, Ross, Kn.Jacobs, Fox (Sinclair 83), Fotheringham, B.Barr, Deuchar (McNulty 66), Russell (Scougall 83)
Subs not used: Jamieson, Fordyce
Ref: C Charleston
Match report by Dave Black