The already-relegated visitors started the better of the two sides as they took on a much-changed Livingston side from Wednesday’s draw in Paisley.
Paul McMullan had the first chance of the afternoon. The winger drove towards the edge of the box before firing at goal, only to be denied by a strong wrist from Max Stryjek.
McMullan came close again minutes later. This time, he was found by a nice switch of play by Zak Rudden and met the ball inside the box on the half volley, but Stryjek was there again to tip wide to deny the winger once more.
Livingston were a little open at the back in the first half, but eventually got going as the game went on, despite creating very little.
The deadlock was broken on the hour mark, and deservedly Dundee took the lead through youngster Josh Mulligan. Jordan Marshall’s cross found the midfielder at the back post, and he rose highest to head home from close range.
Looking for an immediate response, Livingston came forward in search of an equaliser. Craig Sibbald was clattered by Mulligan in the middle of the park, but his pass reached Odin Bailey. The winger shifted the ball onto his right foot and sent a low cross into the box for Joel Nouble, but the striker couldn’t make contact with the ball with his outstretched leg.
In typical end of season fashion, there would be a few departures as Craig Sibbald and Jack McMillan left the field for the last time as Livingston players. Max Stryjek also made way with around 15 minutes to play, for the arrival of Gary Maley who came on for his long-awaited Premiership debut at 39 years old.
The goalkeeper’s introduction sparked a change in the atmosphere in what was previously a typically lifeless, dead rubber final match of the year. The roar from the crowd seemed to inspire the players, and moments after Maley had come onto the park, Livi were level.
Adam Lewis’ corner was terrific and was met by the head of Nicky Devlin. The skipper’s effort was cleared off the line, but only as far as Alan Forrest who put the ball back towards danger. The winger’s strike was turned in smartly by Andrew Shinnie as Livi had their equaliser.
Momentum, and sheer quality would go on to see Livingston take all three points despite an injury to Morgan Boyes forcing the hosts to go down to ten men. After previously rolling the ball into the back of the net but being offside, it was second time lucky for Alan Forrest who left his mark on his last appearance for the club in true trademark Forrest fashion. The winger was found on the edge of the box by Bailey, and picked his spot before bending an effort into the far corner leaving the goalkeeper no chance.
With a few minutes to go, the biggest cheer of the day came when Maley tipped over a Niall McGinn strike from the edge of the box to ensure all three points.
It would finish 2-1 as a Gary Maley inspired Livingston came from behind to end the season on a high with a victory, finishing the campaign six matches unbeaten!
Match Report: Calum Brown
Livingston: Stryjek (Maley 75), McMillan (Devlin 60), Fitzwater, Boyes, Lewis, Omeonga, Shinnie, Sibbald (Pittman 69), Bailey, Montaño (Forrest 60) ▊, Soto (Nouble 60)
Subs not used: Obileye, Longridge, Holt, Chukwuemeka
Goals: Shinnie (78), Forrest (84)
Dundee: Sharp, Kerr, Marshall ▊ (Campbell 76), Sweeney, McGhee, Byrne, Mulligan ▊, McMullan, Rudden (Mullen 64), Anderson (Adam 76), McGinn
Subs not used: Lawlor, Fontaine, Chapman, McCowan, Robertson
Goals: Mulligan (59)
Referee: John Beaton