Dundee are ahead in their quest to reach Scotland’s top-flight with a 2-1 Scottish Premiership play-off final first leg victory over Kilmarnock.

The hosts got off to a dream start after six minutes with Charlie Adam playing a lovely ball over the top, picking out Cammy Kerr who expertly guided ball into the box and found Danny Mullen with the initial header, parried before Jordan McGhee turned the ball home.

Dundee's Jordan McGhee before the Ladbrokes Championship match between Dundee Utd and Dundee at Tannadice Park on December 27, 2019 in Dundee,...

McGhee netted. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group via Getty Images)

Goalkeeper Colin Doyle saved Kilmarnock’s blushes four minutes later after Paul McMullan got through on goal against the Irishman, stopping the winger in his tracks. Dundee doubled their advantage a minute after the restart with Kilmarnock captain Gary Dicker caught napping outside the box.

McMullan got to the byline and found Adam, who made no mistake from 10 yards, guiding his effort beyond Doyle. The Kilmarnock keeper kept the scoring down after a ball down the left channel by Paul McGowan found Mullen, who fired at goal, with the custodian tipping the ball over the bar.

Kilmarnock pulled one back on 76 minutes with Brandon Haunstrup bombing forward from a throw-in, the initial effort blocked by McGhee before netting the rebound. With James McPake’s side having one foot in the door towards promotion, here are three things we learned from the game.

St Johnstone v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Wright’s side need a spark. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Champagne Charlie

Kilmarnock started the game well but once Dundee got their opener through McGhee, it was the hosts in the ascendency and Kilmarnock looked defeated from that moment on. Special mentions have to go for everyone in the Dundee team for a solid display but in particular the midfield partnership of McGowan, Shaun Byrne, Adam & McGhee.

 

Hope for Kilmarnock

Haunstrup’s  goal could be crucial in the outcome of this play-off tie. With 90 minutes left, it’s all to play for at Rugby Park on Monday evening. Going by the performance put in by the hosts for the majority of this encounter, it’s hard to be positive about Kilmarnock turning fortunes. But Tommy Wright’s teams have a never-say-die attitude about them.

Fans returning

It’s the news that we’ve been awaiting for the last 14 months since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, which forced a stoppage to Scottish football followed by the majority of the season playing behind closed doors. 500 Dundee fans turned up in cheering Dundee on and became a 12th man.

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