A battle at Dens Park ended in a 1-0 Dundee win over Greenock Morton in Championship action.

The Dee’s on-loan Celtic striker Jonathan Afolabi opened the scoring in the first half’s only clear chance. It was a game of hard graft and few chances, James McPake’s men doing enough to beat David Hopkin’s side by a slender margin as the latter finished with 10 men.

The Celtic loanee settled things. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Dundee needed a response in their home Championship opener after a 6-2 humbling last week at the hands of Hearts. Facing a Morton side yet to be beaten competitively this term, it wasn’t going to be handed to them.

But after four minutes they had the advantage. Danny Mullen ghosted in behind the Ton defence, allowed plenty of space to find strike partner Afolabi in the box, the Celtic loanee doing well to bury his chance first-time.

It gave McPake’s side initiative and whilst not creating all that many clear chances, they were having all the possession. Morton were creeping back into things slightly after the 20-minute mark.

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Hopkin’s side were getting there. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Again, however, few chances were created as the half fizzled out to a close. Dundee just about edged it in the first 45 but they had allowed Morton to come into things with their high press.

Hopkin’s side had two good chances right at the second half’s start, Markus Fjørtoft going close with two separate headers. That was all that really happened outside of an ongoing aerial battle.

That was until the 69th minute, when a Charlie Adam pass 40 yards from goal almost beat Aidan McAdams, the Morton goalkeeper slipping and doing just about enough to stop an unfortunate moment.

McPake’s men got it over the line. (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

For that to be one of the half’s main chances probably sums up the attacking endeavours in the second 45. Dundee’s quest for three points was given a lift 17 minutes from time, Robbie Muirhead seeing red for two silly pieces of dissent within a minute of each other.

It made things easier for McPake in the final minutes as his Dee side grinded their way to a welcome three points on a good day’s work. Here are three things we learned.

Dundee grind it out

This wasn’t a particularly pretty game to watch but Dundee won’t care one bit. They needed a result and they managed to get one, controlling the game for large spells despite having few clear chances.

Few chances for Dundee. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Morton made things uncomfortable for the home side but Dundee showed enough improvement from a 6-2 Hearts defeat to take three points.

Afolabi the threat

Last week the Irish youth international was thrown on in difficult circumstances for Dundee at Tynecastle. But even in that sub cameo, he showed bright flashes to earn himself a start against the Ton.

He justified that after only a few minutes, putting plenty of questions in front of Hopkin’s defence and earning Man of the Match.

Killer Ton touch goes missing

Morton’s first half wasn’t great but they did start to get back into things towards the end of it. A second 45 was again better overall from Hopkin’s men but a key ingredient was still missing.

Hopkin’s side didn’t click in attack. (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

They moved from defence to midfield fairly well but couldn’t link that into attack. Muirhead’s minute of dissent didn’t help Morton either as they go away from Tayside empty handed, despite an energetic display.

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