A FIFTH clean sheet on the bounce saw Dundee move into third spot after a deserved 2-0 victory over Ayr United at Dens Park.
The Dark Blues stretched their unbeaten run to six matches as they saw off the Honest Men thanks to Kane Hemmings’ 11th-minute opener and Olly Crankshaw’s first for the club.
There were two changes to the Dundee starting XI as Christie Elliott replaced Cammy Kerr at right wing-back while Andrew Nelson came in for Jordan McGhee, who hadn’t recovered from a dead leg picked up against the Honest Men on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Jack Hamilton was missing from the squad after his wife gave birth on Monday night. Youngster Harrison Sharp took his place on the bench.
The home side made a positive start with Paul McGowan impressing and he made the difference for the opening goal on 11 minutes.
Ayr failed to deal with a sclaffed clearance from Dundee goalie Conor Hazard which bobbled through everybody to McGowan who flicked the ball in behind the defence.
Hemmings was onto it like a shot and made no mistake from 18 yards, finishing with confidence past Ross Doohan for his 10th goal of the campaign.
They looked to double that lead quickly as Graham Dorrans tried to chip the goalie from the edge of the area but saw his effort drop over the bar.
Ayr were inches away from levelling things up in the 17th minute as Scott Tiffoney beat Josh Meekings on the left wing before cutting back for Aaron Drinan who side-footed just over the crossbar.
They went even closer in the 28th minute as Aaron Muirhead met Stephen Kelly’s corner with a firm header but saw the ball cannon back off the far post.
There were chances at both ends immediately after the half-time restart as Hemmings saw an effort blocked before Kelly fired over from inside the Dundee area.
On 53 minutes, Nelson saw a close-range effort deflected behind before Forster sent a header wide from the resulting corner.
Just over 10 minutes later, the goal continued to evade Nelson as he saw a header tipped over by Doohan after a McDaid corner caused havoc in the six-yard box.
Nelson was replaced by Crankshaw on 73 minutes and the on-loan Wigan man could’ve wrapped up the contest within seconds but he couldn’t make contact with a low Hemmings cross.
He did seal the points in stoppage time, however, as Dorrans took advantage of a slack ball at the back from Ayr to tee up the youngster with an open goal for 2-0.
The victory sees Dundee move above Ayr in the table, four points behind Inverness after they got the better of Queen of the South in the Highlands.
Dundee: Hazard, Forster, Meekings, Berra, Elliott, McDaid, Byrne, McGowan (Robertson 78), Dorrans, Nelson (Crankshaw 73), Hemmings (Ness 90).
Subs not used: Sharp, Kerr, Field, Cameron.
Ayr: Doohan, Houston, Moffat, Tiffoney (McCowan 70), Harvie, Muirhead (Gillespie 31), Drinan, Kelly, Roscoe, Malley (Kerr 62), Bell.
Subs not used: Hare-Reid, Forrest, Docherty, Ecrepont.