DUNDEE had Kane Hemmings to thank as James McPake’s side got back to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 win over a thoroughly underwhelming Partick Thistle side in the City of Discovery.

Hemmings’ first-half brace put the hosts in the driving seat on a crisp and windy afternoon at Dens Park that consigned Thistle to another fortnight – at least – at the foot of the Championship table.

After the final whistle, Thistle manager Ian McCall conceded that the club’s ambitions for the remainder of the campaign should simply be survival in Scotland’s second tier.

“We were really, really poor,” he said. “I take absolute responsibility. I chose the wrong team.

“Dundee deserved to win but there wasn’t a lot of football played. They played the right way and we didn’t.

“We’re right in a relegation dogfight if we weren’t before. The target for our club - which is ridiculous – is just to finish eighth.”

Glasgow Times:

Jamie Barjonas was handed his first start for Thistle since joining the club on loan from Rangers, replacing Darian MacKinnon, but that aside McCall stuck with the same starting XI that drew 1-1 with Ayr at Firhill a week ago.

Dundee provided Thistle with a few nervous moments early on when the ball was pinging around the away side’s box before they made the breakthrough midway through the first half. A chronic failure to deal with set-pieces has been a recurring theme of Thistle’s campaign so far, so it was little surprise when Dundee converted with their first corner of the match.

An inviting cross from Declan McDaid met Jordon Foster at the back post, who headed it low and hard across the face of goal where Hemmings was waiting to pounce. The striker turned it in from a few yards out and was met with a roar from the Dens Park faithful.

Glasgow Times:

The home side were in the ascendancy, clearly buoyed by Hemmings’ intervention, and the same man struck again to double their advantage 10 minutes later. A Thistle free-kick came to nothing and was hoofed up the park by the Dundee defence, and Thistle left-back James Penrice made a hash of dealing with it. His first touch inadvertently teed up Paul McGowan perfectly, and the Dundee forward slipped in Hemmings to coolly slot the ball beyond Scott Fox for his second of the afternoon.

Thistle came flying out of the blocks after the interval, bombarding the Dundee defence with wave after wave of attack in a 10-minute spell where the Jags showed some attacking intent. Zanatta could have reduced the arrears when he weaved his way into the box, but his deflected effort was easily smothered by Dundee keeper Connor Hazard.

The game opened up and soon became end-to-end, and Fox had to produce a couple of smart saves in quick succession to keep the score at 2-0. Hemmings tested Fox with a header and the Thistle goalie had to be alert to bat away a powerful McDaid effort from the right, but the hosts were unable to find a killer third. Thistle struggled to create chances and Hazard was rarely tested.

Play was then stopped for a few minutes and a few worried glances were exchanged in the home dugout after Ross Callachan was stretchered off with around 15 minutes to go. The on-loan St Johnstone midfielder got his foot stuck in the turf, injuring his ankle in the process.

Alex Jones was thrown on by McCall for the last 20 minutes as the Jags continued to throw bodies forward in search of a goal that would drag them back into the contest. Alas, it would never arrive.

Glasgow Times:

“The win was thoroughly deserved,” said McPake. “I thought it was a controlled performance from start to finish. I can’t remember our keeper having a save to make.

“I thought we were assured as a team, particularly in defence. I thought the three centre-backs were outstanding.”