RANGERS suffered their sixth league defeat of the season at Dens Park, with first-half goals from Mark O’Hara and Kevin Holt enough to secure three valuable points for Paul Hartley’s side.
Caretaker boss Graeme Murty took charge of the Light Blues for just his second game following Mark Warburton’s departure, and in the first forty-five he could only watch on helplessly as the Dee went in two goals up in front of the Sky cameras.
After the break however Rangers showed their battling qualities with Joe Garner equalising on 62 minutes with a terrific shot from distance, Kenny Miller hitting the post and sub Harry Forrester missing a sitter he will surely have nightmares about tonight.
Credit must go to Dundee on this occasion though, as they were well organised, determined and their first-half display gave the Light Blues a mountain to climb in a relentless second period.
For his first league game in charge of the team, Murty included Rob Kiernan, Lee Hodson and Garner in his starting eleven with Philippe Senderos, Jason Holt and the injured Lee Wallace dropping out.
The formation also changed with the manager switching to a 4-2-3-1 and the trio of Waghorn, Miller and McKay given the job of supporting Garner in attack.
With the away end packed to capacity as usual, Dundee got the game underway at 3.15pm with Rangers shooting towards the vocal travelling bears.
It was the home side which started well though, and in the very first attack a cross from Craig Wighton was headed wide by O’Hara.
At the other end of the pitch a powerful left foot shot from Martyn Waghorn took a slight deflection which sent the ball fizzing over Scott Bain’s goal.
On 13 minutes Dundee again fed the ball cleverly down the left wing and it was Henrik Ojamaa this time who crossed low into the box to provide the assist for the opening goal.
O’Hara got on the end of it and on this occasion he finished with aplomb with a first-time shot, with the ball clipping the post before nestling in the net behind Foderingham.
After going behind to Morton in the Scottish Cup before winning 2-1 at Ibrox in their previous match, Rangers now had it all to do again, this time in the windy City of Discovery.
As the half-hour mark approached it was clear that Clint Hill couldn’t continue because of an injury and he was swiftly replaced at the back by Danny Wilson.
At this stage of the game Dundee deserved their lead with Hartley’s men working hard all over the park and not giving the Rangers players a chance to get into any kind of rhythm.
A couple of chances did give club’s supporters a glimmer of hope, with a Garner glancing header going inches wide on 38 minutes before Bain made a good stop from a Kenny Miller shot after Halliday had played the ball over the Dundee backline.
On 42 minutes however, Dundee doubled their advantage after a free-kick was awarded on the right edge of the box following a foul by Wilson on the lively O’Hara.
Kevin Holt stepped up and the ball went through several players before finding the bottom corner.
At Craig Thomson’s half-time whistle the ecstatic Dundee fans applauded their players’ graft in the first forty-five, while the frustration in the away end could be heard as the teams walked back to the dressing room.
When the game restarted the supporters in red, white and blue were back to their best, getting behind their side and trying to urge them forward against a stubborn, fired-up opponent.
In the 51st minute a trademark free-kick from James Tavernier brought out a fingertip save from Bain as the visitors attempted to claw their way back into this contest. And after the hour mark they were back in it thanks to a moment of magic from Garner.
The Gers number seven tried his luck from distance and the ball appeared to dip and swerve into the bottom corner of the net.
The Dundee players were now looking nervous and when a deflected Miller shot hit the post with Bain stranded you wondered if a memorable comeback could be on.
Harry Forrester did have a glaring opportunity to equalise, with the ball dropping to the substitute in the box but he shot over from six yards.
That was to be as close as Rangers would come to levelling and, in the end, it was the Dundee supporters who left Dens celebrating a rare win over the Glasgow giants.
DUNDEE: Bain; Kerr, Etxabeguren, O’Dea, Holt; O’Hara, Vincent, McGowan, Wighton; Ojamaa (Williams 82); Haber
SUBS: Gourlay, Hateley, Ross, El Bakhtaoui, Gadzhalov, Gomis
GOALS: O’Hara 13, Holt 41
RANGERS: Foderingham, Tavernier, Hill (Wilson 30), Kiernan, Hodson; Halliday (Holt 78), Hyndman; Waghorn, Miller, McKay (Forrester 78); Garner
SUBS: Alnwick, O’Halloran, Houston, Dodoo
GOALS: Garner 62
REF: Craig Thomson