Aberdeen 3-3 Dundee: Derek McInnes hails substitutes' impact

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes praised the influence of his substitutes as the Premiership leaders grabbed two late goals in a 3-3 draw with Dundee.

Jonny Hayes converted a penalty on 87 minutes before Ryan Jack knocked in the leveller at Pittodrie.

Lawrence Shankland won the spot-kick, having come on in the second half, along with Willo Flood and Cammy Smith.

"Flood, Smith and Shankland were all pivotal in helping turn the game our way again," McInnes told BBC Scotland.

"It's been difficult for Cammy and Lawrence to force their way into the team but when called upon they've always done well.

"The challenge for them is to get in on a regular basis and I'm sure they will play a strong part this season.

"Shankland showed real determination to get in there and win the penalty kick then it was just a matter of whether we had enough time to get the equaliser.

"Thankfully, we managed that and it was no more than we deserved. Another fives minutes and we win the game.

"Losing three goals in not ideal but it's difficult to criticise when you see what the players give you. The supporters see it, I see it."

The Dons, who now lead Celtic by two points, got off to a great start, with David Goodwillie firing them into an early lead.

However, Dundee hit back in style as Gary Irvine and Greg Stewart applied fine finishes to give the visitors a 2-1 half-time lead and Gary Harkins stretched their advantage after the break.

"We showed a few different sides to us," added McInnes. "We had real good movement ahead of the ball in the first half and showed bravery on the ball.

"We scored a very good goal and should have been more dominant in terms of goals at that period because we were so well on top.

"But we finished the half sloppy and you have to credit Dundee. They were clinical with their finishing.

"We said to the players let's go and win the second half 2-0, then we hit the post and get done by a deflected strike.

"We huffed and puffed for a spell and then the substitutes made a real impact."

Dundee striker Greg Stewart
Dundee striker Greg Stewart shot Dundee ahead at Pittodrie

Dundee manager Paul Hartley was not too downhearted after letting the lead slip so late on.

"I thought we were in control at 3-1," he said. "Aberdeen had a real go in the last 10 minutes and when they get the penalty it gives them a lift.

"Overall, I was really pleased with the way we played. The way we set up was terrific and we scored some cracking goals.

"We were up against the league leaders who had not conceded a league goal in eight games and we showed we are good team. We're making real progress as a club and as a team,"

Stewart's goal was his 11th since joining on a free transfer from Cowdenbeath and Hartley is delighted with the 24-year-old striker's form.

"Questions were raised when we signed Greg," he said. "I always thought he could handle the top flight, although I wasn't sure he'd score this amount of goals.

"He's been absolutely terrific and it shows there are definitely players out there in the lower leagues. He's getting better and better."