Smart adds spice to Duffy's return

Dundee Utd 0 Dundee 0

Ignore the scoreline, this encounter was laced with drama and flair, yet how appropriate that nothing could prise apart British football's closest neighbours.

Players have been making the 170-yard trip between Dens Park and Tannadice for generations for this most unusual derby. How both clubs must have wished that ruthless finishers such as Andy Gray (Dundee United) and Alan Gilzean (Dundee) were still on their books, but that harsh reality could not dilute yesterday's pulsating draw.

"It was typically fast and furious," acknowledged the Dundee United manager, Alex Smith, who watched one of his own new signings, Allan Smart, become caught up in the passion. He was dismissed for a sickening 75th-minute challenge on Jonay Hernandez.

The match marked Jim Duffy's reacquaintance with the derby after an absence of six years. In that time, the Dundee manager had endured a roller coaster of events – sacked by Hibernian before reviving his reputation as Chelsea's youth coach and assistant at Portsmouth.

The departure of Ivano Bonetti from Dens Park prompted Dundee to look once more to Duffy. However, there was an ironic twist provided by rivals United unveiling one of his former pupils from Stamford Bridge. Warren Cummings has not flourished as quickly as John Terry, Sam Dalla Bona and Carlton Cole – three from Duffy's youth team – but a year's loan at Tannadice is expected to accelerate the progress of the Scotland Under-21 defender.

It was, however, another of United's new imports, Arnar Gunnlaugsson, who almost made an immediate impact. His pace opened up Dundee in the opening minute but Steve Thompson could not provide a finish to the cross.

As befits a contest between two such close and fierce rivals the match was characterised by a hectic pace. Waves of attacks illustrated how much the players were being carried along by the raucous atmosphere.

Dundee, however, began to impose control. The gifted Georgi Nemsadze threaded a deft free-kick over the top of United's defence in the 25th minute for Nacho Novo to deceive Cummings with a dip of the shoulder before his curling shot was pushed wide by Paul Gallacher.

The intensity never lapsed but Dundee's lack of composure in front of goal ruined their fine work. Fabian Caballero was too direct with one shot, while Steve Lovell tamely stabbed another effort straight at Gallacher.

However, the fervour exploded in an ugly manner when Smart was sent off barely nine minutes after coming on as a substitute. Had Hernandez not got his leg out of the way just in time, the consequence could have been perilous and the Spaniard made his feelings clear with a finger-to-temple gesture as Smart departed up the tunnel that suggested his assailant might have been "El Loco".

Smith admitted later that Smart had been anything but. "It was a rush of blood and it was rash," said the United manager. "Allan went flying after the ball and realised when he got there that he'd gone in at too fast. I don't think it was malicious, more frustration, but Hernandez got a fright and the referee punished Smart."

A similar lack of discipline almost cost Dundee dear, just minutes after the warring teams had been separated. Lee Mair scythed down Charlie Miller, allowing Danny Griffin to deliver a curling free-kick which Speroni pushed over the bar.

Thompson, meanwhile, forged without success. The man who will shoulder the responsibility of Scotland's attack in the Faroe Islands next week will hope this was not a dry run for the real thing.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss