Dundee 2-1 Dundee Utd: Dark Blues rally to win derby at Dens Park
By Charlie McFaulds
Last Updated: 02/01/16 4:18pm
Dundee came from behind to beat Dundee United 2-1 in a lively Scottish Premiership clash at Dens Park.
An opportunist strike from in-form Kane Hemmings and a deflected shot from Nick Ross sealed the win after Blair Spittal's fourth Tayside derby goal had given United the lead on 15 minutes
United, who finished the match with 10 men after the dismissal of Guy Demel, are rooted to the foot of the table and firm favourites for automatic relegation to the Championship.
Dundee were gifted an opportunity on six minutes when Gavin Gunning misjudged a pass back and Eiji Kawashima had to race to the edge of his penalty area to take the ball off the toe of Hemmings, before the new United goalkeeper got across to save the follow up from Gary Harkins.
The home side lost James McPake four minutes later with a suspected dislocated knee cap after a sliding challenge on John Rankin as the United midfielder attempted to blast a shot towards goal.
Following a delay of around five minutes Spittal curled the resulting free-kick over the wall from 25 yards and into the net off the underside of the bar despite Scott Bain getting his fingers on the ball.
Spittal burst forward from the halfway line 90 seconds later and slipped a pass in front of Billy McKay but the striker's shot was too close to Bain who firmly clutched the ball with both hands.
United survived another scare when Hemmings held off a challenge from Paul Dixon inside the box and turned to fire a powerful drive towards the near post, but Kawashima got down to make the save.
The visitors were denied a second goal on 34 minutes when an in-swinging corner spun off Dundee defender Thomas Konrad and Kevin Holt spared his team-mate's blushes by hooking the ball off the line.
Bain then produced a terrific save when he punched the ball outside the penalty area from the resulting corner and then threw himself to his right to push away the retuning shot by Rankin.
Hemmings levelled the match five minutes before the break as Kawashima failed to get any power into his punch when Harkins delivered a free-kick into the six-yard box and the ball dropped to the striker to volley over the line for his sixth goal in three games.
In a typically fiery occasion Bain was booked for squaring up to McKay, and Demel was fortunate to avoid a second yellow card for an off-the-ball kick on Ross.
McKay had a shot blocked by a defender's chest just after the break after Chris Erskine did well to win the ball inside the Dundee penalty area.
Spittal tried his luck with another free-kick from around 30 yards which flew wide before Paul McGowan did likewise at the other end of the pitch with a shot from a similar distance.
Dundee took the lead just after the hour mark when another free-kick from Harkins was only half cleared, this time by a Demel header, and the returning shot by Ross from 20 yards took a deflection off Sean Dillon to wrong-foot Kawashima.
Seven minutes later McGowan powered through a weak challenge by Dillon on the edge of the box to take a pass from Cammy Kerr in his stride but Kawashima turned the midfielder's low drive round the post.
Having luckily avoided a second yellow card earlier in the match, Demal was unfortunate to be booked and subsequently dismissed for another challenge on Ross, and with that United's chance of taking anything from the match disappeared.