Steven Milne (9 mins)
Ryan Conroy (17 mins)
The William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round
, Dec 1, 2012
Ground: Almondvale Stadium , Kickoff: 15:00 , Att 1,432
Smith desperate for Dundee win Dundee manager Barry Smith has challenged his players to make the most of their Clydesdale Bank Premier League respite ahead of the William Hill Scottish Cup tie away to Livingston.
The Dark Blues, who returned to the top flight this season following a seven-year absence, have been battling at the foot of the league but have a break from the rigours of their survival battle when they head to Almondvale for Saturday's fourth-round tie.
Smith, therefore, wants them to take advantage of this weekend's break from their dogfight in the hope it can spark a cup run.
Smith said: "It's been tough this season and we've had to learn the hard way at times.
"We knew all along it was going to be like that but this is something of a break from it all.
"There are stresses and strains in the SPL so this will be a different sort of experience from that but it's still not going to be easy against a good side like Livingston.
"I have a group of players who always give their best and they will want to stay in the cup for as long as possible.
"I know what it takes to get all the way to a final, which I will be stressing to the players beforehand.
"To be fair, they know the importance of the tie and have been preparing all week towards getting a positive result." Dundee will be favourites to book their place in the next round but Smith is adamant they will not be underestimating their Irn-Bru First Division opponents.
He added: "We've had them watched on a few occasions.
"We know what they have to offer as a team with some good players all over the pitch.
"We will respect Livingston the way they we respect every other team which we come up against.
"That's what we always do and this is no time for approaching things in any different way.
"But if our players show the sort of attitude and commitment levels they have done in recent weeks then we will give ourselves every chance of winning the tie.
"But we all know how the cup works so we have to be on our toes from the very start and go about our job in a professional manner.
"I think they like to play the game in an open manner much like ourselves.
"That means it has got the makings of a good cup tie.
"But we will only enjoy it if we can get the right result to put us into the next round of the competition. That is the most important thing as far as we're concerned." Smith is still without long-term absentee Carl Finnigan, with the striker set to undergo a second knee operation next week.
Also still missing are skipper Stephen O'Donnell (hamstring), Mark Kerr (knee), Brian Easton (hamstring), and Jamie McCluskey (Achilles).
Defender Davide Grassi (knee) has suffered a setback while forward Mark Stewart (knee) continues on the comeback trail.
Livingston striker Iain Russell will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness after suffering a calf injury.
The First Division side are already missing the long term injured Paul Watson and Jason Talbot for a game that head coach Gareth Evans reckons his side are second favourites in.
Evans said: "Dundee have stabilised in a higher league than the one we are in and are within touching distance of the sides above them.
"They were particularly good when they beat Hibs the other week so we know we are up against it.
Livingston vs Dundee
Last modified 17:43 01/12/12
Dundee ease through First half goals from Steven Milne and Ryan Conroy booked Dundee's place in the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup at the expense of hosts Livingston.
Milne put the SPL side ahead with a turn and shot nine minutes into an entertaining first half, while Conroy doubled their advantage from the penalty spot.
Livingston felt they should have had a spot kick of their own shortly afterwards, but despite dominating possession in the second half they were unable to net a reply.
The First Division side made one change to the team which lost for the first time in seven games last Saturday, Kyle Jacobs starting in place of Kevin McCann.
Visiting manager Barry Smith made two changes from the team which lost 3-1 at St Mirren last weekend, with Matt Lockwood and John Baird starting in place of Colin Nish, sent off in that game, and Nicky Riley.
Baird had the first chance of the game for Dundee, heading wide of the left-hand post after three minutes.
Livingston's Antony Andreu then had a shot from the edge of the box blocked, and at the other end, Baird sent an effort wide.
Dundee took the lead after nine minutes when Milne made a good turn inside the box and sent a low shot into the left-hand corner beyond the reach of home goalkeeper Andrew McNeil.
The SPL side almost doubled their lead five minutes later thanks to a good run up the right wing by Jim McAlister.
He crossed under pressure from the edge of box to Ryan Conroy, whose pacy diagonal shot went just narrowly wide of the right post.
Conroy succeeded in making it 2-0 from the penalty spot shortly afterwards, however, after Baird was brought down.
The Dundee forward stepped up for the spot kick and drilled a left-footed shot low into the net with McNeil going the wrong way.
Andreu tried to reduce the deficit with a turn and shot which Dundee goalkeeper Robert Douglas claimed easily.
Livingston were furious to be denied a penalty after 20 minutes when Liam Fox's shot from the edge of the box appeared to be handled on its way through to being headed off the line.
Milne had two more close-range chances as the game entered its second quarter, first having an effort headed off the line from a corner, then almost cashing in when McNeil could only parry Baird's raking 25-yard shot, the goalkeeper managing to recover and smother the ball before Milne could get it over the line.
Livingston worked their way into the opposition box on plenty of occasions but were always met by stout defending from the visitors, and saw a free-kick from Jesus Garcia Tena saved by Douglas.
Baird had a shot deflected out seven minutes from the break, but Dundee maintained their comfortable two-goal lead into the second half for which Martin Boyle replaced Milne.
Livingston dominated the possession as the second half got under way and saw Andreu test Douglas with an early turn and shot, while Fox and Baird traded speculative long-range efforts which went well over as the hour mark approached.
Burton O'Brien tried his luck with a free-kick from deep in midfield after Lockwood had fouled substitute Daniel Mullen, while Kyle Jacobs brought a good save out of Douglas with a powerful shot which the goalkeeper had to turn round his left post for a corner.
McAlister's shot into the turf was put out for a corner and the set-piece delivery from the right was saved by McNeil, while Iain Davidson's effort with the rebound was blocked inches from the line by Kyle Jacobs.
Livingston continued pressing and Marc McNulty headed over late on.
An even better opening for the same player right on 90 minutes saw him shoot straight into Douglas' arms.
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Substitution||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Rating|
|4||Jesus Garcia Tena|
|7||Anthony Andreu(sub 70)|
|8||Liam Fox(sub 62)|
|14||Jordan Morton(sub 70)|
|16||Daniel Mullen(sub 62)|
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Substitution||Rating|
|15||Steven Milne(sub 45)|
|10||John Baird(sub 85)|
|25||Lewis Toshney(sub 85)|
|23||Martin Boyle(sub 45)|