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Livingston 0 Dundee 2: Dundee dismiss identity crisis and switch focus back to Tayside derby

If lowly Dundee needed their morale boosted then this was the tonic.

Barry Smith's team have had their sympathisers in recent months, with many suggesting Dundee are a first division team ill-equipped for the rigours of the top division.

Yet at the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium on Saturday, the Scottish Premier League's basement club disposed of their second tier opponents with ease. "Once we got the goals the game was pretty much dead," said Barry Smith, Dundee's manager.

Recently appointed Livingston manager Gareth Evans had a different outlook. "We looked like the SPL team," said Evans. "For 75 minutes it was all one way. We were the team playing football and trying to break them down – all they did was bang it up front."

Despite the hosts' slight advantage in possession, in reality, Livingston couldn't live with the pace and direct play from Dundee in the opening period and the game as a contest was over inside 20 minutes.

The quality of Dundee striker John Baird, making his first start in seven games, proved pivotal early on, with the former Raith Rovers man instrumental in both first-half goals. The 27-year-old set-up Steven Milne for the opener with a well-placed pass before a moment of sublime skill forced Liam Fox into conceding the penalty which brought the second.

Baird's return should lift the struggling Dens Park side and the forward earned praise from team-mate Ryan Conroy. "I thought John was brilliant today ," the scorer of Dundee's second goal said. "That's exactly what John is capable of. He's a great guy to play with and he came back into the team in the right way."

It was not only Baird who shone for the visitors; Jim McAlister was a constant threat on the ball, Kyle Benedictus cleaned up from the back and Kevin McBride was typically efficient in midfield.

After the flamboyant opening, Dundee were not at their collective best for the remaining 70 minutes but, given the home side's toothless showing, it simply wasn't required. From the moment goalscorer Milne escaped the attention of Burton O'Brien to drive in the first goal, the Tayside men's Scottish Cup journey looked sure to continue.

The spirited travelling fans had already transported their thoughts to next week's Dundee derby during the second half, evident from the repeated cheers of 'Bring on United'.

Conroy added. "Now, everyone is looking forward to the United game next week."

If lowly Dundee needed their morale boosted then this was the tonic. Barry Smith's team have had their sympathisers in recent months, with many suggesting Dundee are a first division team ill-equipped for the rigours of the top division.

Yet at the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium on Saturday, the Scottish Premier League's basement club disposed of their second tier opponents with ease. "Once we got the goals the game was pretty much dead," said Barry Smith, Dundee's manager.

Recently appointed Livingston manager Gareth Evans had a different outlook. "We looked like the SPL team," said Evans. "For 75 minutes it was all one way. We were the team playing football and trying to break them down – all they did was bang it up front."

Despite the hosts' slight advantage in possession, in reality, Livingston couldn't live with the pace and direct play from Dundee in the opening period and the game as a contest was over inside 20 minutes.

The quality of Dundee striker John Baird, making his first start in seven games, proved pivotal early on, with the former Raith Rovers man instrumental in both first-half goals. The 27-year-old set-up Steven Milne for the opener with a well-placed pass before a moment of sublime skill forced Liam Fox into conceding the penalty which brought the second.

Baird's return should lift the struggling Dens Park side and the forward earned praise from team-mate Ryan Conroy. "I thought John was brilliant today ," the scorer of Dundee's second goal said. "That's exactly what John is capable of. He's a great guy to play with and he came back into the team in the right way."

It was not only Baird who shone for the visitors; Jim McAlister was a constant threat on the ball, Kyle Benedictus cleaned up from the back and Kevin McBride was typically efficient in midfield.

After the flamboyant opening, Dundee were not at their collective best for the remaining 70 minutes but, given the home side's toothless showing, it simply wasn't required. From the moment goalscorer Milne escaped the attention of Burton O'Brien to drive in the first goal, the Tayside men's Scottish Cup journey looked sure to continue.

The spirited travelling fans had already transported their thoughts to next week's Dundee derby during the second half, evident from the repeated cheers of 'Bring on United'.

Conroy added. "Now, everyone is looking forward to the United game next week."

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