Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Dens Park (Dundee v Raith Rovers)

Last Saturday my wife and I took a Citylink bus to Dundee. Gail does not usually accompany me on my groundhopping trips but she had decided she wanted to come along with me to see some shops in the City of Discovery. My main purpose of this trip was my first game at Dens Park, home of Dundee FC. Dens Park has a capacity of about 12,000 and despite the modern stands behind both goals still has a traditional feel to it, more so than Tannadice. The Bobby Cox and Bob Shankly stands were built ten years ago to comply with the 10,000 seated capacity required by the SPL at the time. Both stands hold 3,000. The Main (North) Stand is unusaul in that it is chevron-shaped, the middle bit is further from the pitch than both ends of the stand. The South Stand is an old terrace converted to seating.

Dundee is of course famous for having two professional football clubs, Dundee and Dundee United, with stadiums only 150 yards apart from each other. I had visited Tannadice Park, home of United, two seasons ago but I only managed to take a few pictures of Dens Park at the time and still had to return for a Dundee home game. Dundee United have been the stronger team for a while now, regularly competing for third place in the SPL and 'best of the rest' is as good as it gets nowadays if you are neither Rangers nor Celtic. A few decades ago the Dark Blues were the more illustrious side however, having won the Scottish league in 1962 and reaching the semi-final of the European Cup the following season, having beaten 1. FC Köln, Sporting Portugal and Anderlecht before losing to AC Milan.

The last of the major domestic trophies to be won by the Dee was the 1973 Scottish League Cup, even though they were losing finalists in the 1980 League Cup Final, which was staged at Dens (the biggest of the Dundee grounds at the time) and won 3-0 by Dundee United. The Dens Park side were relegated from the top flight in 2005 after a few years of financial turmoil and have been desperate to return to the SPL ever since. Despite a higher budget than the other First Division clubs they have been unsuccessful so far and their start to the new season has not been promising either.

The previous weekend I had seen Dundee lose comprehensively to Dunfermline at East End Park and last Saturday they were playing host to league leaders Raith Rovers. The game ended goalless despite a first-half penalty, which was awarded to the men from Kirkcaldy after Milan Misun had fouled Gregory Tade in the box. John Baird's spot-kick was saved by former Celtic goalie Rab Douglas. After the interval Dundee looked the stronger side but they could not find the net. The result meant Dunfermline are now top of the First Division, seven points above Dundee.


Approaching Dens Park.


The Main (North) Stand. Tannadice can be seen in the background.


Taken from Google Maps: only about 150 yards between both grounds. You can also see the odd shape of the Main Stand at Dens Park.


The South Stand.


The Bob Shankly Stand housed the Raith Rovers fans.


The Main (North) Stand.


Rab Douglas saved John Bairds's penalty.


Dundee were not able to find the net either.


Tannadice floodlights in the background.


The Bobby Cox Stand after the game.


The Dundee club shop.


Saturday 18th September 2010
Scottish Football League First Division
Dundee 0 Raith Rovers 0
Att: 4,532

9 comments:

  1. Samen met Arbroath is dit toch wel de ground die nog het hoogst op mijn verlanglijstje staat. Ik zit al een paar seizoenen te hopen dat Dundee promoveert, want dan kan ik hier naartoe met de Dundee derby. Schijnt dan wel niet echt beladen te zijn (of heb jij wel eens iets anders gehoord), maar toch wel apart. Hopelijk krijgt Dundee United dan de combi :-P

    Ben je eigenlijk nog op koers richting de 42 aan het eind van dit seizoen?

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  2. Die 42 lukt wel, ik hoef er nog maar zeven: Airdrie, Montrose, Arbroath, QoS, Brechin, Berwick en Stranraer. De eerste drie ben ik wel al geweest maar waterlogged pitch of high winds dus ik moet nog een keer terug. Ik zal laatst dat het begint op te schieten met jouw 92/116.

    Ik weet niet hoe beladen de Dundee derby is maar het is alweer een tijdje geleden dus de eerstvolgende zal een kraker worden...

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  3. Heb je er eentje in je achterhoofd die je als 42ste wil doen? Of maakt je dat niet veel uit?

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  4. Het maakt me niet zo heel veel uit maar Glebe Park (Brechin) als laatste zou leuk zijn.

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  5. Dat is wel een leuke met die hedge. Voor mij is het zo jammer dat er zo weinig verschuivingen in de lagere divisies zijn naar de zondag. Nu moet ik maar hopen dat Dunfermline promoveert om nog een keer een dubbel te kunnen doen zonder een revisit. Dat die Junior Leagues maar eens op de vrijdagavond of zondag gaan spelen ;-)

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  6. We are the raith,We are the raith!

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  7. Proper naughty kirkcaldy soccer casuals caused mayhem at this game,a window was smashed at the tay bar at dundee train station and also at a few bars in the city centre! I wont be venturing out when raith come to town again that's for sure, ian mckillop,proud dee broughty ferry

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  8. Nice review. Was surprised to discover you're Dutch, your English is better than the majority of natives.

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