Zemlik 'the giant' makes big impression at Dens

DUNDEE new boy Craig Sives believes First Division defenders will be stuck between a rock and a hard place when they face man-mountain Jan Zemlik.

The centre-half caught his first glimpse of the towering Czech striker as he scored both of Dundee's goals in the 2-1 win over Millwall on Saturday and admits the 6ft 7in giant will be a nightmare to play against.

Sives, who sealed a one-year loan from Hearts last week, thinks defenders will be torn between whether to stick to the striker like glue or stand off him. He said: "I only came here last week and Jan was back in the Czech Republic so Saturday was the first time I saw him. I was very impressed, he's a giant. He took his two goals really well and on this evidence I think he will score loads in the First Division this season.

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"It's really hard to play against someone of his size, especially when they are as good on the ground as he is."

Zemlik scored the opener with his head after 25 minutes, nodding in a rebound after Gary MacKenzie's effort hit the bar.

The burly striker was impressive throughout but looked like he would have to settle for a draw when Lions substitute Ben May equalised in the 82nd minute. However, Zemlik ensured it would be his day by slamming home a superb curling shot three minutes later.

Manager Alex Rae will offer a deal to Czech centre-half Milan Palenik, who looked the part before hobbling off with a minor foot knock after 71 minutes. The 29-year-old former Banska Bystrica player is a free agent and will be given the opportunity to sign for the Dark Blues. Rae said: "We'll meet with him and see if we can come up with something. You saw today that's he's got quality and definitely added strength to our defence."

St Johnstone turned the clock back to last season to pick up their first silverware even before the new campaign began. New striker Dyron Daal scored twice in their 3-2 win over Arbroath to win last season's Forfarshire Cup final on Saturday.

With Peter MacDonald also on target this was a boost for Saints manager Owen Coyle, who signed a new contract with the club last week.

Brechin City's new striker Martin Johnston was also on target on his debut with a 40-yard drive in their 2-0 win over Montrose. Chris Geddes added the second.

Alloa received a huge boost as they won the Oban tournament with three wins and two draws on Saturday. The Recreation Park side had competition from Dundee United, Hearts, Hamilton and Oban Saints and manager Allan Maitland said: "I am delighted with the way we worked."

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Cowdenbeath's new signings John O'Neill and Steve McConologue were prominent in their 4-0 victory over Civil Service Strollers. Mick Galloway, Scott Dalziel, Martin McBride and McConologue were on target.

Meanwhile, a last-minute Martin Bavidge penalty earned Peterhead a 2-1 win over Huntly. Bavidge had earlier created the chance for Stuart Mackay to open the scoring but the Highland League side equalised through Neil Gauld.

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