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Dundee 1 Kilmarnock 1: Dark Blues held in final home game of the season

The Dundee players celebrate Rory Loys goal.
The Dundee players celebrate Rory Loys goal.

Dundee could not sign off with the win their play deserved in their final home game of the season against a stuffy Kilmarnock side.

The Dark Blues took a first-half lead through Rory Loy but were pegged back in the second 45 when Conrad Balatoni netted for the visitors.

Dundee then spurned a host of great chances to secure a victory and had to be content with a share of the spoils on the night.

Dens boss Paul Hartley made two changes from the side that lost at the weekend against Hamilton with Loy and youngster Calvin Colquhoun coming into the team in place of Daryll Meggatt and Kosta Gadzhalov

There was, of course no Thomas Konrad in the squad with the German having left the club earlier today.

Kilmarnock already know that they will have to fight for their Premiership survival through the play-offs but boss Lee Clark selected a strong line-up with the likes of Josh Magennis, Kris Boyd and Greg Kiltie all in the starting XI.

There was very much an end-of-season feel to the early proceedings with both sides struggling to establish a foothold in the game.

Dundee had the first opportunity in the seventh minute when they were awarded a free-kick on the right with Greg Stewart hitting it direct trying to catch out Killie keeper Jamie MacDonald at his near post but his crisp effort was blocked and turned away for a corner.

The Dark Blues had much the better of the first quarter in terms of possession and territory but without threatening again.

However, MacDonald was helpless to prevent the home side taking the lead in the 18th minute when Nick Ross played a great ball into the Killie penalty area with Loy giving MacDonald no chance with a looping header from 12 yards sailing well beyond the reach of the goalie.

The Dark Blues looked to build on that lead but despite dominating possession and territory, their advantage remained a slender one.

Dundee certainly looked relaxed, spraying the ball around while Killie struggled to get out of their own half.

They did though come close to scoring in the 33rd minute – courtesy of the home side. Colquhoun attempted a long pass back to his keeper Scott Bain but he over-hit it and the stopper had to scramble across his goal to snuff out the danger.

The Dark Blues then had an opportunity of their own when Loy was played through on goal by Paul McGinn but MacDonald raced out to block his shot.

In the 44th minute, the Killie defence was breached again when Loy played Kane Hemmings in but MacDonald came to the rescue once more, blocking the striker’s shot with his legs.

Kilmarnock finally began making a game of it at the start of the second-half but without really troubling Dundee defensively.

However, the home side were stunned in the 55th minute when Killie sub Craig Slater swung a deep free-kick in from the left with Conrad Balatoni rising highest to head past the helpless Bain.

Dundee looked to make an immediate response and Julen Etxabeguren got his head to a Stewart cross with the ball having to be cleared off the Killie line by a defender.

Ross was then flattened by MacDonald as they contested a through ball but referee Don Robertson decided the keeper had no penalty case to answer.

Killie had another big scare when a fierce Loy shot from the edge of their box took a wicked deflection off Boyd but the ball sailed safely behind.

Then in the 73rd minute, Dark Blues sub Arturo was in on goal but he couldn’t fire his shot away and the danger was snuffed out.

Shortly after, MacDonald had to be at his best again to beat out another fiery Loy shot and then the keeper was in the right place at the right time to deny Arturo who just could not get enough on a header.

As the game edged to a conclusion, both sides huffed and puffed looking for a winner with the home side having a last-gasp chance in the 90th minute when a Stewart free-kick was flicked on into the path of Arturo but the striker could only guide the ball into MacDonald’s arms.

Attendance – 4,335.

Dundee – Bain, Holt, Stewart, Loy, Hemmings (Arturo, 68), Etxabeguren, Ross, McGinn, O’Dea, Wighton, Colquhoun.

Subs not used – Mitchell, Meggatt, Black, Gadzhalov, Curran.

Kilmarnock – MacDonald, Addison, Findlay (O’Hara, 34), Boyd, Kiltie, Hodson, Magennis, Dicker, Balatoni, Faubert (Slater, 45), Frizzell.

Subs not used – Brennan, Whittaker, Obadeyi, Taylor, Henshall, Slater.

Referee – Don Robertson.

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