Dundee stopped the bleeding with their first Premiership point in six games.
It wasn’t the win they were hoping for – and they are still bottom – but a solid performance has given them a platform to build on.
A draw was the least the hosts deserved but they ended up 10 v 11 after skipper Darren O’Dea was sent off.
Keeper Elliot Parish made a brilliant save late on when it looked like Kilmarnock would steal the points and they were also denied by the woodwork in injury time.
It was a back four for Dundee, with Jon Aurtenetxe making his first start at the left of it. Scott Allan was on the bench.
There was a lot of shadow boxing but precious little penalty box action in the opening stages.
On 19 minutes Dundee had the chance to alter that script when Paul McGowan stole possession in midfield. However when he played a ball inside for Marcus Haber the Canadian had already run ahead of it and the attack was comfortably mopped up by Killie.
Haber did well to chase down a long ball over the right-back and his cut-back was right where you would want it to be. Sadly for the Dark Blues he didn’t have a team-mate on the six-yard line to cash in.
By the mid-way point of the first half Dundee had taken control and a sharp exchange between Roarie Deacon and McGowan resulted in the latter striking an 18-yard shot that hit the back of the Killie defender charging it down.
The home team were looking comfortable but there was a bit of panic in the stands when Mark O’Hara’s touch let him down on 32 minutes and Jordan Jones robbed him to launch a quick counter-attack. Thankfully for O’Hara he got crowded out before he could get a shot away.
Five minutes before the break Haber Glen Kamara delivered the sort of cross from the right the big targetman thrives off. His header from the penalty spot was powerful but Jamie MacDonald was well-positioned to keep it out.
Two teams keeping their shape well wasn’t making for a thrilling game of football but near the hour mark Cammy Kerr managed to put the away defence under pressure with a superb cross to the back post that Kirk Broadfoot did well to head away from virtually under his crossbar.
On 68 minutes Parish made a fine save from Eamonn Brophy when the substitute was through one-on-one. There was a late flag for offside but neither striker nor keeper were aware of it.
Dundee sub A-Jay Leitch-Smith beat the Killie offside trap on 81 minutes but MacDonald was out quickly to thwart him.
Parish was a Dundee hero two minutes later when Lee Erwin had the chance of the match and he saved brilliantly with his feet.
The Dark Blues had to play the last five minutes with 10 men after O’Dea was sent off for his second yellow – a blatant trip on Rory McKenzie.
Brophy headed on to the bar in the fourth minute of stoppage time and Dundee held on for their point.