Seven games into the Championship season, Dundee are still struggling to build any sort of momentum.
On its own a draw in Dumfries is no real cause for concern but when you have yet to win away from home in the league this has to be put down as a missed opportunity.
The good news was the influence Graham Dorrans had on the match, setting up an early equaliser and coming to close to grabbing a winner.
The bad news is of course that Dundee United will now have the chance to open up a nine-point gap at the top of the table.
There were three changes to the Dundee line-up from six days ago, with Dorrans making his first start and Andrew Nelson and Kane Hemmings back in the eleven.
There were two ex-Dundee men in the home side – Kevin Holt and Faissal El Bakhtaoui.
It was Holt who had the first shot on target of the game on three minutes. The left-back was picked out on the overlap by Stephen Dobbie but his effort was straight at Jack Hamilton.
There was no doubting which team had made the fast start – the hosts. And it came as no great surprise that they took an early lead.
On six minutes Dobbie was given too much space – never a good idea – and his 25-yard shot came back off the post. It came back out to on-loan striker Jack Hamilton who gave his namesake no chance with a clinical finish.
To Dundee’s credit their response was swift and emphatic. Five minutes later they were level.
Hemmings hit the byeline and cut the ball back for Nelson, whose well-struck first-time shot was tipped past the post by Bobby McCrorie.
The corner wasn’t properly cleared by the Queens defence and when Dorrans sent a cross back into the box McGhee found the net with a glancing header.
The Dark Blues went on to enjoy a sustained period of territorial dominance and McCrorie was at full stretch again to deny Josh McPake.
They were guilty of committing too many men forward for a corner just after the half-hour mark and it was far too easy for Queens to break forward after possession was turned over. In no time El Bakhtaoui had a shooting opportunity that thankfully for the visitors he couldn’t convert.
One of the improvements from Greenock was the Dundee players’ willingness to shoot from distance. On one such occasion Declan McDaid came close to scoring with a low 20-yarder.
Holt was a dependable full-back in his time at Dens Park but acrobatic shots were not really his thing.
He would have had a story to dine out on for the rest of his days had his scissors-kick effort after taking the ball down on his chest found the net rather than the terracing behind Hamilton’s goal with half-time looming.
Holt was certainly pumped up for this match, perhaps a bit too much, and he was lucky to escape a booking after the re-start when he went through the back of McDaid.
Dundee made their first substitution on 50 minutes with Shaun Byrne replacing McPake.
The first half had been an entertaining one but the second period was proving to be a slow-burner in comparison.
It wasn’t until the hour that there was an incident of note. Dundee had a promising free-kick position near the edge of the box after another Holt foul (for which he was yellow-carded this time). Dorrans swung the ball outside the wall and McCrorie did well to scramble across his line to keep it out.
Queens had been on the back foot for most of the half but they had two chances within a minute just after the midway point. Given both were for Dobbie it was a shock that neither effort worked Hamilton. The first was scuffed wide and the second went into the side-netting.
Set-pieces have cost Dundee dearly this season and it was nearly the case again on 78 minutes when Holt had a free header from a long free-kick that he guided straight at Hamilton.
Queens were getting their act together and Cammy Kerr had to clear an El Bakhtaoui shot off the line after a slick attack down the right.
Both teams kept pressing for all three points but neither could carve out a clear-cut chance in the closing stages.
Queen of the South – McCrorie, Mercer (Lyon 84), Holt, Kilday, Brownlie, Pybus, Kidd, Hamilton, Dobbie, El Bakhtaoui, Paton. Subs not used – Burns, Murray, Oliver, McCarthy, Irving, Gourlay.
Dundee – Hamilton, Kerr, McGhee, Foster, Nelson (Johnson 68), McDaid, Dorrans, McPake (Byrne 50), Robertson, Marshall, Hemmings. Subs not used – Ferrie, Meekings, Todd, Mackie, Moore.
Referee – Willie Collum.
Attendance – 1,249.