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Aug 9, 2014

Dundee held in season opener

DundeeDundee
KilmarnockKilmarnock
1
1
FT
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Dundee began their Scottish Premiership campaign with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock in an entertaining fixture at Dens Park.

Paul Hartley's newly-promoted side went ahead thanks to midfielder Gary Harkins' 16th-minute penalty, but their lead was short-lived as Craig Slater equalised with a textbook free-kick after 24 minutes for Allan Johnston's visitors.

The Taysiders were the stronger side in the second half when Killie had goalkeeper Craig Samson to thank for keeping the hosts at bay as a winner looked on the cards.

Dundee had nine new faces in their line-up after a summer of change within their ranks, while Kilmarnock fielded Chris Chantler, who had joined from Carlisle 24 hours earlier.

There was a big crowd inside Dens for this eagerly-awaited fixture as the home team began brightly.

They created their first chance after four minutes when Harkins' corner was met by Paul McGowan, who shot not that far over the bar.

Shortly after Dundee striker Greg Stewart saw his header go just past the post from McGowan's cross

Kilmarnock were not sitting back either and on eight minutes Josh Magennis' header from Rory McKenzie's cross forced Kyle Letheren to pull off a brilliant diving save at the expense of a corner.

With 13 minutes played, Simon Ferry went on a mazy run and his left-foot pass looked inch-perfect, but the on-rushing McGowan just could not make contact.

However, a minute later the home team took the lead from the penalty spot.

A one-two involving McGowan and Luka Tankulic saw Harkins almost set free inside the box until he was impeded by Mark Connolly.

Referee Steven McLean had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and up stepped Harkins to make it 1-0 by sending Samson the wrong way from the spot.

Killie did not let that their heads drop and after 20 minutes Chris Johnston fed Magennis who then played in McKenzie, whose powerful 20-yard shot went just past the target.

They threatened again after 22 minutes when Ross Barbour's defence-splitting pass put Tope Obadeyi clean through on goal, but he blasted his shot off the bar from 12 yards.

However, they were not to be denied as as equaliser arrived on 24 minutes.

James McPake's foul on Obadeyi saw Slater strike an unstoppable free-kick into the far top corner to make it 1-1, with Letheren rooted to the spot.

Dundee almost went back ahead within seconds of the restart.

Harkins' solo run left several Killie defenders trailing and he was unfortunate to see his left-foot shot turned wide by Samson.

The hosts were on top by this point and next up was McGowan, whose low drive was turned wide by the diving Samson.

With just minutes left, Dundee substitute Jim McAlister had a golden opportunity to seal the points, only to see his 12-yard effort saved by Samson, before fellow sub Peter MacDonald hit Samson's bar with an injury-time free-kick which would have brought the house down.

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