Football - Dundee and Killie draw a blank

Dundee heaped more frustration on banned Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels as they dominated at Dens Park but failed to grab a crucial winner in a goalless draw.

PA Sport
Football - Dundee and Killie draw a blank
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Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels is currently serving a touchine ban

Kilmarnock cannot have played as meekly all season and their manager - who still faces another three games in the stand after he was punished for comments made about fourth official Andrew Dallas - did not enjoy the experience one bit.

The Clydesdale Bank Premier League stalemate was a chance for his side to close in on the top six and yet they could not overcome a Dark Blues team fighting for their lives at the foot of the table.

For long spells it was a mundane contest but Dundee will feel they could have wrestled all three points and closed the gap on 11th-placed St Mirren to just nine points. But the draw with Killie leaves the gap separating them from safety at 11 and means their run without a victory now extends to eight games.

And yet they had chances. Jim McAlister netted with a fine strike from outside the box early on but saw it chalked off after Colin Nish had wandered offside in the build-up. John Baird went close as well when he sent a volley from an acute angle crashing onto the woodwork.

A scrappy opening eight minutes looked like it had been enlivened by a spectacularly clean strike from McAlister but his 25-yard beauty on the half-volley was disallowed after Nish was flagged for offside in the build-up.

Killie's Paul Heffernan was denied by home keeper Rab Douglas' smart stop at the other end on 13 minutes but notable events were at a premium in a first half-hour lacking quality of any kind. Kilmarnock came close to the opener as Rory McKenzie met Garry Hay's centre from the right with a shot but pushed it a fraction wide of Douglas' right-hand post.

With the run of play again uninspiring, Baird almost came up with something special for the home side with 25 minutes left. Substitute Nicky Reilly picked him out in the box with a lofted pass and the former Raith frontman hit a first-time volley over his own shoulder which shook the far post before bouncing clear.

Dundee were giving it a go and another shot from distance from McAlister forced Cameron Bell to parry back into the danger zone but Nish put the rebound into the Bob Shankley Stand when he should have at least asked a second question of the Scotland international.

Ross Barbour stung the hands of Douglas with five minutes left but it was Killie who were left to cling on as Brian Easton met Ryan Conroy's corner with a firm header, only for Hay to hack it clear from his own goal-line.

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