Dundee played out a 0-0 draw against Ross County in the rescheduled Premiership match at the Scot Foam Stadium tonight. A win for either club would have taken them into the top six, but both remain in the bottom three after a tight game with few chances.
The Dark Blues made two changes from the team that drew at Hibs. Jordan McGhee came in for Cammy Kerr, who was on the bench, and Fin Robertson replaced the injured Lyall Cameron.
Dundee had more possession in a low key first half without creating enough danger to the Ross County goal. The only saves that Staggies keeper Ross Laidlaw had to make in the first half were routine stops from long range shots.
The Dee’s Trevor Carson had more serious work. He pushed away a low angled drive from Simon Murray and parried from James Brown’s header at a corner. They were respectable saves, but a keeper of Carson’s quality would have been embarrassed if he hadn’t made them.
Apart from those efforts County’s most dangerous moment was when Murray got clear on the left only to send his cross straight to Carson.
Dundee had many moments when they almost crafted a chance, but County always got the break of the ball and cleared on the few occasions when they didn’t slam the door shut.
The Dee looked more convincing when they played neat, quick passes in County’s half but frustratingly none of the moves delivered a clear chance. The Dark Blues mixed up their game with some long balls, but that brought no joy.
The best moment in the first half came following a corner that was cleared as far as Malachi Boateng. The midfielder hit a fine crossfield pass, giving Fin Robertson space to send in a cross that ricocheted through the goalmouth without anyone getting a decisive touch.
A scrappy game didn’t improve much after the interval. Two minutes after the restart the County defence opened up, allowing Zak Rudden to send Robertson in at an angle, but the shot lacked the power to trouble Laidlaw.
The Staggies went through a decent spell in which they threatened to do something without ever quite delivering. Midway through the half they did get the ball into the Dee net and we had to endure an agonising wait for a VAR review which ended happily for the Dark Blues.
Yan Dhanda crossed from the left and Carson fumbled, allowing James Brown to bundle the ball over the line. The assistant referee’s flag was up and we all had to wait while the VAR team reviewed the decision. Offside is a matter of fact and Brown was clearly onside. However, Jordan White was equally clearly offside and he had attacked the cross and missed. Was he interfering with play, causing Carson to make the mistake? That was a question for the referee to decide so the VAR team passed it back to Colin Steven. The referee trotted over to the screen and finally confirmed the original offside decision. It would have been a good opportunity to fetch a pie. There was plenty of time.
Dundee almost nicked a cheeky goal straight from the restart, but Laidlaw turned Amadou Bakayoko’s shot into the side netting.
The Dark Blues perked up in the last 20 minutes, plus seven minutes of added time, without ever being as fluent as we would have hoped. Dundee were guilty of giving the ball away too often and failing to deliver enough good balls into the box when they did get into worthwhile positions. Exactly the same criticism could be made of the Staggies.
Diego Pineda replaced Zak Rudden and gave a very lively contribution. He made some good runs which invited passes from midfield. Twice he took passes from Boateng and forced saves from Laidlaw. He also dragged a shot across goal from a tight angle. Charlie Reilly came off the bench towards the end of normal time and in the last added minute his low shot was saved by Laidlaw with the rebound evading Pineda.
Goalless draws can be entertaining and exciting affairs, as we saw at Easter Road in the Dee’s last outing, but this match wasn’t up to that standard. Neither club had played for 24 days and neither was able to click into top gear and find their best form. A draw was a fair result. The Dark Blues were short of their best but at least they kept a clean sheet and took a point from the game.
Dundee FC 3-5-2
Portales, Shaughnessy (c), Lamie
McGhee (Howley 77), Robertson (Reilly 88), Boateng, McCowan, Beck
Rudden (Pineda 77), Bakayoko
Unused substitutes: Legzdins (gk), Kerr, Ashcroft, Donnelly, Sylla, Lewis.
Booked: Rudden (foul on Brown).
Ross County 3-4fru-3
Smith, Baldwin (c), Leak
Brown, Loturi (Allardice 82), Randall, Purrington (Hermon 74)
Dhanda (Brophy 74), Murray (Sims 60), White (Samuel 82)
Unused subs: Munro (gk), Turner, Sheaf.
Booked: Baldwin (foul on McCowan), Murray (foul on Portales), Brown (foul on Beck), Loturi (foul on McCowan), White (foul on Lamie), Brophy (foul on Robertson).
Referee: Colin Steven. Assistants: Steven Traynor, Gordon Crawford. Fourth Official: Graham Grainger. VAR: Andrew Dallas. Assistant VAR: Graeme Leslie.
Report: James Christie.