Ross County secured their survival as they halted Dundee’s winning streak under Neil McCann with a hard-fought 1-1 draw in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership at Dens Park.
Jim McIntyre’s side only needed a point and picked up just that as Liam Boyce’s fourth-minute opener put them ahead, only for home captain Darren O’Dea to equalise with a 76th-minute penalty.
It means County have erased any lingering threats about being dragged into a play-off while Dundee now find themselves five points ahead of second-bottom Hamilton.
County arrived on Tayside unbeaten in five games with their most recent victory coming away to Motherwell the previous weekend to move them into seventh place in the table. They were boosted by the news striker Alex Schalk had signed a one-year contract extension just prior to kick-off.
Dundee were aiming for their third straight win following back-to-back wins at Motherwell and Kilmarnock and ran out to a vociferous home crowd who were anticipating their recent revival to continue under Neil McCann.
But they fell behind in four minutes to Boyce’s 22nd goal of the season. Martin Woods was the provider as he set Boyce free and the Northern Ireland international striker hit a low shot outwith the reach of home keeper Scott Bain from six yards.
And the visitors almost increased their lead minutes later when Craig Curran latched onto Boyce’s through ball inside the box, but Bain forced him wide as his shot ended up in the side-netting.
Dundee were struggling to find their feet although Marcus Haber did have a long-range effort which was saved by Staggies keeper Scott Fox, while Faissal El-Bakhtaoui was similarly thwarted.
The hosts began the second half by introducing midfielder Nick Ross at the expense of the ineffective Tom Hateley.
They began to look more like an attacking threat and, in 59 minutes, El-Bakhtaoui let fly from 25 yards only to see his effort fly narrowly over the bar.
And in 76 minutes they levelled from the spot.
Cammy Kerr was brought down inside the box by Curran and up stepped skipper O’Dea to smash the spot-kick high past Fox before they threw everything at it in search of a winner towards the end, including Haber’s free header in 85 minutes which Fox gathered.