ON the finest of margins can seasons be made or broken. The width of a post or even, it seems, the freakish swerve of a modern football. Both were true on a tense day in Dingwall where defeat or victory for either side had the potential to be a watershed moment.
Scorers: Dundee - Davidson (27); Ross County - Glen (74)
Richard Brittain struck the wrong side of the upright for County with the last kick of the ball. Had he scored, Dundee would have slipped a very telling nine points behind the hosts.
Just as notably, Iain Davidson, for Dundee, sank the opener with what was an excellent connection but one that took the cruellest swerve past rooted keeper Mark Brown.
Gary Glen’s reply – his first goal for the club – sealed a draw, but County were left rueing what might have been.
Even midfielder Davidson held his hand up at full-time but felt Dundee proved their campaign is still brimming with fight and possibility.
“I’ll take it, because I don’t score often. It has been a while,” the 28-year-old from Kirkcaldy said.
“The first touch set me up to hit it and I seen it move in the air. All of a sudden it just veered off to the right. I said that to Mark Brown at the end. Both of us agreed that it moved all over the place. It is just these balls nowadays. It was still a nice moment.”
The point preserved County’s six-point advantage on their fellow First Division promotees. Home form had been County’s strength since reaching the SPL but this was no vintage display.
A couple of hundred Dundee fans had made the trip north in good voice but were soon subdued after a competitive but scrappy start.
After 15 minutes, County produced the first dangerous moment. Young Cooper immediately looked promising and burst away on the left to find Colin McMenamin with his back to goal in the box. The County striker swept a pass back to Mark Fotheringham on the edge of the area but the midfielder’s low strike skidded wide.
County held the upper hand but fell behind in spectacular fashion after 27 minutes. A short spell of Dundee pressure seemed to be ebbing as the ball dropped to Davidson more than 25 yards out. He went for glory and saw his powerful shot take a vicious swerve that left Brown stationary as the ball nestled in the top right-hand corner.
After the break, the tone changed as Iain Vigurs’ efforts lifted the hosts, although Dundee remained dangerous on the break.
Momentum built and built for Derek Adams’ team and the equaliser came after 74 minutes. Kettlewell’s strike was blocked but the ball broke to substitute Gary Glen who reacted with a turn and finish from the edge of the six-yard box.
“Probably today was the worst we’ve played in the SPL,” home boss Adams said. “It was a high pressure game for both sides and both teams looked a wee bit nervous. But we probably should have won with the pressure we had.”