Queen of the South failed to capitalise on a dominant first-half performance as County held on for a point at Palmerston.
Although the visitors improved after the interval, the Doonhamers were left ruing their luck after spurning numerous opportunities in the opening 45 minutes.
Queens talisman Stephen Dobbie made his 200th appearance for the club and, as is often the case, the veteran striker was at the heartbeat of everything. The prolific 35 year-old came closest to the breakthrough on 40 minutes when Lyndon Dykes’ cushioned header found Gary Harkins who perfectly set up Dobbie for a powerful drive which crashed off the crossbar and bounced to safety.
Despite failing to force victory, home manager Gary Naysmith was happy with a point, saying: “There wasn’t a lot in the game between two evenly matched teams. I thought we edged it in terms of chances and hit the bar. If anyone deserved the three points it was us but overall a draw isn’t a bad result.”
Dobbie’s partnership with Dykes has been extremely profitable for Queens this season and their understanding was evident early on when the master released the apprentice but Scott Fox was quick off his line to thwart the Australian striker.
The pairing almost proved potent again as Dobbie played a sublime reverse pass into Dykes on 34 minutes but Fox was again alert to the danger and smothered the ball.
County were anonymous as an attacking threat throughout the first half but they thought they had taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Declan McManus breached the Queens defence but the linesman’s flag was raised well before his scuffed effort trundled over the line.
The visitors produced a better performance after the break and Michael Gardyne, playing in an unfamiliar left wing-back role, headed a Josh Mullin cross on to the roof of the net on the hour mark.
Queens have improved drastically at the back this season and they comfortably recorded that third clean sheet in a row in the league while County headed home having been displaced at the top of the table by rivals Inverness.
County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell admitted: “We certainly didn’t deserve to win the game and although we nullified a very good attacking side, I don’t think we ever had a sniff at goal.
“We expect more from the group in terms of creating chances. It wasn’t much of a spectacle in all truth but it’s a difficult place to come and we’ve left with a point so we will take that. We never reached the standards we’ve set; it was a lethargic performance.”