Dundee 1 - 1 Queen of the South: Queens bring early end to title race

ROSS County manager Derek Adams watched his team be crowned Division One champions last night without even kicking a ball.

Adams was an interested spectator at Dens Park as Dundee were held by relegation-haunted Queen of the South, meaning his side can now not be caught in the “race” for the title.

It had looked as though County would have to wait 24 hours until their game with Ayr United after a Stephen O’Donnell shot hit team-mate Steven Milne to give Barry Smith’s men a lead.

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But Queens are battling against the drop and got rewarded for their good play when Chris Higgins scored with eight minutes left.

Than handed County the championship – meaning they can relax and party tonight – while also giving Queens a priceless point in their own quest for survival.

Dundee had the first chance of the game when Jamie McCluskey picked out Ryan Conroy in the six-yard box but his header was blocked by Chris Higgins.

Queens keeper Lee Robinson was not so well protected on 20 minutes, as Leighton McIntosh shot from an acute angle but he was able to block.

And from being a spectator, Dundee’s goalie Rab Douglas was quickly involved as a long punt by Queens to Daniel Carmichael took the home defence by surprise. But the veteran is a large obstacle to get around and he saved well.

Goalkeepers were the main players on show at this stage, as Robinson bettered his earlier save by denying Conroy, who curled a free kick towards his near post from 30 yards after McCluskey was scythed down by Alan Reid.

Queens almost took the lead after the break when Sam Parkin set up Scott McLaughlin on the edge of the box but his curling shot went inches wide of the top corner.

And they were left kicking themselves just a minute later when Dundee took the lead in fortunate style.

Queens didn’t sense much danger when O’Donnell picked up the ball 30 yards but their net was breached when his shot deflected off Milne’s back before spinning past the helpless Robinson.

Queens continued to battle and were rewarded with eight minutes left when Higgins got himself on the end of a Carmichael cross to flick a header past Douglas.

Dundee: Douglas, Irvine, Weston, McKeown, Benedictus (Riley 84), McCluskey (Fotheringham 70), McBride, O’Donnell, Conroy, Milne (Hyde 83), McIntosh. Subs: Gibson, Chisholm.

Queen of the South: Robinson, C Reid (McGuffie 35), Higgins, Potter (McKenna 75), A Reid, Johnson, McLaughlin (Smith 62), Simmons, Carmichael, Clark, Parkin. Subs: Atkinson, McKenna, Reilly.

Referee: J Beaton. Attendance: 3,371