More often than not, visiting mangers are content with a point on their travels. Jim McIntyre, the Ross County boss, though, disproved that theory following this Dens Park stalemate.
Liam Boyce’s disallowed header in 48 minutes was just one indication of their overall dominance which wasn’t capitalised on in the absence of a killer touch in front of goal.
Despite stretching their unbeaten run to five games, there was a clear sense of frustration from the Highlanders who could only watch as Scott Bain, the Dundee keeper, defied them with a quite breathtaking save from Alex Schalk’s header towards the end of this one-sided encounter.
“I’m not happy with a point with what we put into the game,” reflected McIntyre afterwards.
“I felt what we created much more than Dundee but we just didn’t have a cutting edge about us in the final third.”
Dundee had enjoyed a comfortable 3-1 opening-day victory away to County in early August, but this was never going to be quite so straightforward.
Dens manager Paul Hartley handed Jesse Curran, their 20-year-old Australian, his first start in midfield, while County remained unchanged from their 2-2 draw with Hearts the previous weekend.
Indeed, the Dingwall outfit forged their first clear opportunity to take lead as early as the third minute.
Christopher Routis’ corner picked out Andrew Davies, the captain, who was all alone but his shot from 12 yards went straight into the arms of Bain then midway through the first-half, Jay McEveley fed Michael Gardyne inside the box, but his effort was gathered comfortably by Bain.
County began the second-half in positive fashion and had the ball in the net within three minutes of the restart.
Gardyne’s cross was met by Boyce whose header beat Bain, but the Staggies striker was penalised by Euan Anderson, the referee, for a push on Dundee captain Darren O’Dea.
Then, in 74 minutes, County had a glorious chance to make the breakthrough.
Substitute Schalk set up Boyce who then put Routis right through, but the French midfielder dragged his left-foot shot wide.
A minute later, Dundee’s Marcus Haber found himself clean through from Kévin Gomis’ punt forward but the Canadian striker lashed wide of the target from ten yards, before Schalk’s header from substitute Johnathan Frank’s cross was turned round the post by Bain.
“It was quite a frantic game at times,” insisted Hartley. “You expect Marcus to hit the target but that happens so we’re not going to be too critical.”