Kilmarnock and the Scottish Premier League's new boys Dundee shared the points in a below-par season opener at Rugby Park.

Dundee keeper Rab Douglas was on terrific form all afternoon, producing some fine saves to keep out the hosts.

Iain Davidson could have put the Dee ahead in the first half, but sent his close-range shot over the bar.

Matthew Kennedy looked impressive down the left wing for Killie, but failed to make the most of a clutch of chances.

Dundee were without Davide Grassi who had been waiting on international clearance and failed to make the squad, but Jim McAlister and Mark Stewart made their debuts along with Killie's Jeroen Tesselaar.

Dundee formally took the place of Rangers in the top flight when the Ibrox side's SPL share was transferred to the Tayside club on Friday.

With just five minutes played, Kennedy sent the ball across the face of the Dundee goal and Gary Harkins blasted in a shot, but Rab Douglas parried it wide.

Dundee's John Baird dispossessed Tesselaar on the edge of the Kilmarnock penalty area and went one-on-one with keeper Cammy Bell but contrived to fire his close-range shot wide and over the crossbar.

After 20 minutes, Harkins broke free on the right and powered into the Dundee box before firing for goal, but Douglas was equal to the task.

As the half-hour mark passed, McAlister should have done better with an effort from close range, Bell smothering the chance.

With half-time looming, Kennedy delivered a neat ball back across the face of goal but James Dayton's shot was blocked by Douglas.

Following a slow start to the second half, there was a tense moment for Killie when Davidson put Bell under pressure with a close-range shot and the hosts struggled to contain the danger.

Moments later, Kennedy had Douglas at full stretch to tip a cross over the bar.

Kilmarnock's Ryan O'Leary cued up a long-range effort from the edge of the Dundee penalty area that inched wide of the markl.

Some good build-up play from Killie in the final 10 minutes failed to produce a shot on target as Dundee continued to demonstrate spirited defending.

In the last three minutes of normal time Stewart should have done better with a shot from inside the Killie penalty area that sailed over the bar.

And a shot by Harkins in added time was parried wide by as Dundee headed home with their first SPL point in seven years.

Kilmarnock assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl:

"It's going to take a bit of time, but our lads will get better - we know that.

"Fair play to Dundee though, they deserved a point.

"The players know the game, and they'll be disappointed. They can do better, and in future, they're going to have to prove a point and win these home games.

"It's just a shame we didn't get a win for the home fans."

Dundee manager Barry Smith:

"I think the boys worked their socks off and I think that's what got us the point in the end up.

"They limited Kilmarnock's chances to very few, although they had a lot of possession.

"I think they held their own.

"you come to expect performances like that from Rab Douglas. He's always there with one great save. He's done that throughout his whole career.

"Everyone in the team did well, but sometimes you have to rely on your keeper to ensure you go away with a point."

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