Billy McKay headed in a late Inverness equaliser to deny Dundee a precious victory in their fight for Scottish Premier League survival.

John Baird cracked a 20-yard strike beyond Ryan Esson to put Dundee ahead after 13 minutes.

Caley Thistle's Andrew Shinnie hit the crossbar before another Baird shot was well kept out by Esson.

The visitors piled on the pressure and, with seven minutes remaining, McKay popped up at the back post to level.

Interim boss John Brown has brought his ethos to bear quickly upon Dundee and it showed as they almost recorded back-to-back wins in the SPL for the first time this season.

The fact that they fell short was not through lack of effort or determination but the pressure that Caley Thistle brought upon them finally proved too much for the Dark Blues.

On a soft pitch that had survived an early inspection due to heavy rain, some players struggled to keep their feet with the goal areas badly pockmarked after the opening 10 minutes.

Inverness were first to threaten as Andrew Shinnie and Graham Doran cleverly interchanged on the right, the cross a little high for McKay who made contact but could not direct his header on target.

Baird, who was prolific in the First Division for Raith Rovers last season has not had too much to smile about in the SPL so far but coming into the game with two goals in his last three outings he took the first chance that came his way.

A Ryan Conroy pass was controlled on the edge of the box and dispatched in style with a low shot.

Dundee's lead was almost extended when Nicky Riley sent a volley over from 18 yards after a clearing header from Owen Tudur-Jones looped invitingly to him.

Caley Thistle then countered as Garry Warren saw his header taken off the line by the head of Gary Irvine, while Andrew Shinnie turned swiftly and shot only to see his shot canon back off the crossbar.

With 30 minutes gone, visiting manager Terry Butcher made his displeasure known; thumping a hole in the plexi-glass dug-out as a move from his men petered out in indecision.

Only an alert block from Esson prevented Baird from stretching Dundee's lead as the home side who had been soaking up pressure broke efficiently to show their danger on the counter-attack.

Early in the second half, Iain Davidson - moving away from goal - met a Conroy corner and his back header, a clever flick, was turned over the bar by Esson.

Inverness continued ti enjoy the bulk of possession but they found space at a premium as Dundee worked so hard to deny them any chance to trouble Rab Douglas.

Tudur-Jones thought he had found the equaliser after 73 minutes only for the veteran goalkeeper, who was carrying a thigh injury throughout the game, to get down swiftly and turn the shot round the post.

Brown could not fault his side's endeavours but he will be disappointed that Dundee failed to hold on as Andrew Shinnie's cross deep from the left was met by McKay and the striker nodded in his 23rd goal of the season.

With Hearts and St Mirren 14 points better off, Dundee face an almighty task if they are to avoid the drop but there is a glimmer of hope around Dens Park; for Caley Thistle it was a frustrating afternoon that could have been worse.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (3)

Dundee

  • 01 Douglas
  • 02 Irvine
  • 21 Grassi
  • 25 Toshney
  • 26 Easton Booked
  • 06 Davidson Booked
  • 07 Riley
  • 11 Conroy
  • 29 Harkins (Finnigan - 85' )
  • 10 Baird
  • 20 McAlister

Substitutes

  • 36 Baird
  • 17 Benedictus
  • 18 Gallagher
  • 08 McBride
  • 09 Finnigan
  • 24 Nish
  • 27 Stewart

Inverness CT

  • 01 Esson
  • 02 Raven
  • 03 Shinnie Booked
  • 05 Warren
  • 14 Meekings
  • 28 Taylor (Ross - 58' )
  • 04 Tudur-Jones
  • 08 Draper
  • 10 Shinnie
  • 07 McKay
  • 17 Doran (Foran - 72' Booked )

Substitutes

  • 12 Reguero
  • 27 Devine
  • 11 Ross
  • 21 Polworth
  • 26 Gibbons
  • 09 Foran
  • 18 Sutherland
Ref: Craig Thomson
Att: 4,114

Match Stats

Shots

6 12

On target

3 5

Corners

6 7

Fouls

12 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:20 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

88:39

Foul by Owain Tudur Jones on Iain Davidson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Davide Grassi.

87:57

Inswinging corner taken by Graeme Shinnie from the right by-line, Ryan Conroy makes a clearance.

87:13

The referee blows for offside against Richie Foran. Free kick taken by Davide Grassi.

86:28

Carl Finnigan challenges Josh Meekings unfairly and gives away a free kick. Owain Tudur Jones takes the indirect free kick.

84:50

Strike on goal comes in from Ryan Conroy from the free kick.

84:50 Substitution

Substitution Carl Finnigan replaces Gary Harkins.

84:50

Graeme Shinnie gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Conroy.

83:45

Gary Harkins takes the indirect free kick.

83:45 Booking

Booking Richie Foran is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

83:35

Richie Foran challenges James McAlister unfairly and gives away a free kick.

82:38

Assist by Graeme Shinnie.

82:38 Goal scored

Goal! - Billy McKay - Dundee 1 - 1 Inverness Billy McKay scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Dundee 1-1 Inverness CT.

82:30

Centre by Graeme Shinnie,

80:20

Unfair challenge on John Baird by Josh Meekings results in a free kick. Gary Harkins restarts play with the free kick.

79:18

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ross Draper by Gary Harkins. Free kick taken by Josh Meekings.

78:21

Richie Foran takes a shot. Rab Douglas makes a save.

75:56

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lewis Toshney by Richie Foran. Davide Grassi takes the free kick.

73:04

Graeme Shinnie takes a shot. Corner from right by-line taken by Graeme Shinnie.

71:08 Substitution

Substitution (Inverness CT) makes a substitution, with Richie Foran coming on for Aaron Doran.

69:25

Foul by Ross Draper on Nicky Riley, free kick awarded. Iain Davidson restarts play with the free kick.

65:30

Ryan Conroy restarts play with the free kick, Effort from a long way out by Nick Ross goes wide right of the goal.

65:30 Booking

Booking Booking for Graeme Shinnie.

65:27

Foul by Graeme Shinnie on Nicky Riley, free kick awarded.

61:54

Foul by James McAlister on Nick Ross, free kick awarded. Graeme Shinnie delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, Lewis Toshney manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Graeme Shinnie, Davide Grassi makes a clearance.

60:01

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Warren by Gary Harkins. David Raven takes the indirect free kick.

59:30

Nick Ross fouled by Gary Harkins, the ref awards a free kick. Owain Tudur Jones takes the indirect free kick.

58:34

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Graeme Shinnie, clearance by Davide Grassi.

57:20 Substitution

Substitution Charlie Taylor leaves the field to be replaced by Nick Ross.

56:06

Unfair challenge on Gary Harkins by Owain Tudur Jones results in a free kick. Davide Grassi takes the free kick.

54:44

The ball is sent over by Owain Tudur Jones.

50:43

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Ryan Conroy from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Owain Tudur Jones.

50:11

Ryan Conroy takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post.

48:59

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ryan Conroy, save made by Ryan Esson.

47:41

Ryan Conroy takes a shot. Gary Warren gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ryan Conroy, Gary Harkins has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

46:52

Charlie Taylor gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nicky Riley. Gary Irvine restarts play with the free kick.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +0:09 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

43:02

Billy McKay takes a shot. Blocked by Davide Grassi.

41:33

The referee blows for offside. Josh Meekings restarts play with the free kick.

38:56

Andrew Shinnie concedes a free kick for a foul on James McAlister. Ryan Conroy restarts play with the free kick.

37:48

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Shinnie by James McAlister. Free kick taken by Josh Meekings.

37:36

Josh Meekings gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Baird. Iain Davidson takes the free kick.

36:58

Andrew Shinnie produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.

36:17

The referee penalises James McAlister for handball. Free kick taken by Graeme Shinnie.

35:53 Booking

Booking Booking for Iain Davidson.

35:45

Foul by Iain Davidson on Owain Tudur Jones, free kick awarded. Owain Tudur Jones takes the free kick.

32:00

A cross is delivered by Nicky Riley, John Baird takes a shot. Save made by Ryan Esson.

27:11

Andrew Shinnie takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Aaron Doran has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.

24:33

Owain Tudur Jones has an effort direct from the free kick.

24:33 Booking

Booking Brian Easton is given a yellow card.

23:33

Corner taken left-footed by Ryan Conroy from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Gary Warren. Brian Easton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aaron Doran.

22:35

The referee blows for offside against John Baird. Ryan Esson takes the free kick.

21:22

Foul by John Baird on Gary Warren, free kick awarded. David Raven takes the free kick.

19:13

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Graeme Shinnie, Gary Warren takes a shot. Corner taken by Aaron Doran from the left by-line. Clearance by Lewis Toshney.

18:22

David Raven challenges Iain Davidson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Davide Grassi.

17:38

Gary Harkins fouled by Gary Warren, the ref awards a free kick. Davide Grassi takes the indirect free kick.

15:34

Ryan Conroy delivers the ball, free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Harkins on Gary Warren. Free kick taken by Ross Draper.

14:58

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Billy McKay by Davide Grassi. David Raven takes the free kick.

14:02

Outswinging corner taken by Ryan Conroy, clearance by Gary Warren. Nicky Riley produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

13:35

Graeme Shinnie takes a shot. Rab Douglas gets a block in.

12:18

Assist on the goal came from Ryan Conroy.

12:18 Goal scored

Goal! - John Baird - Dundee 1 - 0 Inverness John Baird finds the net with a goal from just outside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Dundee 1-0 Inverness CT.

9:59

Aaron Doran produces a cross, Header by Billy McKay from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.

8:58

The referee blows for offside against John Baird. Gary Warren takes the free kick.

5:14

Corner taken by Graeme Shinnie from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Iain Davidson.

3:12

The ball is delivered by Charlie Taylor.

0:29

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andrew Shinnie by Iain Davidson. Free kick taken by Charlie Taylor.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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