Dundee marked their return to Scottish top flight football by sharing the spoils with Kilmarnock.

Former Rugby Park playmaker Gary Harkins won, then converted, a penalty to put Dundee ahead.

It was a lead that would last less than 10 minutes thanks to a superb Craig Slater free-kick.

Dundee peppered the Killie goal in the second half but were denied what would have been a deserved victory by the excellent goalkeeping of Craig Samson.

The Scottish Championship

The Championship flag was unfurled before kick-off

Far from their last brutal foray in the top league, when a reluctant Dundee replaced the doomed Rangers at the 11th hour, manager Paul Hartley completed his transfer business early in the summer.

The Dees unfurled the Championship flag before kick-off, with retired former captain Gavin Rae helping do the honours after guiding the team last season.

Hartley does not think finishing in the top six is beyond Dundee, with a pre-season win over Manchester City helping to fuel such belief.

And the Dens Park side began in positive fashion, with forward Paul McGowan having a couple of attempts before crossing for Greg Stewart to head wide.

Interview - Dundee boss Paul Hartley

Kilmarnock, who signed left-back Chris Chantler before the match, then threatened themselves when a Josh Magennis header was tipped past a post brilliantly by Kyle Letheren, who spent three years at Rugby Park.

But it was the Premiership new boys who struck first. Harkins was barged in the box by Mark Connolly and referee Steven MacLean pointed straight to the spot. Harkins took the kick himself and dispatched it low to Samson's left.

Kilmarnock tried to respond and the lively Tope Obadeyi smashed a shot off the underside of the bar when he really should have scored.

The match was being played at a frenetic pace, though, and the Ayrshire men levelled matters.

Craig Slater scores for Dundee against Kilmarnock

Slater's set piece strike secured a point for Kilmarnock

James McPake's rash challenge brought down Obadeyi on the edge of the box and Slater curled the resultant free-kick into the net beautifully, though Letheren's positioning was suspect.

The pace dropped around the half-hour, with McPake leaving the field for almost five minutes after a head knock.

Dundee were almost back in front 15 seconds into the second half when a Harkins run and shot ending with a Samson save.

Twice, McGowan - who looks a shrewd signing and was a constant menace - did similar but with the same outcome.

Interview - Kilmarnock boss Allan Johnston

A long punt caused Letheren many more problems than it should have, the goalkeeper missing the ball completely, but Obadeyi did likewise with the goal and the danger passed.

The hosts were the dominant force for much of the third quarter, with Kilmarnock limited to counter attacking.

The introduction of Alexei Eremenko sparked some life into the visitors as they tried to get out of their own half.

But Samson was the busier keeper, saving well from Luka Tankulic, Harkins and McGowan.

He also saw a free-kick from substitute Peter MacDonald smash off his crossbar as Kilmarnock escaped with a point.

Dundee forward Peter MacDonald

MacDonald almost won it for Dundee at the end

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Dundee

  • 01 Letheren
  • 19 McGinn
  • 04 Konrad
  • 03 Dyer
  • 05 McPake
  • 10 Thomson
  • 29 Harkins
  • 18 McGowan
  • 11 Ferry (McAlister - 75' )
  • 21 Tankulic (Wighton - 88' )
  • 15 Stewart (MacDonald - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Irvine
  • 06 Davidson
  • 08 McBride
  • 09 MacDonald
  • 20 McAlister
  • 27 Adam
  • 33 Wighton

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 23 Chantler
  • 02 Barbour Booked
  • 18 Ashcroft
  • 06 Connolly
  • 29 Pascali Booked
  • 16 Obadeyi
  • 19 Slater Booked (Clingan - 81' )
  • 10 Johnston (Eremenko - 66' )
  • 07 McKenzie
  • 28 Magennis

Substitutes

  • 08 Clingan
  • 11 Cairney
  • 13 Brennan
  • 20 Eremenko
  • 26 O'Hara
  • 30 Kiltie
  • 33 Muirhead
Ref: Steven McLean
Att: 7,588

Match Stats

Shots

14 10

On target

7 3

Corners

7 4

Fouls

5 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Dundee 1, Kilmarnock 1.

90:00 +4:11 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Dundee 1, Kilmarnock 1.

90:00 +3:44

Peter MacDonald (Dundee) hits the bar with a right footed shot from very close range.

90:00 +3:22 Booking

Booking Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +2:49

Peter MacDonald (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +2:49

Foul by Mark Connolly (Kilmarnock).

90:00 +2:09

Attempt missed. Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

89:33

Attempt missed. Gary Harkins (Dundee) right footed shot from very close range is too high.

88:44

Kevin Thomson (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:44

Foul by Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock).

87:40

Attempt missed. Gary Harkins (Dundee) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

87:14 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee. Craig Wighton replaces Luka Tankulic.

87:00

Jim McAlister (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86:56

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

86:20

Attempt saved. Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

85:26

Attempt missed. Jim McAlister (Dundee) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

84:44 Booking

Booking Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

84:25

Attempt saved. Gary Harkins (Dundee) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

82:01

Attempt saved. Luka Tankulic (Dundee) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

80:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Sammy Clingan replaces Craig Slater.

76:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee. Peter MacDonald replaces Greg Stewart.

76:05 Booking

Booking Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

76:00

Jim McAlister (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:50

Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

74:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee. Jim McAlister replaces Simon Ferry.

72:37

Attempt missed. Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

70:20

Attempt saved. Gary Harkins (Dundee) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

66:09

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by James McPake.

65:08 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Alexei Eremenko replaces Chris Johnston.

63:45

Paul McGinn (Dundee) wins a free kick on the right wing.

63:45

Foul by Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock).

61:00

Tope Obadeyi (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

60:57

Foul by Kevin Thomson (Dundee).

60:13

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

58:53

Attempt saved. Paul McGowan (Dundee) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

56:32

Foul by Luka Tankulic (Dundee).

56:32

Chris Chantler (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

55:46

Attempt missed. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

54:22

Attempt missed. Luka Tankulic (Dundee) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

53:39

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Craig Samson.

53:21

Attempt saved. Paul McGowan (Dundee) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

52:42

Simon Ferry (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

52:42

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

50:10

Attempt missed. Tope Obadeyi (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.

47:39

Foul by Willie Dyer (Dundee).

47:39

Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:43

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Craig Samson.

45:22

Attempt saved. Gary Harkins (Dundee) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

45:00

Second Half begins Dundee 1, Kilmarnock 1.

45:00 +2:41 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Dundee 1, Kilmarnock 1.

45:00 +0:54

Paul McGowan (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +0:54

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

42:29

Attempt missed. Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

37:27

Attempt missed. Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

35:05

James McPake (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

35:05

Foul by Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock).

34:38

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Willie Dyer.

33:08

Foul by Luka Tankulic (Dundee).

33:08

Mark Connolly (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:13

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Mark Connolly.

30:03

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Ross Barbour.

23:51

Penalty Dundee. Gary Harkins draws a foul in the penalty area.

23:51

Penalty conceded by Mark Connolly (Kilmarnock) after a foul in the penalty area.

23:49 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Dundee 1, Kilmarnock 1. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

16:42 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Dundee 1, Kilmarnock 0. Gary Harkins (Dundee) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

16:00

Penalty Dundee. Gary Harkins draws a foul in the penalty area.

15:59

Penalty conceded by Mark Connolly (Kilmarnock) after a foul in the penalty area.

14:46

Greg Stewart (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:46

Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

13:05

James McPake (Dundee) wins a free kick on the left wing.

13:05

Foul by Tope Obadeyi (Kilmarnock).

11:15

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Simon Ferry.

10:43

Foul by Kevin Thomson (Dundee).

10:43

Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

9:59

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Mark Connolly.

8:10

James McPake (Dundee) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

8:10

Foul by Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock).

7:49

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Kyle Letheren.

7:28

Attempt saved. Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

5:45

Attempt blocked. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

4:18

Attempt missed. Greg Stewart (Dundee) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

3:19

Attempt missed. Paul McGowan (Dundee) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

2:53

Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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