Matchzone: Dundee (A)

A 93rd minute equaliser cruelly denied Kilmarnock an away victory at the Kilmac Stadium on Saturday 23rd September 2023.

Danny Armstrong’s double was cancelled out in stoppage time when Zak Rudden netted for the hosts, who played the second half with 10 men following Josh Mulligan’s straight red card.

Derek McInnes insisted that there would be “no surprises” from either manager as he prepared to occupy an opposing dugout to his former assistant, Tony Docherty, following a 14-year partnership. There was certainly no surprises in the visitors’ teamline, which displayed the same starting eleven and bench named for the previous week’s draw with Hibernian.

The game gradually grew into life, with both sides seeing half-glimpses of goal in the first 10 minutes.

Stuart Findlay’s header was claimed by the Dundee ‘keeper after a Danny Armstrong throw launched Killie’s first venture into the opposition box. Coming off the opposite touchline, the lively Matty Kennedy sent a snapshot rising high over the bar as the visitors showed early promise.

In front of the Killie support in the Bob Shankly Stand, two superb interceptions from Joe Wright halted dangerous Dundee attacks.

Danny Armstrong carved the best opportunity of the opening stages when he picked out Kyle Vassell with a cutback towards the centre of the penalty box, but the Killie captain could only divert his attempt wide of Trevor Carson’s right-hand post.

It was the hosts who broke the deadlock with quarter of an hour played. Stuart Findlay’s perfectly-timed sliding challenge blocked Amadou Bakayoko’s attempt on target from the left side of the box; delaying the forward’s celebration’s for a matter of moments. The on-loan Forest Green Rovers attacker bundled the ball home at the back post from the resulting corner (1-0).

The away side were awarded a chance to equalise when VAR identified a handball inside the Dundee box. Danny Armstrong stepped up from 12 yards and drew his team level with just under half an hour played (1-1).

Fortunes continued to turn in Killie’s favour five minutes later when the hosts were reduced to 10 men, with VAR again at the centre of attention. David Munro displayed no hesitancy when reaching for his red card following Josh Mulligan’s overly enthusiastic challenge on Danny Armstrong. The referee’s decision was upheld despite a check of the monitor, much to the dismay of the home support.

Matty Kennedy went close to putting his side ahead when he met a cross to the back stick, but his downward header clipped the far post and ensured that the sides returned to the changing rooms level at the break.

Killie created the best of a handful of opportunities which arose in the second period, but it would take until the 81st minute to find a route through the 10 men of Dundee. A superb driven cross from substitute Andy Dallas picked out Danny Armstrong who doubled his tally at the back post (1-2).

Desperate for an equaliser, Dundee packed the box for a stoppage time corner which saw ‘keeper Trevor Carson join the attack. The home side’s gamble paid off when Zak Rudden stabbed the ball home at the back post to snatch a draw (2-2).

There was just enough time for a final moment of controversy on a lively afternoon in Tayside. Eager to reclaim the ball for a Killie throw-in deep inside the Dundee half, Derek McInnes was judged to have encroached the pitch before the ball had left play. The manager was shown a bizarre red card, to the amusement of most inside the Kilmac Stadium.

Result: Dundee 2-2 Kilmarnock

Dundee lineup: Carson, McGhee (Kerrat 77), Shaughnessy, Lamie, Beck, Mulligan, Boateng, McCowan (Cameron 86), Robinson (Rudden 63), Bakayoko, Tiffoney (Robertson 45)

Kilmarnock lineup: Dennis, Mayo, Findlay, Wright, Deas (Davies 45), Armstrong (McKenzie 89), Lyons, Magennis, Kennedy, Watkins (Dallas 36), Vassell.

Post-match reaction

Speaking at full-time, the manager discussed last-minute frustrations and his bizarre late red card. You can listen to the post-match analysis – HERE.