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Dundee suffered a disappointing defeat against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park this afternoon.
The Dark Blues produced a below-par performance, and they could have no complaints about the result.
Dundee boss Paul Hartley made just one enforced change from the team that beat Inverness at Dens last week with Julen Etxabeguren coming into the back three to replace Kevin Gomis who had returned to France to be by his wife’s side as she gave birth.
The opening stages of the game made for grim viewing with both sides struggling for any fluency and chances notable by their absence.
However, Killie took the lead out of the blue in the 22nd minute when the ball broke fortuitously to Rory McKenzie who shot into the net off the post past Dundee keeper Scott Bain from 14 yards.
The Dark Blues rarely threatened as an attacking force with dangerman Craig Wighton starved of ammunition but they finally tested home keeper Jamie MacDonald in the 30th minute.
Marcus Haber won a header and knocked the ball into the path of sub Mark Williams, who had come on for James Vincent five minutes earlier, with MacDonald pulling off a fantastic diving save low to his right from the midfielder’s shot.
Hartley’s men continued to huff and puff to little effect and they went down the tunnel at half-time still one goal in arrears.
Dundee had a big scare just four minutes after the restart when Killie’s Nathan Tyson hit a snap shot which clipped the top of Bain’s bar.
The Dark Blues then had a great opportunity of their own when Kevin Holt flighted a cross in from the left to Haber loitering at the back post but the big Canadian sent his header wide when he should have at least worked MacDonald.
Dundee then threatened again in the 65th minute when Williams cut the ball back to Wighton but his flick flew into the side netting of the Killie goal.
However, it was Kilmarnock who doubled their advantage in the 70th minute when a cutback from the left found Souleymane Coulibaly who fired high past Bain to all but put the game to bed.
Tyson then looked certain to deliver the final knockout blow in the 80th minute when he raced clean through on goal but Bain pulled off a superb save from the striker’s shot.
Bain came to the rescue again when he dived low to his right to keep out another McKenzie shot.
Dundee were denied a consolation goal right at the death when MacDonald made a stop with his feet to keep out a Williams header.