Livingston earned their first point of the season in a hard-fought goalless draw at Dens Park.
Ben Williamson replaced Odin Bailey in the only change from the meeting with Hibernian before the international break, while there were familiar faces in the Dundee side with former players Shaun Byrne and Leigh Griffiths given starts.
For a 0-0 draw, the game was full of life with Dundee edging early proceedings. Two minutes in, Jordan McGhee did well down the right-hand side before looking to cut back from the byline, but Max Stryjek was there to smother the cross.
The hosts will feel that they should’ve taken the lead on eight minutes, but Stryjek produced a remarkable save to deny Max Anderson after a lovely move from Dundee.
McGhee again found himself in a dangerous position ten minutes later, but he opted to shoot this time. A counter-attack saw the ball fall fortuitously for the skipper, but from the edge of the box he fired way over the target.
Livingston hadn’t really got a foothold in the match, and their afternoon worsened on 26 minutes when Craig Sibbald, who was making his 100th appearance for The Lions, was forced off after a crunching challenge from Shaun Byrne. Odin Bailey was his replacement.
The stoppage in play benefited Livingston a little bit though, and they had their first effort at goal a few moments later. Bruce Anderson made a yard for himself, but his strike stung the palms of Adam Legzdins who dealt with it comfortably. Andrew Shinnie also had a half chance as he wandered into the box from the right wing. The midfielder tried to catch Legzdins out at his near post, faking a cut back and firing at goal, but the Dundee stopper was alert and made a good save.
Dundee then had two golden opportunities towards the end of the half. Jordan Marshall’s teasing delivery looked like it would be met by Griffiths who had got away from his marker, but the striker completely fluffed his lines as he didn’t connect with the header, missing the ball completely from close range.
Two minutes later, Ryan Sweeney did connect with a header but he watched it be tipped on to the bar by Max Stryjek who was having a terrific performance in the Livingston goal. Sweeney’s looping effort at the back post was destined for goal but the agility and reflexes of the Polish goalkeeper somehow kept it out.
Moments before the break, Jason Holt and Ben Williamson both had strikes from the edge of the box for the visitors but neither troubled Legzdins as the teams went in level at the break.
Half Time: Dundee 0-0 Livingston
The second half wasn’t as action packed as the first, with a few speculative efforts from Griffiths and Jakubiak early on, but on 58 minutes Dundee had another huge chance to take the lead.
Inside the box, Leigh Griffiths looked to work the ball onto his stronger left foot. The on-loan Celtic man got his shot away through a number of bodies and it looked destined for goal, until Stryjek made a superb recovery save to claw off the line.
Luke McCowan will feel he should’ve done better moments later after he met a Griffiths cross with his head from close range, but the effort was straight at Stryjek.
Dundee were scratching their heads as to how they weren’t in front, as The Lions threatened to find an opener themselves.
Shinnie was played through, but some superb defending from Lee Ashcroft denied the midfielder a strike at goal. Then, almost identically, Alan Forrest chased down a through ball as he looked to use his pace to get beyond Sweeney. The winger looked as if he was in, but the Dundee man answered back with a great piece of defending, making a terrific recovery tackle to clear the danger.
Despite several chances throughout, it would finish goalless at Dens Park as Livi earned their first point of the season.
Match Report: Calum Brown
Dundee: Legzdins, Kerr, Marshall, Sweeney, McGhee, Jakubiak (Cummings 65), Byrne, Ashcroft ▊, McCowan (McDaid 64), Anderson (McGowan 82), Griffiths
Subs not used: Lawlor, Fontaine, Panter, Sheridan
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Obileye, Fitzwater, Penrice, Holt ▊, Williamson ▊ (Jacobs 73), Sibbald (Bailey ▊ 27), Shinnie, Forrest ▊, Anderson (Hamilton 58)
Subs not used: Barden, Longridge, Lewis, Montaño
Referee: Alan Muir