sport

Dundee draw delights Hartley

Dundee manager Paul Hartley revealed his players were disappointed not to secure all three points on their return to the Scottish Premiership.

The Taysiders drew 1-1 with Kilmarnock at Dens Park after a 16th minute Gary Harkins' penalty was cancelled out eight minutes later by Craig Slater's free-kick.

Hartley was delighted with the performance of his players though and backed his team to improve over the course of the season.

"They're really disappointed in there not to have won the game," he said.

"That says a lot for how they played and what they put into the game, including the chances they created.

"But we've got to keep working and if we play like the way we did in the second half, then I'm sure the goals will come. That's the way we want to play throughout the season and I think we'll get better as time goes on.

"We started the game well and then hit a bit of a lull for a spell in the second half. I thought how we played and how we moved the ball in the second half was encouraging.

"We have to keep playing in the same manner and retain the same belief and I'm sure the points will come."

Kilmarnock boss Allan Johnston felt Harkins made the most of the challenge which led to the spot-kick, although he admitted his side were lucky to leave with a point.

"There wasn't much contact at all and obviously he went down very easily," Johnston said of the penalty award.

"I suppose you can't dive into players like that when you know who you're playing against. I thought we played well in the first half when our passing was good.

"We caused them a lot of problems but let things slip after the break.

"To be fair to the boys, they defended as though their lives depended on it in the second half and that's different from last season when they would have lost a goal.

"Overall, I would have to say that it feels like a point gained.

"This is a hard place to come to and Dundee have signed some quality in the summer but we can take plenty positives from it which we can hopefully build on for the rest of the season."