Kilmarnock's Simon Ford (right) was stretchered off with a head injury
Peter Houston's first game as Dundee United caretaker manager ended in disappointment as his side were held to a draw at home to Kilmarnock.
United dominated the first half at Tannadice only for Jon Daly - twice - and David Goodwillie to squander chances from close-range.
Sean Dillon also hit the bar and Damian Casalinuovo also missed a chance.
Killie twice saw goals chalked off as they gained a valuable point in their battle against relegation.
The goalless draw meant that United, who started the day fourth in the Scottish Premier League, had failed to score for the third game in a row.
Houston made one change in his first game as caretaker after the departure of Craig Levein to become Scotland coach.
Darren Dods was left out of central defence, being replaced with Mihael Kovacevic, who had been dropped from the side that failed to take the field at Hamilton last weekend after the match was called off 15 minutes before kick-off.
Dundee United's Sean Dillon was also injured in the collision with Ford
Manuel Pascali was given his first outing for more than a month for Kilmarnock, while Gavin Skelton and Ryan O'Leary were recalled following last week's disappointing home defeat by Falkirk.
Danny Invincibile was close to connecting with a wicked cross from Kilmarnock captain Kevin Kyle inside the opening minute before Goodwillie somehow failed to convert an even better ball from Craig Conway at the other end.
Conway's corner was then headed over by an under-pressure Garry Kenneth, who also had another effort from a Paul Dixon free-kick cleared by James Fowler.
Craig Bryson hit an audacious 30-yard volley that flashed wide as Killie went close to breaking the deadlock.
Kilmarnock lost defender Ford, to be replaced with Jamie Hamill, after a sickening clash of heads that also left United's Dillon needing treatment.
That drama aside, the game was proving something of a Boxing Day disappointment, though United were largely on top.
The home side should have scored just past the half-hour when Daly's header from Dixon's corner gave Skelton the chance to clear off the line.
Dillon was then desperately unlucky when his dipping 25-yard drive clattered off the crossbar before a real howler from Daly - the striker failing to stab Jennison Myrie-Williams' first-time lay-off into an empty net.
Killie twice went close to making United pay for those misses, Invincibile failing to control the ball when all alone in the box before Mark Burchill had a goal chalked off for a foul on Nicky Weaver.
United lost their way after the break and Kilmarnock looked the more likely without creating many chances.
Killie had the ball in the net for a second time in the 67th minute, when Kyle nodded home, but the offside flag had already been raised.
The home side finally got a shot on target, but Danny Cadamarteri's angled effort was straight at Mark Brown, who also saved from Casalinuovo soon after.
At the other end, Kyle sent a shot wide on the turn before Killie brought on David Fernandez for Burchill.
Casalinuovo, who scored twice at Rugby Park last month, wasted a glorious chance seven minutes from time when he shot right at Brown from 10 yards.
Then, in stoppage time, the Argentine striker sent in an overhead kick that the goalkeeper turned round the post.
Dundee United caretaker boss Peter Houston: "It was tough game, but I thought we created the better chances in the first half.
"Killie are always a threat with Kevin Kyle up front, and they put big boys in the middle of the park to stop us playing.
"We needed to get the ball out to our wider players a bit quicker.
"But I've no complaints. The boys put in tremendous effort in and perhaps we just need to show a bit more quality."
Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies: "We are disappointed we did not get a goal as Mark Burchill is adamant that the goalkeeper did not have it under control, so we are aggrieved that we did not get a goal.
"Dundee United have a good delivery and are very dangerous at set plays as they have some big targets, but we did fantastically well.
"We showed real spirit and determination to get a result and that's what we need.
"Simon Ford has a real bad one. His eye is closed and he is a big doubt for Wednesday's game."
Live text and stats
Saturday, 26 December 2009
18 Kenneth yellow card
06 Conway (Swanson 67)
09 Daly (Casalinuovo 74)
25 Goodwillie (Cadamarteri 56)
06 Ford (Hamill 25)
11 Invincibile yellow card
12 Skelton yellow card
27 Burchill (Fernandez 79)
Ref: ThomsonAtt: 6,692
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+2:22 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
90:00+0:48 Damian Casalinuovo takes a shot. Save by Mark Brown. Corner from right by-line taken by Paul Dixon.
88:39 Corner taken right-footed by Daniel Swanson from the left by-line, Manuel Pascali makes a clearance.
88:15 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Paul Dixon, clearance made by Kevin Kyle.
88:10 The ball is swung over by Garry Kenneth, James Fowler manages to make a clearance.
87:52 The ball is swung over by Daniel Swanson, clearance made by Manuel Pascali.
87:23 A cross is delivered by Daniel Swanson, clearance made by Frazer Wright.
86:29 Unfair challenge on David Fernandez by Andy Webster results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie Hamill.
83:07 Unfair challenge on Daniele Invincibile by Sean Dillon results in a free kick. Mark Brown restarts play with the free kick.
82:46 The ball is sent over by James Fowler, Garry Kenneth manages to make a clearance.
82:18 Damian Casalinuovo takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save by Mark Brown.
82:08 Jennison Myrie-Williams sends in a cross, clearance by Manuel Pascali.
81:47 Manuel Pascali challenges Prince Buaben unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Garry Kenneth.
81:13 Garry Kenneth takes a shot. Save by Mark Brown.
81:07 A cross is delivered by Garry Kenneth, James Fowler makes a clearance.
79:53 Foul by James Fowler on Daniel Swanson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Paul Dixon.
79:02 Daniele Invincibile is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Paul Dixon takes the free kick.
78:12 Substitution David Fernandez is brought on as a substitute for Mark Burchill.
77:52 Sean Dillon produces a cross.
76:43 Shot by Kevin Kyle from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
75:17 Shot on goal by Daniel Swanson from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
75:09 The ball is delivered by Sean Dillon, Daniele Invincibile manages to make a clearance.
74:44 The ball is crossed by Paul Dixon.
74:15 Danny Cadamarteri takes a shot from 12 yards. Mark Brown makes a save.
73:26 Substitution Jon Daly leaves the field to be replaced by Damian Casalinuovo.
72:12 Craig Bryson sends in a cross, clearance by Garry Kenneth.
70:24 Andy Webster challenges Craig Bryson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mark Brown.
70:15 The ball is swung over by Paul Dixon, clearance by Ryan O'Leary.
69:22 Free kick crossed by Paul Dixon, Ryan O'Leary makes a clearance.
69:22 Booking Daniele Invincibile booked.
69:08 Daniele Invincibile gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Daniel Swanson.
67:57 Unfair challenge on Kevin Kyle by Paul Dixon results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by James Fowler.
66:28 Direct free kick taken by Nicky Weaver.
66:28 Substitution Daniel Swanson on for Craig Conway.
66:28 The assistant referee flags for offside against Kevin Kyle.
66:01 Daniele Invincibile takes a shot from 18 yards. Blocked by Garry Kenneth.
65:29 Craig Conway crosses the ball, clearance by Ryan O'Leary.
65:08 The ball is delivered by Michael Kovacevic, clearance made by James Fowler.
64:28 Prince Buaben has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
62:15 Prince Buaben fouled by Craig Bryson, the ref awards a free kick. Nicky Weaver takes the free kick.
61:40 Danny Cadamarteri concedes a free kick for a foul on Gavin Skelton. Jamie Hamill takes the free kick.
60:09 Prince Buaben fouled by Daniele Invincibile, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Sean Dillon.
59:48 A cross is delivered by Jamie Hamill, save made by Nicky Weaver.
58:57 Booking Booking for Gavin Skelton for unsporting behaviour.
58:40 Booking Garry Kenneth receives a caution.
57:18 Prince Buaben delivers the ball.
56:21 Long range effort by Jamie Hamill goes wide right of the net.
55:04 Substitution David Goodwillie leaves the field to be replaced by Danny Cadamarteri.
52:06 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Bryson by Sean Dillon. Jamie Hamill produces a cross, Headed effort on
goal by Manuel Pascali from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
50:30 The assistant referee signals for offside against Gavin Skelton. Nicky Weaver takes the direct free kick.
49:45 Craig Conway produces a cross, Headed effort from inside the area by Jon Daly misses to the left of the goal.
48:53 The ball is crossed by Jennison Myrie-Williams.
48:11 Daniele Invincibile gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Paul Dixon. Nicky Weaver restarts play with the free
46:26 The referee gives a free kick against David Goodwillie for handball. Mark Brown takes the free kick.
45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
45:00+3:33 The referee calls an end to the first half.
45:00+3:04 Kevin Kyle challenges Andy Webster unfairly and gives away a free kick. Andy Webster takes the free kick.
44:35 Unfair challenge on Nicky Weaver by Mark Burchill results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Nicky Weaver.
44:10 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ryan O'Leary by David Goodwillie. Mark Brown restarts play with the free kick.
43:49 Centre by Manuel Pascali.
41:27 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Paul Dixon, clearance by Manuel Pascali.
41:09 The ball is swung over by Paul Dixon, Jamie Hamill makes a clearance.
39:45 Craig Conway takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Craig Bryson.
38:47 Craig Conway takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Craig Bryson.
37:57 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Conway from the left by-line, Mark Brown makes a save.
37:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jennison Myrie-Williams by Gavin Skelton. Michael Kovacevic restarts play with
the free kick.
36:26 Sean Dillon takes a shot.
34:18 Corner from the right by-line taken by Gavin Skelton, clearance by Andy Webster.
32:35 Effort on goal by Jennison Myrie-Williams from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
30:25 A cross is delivered by Jennison Myrie-Williams, blocked by Jamie Hamill. Corner from the left by-line taken by Paul Dixon,
Jon Daly takes a shot. Gavin Skelton manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by Craig Conway, save by Mark Brown.
30:04 The ball is swung over by Michael Kovacevic, Manuel Pascali manages to make a clearance.
28:31 Corner taken right-footed by Craig Conway from the left by-line, save by Mark Brown.
24:41 Substitution Simon Ford goes off and Jamie Hamill comes on.
22:46 Simon Ford takes a shot. Save made by Nicky Weaver.
22:01 Paul Dixon challenges Daniele Invincibile unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gavin Skelton restarts play with the free kick.
21:07 Foul by Mark Burchill on Andy Webster, free kick awarded. Nicky Weaver restarts play with the free kick.
20:11 A cross is delivered by Michael Kovacevic.
19:22 Craig Bryson produces a right-footed shot from long distance which goes wide right of the goal.
18:34 Corner from the right by-line taken by Craig Bryson, clearance made by Garry Kenneth.
18:18 The ball is swung over by Daniele Invincibile, blocked by Paul Dixon.
17:05 Andy Webster fouled by Kevin Kyle, the ref awards a free kick. Andy Webster restarts play with the free kick.
15:38 Foul by Ryan O'Leary on Jennison Myrie-Williams, free kick awarded. Paul Dixon crosses the ball, Garry Kenneth takes a shot.
Ryan O'Leary makes a clearance.
13:53 Corner taken by Craig Conway from the left by-line, Garry Kenneth has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.
13:08 Corner taken right-footed by Paul Dixon from the right by-line, clearance by Kevin Kyle.
12:55 The ball is delivered by Jennison Myrie-Williams, blocked by Ryan O'Leary.
11:20 Corner taken by Paul Dixon, Mark Brown makes a save.
10:50 Foul by Gavin Skelton on Andy Webster, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Andy Webster.
9:24 The ball is swung over by Craig Conway.
7:41 Corner taken by Craig Bryson, Andy Webster manages to make a clearance.
7:23 James Fowler sends in a cross, blocked by Paul Dixon.
5:40 Kevin Kyle is ruled offside. Garry Kenneth restarts play with the free kick.
5:18 Craig Conway delivers the ball, Mark Brown makes a save.
4:27 The ball is sent over by Daniele Invincibile.
2:06 James Fowler gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Conway. Prince Buaben restarts play with the free kick.
1:08 Centre by Kevin Kyle, Paul Dixon makes a clearance.
0:00 The game kicks-off.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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