Dundee United’s eighth win on the spin extended their lead at the top of the Championship to 13 points after a narrow win at Arbroath.
Sam Stanton’s strike in the opening minutes was enough for the Tangerines at a freezing Gayfield with Nicky Clark missing a second-half penalty.
Both sides were in action after lengthy way trips midweek but there were few changes to the sides as Robbie Neilson stuck with the XI that defeated Morton while Dick Campbell made one change for the Lichties. Paul McMullan and Cammy Smith returned to the bench for the Tangerines.
The Championship leaders put themselves in front with the first effort of the game after the Lichties failed to deal with a Clark free-kick into the area. The ball dropped to Stanton 20 yards out and his effort found the far corner via a deflection.
On 10 minutes, a curling Bobby Linn free-kick had to be tipped over by Benjamin Siegrist before a last-ditch Paul Watson block stopped Scott Stewart’s rampaging run from midfield in the area as the home side looked for a leveller.
And they should have had it before the half-hour mark as another Linn free-kick caused problems with Siegrist only able to push it out. The on-rushing Colin Hamilton missed his kick on the rebound, however.
With the wind at their backs in the second period, United went looking for the killer second goal.
Within 10 minutes of the restart they had the chance for just that as Clark burst through on goal and was brought down in the area by Derek Gaston.
The Arbroath goalie picked himself up to push out Clark’s spot-kick and keep the score at 1-0, though.
Seconds after coming on Paul McMullan found himself in space on the byline and saw his centre bounce back off the post while Linn was continuing to cause problems up the other end.
On 68 minutes, his corner was met by a firm header from Hamilton but Siegrist again was equal to it.
With 10 minutes to go, Luke Donnelly looked certain to score but Linn’s low cross somehow evaded the big striker.
The home side pushed for an equaliser but United held firm to extend their lead at the top of the table to 13 points.
Arbroath: Gaston, Whatley (Murphy 82), Hamilton, Little, O’Brien, Stewart, Kader (Swankie 82), Donnelly, McKenna, Virtanen, Linn (Spence 82).
Subs not used: Gold, Doris, Thomson, Jamieson.
Dundee Utd: Siegrist, L Smith, Reynolds, Watson, Robson, Butcher, Stanton (McMullan 65), Harkes, Clark (Connolly 88), Appere, Shankland.
Subs not used: Deniz, Sporle, C Smith, Brown, King.