Dundee missed the chance to grab second spot as they were pegged back to draw 1-1 at bottom side Arbroath.
The Dark Blues went level with Dunfermline in the Championship with the point after Charlie Adam’s early penalty was cancelled out by a second half Ricky Little header.
It wasn’t just in points dropped the match proved costly as Jordan McGhee, Danny Mullen and Liam Fontaine all went off injured.
Dundee boss James McPake reverted to the starting XI that beat Hearts on January 2 as Jordan McGhee and Christie Elliott returned. Minor injuries had kept them out of the Scottish Cup clash with Bonnyrigg Rose.
The Lichties, meanwhile, made three changes from the team that drew at Queen of the South with Ricky Little, Michael Ruth and Scott Stewart coming in. That saw Mark Whatley and Jake Davidson drop to the bench while there was no Kris Doolan.
Former Dees Bobby Linn and Gavin Swankie were also substitutes.
The temperature may have been dropping but conditions were perfect for a January night in Arbroath.
And the visitors wasted no time in making themselves at home as they took the lead within seven minutes.
A Jordan Marshall cross into striker Osman Sow bounced up off Lichties skipper Tam O’Brien’s arm and referee Greg Aitken pointed to the spot. Charlie Adam stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards, firing into the top corner.
The night was over early for the returning McGhee as he went off with a shoulder injury after just 15 minutes, Cammy Kerr replacing him in central midfield.
On 24 minutes, the home side threatened but Scott Stewart couldn’t get a toe on a loose ball in the area to beat Jack Hamilton in the Dundee goal.
Five minutes later and it should have been 2-0 as the Dark Blues broke at pace. Adam played Danny Mullen in behind but he saw his finish crash off the crossbar and over.
Arbroath were having plenty of the ball but the visitors were creating the better opportunities.
Five minutes before the break, Dundee suffered another injury as Mullen limped off to be replaced by Jonathan Afolabi.
Into first-half stoppage time and this time the Dark Blues were denied by home goalie Derek Gaston as Osman Sow’s low effort came back out off the keeper’s feet.
Nine minutes after the break Dundee had a third enforced substitution as central defender Liam Fontaine limped off with Jordon Forster on in his place.
Dick Campbell then threw on Linn as the home side went in search of an equaliser and it was his corner that earned it as Little rose highest to head beyond Hamilton on 65 minutes.
The points were there for the taking for either team and next it was Arbroath’s turn to go for the lead as Dale Hilson broke in behind the Dundee defence but saw Hamilton beat out his effort from wide.
And it was the home side looking more likely to grab the all-important third goal with Linn missing a decent opportunity as time ticked away.
The Dark Blues tested the home defence with a succession of free-kicks in the closing stages but the Red Lichties held firm with O’Brien on hand to knock an Adam corner off the line in stoppage time.
It was to be a point apiece as the referee brought an end to a hard-fought Friday night contest.
Arbroath: Gaston, Thomson, Hamilton, Little, O’Brien, Gold (Donnelly 70), Williamson, Craigen (Linn 60), Hilson, Ruth, Stewart (McKenna 66).
Subs not used: Whatley, Swankie, Davidson, Gallacher.
Dundee: Hamilton, Elliott, Fontaine (Forster 56), Ashcroft, Marshall, Byrne, McGhee (Kerr 15), Adam, McGowan, Mullen (Afolabi 39), Sow.
Subs not used: Robertson, Anderson, Cameron, Legzdins.
Referee: Greg Aitken.