Dundee United secured their Championship play-off place despite missing the chance to go second after a 0-0 draw at bottom side Ayr United.
Despite creating a number of chances at Somerset Park, the Tangerines couldn’t find a way through the Honest Men.
Incoming Lewis Toshney went straight into the centre of midfield, replacing the suspended Willo Flood, alongside youngster Scott Allardice, who kept his place for the third match in a row.
United started brightly but it was Ayr who came closest to opening the scoring early on as Gary Harkins got the better of Toshney in midfield and brought a good low save from keeper Cammy Bell.
After just 17 minutes play came to a standstill as referee Crawford Allan hit the deck with an injury and hobbled off before being replaced by fourth official Grant Irvine five minutes later.
In-form Thomas Mikkelsen created United’s best chance of the opening half-hour after taking advantage of Peter Murphy’s mistake but could only hit keeper Greg Fleming with his well-struck effort.
Then the big Dane had the ball in the net only for the linesman’s flag to go up and rule out his effort. Mark Durnan had beaten the keeper to the ball and Mikkelsen nodded into the empty net but his celebrations were cut short.
Forty minutes in, Tony Andreu got his first glimpse of the Ayr goal, cutting back on his left foot and curling an effort a yard or so wide of the far post.
The Tangerines were in full control heading into the break and right-back Stewart Murdoch was next to test the home keeper with a decent long-range effort as the game entered first-half stoppage time.
Then two minutes later both Mikkelsen and then Simon Murray felt they should have been given penalties as they raced beyond the Ayr defence within seconds of each other only for stand-in ref Irvine to wave play on.
The home side started the second period on top and, on 58 minutes, good play down the right from Nicky Devlin opened up space for a shot which was tipped over by Bell.
Craig McGuffie then had a curler from 25 yards easily dealt with by the United keeper as they had to weather a bit of a storm from Ayr – while the heavens came down around them.
The Tangerines’ top scorer Andreu had been kept quiet throughout the second period but he came alive inside the Ayr half, firing a decent effort which Fleming dealt with at the second attempt.
On 73 minutes, Mikkelsen came within inches of snatching the lead after flicking on Allardice’s looped cross before William Edjenguele headed onto the roof of the net six minutes later after Mark Durnan went close from Jamie Robson’s corner.
Bell had to be alert again with seven minutes to go as Ayr battled for the goal that would keep them within touching distance of the teams above with Ross Docherty’s fierce effort bringing a decent stop from the keeper.
From the resulting corner Harkins headed wide from inside the six-yard box under pressure.
And in stoppage time, former Dundee favourite Harkins went closer than anybody as he hit the bar with a free-kick.
Both teams, though, had to settle for a point – one which ensures United’s place in the play-offs but for Ayr leaves them three points adrift at the bottom of the table.
For an in-depth review of the game, grab Monday’s Evening Telegraph.
United: Bell, Durnan, Spittal, Murdoch, Murray, Edjenguele, Toshney (Telfer 72), Mikkelsen, Andreu, Robson, Allardice.
Ayr: Fleming, Devlin, Rose, Murphy, Moore, Forrest, Harkins, Cairney, Meggatt, McGuffie (McDaid 80), Docherty.