Dundee fell eight points off the pace in the Championship after a woeful start condemned them to a 2-0 defeat at Ayr United.
The loss means the Dark Blues have just a single win from their opening five matches this campaign.
Poor defending once more contributed to their downfall as the Honest Men struck twice within the opening 16 minutes through Cammy Smith and Michael Moffat.
Goalkeeper Adam Legzdins made his debut among four changes made by manager James McPake. Returning was centre-back Lee Ashcroft with Cammy Kerr moving back to his more accustomed right-back slot and Christie Elliott to an attacking right wing position.
Also back in were Max Anderson after his ban and striker Osman Sow after injury.
Legzdins’ debut got off to the worst possible start as he picked the ball out of the net within three minutes.
Luke McCowan picked his way into the area too easily before laying off to Smith and the Dundee United loanee made no mistake in finding the bottom corner as the Dark Blues backline sat off.
After 16 minutes it got worse for the visitors.
Once more it was painfully easy for the Honest Men to get into the Dundee box, this time Moffat finding space before rolling beyond Legzdins and into the corner.
On the half-hour, Elliott thought he’d halved the deficit only to see his close-range header kept out by the Ayr No 1, Viljami Sinisalo.
Six minutes later, Sow volleyed just wide of the post before two key blocks from home defenders denied Anderson and then Paul McGowan as Dundee pushed to get back in the game.
After the break, once more Elliott had a golden opportunity as he met Jordan Marshall’s cross. Again, though, he headed straight at the goalkeeper.
On 55 minutes, striker Alex Jakubiak made his Dundee bow from the bench and looked lively throughout.
On 67 minutes, he set up Shaun Byrne inside the area but the midfielder saw his powerful effort superbly kept out by Sinisalo.
Shortly after, Ayr almost sealed the points as Andrew Murdoch stooped but headed wide.
With 20 minutes to go, Liam Fontaine also made his Dark Blues debut, replacing skipper McGhee.
Minutes later McCowan swept the ball into the net for what looked like 3-0 – the flag, though, kept Dundee in the game.
They couldn’t, though, force their way into the contest despite a succession of corners and plenty of the ball.
In the end, poor defending and an inability to take chances proved a fatal combination as Dundee made it three games without victory in the Championship.
Ayr: Sinisalo, Reading, Houston, Roscoe, Murdoch, Moffat (Zanatta 90), Miller, Smith (Cameron 87), Chalmers, McCowan (McKenzie 77), Baird.
Subs not used: Hare-Reid, Kerr, Anderson, Hewitt.
Dundee: Legzdins, Kerr (McDaid 56), McGhee (Fontaine 71), Ashcroft, Marshall, Byrne, Adam, Anderson, Elliott, McGowan, Sow (Jakubiak 56).
Subs not used: J Hamilton, Robertson, Wilkie, N Hamilton.
Referee: Graham Beaton.