Dundee United 0 Hibernian 1
Fri 10th Mar 7.45pm
Dundee United's automatic promotion hopes took a potentially fatal blow following a 1-0 defeat to Championship leaders Hibernian at Tannadice.
The visitors were in truth good value for their victory in a fractious encounter in which two players were sent-off and ten yellow cards issued. Hibs manager Neil Lennon was also removed to the stands late on.
Jason Cummings provided the decisive moment when lashing into the net from just inside the area six minutes before the break. But he was later sent-off for collecting a couple of swift yellow cards.
The Tangerines had earlier been reduced to ten-men when the recalled Lewis Toshney was dismissed around the half-hour mark - before then proceeding to toil for long stages but while offering precious little attacking threat.
Toshney, selected to reinforce the midfield area on this occasion, received his two yellow cards for first-half challenges on Birmingham City loanee Andrew Shinnie.
Eight minutes later the same Shinnie played in Cummings to finish emphatically past Cammy Bell and claim his twentieth goal of the season after a long clearance.
Martin Boyle should really have settled the contest deep into the second period but wastefully blazed over from around eight-yards, while Shinnie was brilliantly denied by an instinctive close-range block from goalkeeper Bell.
The title-favourites had always appeared particularly comfortable until goalscorer Cummings stupidly punched a David Gray cross into the net and was dismissed with fifteen minutes remaining - that soon after receiving a first caution for petulantly throwing the ball away.
Dundee United: Bell, van der Struijk, Durnan, Edjenguele, Dixon, Toshney, Flood, Fraser (van der Velden 84), Nicholls, Andreu (Mikkelsen 63), Murray
subs (unused): Dillon, Murdoch, Telfer, Zwick, Robson
Hibernian: Marciano, Gray, McGregor, Stevenson, Ambrose, Boyle (Forster 87), McGinn, Bartley (Fyvie 68), Shinnie, Cummings, Holt (Graham 79)
subs (unused): Keatings, Laidlaw, Crane, Martin
Goals: Cummings (39)
Ref: D. Robertson