A Kane Hemmings double gave much-improved Dundee their first win of the year as they easily overcame Partick Thistle at Dens.
They last collected three points back on December 21, coincidentally against Partick at Firhill.
This 2-0 success was more even comfortable than the scoreline suggested and fired James McPake’s team back up into fourth spot in the Championship.
The hope for the Dark Blues now must be that they can put a winning run together that will anchor them in a play-off position.
There was initially some doubt over the opening goal on 23 minutes but opportunist Hemmings was given it for helping Jordon Forster’s net-bound header over the line.
There was no question who got the second on 34 minutes, with Hemmings finishing expertly after being played in by a terrific pass from Paul McGowan.
The Dark Blues started with a three-man central defence of Christophe Berra, Josh Meekings and Forster.
There was a place in the line-up for new boy Christie Elliott, who made his home debut against his former club. Fit-again frontman Andrew Nelson was on the bench.
Thistle’s Joe Cardle fired over a dangerous cross into the home goalmouth on seven minutes but it was nicked away for a corner by Elliott.
On 20 minutes, a good delivery from the left by Dundee’s Declan McDaid seemed to be reaching Ross Callachan close to goal but he couldn’t quite make contact.
A long throw-in by Meekings from was knocked out for a corner that would lead to the opening goal.
McDaid took the kick from the left and Forster soared into the air to head what looked like his goal. However, typical striker Hemmings stuck out a boot to poke it over the line and claim it.
Dundee’s Shaun Byrne was harshly booked for a tackle on David Zanatta right in front of the technical areas.
If there was some doubt about the first goal then it was definitely Hemmings – 100% – when the second goal went in on 34 minutes.
Great play by McGowan saw him use his strength to win possession then he threaded a terrific ball forward for Hemmings to chase.
The Englishman still had work to do but he stayed cool and clipped a nice shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the Jags’ net.
McGowan collected a booking for dissent on 42 minutes but the yellow cards were the only negative for Dundee in a fine first half.
The visitors made a double substitution at the break, taking off Cardle and Jamie Barjonas and replacing them with Shea Gordon and Steven Saunders.
Four minutes after the restart, Thistle looked dangerous when Zanatta muscled his way into the box and got the break of the ball but he couldn’t get a clean shot in.
The Dark Blues, watched by a crowd of 4,816, then had a couple of opportunities to make it three when first McDaid’s low, angled shot was saved by keeper Scott Fox then then same thing happened to Callachan when he blasted at goal from 15 yards just seconds later.
Elliott had a strike saved by Fox then the Jags’ number one comfortably collected a header from Hemmings as the hosts enjoyed a lot of possession.
With 65 minutes gone, Dundee brought on Fin Robertson for Byrne as they continued to look for goal number three.
A McDaid cross from the right had to be clawed away by Fox on 73 minutes before Dundee’s on-loan St Johnstone player Callachan suffered what looked like a serious injury.
He appeared to clash with Thistle’s Stuart Bannigan and stayed down on the ground, with a stretcher called to carry him off the pitch. He was replaced by Nelson.
Hemmings received a standing ovation in stoppage-time when he was replaced by sub Ollie Crankshaw.
Despite the injury blow to Callachan, Dundee saw the game out with little difficulty and now face a free weekend before heading down to Dumfries on the 22nd to play Queen of the South.