Dundee stopped the rot after three successive defeats to secure a precious point with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Livingston at Dens.
Both sides hit the woodwork but overall there was little festive cheer for the fans in a game that contained relatively-few clear-cut chances with the visitors reduced to 10 men late on when sub Jack Hamilton was shown a straight red card.
The result, combined with St Mirren losing against St Johnstone and Hamilton being defeated by Hearts, reduced the gap with the Dark Blues’ relegation rivals at the bottom of the table to two points and four points respectively.
Dark Blues boss Jim McIntyre made three changes from the side that lost 3-0 at Celtic Park on Saturday with Darren O’Dea and the two Millers, Kenny and Calvin, returning to the starting line-up with Glen Kamara, Adil Nabi and Ryan Inniss being relegated to the bench.
However, shortly before kick-off it was announced that Martin Woods had dropped out of the team with Kamara earning a quick-fire recall.
Livi manager Gary Holt included former Dundee centre-half Declan Gallagher in his rearguard.
There was a scare for Lions keeper Liam Kelly in just the fifth minute when he raced from his goal to intercept a through ball but made a hash of the clearance. Luckily for him though it did not break for a Dundee player.
Shortly after, referee Bobby Madden booked home defender Andy Boyle after a tussle with Dolly Menga, leaving the Irish centre-half walking a tightrope for the remaining 80 minutes of the game.
Kelly then made his first save of the afternoon when Dundee’s Jesse Curran hit a fierce shot from the right edge of the Livi box but the ball flew straight into the keeper’s arms.
Holt’s men rode their luck when a Curran corner was hit by Keaghan Jacobs off Menga with the ball flying just over the bar. The resultant corner was struck by Calvin Miller, flicked on by Kenny Miller with Boyle just inches away from connecting with his head for what would have been a certain goal.
Dundee then came agonisingly close to opening the scoring in the 16th minute when Nathan Ralph hit a blistering shot from all of 30 yards which cannoned off the top of the Livi crossbar.
Just after, home keeper Jack Hamilton had to look lively when a Jacobs free-kick deceived everyone with the goalie having to make a vital stop.
It was Dundee’s turn to threaten next in the 33rd minute when Curran played in Benji Kallman inside the Lions box with the Finnish striker hitting an angled snap shot back across the face of goal but the ball flew just wide of Kelly’s right-hand post.
However, the teams headed down the tunnel with the game finely balanced although Dundee received a boost during the break as news filtered through that St Johnstone had scored a late winner against St Mirren.
The Dark Blues had the first big chance of the second half in the 52nd minute when Kenny Miller raced onto a long ball from the back but he was at full stretch and could only guide his shot straight at Kelly.
The veteran Dundee striker then wriggled past two defenders on the edge of the Livi box but his shot was again comfortably saved by Kelly with the keeper called into action once more shortly after as he gathered a low, long-range effort from Kallman.
Pittman then tested Hamilton with a 20-yard drive but the keeper dived to his left to snuff out the danger.
As the 70th-minute mark came and went, both sides were struggling to fashion clear-cut chances.
However, Dundee hearts were in their mouths 10 minutes later as Steven Lawless hit a long-range effort that cannoned off the top of Hamilton’s crossbar.
The Dark Blues then had a great chance of their own when Kenny Miller played a cross-field pass to Curran 20 yards out with the winger making room for himself before hitting a shot that was just inches past the post.
Livi were then reduced to 10 men in the 84th minute after a moment of madness from sub Hamilton who tangled with O’Dea, pushing him in the face, with Mr Madden reaching into his pocket and showing the replacement a straight red.
As the clock ticked down, Dundee tried desperately hard to make their one-man advantage count and piled the pressure on Livi however they just could not find a way through and had to settle for a share of the points.
Attendance – 4,905.
Dundee – Hamilton, Kerr, Ralph, Kamara, O’Dea, C. Miller (Nabi, 71), McGowan, Kallman, K. Miller, Boyle, Curran.
Subs not used – Parish, Inniss, Spence, Moore, Lambert.
Livingston – Kelly, Cadden, Lithgow, Halkett, Gallagher, Byrne, Pittman, Lawless, Jacobs (Sibbald, 45), Hardie (Hamilton, 67), Menga (Miller, 76).
Subs not used – Stewart, Saunders, McMillan, Lawson.
Referee –Bobby Madden.