An incredible score for an incredible scorer.
Dundee United striker Lawrence Shankland bagged goal number 20 – yes, 20 – for his club in their 2-1 win over Morton at Cappielow.
That is a quite remakable tally for a player who could even afford the luxury of a month out injured before returning to help the Tangerines to a seventh straight success on a wet and windy night in the west.
If you add the goal he scored for Scotland against San Marino then he has the key to the door and it is still a fortnight until Christmas.
United raced into the lead in Greenock after just five minutes when Louis Appere fired home at the back post.
The hosts equalised on 25 minutes through a John Sutton header that Tannadice keeper Benjamin Siegrist thought he had kept out.
Shankland then bagged his 20th club goal just after the half-hour aand it proved to be the winner.
The triumph was United’s seventh on the bounce and leaves them 10 points clear of second-top Inverness Caley after 16 matches played. You then have to go back 14 points to find joint-third pair Dunfermline and Ayr United.
That is a hell of an advantage and, as manager Robbie Neilson keeps saying, it’s results like these ones at tough away grounds on foul nights that win you leagues.
The Tangerines had made one change from the team that kicked off the 2-1 victory over Alloa at Tannadice on Saturday.
While it was nice to see Shankland back in the side after being missing since the Dundee derby it was a blow that the vacancy was created by an injury to Paul McMullan.
If you were wearing one then you had to take your hat off to the travelling United fans, who had battled through appalling weather conditions to make it to Cappielow.
They were met by more terrible weather and the hope for them was that the players would make it all worthwhile.
United goalie Benjamin Siegrist was the first to be called into action when he had to cut out a cross from former United man Aidan Nesbitt on four minutes.
Just a minute later, though, the visitors were ahead thanks to a fine finish from frontman Appere.
He was lurking at the back post to shoot home after the ball broke to him off a Morton player. It came from a nicely-worked corner by the visitors, with Sam Stanton playing it short to Nicky Clark to deliver the cross into the danger area.
Two minutes later, Morton tried to hit back but Sutton’s half-volley flew over Siegrist’s bar. The Swiss shot-stopper then came to the rescue when he dived full length to keep out a drive from Reece Lyon.
Morton were still looking dangerous and levelled the match on 25 minutes.
There was good work on the right wing from Nesbitt before he fired a cross to the back post and it was met by the head of Sutton. Siegrist made a point-blank save but the ball spun downwards, leading referee David Lowe to indicate it had crossed the line.
The game was swinging back and forth and, with 31 minutes on the clock, it was United’s turn to hit the back of the back.
Appere was the provider this time, his pass finding Shankland with a crowd of defenders in front of him but the striker still managed to thread his low shot into the Morton net from 15 yards.
On 40 minutes it came close to being 3-1 to the visitors when United’s Stanton pounced on a loose ball. The midfielder had a clear path to goal but saw his strike well saved by the Ton goalie Danny Rogers.
The Greenock men were still posing a threat, though, and Siegrist was called on to push a Kyle Jacobs shot away for a corner at the end of the half.
The home team started the second period brightly and Siegrist was worked by shots in quick succession from Adam Livingstone and Sutton.
On 57 minutes, the impressive Appere almost caught out home keepr Rogers when his cross was deflected into the side-netting then referee Lowe ran across to the away dugout to show the yellow card to United boss Neilson, seemingly for firing verbals at standside assistant ref Joseph Lawson.
Morton brought on Bob McHugh and Nicky Cadden on 66 minutes as they chased the equaliser, with McAlister and Sutton coming off. McHugh, though, would only last 10 minutes before being subbed after getting injured.
Morton squandered an excellent chance when Nesbitt headed wide on 74 minutes before United switched Clark with sub Adam King.
This was a much-improved Morton team from the one that shipped six goals at tannadice earlier in the season but the Tangerines showed composure and resilience in the closing stages.
Greenock Morton: Rogers, Welsh, Grant, Jacobs, McAlister (Cadden 66), Nesbitt, Lyon, Sutton (McHugh 66 rep by Salkeld 76), Livingstone, Colville, Baird. Subs not used: Ramsbottom, Millar, Muirhead, Blues.
Dundee United: Siegrist, Smith, Reynolds, Clark (King 82), Stanton (Connolly 90), Robson, Butcher, Harkes, Shankland, Appere, Watson. Subs not used: Deniz, Sporle, Brown, Chalmers, Mochrie.
Referee: David Lowe.