Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson hailed his side’s “massive win” after they returned from Dumfries with a 1-0 victory.
The Tangerines moved to within three points of Championship leaders Ross County, who have a game in hand, and just one behind second-placed Ayr United.
Nicky Clark’s first-half penalty gave United the edge over Queen of the South at Palmerston – their third league win over the Doonhamers this season.
Barry Maguire brought down Peter Pawlett and Clark hit his eighth goal of the season after the Queens player was sent off for the challenge.
Tannadice boss Neilson said: “That was a massive win for us given the fact that only ourselves and Morton have won here in the league this season.
“Ayr and Ross County have both been beaten heavily here, so I’m delighted for the players and the fans that we got the win.
“It is going to be extremely tight at the top over the next few weeks and wins like this are big.”
Queen of the South assistant manager Dougie Anderson: “It was a traditional game of two halves and, despite being down to 10 men, we were more attack-minded in the second half.
“We need to address our run of form in terms of results, we need to get points on the board and, with a run of three games coming up, we need to start picking up points.
“They are all big tests in The Championship, and the difference between a relegation battle and the top four is probably as close as it has ever been.”