It was déjà vu all over again as Dundee United showed they are the undisputed champions of deflating defeats.
Groundhog Day. Another false dawn. Typical United. Same old story etc.
Just when you think the Tangerines are on a roll they manage to mess it all up.
They did so again at Tannadice on Saturday, somehow finding a way to lose 2-1 to a hitherto freefalling Queen of the South team that had lost seven out of seven going into this fixture.
To follow such a solid and assured victory at Dunfermline in midweek with this result was really quite something.
It will join the other terrible scorelines of United’s relegation years in the hall of shame.
To suggest it is testing the patience of their fans is akin to saying Brexit is proving rather tricky.
Remarkably, though, they can still believe they have a chance – albeit an outside one – of winning the Championship thanks to Ross County’s own shock defeat away to bottom club Alloa.
That means there will still be considerable interest in one of the Staggies’ games in hand – away to Inverness Caley Thistle tomorrow night – ahead of the Tangerines’ trip to Dingwall on Friday.
Of course, these Friday night games in front of the TV cameras have provided nothing but misery for United and their supporters but they can’t afford to fall flat again or it is the play-offs.
Stephen Dobbie’s penalty on 52 minutes after he was fouled by Sam Stanton gave Queens the lead at the weekend.
The impressive Lyndon Dykes then put the Dumfries men two up five minutes later before Nicky Clark got one back for United with 20 minutes to go.
Tangerines boss Robbie Neilson acknowledged that they had just thrown away a wonderful chance to go top.
He said: “We’re very disappointed, given how the other result went with Ross County.
“We dominated the game and created loads of chances.
“We just didn’t put them in the net, which is the frustrating thing.
“I couldn’t really fault the players’ efforts, nor their willingness to go and try to score goals.
“At the other end, we switched off a couple of times and got done.
“Also, if the ball drops five yards out and their keeper is on the floor, you’ve got to score. If you don’t then it’s always going to be difficult.
“I think we had 27 shots at goal but, at the end of the day, if you don’t take them you’re not going to win the game.
“We can gloss it up as much as we want but we didn’t deserve to win.
“In saying that, it’s still an open game.
“Ross County play Inverness away on Tuesday, which is a difficult game, but the frustration is that was a game we should have won.
“We totally dominated and had cross after cross and shot after shot.”
United had been the better team but fell behind on 52 minutes when they conceded a penalty. Dobbie played a one-two with Dykes and was poised to shoot before Stanton barged him in the back. Dobbie took the kick himself and sent goalie Benjamin Siegrist the wrong way.
It was nearly 1-1 within minutes when Jamie Robson’s cross from the left was headed on to the post by Pavol Safranko and the loose ball was turned behind for a corner.
Having seen that one get away, United fell 2-0 behind on 58 minutes. Dobbie was the architect this time as he played in Dykes with an acrobatic flick and his teammate finished well.
United then gave themselves hope when Clark headed home a cross from the left on 71 minutes. It was no shock that the man with the assist was substitute Peter Pawlett.
Indeed, some supporters were left puzzled by the mission of Pawlett for the starting line-up, given his match-winning performance at East End Park.
Neilson explained his decision to leave him on the bench until the last half-hour, during which time he looked a real threat to the opposition.
The United boss said: “Peter has a groin problem at the moment.
“We played Saturday-Tuesday and he felt, as we did, that going straight back into another game on the next Saturday would have been difficult for him.
“I think you saw the quality he brings when he came on.
“We’ve now got a few days to prepare for the County game on Friday night so he will be fit for these upcoming games.”
Neilson revealed he decided not to fire a verbal volley at his squad despite the result.
“I didn’t say too much to the players afterwards to be honest,” he said.
“Sometimes you can say too much.
“We are disappointed overall but we will look back at it on Monday.”
Robson confirmed that the gaffer chose not to slaughter them at full-time but that they could all tell they had let him down.
The United fullback, who has been used in midfield, said: “Of course, the manager is going to be unhappy after that, as were the players and supporters.
“It is normal for someone at this club to be unhappy at losing at home to Queen of the South.”
You can say that again.