Dundee United had to survive an incredible late fightback by Ross County to take all three points from their trip to the Highlands.
The Tangerines knew that victory in Dingwall would take them back to within one point of league leaders Celtic, and a brace from Nadir Ciftci and a strike by Stuart Armstrong in the game’s first hour seemingly had them cruising to victory.
However, United allowed the hosts back into the match when sub Yoann Arquin netted and, although County sub Liam Boyce was shown a straight red card with six minutes left, Darren Maatsen’s 89th minute strike made for a nervy climax.
Jackie McNamara’s side hung on, however, and United will no doubt be relived that all three points travelled with them back down the A9.
The visitors looked threatening every time they went forward, and United broke the deadlock after just 21 minutes.
Ciftci spun Paul Quinn at the edge of the box and he calmly rounded County keeper Mark Brown before slotting the ball into the empty net.
They had that advantage at the break and, although County started the second half with purpose, United’s free-flowing style paid dividends just three minutes into the second period.
A neat ball through the middle released Stuart Armstrong and, like Ciftci, he rounded Brown and kept his composure to score.
It looked as if the game was over as a contest by the hour mark as Ciftci netted his second, brilliantly slotting the ball beyond Brown from the edge of the area, but County somehow got themselves back into things in the final 15 minutes.
Sub Arquin reduced the deficit when fired home from inside the penalty box, and it should really have been little more than a consolation.
However, Arquin had further opportunities before sub Boyce was shown a straight red card for a rash challenge on Paul Paton.
That appeared to be that, but County persevered and grabbed an incredible second through Maatsen, who blasted the ball in off the crossbar.
The goal set up a tense finale, but United held on to secure what could be an important victory.