Match ends, Dundee United 1, Dunfermline Athletic 0.
Dundee United leapt into third place in the Championship with a single-goal win over Dunfermline Athletic at Tannadice.
Thomas Mikkelsen scored the only goal of the game after good work by Simon Murray.
Dunfermline striker Nicky Clark missed a glorious opportunity seconds prior to the home team scoring.
The win takes United above Greenock Morton and to within one point of Falkirk in the battle for a place in next year's Premiership.
Dunfermline remain in sixth place, six points clear of Fife rivals Raith Rovers in second-bottom spot.
Both teams had early chances, with Pars striker Michael Moffat threatening with a glancing header before Mikkelsen was inches away from a Murray cross.
Ray McKinnon's United have the best home form in the league with only one defeat in their 15 games played at Tannadice and Murray twice came close after excellent build-up work by Tony Andreu.
The goal came just before the half hour mark in what was a bizarre 60 seconds in the game.
Rhys McCabe played a wonderful ball straight into the path of Clark, who looked set to score but kicked the ground instead of the ball and the chance was gone.
The ball was played immediately up field to Murray, who played in Mikkelsen with the Dane sliding in from six yards out - his sixth goal since joining the club on loan from Odense.
It was a lead the home side just about deserved on the balance of play.
Norwich City's on-loan midfielder, Andreu, has been a shining light in what has been an uninspiring season for United and was proving to be a real thorn in the side of the Pars defence.
Sean Murdoch in the visitors goal raced out to deny the 28-year-old then Andreu smashed a shot from 25 yards off the inside of the post before the ball was cleared.
Dunfermline introduced Gavin Reilly into the attack to try and force their way back into the game, but chances were slim on the ground for the on-loan Hearts striker.
In the last minute, United had a glorious chance when substitute Nick Van Der Velden had an open goal just six yards out but blasted the ball straight at Murdoch.
- 35AllardiceSubstituted forToshneyat 69'minutes
- 7SpittalSubstituted forvan der Veldenat 78'minutes
- 18MikkelsenSubstituted forCooteat 86'minutes
- 23van der Velden
- 6GegganSubstituted forWilliamsonat 66'minutes
- 18McMullanSubstituted forCardleat 77'minutes
- 9MoffatSubstituted forReillyat 66'minutes
- William Collum
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Dundee United 1, Dunfermline Athletic 0.
Attempt saved. Nick van der Velden (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Dunfermline Athletic. Conceded by Mark Durnan.
Corner, Dunfermline Athletic. Conceded by Jamie Robson.
Nathaniel Wedderburn (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Tony Andreu (Dundee United).
Substitution, Dundee United. Alistair Coote replaces Thomas Mikkelsen.
Foul by Callum Morris (Dunfermline Athletic).
Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Gavin Reilly (Dunfermline Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Lewis Toshney (Dundee United).
Substitution, Dundee United. Nick van der Velden replaces Blair Spittal.
Substitution, Dunfermline Athletic. Joe Cardle replaces Paul McMullan.
Attempt saved. Blair Spittal (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Foul by Paul McMullan (Dunfermline Athletic).
Blair Spittal (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Dundee United. Lewis Toshney replaces Scott Allardice.
Substitution, Dunfermline Athletic. Gavin Reilly replaces Michael Moffat.
Substitution, Dunfermline Athletic. Ryan Williamson replaces Andrew Geggan.