Partick Thistle’s first home league victory for over four months hoisted them into sixth position, less than a week after they had been propping up the Premiership table.
Dundee had not lost on their seven previous visits to Firhill but they were a poor second best here and have now kept clean sheets in just two of their last 16 matches.
They slip to ninth following a display utterly lacking in wit or vision. Without a cutting edge up front and offering little other than numbers in the engine room, they were sent homeward to think again.
With both managers deploying a five-man midfield, space for the creative players was at a premium and it took a contentious decision from referee Alan Muir to provide the home side with the opportunity to break the deadlock.
Defender Kostadin Gadzhalov had appeared to win the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box but he caught Kris Doolan on the follow through.
The Thistle striker appeared to milk the situation but the official called it correctly and former Hibernian full-back Callum Booth, pictured, stepped up to drive the resulting free-kick beyond Scott Bain’s outstretched right hand, although the goalkeeper may question his starting position.
On the balance of possession rather than play, Thistle just about deserved to be in front but the game did not open up after the goal and it took the visitors 40 minutes to record their first effort on target, a speculative effort from distance by Cammy Kerr which was comfortably held by Tomas Cerny.
It proved to be a false dawn. Bain did well to come off his line and block a shot from Chris Erskine after Ryan Edwards’ lung-bursting run from his own penalty area had created the opening.
Thistle then doubled their lead from a similar move. Erskine created the opening for himself with a mazy run and shot which was beaten out by Bain but only as far as Doolan, who lashed home the rebound from an acute angle.
It was no more than the hosts had deserved and even the loss of centre-back Liam Lindsay through injury did little to halt their momentum and Bain was relieved to see a dipping 25-yarder from Erskine land on top of his net.
Dundee had little option but to throw men forward but, apart from one attempt from Kevin Holt which he fired straight down the goalkeeper’s throat, Cerny had little to do in terms of shot-stopping.
There were plenty of long, high balls for Marcus Haber to fight for but Dundee’s percentage football did not pay off as the home defenders were usually first to any scraps.
As a result, the top-tier team with the poorest home record – even after this win – were able to hold on comfortably and claim all three points.
Referee Muir went card happy towards the end and his decision-making did as much as any tension at the bottom to make tempers on both sides fray but Dundee finished as they had begun, flatter than Holland.