Mark Connolly scored the game's only goal with a thumping header. Picture: SNS.

Queen of the South 0 - 1 Dundee United: Painful to watch but points taken

This was a victory for Dundee United that was just about as painful on the eye as the Championship table makes joyful viewing for their supporters right now. They ground out a win thanks to a lively opening to the second half which saw Mark Connolly head in the only goal of the game and then had enough nous to see themselves over the line to make it 10 wins in 11 games. If as expected Robbie Neilson’s men go on to clinch promotion they’ll look back on games like this and say this was where all the hard graft counted.

Dundee United players celebrate Sam Stanton's goal. Picture: SNS

Arbroath 0-1 Dundee United: Sam Stanton puts leaders 13 points clear

A case of double seasonal cheer for Dundee United. Not only did they win this one without playing particularly well, they also saw their nearest rivals in the Championship title race, Inverness, fall further behind them. Robbie Neilson’s side now command a comfortable 13 point lead at the top of the table – not so much a gap as a canyon.

Ryan Dow is mobbed by his team-mates as they celebrate his goal, the second  for Dunfermline. Photograph: Bill Murray/SNS

Partick Thistle 0 - 3 Dunfermline: Fifers hold all the aces

In the game of relegation poker this was a resounding victory for stick over twist. These two hugely underperforming sides went into this game without a win in their opening five fixtures and with unhappiness from their fans pouring out on every social media platform. Dunfermline decided to give Stevie Crawford – without a victory in a league game since the beginning of March – another go while Partick took the time-honoured axe to Gary Caldwell’s mostly unhappy tenure. For once patience proved to be a virtue as the Fifers ended up strolling to a dearly craved three points.

Hearts players stand dejected at the halfway line as the penalty shootout slips away from them. Picture: SNS.

Fans vent their fury in Methil but there’s no panic at Hearts

In his time as Scotland manager Jock Stein once said the serious business of qualifying from group stages of any competition required the donning of “working clothes” – the more extravagant stuff could come later. It’s a sentiment Hearts seem to have embraced rather too intently for many of their supporters’ comfort when it comes to the Betfred Cup.

Falkirk manager Ray McKinnon looks dejected at full-time. Pic: SNS/Bruce White

Falkirk 3 - 2 Ross County: Bairns drop to League One despite battling win

They may not be the mighty but it’s still one heck of a fall for Falkirk who were condemned to play in the third tier of Scottish football for the first time in nearly 40 years despite this spirited victory over champions Ross County. Going into this game they knew that salvation wasn’t within their hands, and fate served up the final blow as Alloa, the only club they could realistically overtake to avoid automatic relegation, got the point they needed to slam the door in their faces.

Dunfermline's Tom Beadling challenges Stephen Dobbie. Photograph: Ross MacDonald/SNS Group

Dunfermline 1-0 Queen of the South: Pars resurgence continues

There are remarkable turnarounds and then there is Dunfermline’s transformation from hovering on the brink of a relegation struggle to promotion play-off contenders in the space of three weeks. Four wins – and four clean sheets – on the trot and suddenly it’s all come good for Stevie Crawford’s side. It’s a case study in fine margins as well as the fierce competitiveness of the Championship from top to bottom.

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