Johnny Russell's late brace gave Dundee United victory over Hearts in the Scottish Premier League.
Marian Kello expertly tipped over David Goodwillie's excellent volley as United were denied a first-half opener.
Stephen Elliott was off target with Hearts' best chance and the match looked destined for a scoreless draw.
But Russell headed home in the 83rd minute and added a second with a tap-in to secure a third straight league win for United.
Peter Houston's men, who still have a game in hand, move up to fourth, 12 points behind Hearts, who were completely out of sorts at Tannadice.
The visitors did open up the first opportunity, with Ian Black thrashing a shot into the arms of goalkeeper Dusan Pernis.
But United began to assert themselves and Goodwillie ghosted in to the box to head Keith Watson's cross over the crossbar.
A corner for the home side pinballed around the Hearts box and goalkeeper Kello eventually plucked the ball out of the air to spare Marius Zaliukas the embarrassment of an own goal.
Hearts continued to threaten from long range, Ryan Stevenson drawing a save from Pernis and David Templeton dragging a shot wide.
But it was a spectacular effort at the other end that almost made the first dent in the scoreline, Goodwillie's superbly controlled volley from the right-hand side of the box tipped over by an equally impressive save by Kello.
Hearts went back on the attack and Templeton danced his way past several defenders and into the box.
The match at Tannadice was a tight affair
The winger was almost tripped but stayed on his feet to get a pass away to Stephen Elliott, who hooked his shot wide from a promising position.
Ismael Bouzid, who had been booked in the first half, avoided a second yellow card after tripping Barry Douglas early in the second half and the defender was soon withdrawn to be replaced by Andrew Driver.
As the match wore on, the fog congregating around the centre circle gave off the appearance of mid-December rather than mid-March.
Another skilful run by Templeton took him past three United defenders before he was closed down in the box by Watson and, though the winger went to ground, referee Iain Brines was unmoved by shouts for a penalty by the travelling fans and Templeton himself made no great appeal for a spot-kick.
Stevenson then headed wide from Craig Thomson's cross.
With the conditions getting gradually worse, chances became far and few between.
Goodwillie tried to buck that trend when he cut in from the left and tried to beat Kello at his near post but the keeper ushered the ball out for a corner.
The United striker had avoided punishment following a first-half clash with his former team-mate Andy Webster but Goodwillie was booked after a heavy challenge on Black.
Further cautions were issued to Dundee United's Morgaro Gomis and Hearts' Lee Wallace, the latter following the foul that led to the home side's opener.
Danny Swanson, who had replaced Douglas, swept a diagonal delivery into the box and Russell leapt highest to loop a header over Kello and into the net.
And Russell was well placed in injury time to stab home after Paul Dixon's cross had been flicked on by Goodwillie.
Live text and stats
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
17 Douglas yellow card (Swanson 68)
16 Gomis yellow card
25 Goodwillie yellow card
21 van der Meulen,
32 Scott Allan,
03 Wallace yellow card
21 Ismael Bouzid yellow card (Driver 55)
08 Black (Obua 86)
10 Elliott (Glen 75)
Ref: BrinesAtt: 6,718
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:37 The referee signals the end of the game.
90:00+2:14 Paul Dixon provided the assist for the goal.
90:00+2:14 GOAL - Johnny Russell:Dundee Utd 2 - 0 Hearts Johnny Russell gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Dundee
Utd 2-0 Hearts.
86:45 Unfair challenge on Jon Daly by David Obua results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Dusan Pernis.
85:54 Effort on goal by David Templeton from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
85:06 Substitution Ian Black leaves the field to be replaced by David Obua.
82:20 Assist by Daniel Swanson.
82:20 GOAL - Johnny Russell:Dundee Utd 1 - 0 Hearts Johnny Russell finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the penalty box. Dundee Utd 1-0 Hearts.
81:48 Lee Wallace concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Robertson. Free kick taken by Daniel Swanson.
81:48 Booking Lee Wallace receives a caution.
80:24 Unfair challenge on Andrew Driver by Morgaro Gomis results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Marian Kello.
80:24 Booking Morgaro Gomis goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
79:20 Corner taken left-footed by Paul Dixon.
77:59 Foul by David Goodwillie on Ian Black, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Marian Kello.
77:59 Booking David Goodwillie receives a yellow card.
77:06 Unfair challenge on Craig Thomson by Morgaro Gomis results in a free kick. Ian Black takes the direct free kick.
74:09 Substitution Gary Glen on for Stephen Elliott.
73:17 Outswinging corner taken by David Robertson from the right by-line.
73:15 Scott Robertson takes a shot. Marian Kello makes a save.
72:20 David Goodwillie fouled by Ian Black, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Dixon takes the free kick.
68:21 Stephen Elliott challenges Jon Daly unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Dusan Pernis.
67:09 Corner taken by Daniel Swanson from the left by-line, Stephen Elliott makes a clearance.
67:09 Substitution Daniel Swanson on for Barry Douglas.
65:57 Foul by Craig Thomson on Paul Dixon, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Barry Douglas.
64:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by Barry Douglas on Ryan Stevenson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Craig Thomson from left
wing, save made by Marian Kello.
63:16 The ball is delivered by Craig Thomson, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Ryan Stevenson misses to the right
of the target.
59:03 Corner from the left by-line taken by Craig Thomson, Jon Daly manages to make a clearance.
55:57 David Goodwillie concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee Wallace. Direct free kick taken by Marian Kello.
54:49 Substitution Andrew Driver is brought on as a substitute for Ismael Bouzid.
53:59 Adrian Mrowiec concedes a free kick for a foul on Morgaro Gomis. Sean Dillon takes the direct free kick.
51:37 Corner taken by Barry Douglas from the right by-line, Ismael Bouzid makes a clearance.
50:57 Ismael Bouzid concedes a free kick for a foul on David Goodwillie. Paul Dixon takes the free kick.
47:38 Inswinging corner taken by Barry Douglas.
47:25 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Elliott on Jon Daly. Jon Daly takes the free kick.
45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
45:00+1:06 The referee blows for half time.
44:25 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Goodwillie by Ismael Bouzid. Paul Dixon restarts play with the free kick.
40:59 The offside flag is raised against Stephen Elliott. Jon Daly takes the free kick.
40:02 Johnny Russell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Webster. Marian Kello takes the direct free kick.
38:36 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marius Zaliukas by Barry Douglas. Free kick taken by Marian Kello.
38:36 Booking Booking for Barry Douglas for unsporting behaviour.
34:49 Stephen Elliott has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
32:40 David Goodwillie takes a shot. Save by Marian Kello. Corner from the right by-line taken by Barry Douglas, clearance made
by Ryan Stevenson.
29:09 Shot by David Templeton went wide left of the goal.
24:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ismael Bouzid on Barry Douglas. Paul Dixon takes the free kick.
24:01 Booking Ismael Bouzid goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
21:47 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Thomson from the left by-line.
19:17 Ian Black gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Morgaro Gomis. Morgaro Gomis restarts play with the free kick.
17:57 Adrian Mrowiec concedes a free kick for a foul on Morgaro Gomis. Morgaro Gomis restarts play with the free kick.
15:04 Ryan Stevenson produces a drilled left-footed shot from 25 yards. Save by Dusan Pernis.
13:28 The referee blows for offside. Marian Kello takes the free kick.
11:32 The assistant referee flags for offside against David Goodwillie. Marian Kello takes the indirect free kick.
9:01 Corner from the right by-line taken by Barry Douglas, clearance by Marius Zaliukas.
6:44 Corner taken by Barry Douglas.
5:21 David Goodwillie has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
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