Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell admitted his team used the poor Dens pitch to their advantage to secure a vital 3-2 victory over Dundee in the cinch Premiership.

The game only went ahead after two pitch inspections at 11am and 1pm, with Dundee storming into a two-goal lead thanks to Jordan McGhee and Luke McCowan.

However, Motherwell made a dramatic comeback with Georgie Gent, Theo Bair and Moses Ebiye on the mark.

Kettlewell’s men were playing towards the Bob Shankly Stand in the second half and Kettlewell admitted that worked to their advantage.

The manager said: “Did we play on the conditions at that end in the second half? Yeah, that’s something we were taking into account.

“That goalmouth area, there’s a bit 20 yards out that isn’t good so we knew if we could get the ball into that area there’s the potential for slips, bad bounces that might fall in our favour.

“So we spoke about that and aiming towards it.

“Was it playable? When I walked on the pitch there were four or five areas I didn’t think were playable.

“Again I need to be consistent, I’m not going to change now.

“At no point did I speak to anyone or the officials from Dundee, I was prepared to let everyone do their job.

“I didn’t try to have an influence on anyone because we’d prepared to play here at 3pm.

“The referee felt it was playable and we were not endangering the safety of players so it was on.

“I have an opinion on a bigger scale of what I feel about getting to April and dealing with this.”

Dundee boss Tony Docherty admitted the result was a hammer blow for him and his players.

The Dark Blues were on course to secure a top-six finish with St Johnstone beating Hibs until the dramatic late collapse.

However, the manager was irate over the VAR decision that led to the penalty award for Motherwell’s first goal.

The 53-year-old said: “It’s a sore one. We’re really hurting.

“Obviously you don’t know others’ results at the time but we were 14 minutes from the top six.

“Goals change games and they get momentum from the VAR decision. I haven’t seen it back but nobody claims for the penalty.

“We were really comfortable at 2-0 so we should see the game out. Certainly the momentum swings on the VAR decision but I would trust my players to see that out.

“I won’t be critical of them because they have been brilliant all season.

“The one positive to come from the disappointing last 14 minutes is to see the league table and realise we still have an opportunity to do what we need to do.”

Motherwell came from behind to secure a remarkable 3-2 victory against Dundee at a drenched Dens.

The Dark Blues looked to be coasting after Jordan McGhee and Luke McCowan had given them a 2-0 lead.

However, the Steelmen hit back with goals from Georgie Gent, Theo Bair and, deep into added time, Moses Ebiye.

The game only went ahead after two game-day pitch inspections. Despite that, there were still heavily-sanded areas in front of both dugouts and in one goalmouth.

Motherwell issued a statement prior to kick-off expressing deep concern over the welfare of their players due to the state of the surface.

After an even opening, Motherwell had a chance in the 26th minute but Adam Devine could not direct his header on target with the ball flying well over Dundee keeper Jon McCracken’s crossbar.

The hosts then had an opportunity of their own when a McCowan free-kick was headed back across goal towards Mexican defender Antonio Portales but he hit his shot into the side-netting.

However, the hosts took the lead in the 37th minute. Lyall Cameron sent a cross into the box with Amadou Bakayoko heading across goal to McGhee, who powered home a header at the back post.

Dundee doubled their advantage in the 70th minute. McCowan fired an inswinging corner from the right which flew over Liam Kelly and into the net at the back post. The Motherwell players appealed for a free-kick but after a VAR check the goal was given.

However, the game was turned completely on its head in two minutes.

VAR intervened with a penalty check for handball against Joe Shaughnessy in the 79th minute. Referee David Dickinson was called to the pitchside monitor and he pointed to the spot.

Bair stepped up with McCracken making a superb save but Gent reacted fastest to rifle home the rebound with the goal being given after yet another VAR check.

The Steelmen equalised two minutes later when Bair twisted and turned on the edge of the Dundee box, beating McCracken, before finding the back of the net.

The hosts were rocking and Bair had two more chances to give his side the lead but could not take them.

However, Motherwell scored their third to seal an incredible win in the 93rd minute when substitute Ebiye fired home past McCracken.

Dundee’s cinch Premiership meeting with Motherwell will undergo a second pitch inspection at 1pm on Saturday.

The state of the Dens Park pitch has been under intense scrutiny amid heavy rainfall in Scotland, with the Dark Blues having had four home games postponed due to a waterlogged pitch this term.

“Following this morning’s (11am) scheduled pitch inspection the referee has deemed there will be a further inspection at 1pm this afternoon,” Dundee posted on their X account.

Motherwell chief executive Brian Caldwell voiced his concerns this week, calling for the Scottish Professional Football League to postpone the Premiership’s post-split fixtures should their game at Dundee be called off.

Well have two games remaining before the split, with their final fixture coming at home to Hibernian next Saturday.

The SPFL has been working on various contingency measures should the game be called off, with Caldwell revealing plans included delaying the game to Sunday or Monday or even playing it behind closed doors at Airdrie.

Caldwell said: “Our position is quite clear, we play Saturday at Dens or we reschedule the game for another time and if that means the post-split fixtures are delayed then so be it.”

With Dundee due to host Rangers on Wednesday – in a rescheduled clash that was contentiously called off 90 minutes before kick-off last month – the SPFL would be left with little room for manoeuvre in terms of fitting in any further fixtures before the post-split schedule is confirmed later this month.

Tony Docherty lavished praised the “bravery” of his Dundee players as they moved into the top six but he refused to get carried away after the 2-1 win over St Johnstone.

Amadou Bakayoko fired home a late winner for the visitors after Adama Sidibeh had equalised following Lyall Cameron’s breathtaking opener.

Docherty has repeatedly targeted securing 10 league wins on Dundee’s return to the top flight and that was achieved as the Dark Blues moved one point ahead of Hibs into sixth place.

Whilst accepting the magnitude of the victory, Docherty pointed to the teams below Dundee in the table, rather than those ahead, with three more games remaining for his side until the split.

“It was a massive win,” Docherty admitted. “More importantly, I couldn’t be more proud of the players.

“Over the season you look at games and we’ve had a 4-0 and 4-1 but that today is a different type of win and a display of mentality, resilience and togetherness.

“It shows how much we’re developing as a team. There was an accusation earlier in the season that when we dominate we don’t win. To grind that out and win and be brave and make a tactical change to win it, the players took that on board and their bravery merited the three points.

“We’re 12 ahead of Ross County, 11 ahead of St Johnstone. Our big objective was to get 10 wins on the board. To get 10 as a newly-promoted team with eight games left is a huge testament to the players. It’s a box ticked but we’ll keep going. We won’t get carried away.”

Meanwhile, Craig Levein was left frustrated by two refereeing decisions as his St Johnstone side were denied a late equaliser.

Ryan McGowan had the ball in the net but referee Iain Sneddon stood by his initial decision that the St Johnstone defender had fouled Aaron Donnelly in the build-up when asked to review the incident on the pitchside monitor by VAR official Greg Aitken.

Levein conceded he hadn’t reviewed the incident but was surprised that ref Sneddon didn’t reverse his decision and he felt St Johnstone should have had a penalty for a foul on Sidibeh by Dundee goalkeeper Jon McCracken.

“I haven’t had enough time to look properly,” Levein conceded. “It was one of those days for us. I don’t know what to say.

“Most times when the ref comes to look at the screen there’s an alteration in the result. I’ll have more chances to look later on.

“I don’t like going to ask (the referee) because I’ll say something I’ll regret. In the first half we should have had a pen I thought.

“Their goalie brought down Adama but for it not to be looked at puzzles me. The goalie took the ball. They protect themselves by raising their knees but he pushed his knee out to the right and caught Adama on the thigh and they haven’t looked at it. That I’d like an answer to.”

Amadou Bakayoko fired Dundee into the top six in the Scottish Premiership with a late winner against St Johnstone in Perth.

A scrappy encounter was illuminated by two sublime goals from either side courtesy of Lyall Cameron and Adama Sidibeh to leave the game delicately poised at 1-1 entering the final 10 minutes but Bakayoko tapped in from four yards in front of the ecstatic travelling contingent.

There was late drama as St Johnstone correctly had a goal ruled out after a long VAR check but it was a massive win for Tony Docherty’s men as they moved one point ahead of Hibs into sixth place after the Edinburgh side lost to Rangers at Ibrox.

St Johnstone will be frustrated as it was a relatively even encounter and the Saints remain in danger of the relegation play-off place as they stayed just one point ahead of 11th-placed Ross County.

Dundee enjoyed the better of the opening stages and they broke the deadlock in stunning fashion through Cameron – the best player on the pitch.

Dimitar Mitov raced out of his box to beat Scott Tiffoney to a long ball but, with the visitors screaming for a handball from the St Johnstone goalkeeper, Cameron remained alert to drill a brilliant effort into the empty net from 40 yards out with Mitov stranded.

It turned into a scrappy encounter as the first half progressed but St Johnstone spurned a great chance to equalise on 25 minutes. Tony Gallacher won the foot race onto a long ball but he was unable to lift the ball over the advancing Jon McCracken, who tipped it over the bar.

After the resulting corner was partially cleared, Dundee goalkeeper McCracken made another impressive stop to tip David Keltjens’ long-range effort around the post.

Saints were applying pressure on the Dundee backline in the second half and they were rewarded for their endeavours when Sidibeh equalised on the hour mark with a sensational acrobatic finish.

Matt Smith’s cross from the right was deflected and looped up with Sidibeh adjusting his body before perfectly executing a bicycle kick as the ball flew past McCracken.

It was end to end as the game opened up in the final 15 minutes and Dundee capitalised to seal victory on 80 minutes. The impressive Luke McCowan found space in the box and his drilled ball across goal was prodded home from close range by a stretching Bakayoko.

St Johnstone pressed for a late equaliser and, after Stevie May struck the post with a powerful strike, Ryan McGowan had the ball in the net.

Referee Iain Sneddon, however, blew his whistle as Dundee keeper McCracken had two hands on the ball and McGowan also appeared to push Aaron Donnelly.

The referee was asked to review the incident on the pitch-side monitor but he stuck by his original decision as Dundee secured a vital three points.

Dundee’s home game against Rangers has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch which means Celtic go into the international break top of the cinch Premiership.

The reigning champions had put pressure on Phillipe Clement’s side with a 3-1 win over St Johnstone on Saturday to go one point clear.

There was a 9.15am pitch inspection on Sunday morning ahead of the scheduled noon kick-off at the Scot Foam Stadium at Dens Park, with a second inspection by match referee Don Robertson taking place an hour later.

And Dundee released a statement at 10.28am on their X account which read: “Following the referee’s second pitch inspection this morning, today’s cinch Premiership match with Rangers has been postponed.

“Recent rainfall has meant the pitch has become waterlogged and the match has been called off.”

Rangers said the club would “make further comment in due course” in a brief statement acknowledging the postponement.

Rangers have nine fixtures remaining while Celtic have eight, with two Old Firm games still to be played out.

The Gers return to action with a home game against Hibernian on March 30, the same day Dundee travel to Tayside rivals St Johnstone.

Aberdeen caretaker manager Peter Leven warned his players that better teams have got relegated after a 1-0 defeat at Dundee left them just three points above the cinch Premiership danger zone.

Luke McCowan’s 66th-minute penalty, following a VAR-assisted handball call against Jack MacKenzie, earned the home side a well-deserved three points at Dens Park as Aberdeen’s run without a league win stretched to 11 matches.

A late equaliser for Ross County against Hibernian edged the Dingwall side closer to the Dons and allowed Dundee to jump back into the top six – leaving the spectre of the play-offs hanging over Leven’s side.

Leven is expected to remain in charge for Saturday’s trip to Motherwell after being put back in caretaker charge following Neil Warnock’s departure and he had some home truths for the players after a fourth consecutive league defeat.

“Not good enough,” the first-team coach said. “First half, really poor. Started well second half and the goal has killed us. But, for me, not enough quality on the ball and we dropped too deep.

“I just said to them, listen, we are in trouble. You have got to find a way. We had some honest words in there.

“We are running out of games and we have got to pick up points. Yeah, I could blame VAR but it’s just not good enough. (The penalty) was harsh, I have only seen one replay, but whatever I can say can’t change it.

“We have got to stand up and be counted now, that was nowhere near good enough for Aberdeen Football Club.

“Better teams have gone down, probably. It’s a big game on Saturday now.

“It’s about desire, playing for the badge, playing for the fans. We never picked up second balls, we never tested them.”

The travelling fans chanted “sack the board” in the closing stages and “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” as the players left the park.

Leven said: “I apologise to the fans. They pay their hard-earned cash to come here and follow us all over Europe and Scotland.”

Dundee manager Tony Docherty was delighted with his side’s display.

“I thought it was a fantastic performance, one of the best of the season,” he said. “We had huge dominance in the first half, I was bemoaning a final pass and cross but the level of performance was outstanding.

“Before the game we were bemoaning the fact we were surrendering too many leads. I felt, when we went 1-0 up, I didn’t have any fear we would lose the game.

“Aberdeen threw a lot at us but the mentality of the team was fantastic and it shows we are learning and developing.”

Luke McCowan’s penalty sent Dundee back into the cinch Premiership top six and left Aberdeen facing a battle against the drop.

McCowan’s fourth goal in six games – and his eighth overall this season – earned Tony Docherty’s side a deserved 1-0 win at Dens Park.

The midfielder netted in the 66th minute following a lengthy VAR check which ultimately saw Jack MacKenzie penalised for handball.

The home side had dominated the first half but some hesitancy in front of goal, good goalkeeping from Kelle Roos and some poor deliveries from corners kept the scores blank at half-time.

Aberdeen were led into the game by first-team coach Peter Leven, who was back in caretaker charge for the second time in six weeks following the end of Neil Warnock’s brief spell at the helm.

But the Dons have now gone 11 league games without victory and the defeat leaves them just three points clear of the danger zone following second-bottom Ross County’s stoppage-time equaliser against Hibernian, which allowed Dundee to jump above the Edinburgh side.

Any slim hopes of a top-six push vanished completely as results on the night left the Dons nine points behind Dundee with four games until the split.

They face another away game on Saturday, against Motherwell, before the anticipated appointment of a long-term successor to Barry Robson during the international break, although the visiting fans clearly had little faith in the decision-makers as they chanted “sack the board” in the closing minutes.

Dundee had Owen Dodgson back in the team after Owen Beck failed a fitness test while Leven named the same team that started in Warnock’s final game, a Scottish Gas Scottish Cup win over Kilmarnock.

The home side were quickly on the front foot and Curtis Main should have converted the rebound after Roos parried Scott Tiffoney’s strike. The former Dons striker took a touch and the goalkeeper smothered.

A brilliant Dodgson cross was just too far in front of Main six yards out before Dundee had a penalty claim for handball when Connor Barron blocked Tiffoney’s shot. Referee Steven McLean delayed and then gave a free-kick to Aberdeen inside the box.

Dundee remained well on top. Roos bravely denied Lyall Cameron as the midfielder slid in to meet Main’s low cross and the Dutchman tipped over Dodgson’s long-range striker.

Angus MacDonald blocked well from Tiffoney and Cameron shot just wide as Dundee continued to probe.

Aberdeen looked slightly better at the start of the second half but they fell behind after initially surviving a free-kick into the box.

McLean kept the 8,215 crowd waiting even after going to his monitor but he eventually pointed to the spot and McCowan sent Roos the wrong way.

Cameron soon had a great chance to double the lead but he dragged a shot wide following Tiffoney’s square ball.

Dundee continued to create chances and Roos saved from Cameron and Main.

There was plenty of effort from the visitors but home goalkeeper Jon McCracken remained untested other than from aerial balls until he held two headers from substitute Ester Sokler in the closing stages.

Derek McInnes revealed that Kilmarnock will appeal against the red card shown to Lewis Mayo during their 2-2 draw at Dundee.

An early own goal by keeper Will Dennis was cancelled out by Killie’s Marley Watkins.

Luke McCowan then netted from the penalty spot for the home side after Mayo was sent off by referee Colin Steven for his challenge on Scott Tiffoney.

Robbie Deas secured a dramatic draw for Kilmarnock in stoppage time but McInnes was still raging over Mayo’s sending off.

The Rugby Park boss said: “I will appeal (against the decision). Mayo can play against Aberdeen in the cup because it is a different competition.

“He will be suspended for the St Mirren game so we will be appealing it.

“We had to dig ourselves out of a hole after a refereeing decision. I went in to see him. There is no infringement in the box, if there is a foul?

“It’s a bit untidy because Mayo has his eyes on the ball, it bounces and he gets himself in a bad position, but at no time does he pull Scott Tiffoney down.

“Tiffoney falls down and it doesn’t look great. I can’t understand why Greg Aitken and the VAR team haven’t asked the referee to look at it.

“I think if he does, he doesn’t give the penalty and I think it actually makes him think twice as to whether there is a foul there or not.

“If he does get called over and sticks by his decision then we can have a go at the referee. I don’t understand.

“They get involved when they shouldn’t and don’t get involved where they should. I am just scunnered with it.”

Dundee boss Tony Docherty was delighted with the response of his players after their hammering by Celtic last week but he insisted his team should have seen the Killie game out.

He said: “I think the overriding feeling is disappointment.

“We have just had a good discussion as a group. I think the thing I want to emphasise is that we had a difficult night on Wednesday.

“But we won’t be defined by a result like that but what we will be defined by is our reaction to it.

“I thought our reaction today was fantastic but we should have seen the game out.”

Kilmarnock salvaged a last-gasp 2-2 draw against Dundee at Dens in the cinch Premiership.

The hosts took the lead courtesy of an own goal by keeper Will Dennis with the visitors equalising before the break through Marley Watkins.

Kilmarnock’s Lewis Mayo was sent off after conceding a penalty on the hour mark, with Luke McCowan converting the spot-kick, but the Ayrshire men rescued a point deep into added time with Robbie Deas bundling home.

It is the third time the teams have drawn 2-2 against each other in the league this season, with the result seeing Dundee drop out of the top six.

The Dark Blues made six changes from the side that were thrashed 7-1 by Celtic in midweek with keeper Jon McCracken, Aaron Donnelly, Lyall Cameron, Josh Mulligan, Mo Sylla and Scott Tiffoney coming in for Trevor Carson, Ricki Lamie, Jordan McGhee, Finlay Robertson, Malachi Boateng and Amadou Bakayoko.

Killie made just one change from the team that lost narrowly to Rangers on Wednesday night with Deas replacing Stuart Findlay.

Dundee made all the early running and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 11th minute. Tiffoney cut in from the left and hit a snap shot that cannoned off the post but hit the luckless Dennis and bounced back into the net.

However, Killie stunned the home side when they equalised in the 35th minute. Danny Armstrong swung a cross in from the right with Joe Wright heading the ball down to Watkins who netted from close range for his 10th goal of the season.

After the break, Watkins embarked on a barnstorming solo run from halfway into the Dundee box before hitting a shot with McCracken having to make a vital block to deny the striker.

However, Dundee took the lead again in the 63rd minute. McCowan was bundled over just inside the Killie box by Mayo with referee Colin Steven awarding a penalty and then flashing a red card at the defender.

The official’s decision was rubber-stamped after a VAR check with McCowan stepping up to take the spot-kick, hitting it into the back of the net off the inside of the post.

Dundee came agonisingly close to making it three in the 85th minute but substitute Michael Mellon’s 25-yard shot crashed off the crossbar.

However, Killie rescued a point in the 91st minute when Deas reacted first at a corner to bundle home.

Brendan Rodgers was transported back to his first spell in charge of Celtic as his side struck six first-half goals against Dundee.

Celtic have lost top spot in the cinch Premiership since the winter break, drawing twice and winning narrowly in their other three league games.

But they rediscovered their groove with their biggest victory of the season as they thrashed Tony Docherty’s side 7-1 at Celtic Park.

There were seven different scorers for Rodgers’ side as Cameron Carter-Vickers, Adam Idah, Matt O’Riley, Daizen Maeda, Greg Taylor and Callum McGregor struck before half-time substitute Daniel Kelly curled home his first goal for the club.

Rodgers said: “It was a top performance. We had players coming back, connecting the game, speed in the game, creativity and a real ruthless mentality.

“I have said about the pitch a few times but a big congratulations to the staff who have been working hard over the past few weeks to get it to a level that allows us to play at that speed. And you can see the difference it makes.

“So I thought all round, from the stands to the pitch, it was a great night for us.”

Rodgers, whose side remain two points behind Rangers, added: “It felt more like when I was here the first time – that ruthless mentality of the team, simplicity of the game and the football we played. And that’s why we are here, to entertain the supporters.”

Rodgers had called for positivity in the stands before the game and the noise at the half-time whistle was more akin to a Champions League night, helped by the fact that Kilmarnock were beating Rangers before a second-half fightback from the leaders.

Rodgers said: “There was a really nice moment at half-time when they were coming in. The fans could see then how the level of performance had jumped up. We had everything we wanted from the game – the runs, the movement, the ambition.”

Dundee’s second-half performance offered some comfort for Docherty, whose side got a consolation through substitute Michael Mellon despite having Finlay Robertson sent off.

But Docherty was still reeling from their first-half collapse during the post-match media conference.

“It’s something I have not seen in the group so I am actually a bit shocked to see the level of goal we have conceded,” he said.

“We need to take ownership and responsibility for that, for not defending crosses, not defending our box properly, getting done by cutbacks, getting done on the insides.

“I have to say I thought Celtic were outstanding but we can do more and we need to take responsibility for that.

“But I have to defend those players, they have been brilliant for me this season and there has to be a wee bit of reality in terms of us being a newly-promoted team. I am not taking away the accountability from myself and the players and I would like to apologise to the support.

“But I will always back that group of players because I don’t think we have been lower than seventh in the league.”

Myziane Maolida scored a late winning goal in a 2-1 victory to lift Hibernian to within two points of opponents Dundee in the battle for a cinch Premiership top-six place.

The on-loan Hertha Berlin forward restored the home side’s lead with a fine effort in the 81st minute just moments after Luke McCowan had brought the visitors level.

Hibs had gone in at the break in front after Dylan Vente converted a penalty that came about following an error by goalkeeper Trevor Carson.

Hibs paid tribute to their late former owner Ron Gordon – a year on from his death – with a short video on the large screens inside the stadium before kick-off.

When the action got under way it was the hosts that had to soak up early pressure.

The Leith side were relieved a VAR check went their way after an Owen Beck shot inside the box struck Rocky Bushiri.

Dark Blues goalkeeper Carson made a comfortable save when he kept out Will Fish’s half volley from 12 yards out after Martin Boyle’s corner was kept alive in the box.

Fish was involved in Hibs’ next attempt at goal just after the half-hour mark when he connected with Emiliano Marcondes’ corner but Carson gathered the header at the second attempt.

Hibs then took the lead 10 minutes before the break after a rush of blood to the head for Dundee keeper Carson led to a penalty.

The experienced stopper tried to make amends after flapping at Joe Newell’s corner but he ended up clattering into Marcondes.

Vente stepped up to take the penalty and sent Carson the wrong way from 12 yards.

Hibs came close to a third before the break but Vente’s shot was blocked by team-mate Martin Boyle before Maolida had a shot pushed wide by Carson.

Dundee brought on Rickie Lamie and Michael Mellon at the break but it was Hibs who were keen to put the game to bed.

Carson produced a fine save to keep out Boyle before the Dens Park side were handed a VAR let-off.

Boyle’s cross was tapped in by Vente from inside the six-yard box but the feedback given to referee John Beaton was that he was offside.

Dundee were then denied a goal by the linesman’s flag in the 73rd minute after Mellon flicked in from close range.

The visitors did level in the 78th minute when McCowan rifled a low drive from 18 yards past David Marshall.

But Hibs restored their lead three minutes later with a Maolida strike.

The Frenchman ran on to Luke Amos’ pass and skinned Joe Shaughnessy before sweeping a shot past Carson.

Dundee boss Tony Docherty was purring over the performance of his team after they beat Ross County 2-0 in the cinch Premiership.

The Dark Blues took all three points thanks to a Scott Tiffoney double, with his manager singling the winger out for special praise.

Tiffoney was signed from Partick Thistle last summer and Docherty feels the 25-year-old has now fully adapted to life in the top tier.

The Dundee manager said: “I am absolutely delighted. I keep seeing the team improving and now you can see the strength of us in keeping the clean sheet.

“Ross County are a good team and I knew it wouldn’t be an easy game.

“But the quality of the goals from Scott Tiffoney and then the defending as a team was really pleasing.

“I’m delighted for Tiff. He works so hard. There has been an adaptation period for Tiff coming up from the Championship. He got his rewards today for the efforts he puts in.

“I see the amount of work he puts in during the week and I’m delighted he gets the reward.”

Interim Staggies boss Don Cowie insisted there were positives to take from the game.

He said: “I thought we were good, it was a good away performance.

“We did a lot of things that I really enjoyed and really liked, but we switched off twice in 90 minutes and we got punished.

“Dundee will be very happy in the manner of getting the goal right on half-time. From our point of view it was really frustrating, but the message at half-time was to keep doing what we were doing.

“I really enjoyed what I was seeing and we did that, but we got punished. We’ve got to learn from that.

“It’s about not feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to just keep doing what we are doing and working away. If we keep putting performances like that in, the results will come.

“I’m confident. It’s going to be difficult because there are a lot of good teams in this league.

“We have to be ready going into every game. I have seen improvements from Wednesday night, we worked really hard against Rangers.

“In this game I thought we worked hard and passed the ball really well at times.

“The players are a little bit down after the game because they put a lot into it, and probably felt they deserved at least a point.”

Dundee made it back-to-back cinch Premiership wins with a comfortable victory over Ross County at Dens Park.

Scott Tiffoney was the Dark Blues’ hero with what proved to be a decisive double as the win took Tony Docherty’s side within three points of St Mirren in fifth.

County had chances but failed to take them, with Don Cowie’s strugglers now facing a huge match next week against rock-bottom Livingston who moved to within three points of County with their shock win over St Mirren.

The hosts were the first to threaten in the third minute when Luke McCowan linked with Lyall Cameron, who fizzed a low 25-yard shot just inches past the post.

The Staggies responded immediately with Eamonn Brophy hitting a speculative long-range effort that flew over Dundee keeper Trevor Carson’s bar.

Brophy had another opportunity when he made space for himself inside the home box but his fierce shot was blocked at his near post by Carson.

Dundee then put together a well-worked string of passes that ended with another Cameron shot that was deflected over the bar thanks to a last-gasp intervention by Staggies defender Michee Efete.

The Dark Blues continued to press, with Jordan McGhee the latest player to have a pot shot at goal but his attempt flew well wide of County keeper George Wickens’ left-hand post.

McGhee then came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock when he was first to a superb Owen Beck cross but his header was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Wickens.

Dundee were enjoying the majority of possession but they survived a huge scare just after the half-hour mark when Carson had to come to the rescue with a great reaction save to deny Staggies striker Simon Murray, whose point-blank header seemed destined for the back of the net.

Instead, it was the home side who finally made the breakthrough in the 45th minute when Dara Costelloe slipped a pass into Tiffoney to send him in on goal and the winger kept his cool, hitting a clinical finish past Wickens.

Dundee doubled their advantage in the 65th minute when the ball broke to Tiffoney on the edge of the County box and the winger took full advantage, hitting a low shot past Wickens and into the bottom corner of the net.

County huffed and puffed for a way back into the game but Dundee comfortably held on to take all three points.

St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson praised his players for making their dominance count as goals from Mikael Mandron and Toyosi Olusanya earned them a 2-0 home win over Dundee.

Robinson was eager to see his side build on their weekend win over Hibernian and they were the superior side throughout before Mandron broke the deadlock midway through the second half.

Olusanya’s strike in injury time, after defender James Bolton had been sent off, settled matters to lift Saints nine points clear of their vanquished opponents.

Robinson said: “I thought it was very important in the last two games to get maximum points which we’ve done.

“We created a lot more chances and it probably should have been more comfortable than it was.

“Dundee were stubborn but we defended well, too. We controlled the game and made lots of good chances. Trevor Carson made two great saves, one in the first half and one in the second.

“It was important to follow up Saturday’s result with another good one. So we’re delighted to be able to do that.

“Dundee are a good side. If you’re not going to finish teams off you run that risk. We knew we’d have a chance to counter-attack with Toyosi coming off the bench. It’s our third win in four games and fifth in 10. There’s a real belief in the squad.”

Bolton was shown a straight red card for a late tackle on Owen Dodgson but Robinson was not in a place to make a considered assessment.

He added: “I haven’t seen it back. The referee said there was a lot of momentum. I’ve only seen it from a distance so it’s hard to make an informed comment.”

The game kicked off 30 minutes late after Dundee were held up in traffic, with Robinson conceding it was a compromise between him and opposite number, Tony Docherty.

He added: “You can’t help the traffic. We agreed when to move it back to. Tony wanted it a little later than that but I’d probably have been asleep by then!”

Docherty was frustrated that his side wasn’t awarded a late penalty for handball, especially after the one conceded by his team against Hearts at the weekend.

The Dundee manager said: “There was a decision in the 87th minute that should have gone our way, based on previous games. We’re aggrieved at that.

“It’s a handball that’s identical to the one Lee Ashcroft was punished for on Saturday. Yes, I agree the player’s hands weren’t in an unnatural position.

“But it stops the ball’s path to goal. I don’t understand why that one against Hearts was a penalty, and that one wasn’t.”

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