A fabulous finish from Lawrence Shankland – his first goal in the Premiership – helped Dundee United to this vital victory.
The Tangerines weren’t at their best by any means but still secured their first home success of the season.
They had, of course, missed Shankland for most of the campaign because of an ankle injury but he was back with a bang against the Buddies.
With 33 minutes on the clock, a corner was headed his way and, with his back to goal, he twisted his body before volleying right-footed into the net.
United’s Adrian Sporle made it 2-0 with a curling shot on 52 minutes following a period of incessant pressure from the hosts.
St Mirren looked to be toiling when they lost the red-carded Richard Tait on the hour-mark for a terrible tackle on Logan Chalmers.
However, the 10 men gave the Tangerines the jitters when they got a goal back.
It was poor defending from United skipper Mark Reynolds that cost the goal as he initially won the ball but lost control of it and substitute Dylan Connolly capitalised with a low drive past keeper Benjamin Siegrist.
Chalmers was a whisker away from making it 3-1 on 76 minutes then Sprole’s strike was deflected just wide as United tried to make the match safe.
Home sub Declan Glass had another glorious chance in stoppage-time but he pulled his shot wide of the target from just outside the box.
Dundee United: Siegrist, Sporle, Reynolds, Clark (Glass 83), Edwards, Chalmers (Chalmers 81), Robson, Butcher, Bolton, Harkes, Shankland. Subs not used: Deniz, Powers, McMullan, C. Smith, Freeman, Appere, Neilson.
St Mirren: Zlamal, Tait, Shaughnessy, McCarthy, Obika (Macpherson 66), McAllister (Durmus 56), Foley, McGrath (Connolly 56), Fraser, Erwin, Erhahon. Subs not used: Sheron, Morias, Urminsky, Jamieson.
Referee: Colin Steven.