They had just defeated Aberdeen 5-1 at Pittodrie.
Top of the league Aberdeen.
Unbeaten at home Aberdeen.
It was October and the wait for a first away victory had been a long one by St Johnstone’s standards.
Brian Easton had scored a 30-yard goal of the season contender.
All would be well in the away dressing room, you would imagine. High fives, group hugs and the prospect of a thoroughly enjoyable bus trip back down the road.
One player couldn’t shake something off, though. Anybody with the slightest knowledge of that Saints squad will guess whose glass was half-empty and why.
The result might have been historic but there was a glaring problem for Steven Anderson, a substitute that day.
“His motto was always: ‘It’s all about clean-sheets’,” said Tommy Wright. “That’s what drove him on.
“I always remember the day we won 5-1 away to Aberdeen and the lads were all delighted coming back in.
“But there was Ando, shaking his head and moaning about the goal we’d lost. We’d just scored five at Pittodrie but losing one really annoyed him.
“That sums him up. He’d defend like his life depended on it and would put his body on the line.
“That’s why he was so successful and why I have so much respect for him.”
For the record, Anderson wasn’t at fault for Ash Taylor’s headed consolation goal that autumn afternoon in 2015 (apologies to Joe Shaughnessy).
It didn’t matter the circumstances or the occasion, the priority of the man who represented Saints more than any other was always the same – a big round zero on their side of the scoreline.
And it was a manager’s dream to have Anderson and Frazer Wright at the heart of his defence.
“We always used to get called a big side but Ando isn’t big and Frazer Wright isn’t either,” said Wright.
“But they were unbelievable in their defending.
“They were a great partnership. They were aggressive, they timed their jumping perfectly and they looked after each other.
“It’s no coincidence the year we won the cup we had 25 clean-sheets. A lot of that was down to them.
“He was an out-and-out defender. He was unbelievable.
“There were times he’d put it in the stand. But would I criticise him for it? No chance because he knew the job he was there to do.”
Wright was the trackside embodiment of the greatest St Johnstone team of all time and as far as the Northern Irishman is concerned, Anderson was the on-pitch one.
“What a servant Steven has been to the club,” he said.
“The word legend is bandied about too often in football but he’s someone who certainly deserves that title.
“He won’t like it, in fact he’ll hate it, but he’s going to have to get used to it!
“He played for St Johnstone for 16 years and made history during that time.
“For me, Ando epitomised the club – a great attitude, hard-working, every day giving his maximum. A great professional.
“He’s everything you could ever ask for in a player and he’s someone you’d want in the trenches beside you.
“I had total faith in him as a player.
“He didn’t get his grumpy title for no reason but that was part of his character. He’s stubborn and he wants things done right all the time.”
Anderson’s last game for Saints was back in July – a Betfred Cup group loss to Ross County. When football returns, Wright believes his old captain deserves, and will get, a more fitting McDiarmid Park farewell from Perth supporters.
“He was the first player I phoned the other week to tell I was leaving,” he said.
“Obviously with the way the season has ended, he’s not had a proper send-off so I hope he’ll get one further down the line.
“Because for everything he did for St Johnstone, I’m sure the supporters will want the chance to say a proper goodbye.
“He won’t want that. He’ll hate the fuss, but he deserves it.”