It might not have been pretty but St Johnstone got the Premiership win they so badly needed.
Chris Kane’s goal in the opening minute of the second half was enough to secure a first league victory for Callum Davidson’s men in 11 fixtures.
That they made hard work of the last half-hour, when St Mirren were playing with 10 men, doesn’t matter now.
If ever there was a game when all that counted was the result, it was this one.
There were precious few chances in the first half, the closest being early crosses from Scott Tanser and Shaun Rooney that flew across the six-yard box with the two Saints strikers unable to get on the end of them.
And Guy Melamed had a shot blocked by Joe Shaughnessy when he cut inside on to his left foot.
The hosts couldn’t have asked for a better start to the second half, though, and were ahead just 28 seconds into it.
Melamed split the St Mirren defence with a ball for Kane and after his first time shot was saved by keeper Jak Alwnick the Perth striker was first to react to finish off the rebound.
On 55 minutes Saints had a one-man advantage when Cammy MacPherson was sent off for his second yellow card, a foul on Melamed.
St Mirren started to play better with 10 than they had with 11 but the game should have been put out of their reach midway through the half. Kane had a golden opportunity at the back post, from where he sent his shot over the bar.
An 82nd Conor McCarthy header came close but after that Saints saw the game out effectively and a precious victory was secured.