It was a self-inflicted wound that defeated Dundee at St Mirren Park but they do live to fight another day.
Losing to the Buddies may have killed off the momentum gathered in previous weeks, but the SPL’s bottom club still only sit four points adrift of the Buddies and five behind Ross County.
They can also take solace from how they played for long spells, even after striker Colin Nish got himself sent off on 26 minutes.
They were at least a match for the hosts at times and, with Nicky Riley doing real damage down the right, looked energised and confident.
However, Nish’s ordering-off he was sent packing by referee Willie Collum for a dangerous tackle on Paul Dummett left them too short-handed.
Dark Blues manager Barry Smith defended his player but it seemed to be a case of Nish never meant it rather than he didn’t do it.
”I’ve not seen it again but anybody who knows Colin Nish knows he’s not got a malicious tackle in him,” said Smith. ”He’s a big gentle giant. I find it hard for it to be a sending-off knowing him. But the referee has got a decision to make and that’s what he made.
”Over the past four games we have been used to playing with the two, which makes a massive difference to getting up the park. I thought Steven Milne was excellent on his own after that and the pleasing thing for me is that we didn’t just lie down and say, ‘Oh, we’ve got 10 men.’
”It was a case of still having something to fight for and we fought for it. That typifies the team. They are not going to give up. We have come a long way and we still have a fair amount to go but we have come a long way.
”Unfortunately, we lost two goals near the end but there was a lot there that was pleasing and a lot there for me to build upon.”
St Mirren striker Steven Thompson put his side ahead on 31 minutes before Ryan Conroy levelled for the visitors from the penalty spot in the 64th minute.
Thompson nodded the home side ahead again before sub Dougie Imrie rounded things off for Saints in the closing stages.
Paisley boss Danny Lennon now hopes his players can use this result as the springboard for the rest of the season.
Lennon said: ”I’m delighted, not just with the victory, but also the performance. I know you get the same three points, but the manner in which the boys went about their business was great.
”There was a real hunger in the players’ eyes and you could see before the game that they were itching to get out there. I thought we handled everything Dundee threw at us. Hopefully we can now kick on from this.”