St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright praised striker Chris Kane as his first-half goal defeated St Mirren to earn his side their first victory in 10 matches.
The Perth side were also helped by the visitors missing an early penalty and having Ethan Erhahon sent off late in the match.
The result lifts St Johnstone up to seventh in the Ladbrokes Premiership table and keeps alive their prospects of reaching the top six when the league splits in three games’ time.
Wright said: “It’s three points so I’m happy, believe it or not. Chris’ goal was superbly taken. It was a good finish and he showed an unbelievable bit of skill just before that.
“He will get a run of games in the team now. I’ve told him that. He’s scored 20 goals in 55 games and that’s not a bad return.”
A draw would have lifted St Mirren off the foot of the table but Simeon Jackson’s weak penalty got them off to a poor start and they never really recovered.
A disappointing night concluded with Erhahon shown a red card for catching St Johnstone defender Richard Foster with a high tackle.
Manager Oran Kearney cut a disappointed figure as he summed up the 90 minutes.
He said: ‘I’m very frustrated. We got the start we wanted with the penalty but we’ve created our own downfall by missing it and then gifting them a goal.
“Mateo Muzek made a poor decision to head the ball instead of putting it into the stand.
“That killed the first half for us. The players went into their shells and it took us until half-time to find our feet again. I couldn’t ask any more in the second half but we didn’t create any gilt-edged chances.”
Kearney admitted he would have preferred Jackson to have struck his penalty with power rather than trying to chip it.
He added: “I said to Simeon if it’s the start or the middle of the season, you’re 3-0 up and there’s not a lot at stake then you can take a penalty like that.
“But given the stage of the season and the magnitude of the game, it was the wrong decision to make.
“If he strikes it wide or hits the bar you move on. It’s the manner of the penalty miss more than the miss itself.”
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