St Mirren and St Johnstone battled to win a point apiece in a hard-fought encounter in Paisley.
The home side took the lead from a controversial penalty on 33 minutes when Stephen McGinn was felled by Dave Mackay and Billy Mehmet converted.
However, the team from Perth levelled before the break when Jody Morris drove home from the edge of the box.
St Johnstone's Murray Davidson and Chris Millar both hit the bar in the second half but could not find the net.
It was a tightly-contested first quarter that was played out mainly in the middle third.
When visiting midfielder Davidson was sent beyond the St Mirren defence by Collin Samuel, he shot well wide from a difficult angle.
St Johnstone began to threaten from several set-pieces, one of which prompted a penalty appeal following Hugh Murray's clumsy aerial challenge on Davidson.
Referee Steven Nicholls waved play on and Graham Gartland sliced a volley wide from the loose ball.
The hosts had their first shot at goal in the 29th minute when Andy Dorman's free-kick from the left landed on top of the net.
But they had a far easier chance four minutes later after McGinn won a penalty.
The midfielder won the ball just outside the box, beat one man and went down after taking it round Dave Mackay.
There appeared to be contact but Mackay angrily accused the Scotland Under-21 international of diving, earning himself a yellow card, before Mehmet compounded his misery by sending Alan Main the wrong way from the spot.
The visitors tried to hit back immediately and Filipe Morais curled a free-kick straight at Paul Gallacher after Jack Ross had brought down Samuel right on the edge of the box.
Referee Steven Nicholls was at the centre of controversy
Main dived to push away Michael Higdon's header following a Dorman corner before the visitors levelled in the 37th minute.
Danny Grainger's long throw was cleared to the edge of the box and Morris drove into the bottom corner with Gallacher unsighted.
The burst of action continued and Morais shot just wide of the far post with the aid of a deflection after going past David Barron inside the box.
Both teams traded insults heading up the tunnel at half-time after the contentious penalty to set things up perfectly for the next 45 minutes.
St Johnstone should have taken the lead a minute after the restart when Morais broke clear down the right and produced a brilliant cross, but Steven Milne headed over from three yards.
The chance came after left-back Barron had been caught out following a high ball, but he made amends moments later when he cut inside Morais and curled a shot towards the far corner that forced Main into a smart diving save.
St Johnstone, with Millar on for Sheerin, were using the width of the pitch to push their hosts back and St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson brought Craig Dargo on for Higdon in search of a spark in the 61st minute.
A yellow card for Samuel for a late tackle on Murray prompted the second touchline argument of the game before MacPherson and opposite number Derek McInnes shook hands.
Davidson's glancing header was saved onto the bar by Gallacher following a cross from Morais, who was soon replaced by Martin Hardie.
Davidson almost won it in the 72nd minute when Gallacher touched his header on to the underside of the bar after Hardie had headed back Samuel's deep cross.
Gallacher produced another vital save when he pushed Deuchar's downward header past the post after the substitute had attacked Grainger's cross.
Grainger and Dargo were booked after squaring up to each other following a foul by the home striker, before Saints again failed to capitalise on a superb chance with seven minutes left.
Milne cut the ball back for the unmarked Millar eight yards out but Gallacher blocked his first effort and the midfielder headed the rebound against the bar.
The home keeper had time for a more routine save, when he dived low to catch Gartland's header from a Grainger cross.
Nicholls angered the hosts in injury-time when he blew up to book Gartland for a foul on sub Tom Brighton as McGinn strode forward with the ball at his feet.
St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson: "That's three out of our first four games where we've had, let's just call them inexperienced referees.
"I'd be more concerned with our team's display, especially in the second half.
"That's the poorest we've played for a while and I think we've got to look at it as a point gained.
"We've got to look at how we can create more opportunities. Teams know that is an issue now because they will come and sit in tight here and frustrate us early on."
St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes: "We should have won the game but haven't. I do think we were the better side throughout and sometimes you don't always get what you deserve.
"I thought the penalty kick was very harsh and the referee got that wrong.
"However, our response was excellent. Jody Morris scored a very good goal from the edge of the box.
"I'm proud of our performance because it was excellent, but the over-riding feeling is one of anti-climax and disappointment."
Live text and stats
Saturday, 12 September 2009
Mehmet (pen) 33
08 Dorman (Robb 85)
09 Mehmet (Brighton 77)
11 Higdon (Dargo 61 yellow card)
03 Grainger yellow card
12 MacKay yellow card
18 Gartland yellow card
11 Sheerin yellow card (Millar 52)
20 Davidson yellow card
22 Morais (Hardie 65)
21 Samuel yellow card (Deuchar 73)
Ref: NichollsAtt: 4,543
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:16 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
90:00+2:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Mair by Kenny Deuchar. Paul Gallacher restarts play with the free kick.
90:00+0:41 David Barron has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, save made by Alan Main.
90:00+0:41 Booking Graham Gartland is booked.
90:00+0:15 Foul by Graham Gartland on Tom Brighton, free kick awarded.
88:01 Daniel Grainger gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Hugh Murray. Steven Robb restarts play with the free kick.
87:30 Graham Gartland takes a shot. Paul Gallacher makes a save.
86:55 Kenny Deuchar produces a cross, blocked by John Potter.
86:16 Jack Ross sends in a cross, Craig Dargo produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
84:14 Substitution (St Mirren) makes a substitution, with Steven Robb coming on for Andy Dorman.
82:21 A cross is delivered by Steven Milne, Chris Millar takes a shot. Save by Paul Gallacher.
80:26 A cross is delivered by Andy Dorman.
79:19 Alan Main takes the free kick.
78:55 Booking Craig Dargo receives a caution.
78:52 Booking Booking for Daniel Grainger for unsporting behaviour.
77:28 David MacKay crosses the ball, clearance by David Barron.
76:32 Substitution Billy Mehmet leaves the field to be replaced by Tom Brighton.
75:56 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Jody Morris, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Graham Gartland
goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
75:37 The ball is crossed by Daniel Grainger, Kenny Deuchar takes a shot. Save by Paul Gallacher.
74:44 The ball is swung over by Jack Ross, clearance by Martin Hardie.
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