Kevin Moon and Billy Mehmet try to win the ball in the air
St Johnstone leapfrogged opponents St Mirren in the Scottish Premier League table with victory at McDiarmid Park.
Chris Millar gave the home side a 19th-minute lead with a shot from outside the penalty area.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half when Michael Higdon was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Kenny Deuchar threatened for the home side as they tried to make sure of the win but one goal proved to be enough.
A yellow ball was used to combat the snowy conditions and St Mirren were first to threaten in the cold weather.
Craig Dargo meandered across the edge of the box and set up Billy Mehmet for a drive, which shaved the outside of the left-hand post.
Filipe Morais created an opening for the home side after 14 minutes but Jody Morris blazed over from 12 yards out.
Goalkeeper Graeme Smith came off his line to block Dargo's effort as the striker ran in on goal shortly before the deadlock was broken.
David Barron mis-queued as he tried to make a clearance and the ball fell to Millar 25 yards from goal and the midfielder drilled a shot under the body of Paul Gallacher.
Deuchar was off-target with St Johnstone's next effort after neat set-up play by the Perth side.
The home side started the second half in command but could not turn their possession into goals.
And they were almost made to pay as Stephen McGinn's cross was headed away by Danny Grainger as he ran back towards his own goal and Hugh Murray flashed a shot a wide after receiving the clearance 20 yards out.
Higdon had been booked for an earlier challenge on Graham Gartland and the St Mirren striker was given his marching orders after being cautioned for another tackle on the St Johnstone defender.
Deuchar intercepted a mis-hit clearance by Gallacher on the left flank but could not hit the target from distance.
Gallacher then claimed substitute Steven Milne's cross as Deuchar waited to pounce.
St Mirren introduced Stephen O'Donnell for Barron in the closing stages but the visitors could not find a decisive leveller.
St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes: "We said we'd sacrifice a good performance as long as we got the result. I think it was more of that today.
"It was imperative that we showed the right sort of resilience and we were determined to get a clean sheet. That was the basis for winning the game.
"There were times we could have shown more quality, but the important thing was getting that victory.
"Chris Millar gets into good goalscoring positions sometimes and he kept his composure and it has to be a good strike to beat Paul Gallacher from that distance.
"We're getting a few goals from the middle of the park and when it's the winner, it's even better.
"In this league we've learned you don't always get what you deserve. St Mirren are probably two years ahead of us. They have come up and they have maintained their SPL status. We are envious of that.
"They have shown how to stay in the league. It's not always pretty but they work had for each other."
St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson: "The first half was pretty even but I'm really disappointed with the second half.
"The sending off (of Michael Higdon) epitomises the second-half performance.
"We had two or three good chances but we'll always be disappointed when you lose a goal in the manner that we did.
"We were frustrated that we lost a late goal at Falkirk, which would have seen us take the three points.
"These games against the teams around you are the crucial ones. You just need a couple of wins, gaining confidence from that and you can climb the table.
"You know it's going to be very tight for the remainder of the season because so many teams are evenly matched."
Live text and stats
Saturday, 19 December 2009
02 Irvine yellow card
03 Grainger yellow card
22 Morais (Craig 64)
16 MacDonald (Milne 48)
19 Barron (O'Donnell 84)
04 McGinn (Robb 76)
07 Murray (Ramsey 88)
11 Higdon two yellow cards, red card
Ref: TumiltyAtt: 2,993
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+2:59 The referee blows for the end of the match.
87:43 Substitution (St Mirren) makes a substitution, with Conor Ramsey coming on for Hugh Murray.
83:31 Substitution Stephen O'Donnell replaces David Barron.
82:05 Corner taken left-footed by Liam Craig, Paul Gallacher makes a save.
80:45 Corner from the right by-line taken by Daniel Grainger, Billy Mehmet makes a clearance.
75:34 David MacKay makes a clearance.
75:34 Substitution Stephen McGinn goes off and Steven Robb comes on.
75:34 Corner taken left-footed by Steven Robb from the right by-line,
73:36 Corner taken by Liam Craig from the left by-line, clearance by Hugh Murray. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line
by Liam Craig.
72:30 Shot from just outside the box by Kenny Deuchar goes over the bar.
70:59 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Daniel Grainger, Hugh Murray manages to make a clearance. Jody Morris has an effort
at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.
70:07 Booking Gary Irvine is shown a yellow card.
69:48 Gary Irvine challenges Craig Dargo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by David Barron.
66:48 Indirect free kick taken by Daniel Grainger.
66:48 Sent off Michael Higdon receives a red card.
66:38 Foul by Michael Higdon on Graham Gartland, free kick awarded.
65:30 David Barron gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kevin Moon. Daniel Grainger restarts play with the free kick.
63:25 Substitution Liam Craig is brought on as a substitute for Filipe Morais.
61:46 Hugh Murray has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.
59:20 Corner taken by Daniel Grainger from the right by-line, Hugh Murray manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Filipe Morais
from the left by-line, David Barron makes a clearance. Corner taken by Filipe Morais from the left by-line.
58:08 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Higdon by Graham Gartland. John Potter restarts play with the free kick.
57:12 Daniel Grainger takes a corner.
56:49 Hugh Murray gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Millar. Gary Irvine takes the direct free kick.
55:16 The assistant referee signals for offside against Craig Dargo. Free kick taken by Graeme Smith.
47:43 Substitution Steven Milne joins the action as a substitute, replacing Peter MacDonald.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+2:28 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
45:00+1:51 Chris Innes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Peter MacDonald. Daniel Grainger delivers the ball from the
free kick left-footed from right by-line.
43:59 Effort on goal by Michael Higdon from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
42:00 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Stephen McGinn from the right by-line, clearance made by Peter MacDonald.
41:29 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stephen McGinn.
39:34 Craig Dargo takes a shot. Save by Graeme Smith.
36:35 Effort on goal by Kenny Deuchar from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.
34:28 Craig Dargo is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Graeme Smith.
32:17 Daniel Grainger concedes a free kick for a foul on Billy Mehmet. Free kick taken by John Potter.
30:23 Headed chance falls to Michael Higdon, save by Graeme Smith.
29:55 Foul by Graham Gartland on Michael Higdon, free kick awarded. David Barron takes the free kick.
28:15 Stephen McGinn takes the free kick.
28:15 Booking Booking for Daniel Grainger for unsporting behaviour.
28:03 Daniel Grainger gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Thomson.
27:03 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Filipe Morais by Lee Mair. Filipe Morais crosses the ball, Shot from just outside
the box by Jody Morris misses to the left of the goal.
23:26 Corner taken by Filipe Morais from the left by-line to the near post, Lee Mair makes a clearance.
22:48 Booking The referee cautions Michael Higdon for unsporting behaviour.
22:13 Michael Higdon concedes a free kick for a foul on Graham Gartland. Graeme Smith takes the indirect free kick.
19:42 Corner taken by Filipe Morais played to the near post, Gary Irvine challenges Chris Innes unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Paul Gallacher takes the direct free kick.
18:19 GOAL - Chris Millar:St Johnstone 1 - 0 St Mirren Chris Millar finds the back of the net with a goal from outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. St Johnstone
1-0 St Mirren.
16:29 Craig Dargo takes a shot. Save by Graeme Smith.
13:50 Shot on goal by Jody Morris from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
13:06 Free kick awarded for a foul by Peter MacDonald on Chris Innes. Free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
10:20 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stephen McGinn, clearance by Kenny Deuchar.
9:17 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugh Murray on Filipe Morais. Graeme Smith takes the free kick.
8:26 Kevin Moon takes a shot. Save by Paul Gallacher.
4:40 Shot from just outside the penalty area by Billy Mehmet misses to the left of the target.
3:24 Headed effort from inside the area by John Potter misses to the left of the goal.
3:03 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Thomson by Peter MacDonald. Direct free kick taken by John Potter.
0:00 The referee gets the game underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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