Ross County leapfrogged Dundee United into eighth place in the SPL and are now just a point shy of the top six following a home win over St Johnstone.
Ivan Sproule made a stunning recovery from a hamstring injury to grab the only goal of the game after 11 minutes.
The visitors had the bulk of play as they searched for an equaliser, with Mehdi Abeid pulling the strings.
But the Dingwall side held firm and are now unbeaten in seven games where they have taken 17 of a possible 21 points.
The first attack came from the visitors when Abeid ran through on goal but shot straight at Mark Brown.
County wasted no time in responding and, after some good lead up work by Richard Brittain and Rocco Quinn, Sproule collected the ball at the edge of the box out on the right and lofted it into the net.
This galvanised St Johnstone into action and Rowan Vine had a shot tipped past the right-hand post by Brown, who was in action again to deal with a well hit 25-yard shot from Abeid.
At the other end Alex Cooper tested Alan Mannus with an oblique shot from the left but play swung back to the home end when Brown was again in action to deal with an effort from Liam Craig.
Sam Morrow, provided by Evangelos Oikonomou, did have a chance to extend County's advantage but a poor effort went well wide.
St Johnstone continued to press into the second half and David McCracken had a goalbound header from a corner headed clear.
Then Brown proved his worth yet again when he got a foot to a shot from Craig.
For a man only recently recovered from a hamstring injury, Sproule continued to contribute some dynamic running but couldn't convert after surging down the left.
The hopes of the home fans rose when dead-ball specialist Richard Brittain stepped up to take a 27-yard free-kick but it fizzed past the left post.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 16 February 2013
Scottish Premier League
16 Sproule (Kettlewell 81)
21 Cooper (Glen 73)
17 Morrow (Steffen Wohlfarth 73 yellow card)
15 Steffen Wohlfarth,
05 Wright yellow card
04 Cregg (Tade 65)
08 Davidson (Doughty 19)
10 Craig yellow card
17 MacLean yellow card
23 Vine (Hasselbaink 74)
14 Gwion Edwards,
Ref: BeatonAtt: 3,516
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:26 The referee brings the game to a close.
Correction - 90:00+2:46 Liam Craig takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the right of the target.
90:00+2:46 Liam Craig takes a shot from 35 yards and missed to the right of the net.
90:00+1:27 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gregory Tade by Stuart Kettlewell. Alan Mannus restarts play with the free kick.
89:50 Stuart Kettlewell fouled by Liam Craig, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Scott Boyd.
87:44 Steffen Wohlfarth is ruled offside. Frazer Wright restarts play with the free kick.
87:02 Unfair challenge on Mihael Kovacevic by Nigel Hasselbaink results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Scott Boyd.
86:09 Steffen Wohlfarth gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Frazer Wright.
86:01 Alan Mannus takes the free kick.
86:01 Booking Steffen Wohlfarth goes into the referee's book.
85:32 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul Lawson by Steven MacLean.
84:57 Grant Munro takes the direct free kick.
84:57 Booking Caution for Steven MacLean.
83:53 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Nigel Hasselbaink. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Mehdi
80:55 Effort on goal by Paul Lawson from a long way out goes over the bar.
79:50 Substitution Stuart Kettlewell on for Ivan Sproule.
79:50 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Glen by Mehdi Abeid. Free kick taken by Scott Boyd.
78:18 Michael Doughty fouled by Steffen Wohlfarth, the ref awards a free kick. Alan Mannus takes the indirect free kick.
Correction - 76:30 Steffen Wohlfarth fouled by Frazer Wright, the ref awards a free kick.
76:30 Steffen Wohlfarth fouled by Frazer Wright, the ref awards a free kick. Richard Brittain takes the free kick.
Correction - 76:22 Booking Frazer Wright booked.
76:22 Shot comes in from Richard Brittain from the free kick.
76:22 Booking Frazer Wright receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
75:55 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Brittain by Michael Doughty. Grant Munro takes the free kick.
75:24 Foul by Steffen Wohlfarth on Steven Anderson, free kick awarded. Alan Mannus takes the free kick.
74:07 Nigel Hasselbaink fouled by Evangelos Ikonomou, the ref awards a free kick. Nigel Hasselbaink restarts play with the free
kick. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Mehdi Abeid.
73:49 Substitution Nigel Hasselbaink comes on in place of Rowan Vine.
72:56 Substitution Sam Morrow goes off and Steffen Wohlfarth comes on.
72:15 Substitution Alex Cooper goes off and Gary Glen comes on.
71:45 Liam Craig takes a shot. Save made by Mark Brown.
70:50 Rocco Quinn takes a shot. Save by Alan Mannus.
69:47 Foul by Liam Craig on Paul Lawson, free kick awarded. Mark Brown takes the indirect free kick.
68:07 Steven MacLean concedes a free kick for a foul on Evangelos Ikonomou. Direct free kick taken by Grant Munro.
67:03 Gregory Tade concedes a free kick for a foul on Grant Munro. Grant Munro restarts play with the free kick.
66:42 Corner taken right-footed by Steven MacLean.
64:24 Substitution Patrick Cregg leaves the field to be replaced by Gregory Tade.
61:18 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Rowan Vine.
59:33 The offside flag is raised against Ivan Sproule. Direct free kick taken by David McCracken.
58:21 Ivan Sproule takes a shot. Save made by Alan Mannus.
57:37 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Michael Doughty, clearance made by Scott Boyd.
56:40 Corner taken by Liam Craig.
55:22 Richard Brittain concedes a free kick for a foul on Frazer Wright. Liam Craig takes the free kick.
54:44 Liam Craig takes a shot. Save by Mark Brown.
52:44 Corner taken by Liam Craig from the right by-line, clearance by Scott Boyd.
50:40 Unfair challenge on Grant Munro by Steven MacLean results in a free kick. Mark Brown takes the direct free kick.
49:50 Shot by David McCracken from a long way out goes over the target.
48:40 Michael Doughty takes a shot and went wide left of the target.
48:04 Effort on goal by Liam Craig from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.
47:23 Richard Brittain gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Patrick Cregg. Free kick taken by Mehdi Abeid.
45:10 The referee blows for offside against Rowan Vine. Mark Brown takes the direct free kick.
45:01 The second half begins.
45:00+1:00 The players leave the pitch at half time.
44:37 Rocco Quinn concedes a free kick for a foul on Callum Davidson. Free kick taken by Alan Mannus.
44:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Rowan Vine on Evangelos Ikonomou. Richard Brittain takes the free kick.
43:36 Liam Craig gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ivan Sproule. Richard Brittain takes the free kick.
43:27 Booking Booking for Liam Craig.
41:00 Corner taken by Paul Lawson from the right by-line, David McCracken manages to make a clearance.
38:48 The offside flag is raised against Ivan Sproule. Alan Mannus restarts play with the free kick.
37:33 Shot from outside the box by Sam Morrow misses to the left of the goal.
31:06 The official flags Sam Morrow offside. Alan Mannus takes the indirect free kick.
30:26 Corner taken by Richard Brittain from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Liam Craig.
27:24 Steven Anderson has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the target.
26:31 Liam Craig takes a shot. Save by Mark Brown.
25:39 Effort on goal by Rocco Quinn from outside the box goes harmlessly over the bar.
24:57 Steven Anderson challenges Alex Cooper unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Paul Lawson, clearance by
23:00 Michael Doughty takes a shot. Blocked by Grant Munro.
21:54 Rowan Vine takes a shot. Save by Mark Brown.
18:34 Substitution Michael Doughty joins the action as a substitute, replacing Murray Davidson.
17:26 Richard Brittain takes a shot. Clearance by Frazer Wright. Corner taken right-footed by Richard Brittain from the right by-line,
Frazer Wright makes a clearance.
16:11 Effort on goal by Mehdi Abeid from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
15:04 Rowan Vine takes a shot. Save made by Mark Brown. Inswinging corner taken by Liam Craig from the right by-line played to the
near post, Mihael Kovacevic makes a clearance.
Correction - 10:45 Assist by Mihael Kovacevic.
10:45 Mihael Kovacevic provided the assist for the goal.
10:45 GOAL - Ivan Sproule:Ross County 1 - 0 St Johnstone Ivan Sproule scores a goal from 35 yards. Ross County 1-0 St Johnstone.
Correction - 6:55 The offside flag is raised against Steven MacLean. Mark Brown restarts play with the free kick. Mehdi Abeid takes a shot.
Mark Brown makes a save.
6:55 The assistant referee signals for offside against Steven MacLean. Mark Brown restarts play with the free kick. Mehdi Abeid
takes a shot. Save made by Mark Brown.
5:44 Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Lawson on Murray Davidson. Free kick crossed by Liam Craig, clearance by Mihael Kovacevic.
1:14 Free kick awarded for a foul by Patrick Cregg on Richard Brittain. Paul Lawson takes the direct free kick.
0:00 The referee starts the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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