Kris Boyd's 90th minute winner saw Kilmarnock get the New Year off to a winning start at home to St Mirren.
Buddies debutant Adam Campbell gave the visitors the lead with a smart finish at Rugby Park.
Rory McKenzie levelled for Kilmarnock when he rifled a shot beyond the helpless Marian Kello.
With the game seemingly destined for a draw, the predatory Boyd pounced to grab the winner.
With both sides aiming to secure their sixth league win of the season, Kilmarnock came within a whisker of taking the lead when Craig Slater's effort cannoned back off the bar.
The visitors capitalised on that reprieve when 18-year-old on-loan Newcastle striker Campbell pounced as Killie failed to clear a free-kick and the debutant slotted home.
Buoyed by Campbell's goal, St Mirren sought a second with Conor Newton and John McGinn both forcing Craig Samson into saves against his former club.
Kilmarnock boss Allan Johnston had challenged his side to show some steel for the rest of the season.
And they equalised on the half-hour mark when McKenzie rifled a shot beyond Kello.
Samson was forced into action once again when he clawed away Paul McGowan's effort as both sides bristled with attacking intent.
The sides drew 1-1 in Paisley earlier in the season and the same scoreline looked likely after the break with both goalkeepers in great form.
Boyd, who had been quiet in the opening period, found space inside the area but send a shot high over the bar.
Samson, who proved impressive throughout, produced a superb save to push away Danny Grainger's volley.
Campbell grew in confidence as the game progressed and the teenager came close to scoring his and St Mirren's second when his shot was blocked.
In a Premiership clash boasting more than a few crisp drives from distance, Kilmarnock substitute Robbie Muirhead forced Kello into a superb stop with a thumping effort.
Campbell again threatened with the Kilmarnock defence creaking as both sides sought a winner.
Boyd sparked jubilant scenes among the home support showed great composure to keep his head after collecting Muirhead's pass and fire a shot past Kello.
Victory sees Kilmarnock leapfrog St Mirren and move into eighth spot in the table.
Kilmarnock 01 Samson 16 Clohessy 02 Tesselaar 28 Slater 30 Ashcroft 29 Pascali 18 McKenzie 05 Irvine 09 Boyd 25 Gardyne (Muirhead - 66' ) 10 Johnston (Nicholson - 85' ) Substitutes 07 Nicholson 08 Clingan 12 Reguero 21 Winchester 23 McKeown 26 O'Hara 33 Muirhead St Mirren 28 Kello 22 Naismith 18 Kelly 07 McGinn (Reilly - 76' ) 04 McGregor 14 McAusland 24 Newton 10 McGowan Booked 12 Campbell 09 Thompson (Harkins - 85' ) 27 Grainger Substitutes 02 van Zanten 05 Mair 08 Harkins 17 Reilly 26 Brady 30 Dilo 36 Cuddihy
Ref: Brian Colvin