St Johnstone pushed back into the top six of the Scottish Premiership with a convincing home win against St Mirren.

A commanding first half for the hosts saw David Wotherspoon, Nigel Hasselbaink and Stevie May all denied.

Murray Davidson broke the deadlock from a Wotherspoon corner, nodding home after goalkeeper Chris Dilo had attempted to punch clear.

May then struck from the edge of the penalty area to clinch all three points for the Perth side.

The victory lifts the McDiarmid Park outfit above Hibernian and with a game in hand over the Easter Road side, while the Buddies remain in the lower half but still well clear of bottom club Hearts.

There was a minute's silence before the game in tribute to former St Johnstone player Ian Redford, who died on Friday.

An unchanged Saints side controlled the first 45 minutes with some conviction without being able to get the ball in the net.

Numerous attempts on the St Mirren goal began in the seventh minute when midfielder Wotherspoon forced Dilo into a decent save with a long-distance drive, although the corner came to nothing.

Moments later the Buddies' replacement keeper was less convincing when he batted a clearance off the on-rushing May and was glad to see the ball rebound behind for a goal-kick.

The busy St Johnstone striker then hit the top of the bar with a shot from the edge of the area after Hasselbaink and midfielder Murray Davidson combined at the edge of the box.

The Perth side were well on top and in the 24th minute a chance presented itself when May, with a fine reverse pass, sent Hasselbaink clear of St Mirren full-back Jason Naismith.

The former Buddies forward won the race for the ball with Dilo, but toe-poked it inches past the post from the edge of the area.

The Paisley keeper then did well to get his hand to an angled-drive from May, but soon had to rely on the woodwork to save him again.

In the 33rd minute, after Goodwin was penalised for a foul on Davidson 25 yards from goal, Mackay beat Dilo with his curling free-kick only to see the ball crash off the bar, with the Paisley side eventually clearing their lines.

The visitors' first real attempt on goal came a minute before the break when midfielder Paul McGowan fired wide from the edge of the box.

St Mirren started the second half in a more positive mode, forcing the home side back for the first time in the game, but St Johnstone soon reasserted themselves.

Goodwin, booked for a foul on May in the 65th minute, was shown some leniency by referee Calum Murray after a further two fouls, to the annoyance of the home support.

However, those fans soon changed their tune when Davidson forced in a Wotherspoon corner after a weak Dilo punch to give the home side the lead.

And they they were further elated three minutes later when May's curling effort from 20 yards beat Dilo and went in off a post.

St Mirren appeared to have little to say about their predicament as the Perth men piled forward in the search for more goals.

The home side passed up on more chances before keeper Alan Mannus made a good save from St Mirren substitute Stephane Bahoken, on for Adam Campbell, in injury-time to ensure a clean sheet.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (3)

St Johnstone

  • 01 Mannus
  • 02 Mackay
  • 03 Scobbie
  • 08 McDonald
  • 06 Anderson
  • 05 Wright
  • 07 Millar
  • 18 Davidson
  • 17 May Booked
  • 11 Hasselbaink (Croft - 78' Booked )
  • 10 Wotherspoon (O'Halloran - 88' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Cregg
  • 15 Banks
  • 19 Miller
  • 20 Brown
  • 22 Croft
  • 29 O'Halloran
  • 31 Easton

St Mirren

  • 22 Naismith
  • 18 Kelly
  • 06 Goodwin Booked
  • 14 McAusland
  • 04 McGregor
  • 12 Campbell (Bahoken - 54' )
  • 24 Newton
  • 10 McGowan
  • 09 Thompson
  • 27 Grainger Booked
  • 30 Dilo

Substitutes

  • 02 van Zanten
  • 05 Mair
  • 17 Reilly
  • 19 Bahoken
  • 26 Brady
  • 29 Hughes
Ref: Calum Murray
Att: 2,329

Match Stats

Shots

19 3

On target

6 0

Corners

9 3

Fouls

14 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, St Johnstone 2, St Mirren 0.

90:00 +2:02 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, St Johnstone 2, St Mirren 0.

90:00 +0:16

Attempt blocked. Lee Croft (St Johnstone) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

89:26

Hand ball by Daniel Grainger (St Mirren).

87:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces David Wotherspoon.

86:42 Booking

Booking Lee Croft (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

86:35

Foul by Lee Croft (St Johnstone).

86:35

Sean Kelly (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

83:29

Attempt missed. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

82:18

Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

82:18

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

79:47

Foul by David Mackay (St Johnstone).

79:47

Sean Kelly (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:23

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

78:23

Foul by Daniel Grainger (St Mirren).

77:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Lee Croft replaces Nigel Hasselbaink.

76:08

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

75:09

Attempt missed. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

73:20 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 2, St Mirren 0. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left to the top right corner.

72:20

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

70:28 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 1, St Mirren 0. Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

69:57

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Steven Thompson.

69:27

Attempt blocked. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

68:46

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:46

Foul by James Goodwin (St Mirren).

67:55

Attempt missed. David Mackay (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

67:06

Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

67:06

Foul by James Goodwin (St Mirren).

64:36 Booking

Booking James Goodwin (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

64:20

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

64:20

Foul by James Goodwin (St Mirren).

63:36 Booking

Booking Steve May (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

63:32

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

63:32

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

62:55

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Darren McGregor.

62:25

Attempt blocked. Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

62:02

Attempt saved. Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

60:39

Foul by Steven Anderson (St Johnstone).

60:39

Steven Thompson (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

59:45

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

58:36

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

58:36

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

58:15

Attempt missed. Sean Kelly (St Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

57:18

Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

57:18

Steven Thompson (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

55:00

Hand ball by Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone).

53:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Stéphane Bahoken replaces Adam Campbell.

52:54

Attempt saved. Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

51:50

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

49:37

Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:37

Foul by Jason Naismith (St Mirren).

49:04

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

48:50

Attempt blocked. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.

48:17

Foul by David Mackay (St Johnstone).

48:17

Steven Thompson (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:00

Second Half begins St Johnstone 0, St Mirren 0.

45:00 +1:26 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, St Johnstone 0, St Mirren 0.

45:00 +0:49

Foul by Gary McDonald (St Johnstone).

45:00 +0:49

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

43:49

Attempt missed. Paul McGowan (St Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

39:51

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

39:30

Attempt blocked. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

38:49

Attempt missed. Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

38:07

Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

38:07

Foul by James Goodwin (St Mirren).

37:09

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

37:09

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

33:16

Foul by Gary McDonald (St Johnstone).

33:16

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

32:53

David Mackay (St Johnstone) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

31:51

Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:51

Foul by James Goodwin (St Mirren).

31:22

Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:22

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

26:50

Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner.

26:16

Hand ball by Paul McGowan (St Mirren).

24:04

Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box.

23:00

Daniel Grainger (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:56

Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

21:47 Booking

Booking Daniel Grainger (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

21:43

Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

21:43

Foul by Daniel Grainger (St Mirren).

18:29

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

18:29

Foul by Daniel Grainger (St Mirren).

18:03

Foul by Gary McDonald (St Johnstone).

18:03

Paul McGowan (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

16:17

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

15:44

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

12:53

Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

12:53

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

12:23

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Daniel Grainger.

10:35

Steve May (St Johnstone) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box.

8:51

Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

8:51

Foul by James Goodwin (St Mirren).

7:16

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Christopher Dilo.

6:49

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

4:35

Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

4:35

Foul by James Goodwin (St Mirren).

2:55

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Darren McGregor.

2:27

Attempt blocked. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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