Match ends, St Mirren 1, Ross County 0.
St Mirren moved to the brink of securing their Premiership future with a hard-fought but ultimately deserved win over fellow play-off candidates Ross County.
The goal that won the match was worthy of winning any game, coming from the boot of Gregg Wylde.
The winger picked up possession just outside the area and lashed a bullet of a shot past the diving Mark Brown.
County hit the woodwork twice but could not find an equaliser.
It leaves them very much still in the play-off mix, but St Mirren have taken a massive step towards safety.
Their good recent form - two wins and two draws in their last four games - looked to have given them an injection of real confidence and positivity.
Snapping into tackles and zipping passes about, they looked more up for the contest, with Kenny McLean the driving force for the home side.
McLean it was who forced two early saves from Brown with well-hit shots from outside the penalty area.
Paul McGowan's ingenuity almost produced the opening goal, but his flick with the outside of his right boot was collected by Brown.
County gradually clawed their way into the match and might have taken the lead themselves, but Melvin de Leeuw's fiercely-hit shot was deflected narrowly wide.
Richie Brittain went even closer, curling a beautiful free kick against the angle of post and bar moments before Alex Cooper shot straight at Chris Dilo.
Conor Newton provided Brown with another test at the other end, but the goalkeeper was equal to the midfielder's powerful low drive.
Cooper's introduction as a substitute had given County an added dimension and he brought another good save out of Dilo as play began to rage from end to end.
When the breakthrough finally came, it did so in utterly sublime fashion, Wylde's stunning strike triggering jubilation in the home stands.
McLean almost trumped that with an audacious strike of his own that came back off the inside of the post and then Rocco Quinn came within inches of a late equaliser with a first-time volley that hit the top of the crossbar.
It leaves Danny Lennon's men needing a monumental collapse and disastrous series of results elsewhere to drop into the relegation play-off spot and indeed a best-ever seventh place looks more likely.
County, though, still have work to do and drop into 10th place, one point above second-bottom Kilmarnock, who face Hearts on Sunday.
- 10McGowanSubstituted forMagennisat 67'minutes
- 7McGinnSubstituted forWyldeat 67'minutes
- 2van Zanten
- 3GordonBooked at 60mins
- 8BrittainSubstituted forArquinat 71'minutes
- 11De LeeuwSubstituted forQuinnat 88'minutes
- 23CareySubstituted forCooperat 45'minutes
- Craig Thomson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, St Mirren 1, Ross County 0.
Attempt missed. Erik Cikos (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Rocco Quinn (Ross County) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.
Substitution, Ross County. Rocco Quinn replaces Melvin De Leeuw.
James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Yoann Arquin (Ross County).
Attempt saved. Kenny McLean (St Mirren) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Alex Cooper.
Steven Thompson (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Yann Songo'o (Ross County).
Kenny McLean (St Mirren) hits the left post with a left footed shot from long range on the right.
Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (St Mirren) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Goal! St Mirren 1, Ross County 0. Gregg Wylde (St Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by James Goodwin.
Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Erik Cikos.
Attempt saved. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Steven Thompson (St Mirren) hits the left post with a header from the left side of the six yard box.
Darren McGregor (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Yoann Arquin (Ross County).
Substitution, Ross County. Yoann Arquin replaces Richard Brittain.