St Mirren beat Motherwell 1-0 at Fir Park to continue their unbeaten start and move into second in the cinch Premiership table.
Scott Tanser volleyed home the only goal of the game 10 minutes after half-time and despite creating a number of good opportunities, the home side failed to find a leveller.
In suffering their first defeat of the season, the Steelmen slipped to third – one point behind St Mirren.
Motherwell began the game brightly and it took a good interception by Marcus Fraser to prevent Theo Bair’s cross reaching Callum Slattery inside the six-yard box.
St Mirren’s first chance fell to Conor McMenamin who should have done better when he was picked out by Mikael Mandron but his weak effort was easily gathered by Liam Kelly.
Blair Spittal worked St Mirren goalkeeper Zach Hemming with a free-kick and Slattery flashed a shot wide of the target as Motherwell continued to press for the opening goal, while at the other end McMenamin went close after seizing on some loose defending.
The hosts passed up a glorious opportunity to take the lead on the half-hour mark when Slattery’s superb defence splitting pass released Bair who dragged his low shot inches past a post.
Buddies boss Stephen Robinson introduced Charles Dunne and Keanu Baccus at half-time in an attempt to breathe some life into what had been a subdued performance from his team, though it was Motherwell who continued to look the more likely.
Spittal forced Hemming into a good stop a minute after the restart and Harry Paton then had an effort from distance that drifted just wide.
The deadlock was broken against the run of play after 55 minutes when Tanser brilliantly volleyed home Ryan Strain’s cross.
Just two minutes later, it took an excellent stop from Kelly to keep out Mandron’s back-post header and prevent Saints from doubling their advantage.
Slattery’s free-kick brought out a great save from Hemming and Bevis Mugabi had a shot deflected past the post as Stuart Kettlewell’s side searched for a route back into the match.
Oli Shaw replaced Bair with 12 minutes left and he wasted a brilliant chance to level with his first touch after latching on to Paton’s pass.
In the final minute, Georgie Gent came agonisingly close to an equaliser when he crashed an effort that flew past Hemming and struck the underside of the crossbar.
Seven minutes of added time gave Motherwell hope of grabbing a late equaliser, though it would be the visitors that had the best opportunity when Toyosi Olusanya burst through on goal only to be denied by a last ditch tackle by Dan Casey.