Steven MacLean's first-half volley gave St Johnstone victory in Paisley and left St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership's relegation play-off spot.

MacLean converted David Wotherspoon's cross after a concerted period of pressure from the Perth side.

Michael O'Halloran was prevented from scoring a second for the visitors by Jason Naismith's timely challenge.

Paul McGowan and Josh Magennis threatened for the Buddies but the hosts could not carve out an equaliser.

And, with Ross County drawing with Aberdeen, St Mirren trail the Dingwall side by three points point and are two off Partick Thistle, who host Celtic on Wednesday.

The home team at St Mirren Park had started brightly against top-six St Johnstone, John McGinn's strike drawing a save from goalkeeper Alan Mannus.

St Mirren captain Steven Thompson headed just over and, moments later, Mannus was relieved to see Conor Newton's deflected shot spin onto the roof of the net.

St Johnstone came into the match and O'Halloran could not direct either of his efforts on target after being presented with two decent shooting opportunities.

Back at the other end, Darren McGregor nodded just over for the hosts.

St Johnstone players celebrating

MacLean (centre) is congratulated for his goal

The opening goal arrived when MacLean freed himself at the back post to connect well with Wotherspoon's corner.

The side from Perth were playing their second match without Tommy Wright in the dugout, with the manager recovering from gallbladder surgery.

And they were keen to finish the match as a contest early in the second half when O'Halloran got away a shot only for Naismith to make a last-ditch tackle.

McGowan tested Mannus and Magennis had a header cleared off the line by Steven Anderson as St Mirren toiled.

There were further chances for St Johnstone to add gloss to the scoreline, including O'Halloran being denied by substitute keeper Chris Dilo after he had replaced Marian Kello at the interval.

But, in the end, one goal proved to be enough as Scottish Cup semi-finalists St Johnstone consolidated sixth position, having already made sure of a top-half finish at the weekend.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

St Mirren

  • 28 Kello (Dilo - 45' )
  • 22 Naismith
  • 18 Kelly
  • 24 Newton (Wylde - 45' )
  • 04 McGregor
  • 14 McAusland
  • 16 Magennis
  • 11 McLean
  • 09 Thompson Booked
  • 10 McGowan (Teale - 68' )
  • 07 McGinn Booked

Substitutes

  • 02 van Zanten
  • 06 Goodwin
  • 12 Campbell
  • 21 Teale
  • 30 Dilo
  • 39 Wylde
  • 99 Djemba-Djemba

St Johnstone

  • 01 Mannus
  • 19 Miller
  • 02 Mackay
  • 12 Dunne Booked
  • 23 Clancy (Wright - 45' )
  • 06 Anderson
  • 22 Croft
  • 07 Millar Booked
  • 09 MacLean (May - 86' )
  • 29 O'Halloran
  • 10 Wotherspoon (Cregg - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Cregg
  • 05 Wright
  • 08 McDonald
  • 11 Hasselbaink
  • 15 Banks
  • 17 May
  • 25 Iwelumo
Ref: Alan Muir
Att: 2,817

Match Stats

Shots

6 11

On target

2 4

Corners

12 8

Fouls

13 6

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, St Mirren 0, St Johnstone 1.

90:00 +1:20 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, St Mirren 0, St Johnstone 1.

85:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Steve May replaces Steven MacLean.

83:28

Foul by Steven Anderson (St Johnstone).

83:28

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

83:06

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Chris Dilo.

82:56

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

82:26

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

82:16

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

80:28

Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

80:28

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

79:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Patrick Cregg replaces David Wotherspoon.

79:04

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

77:51

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

77:29 Booking

Booking James Dunne (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

77:14

Foul by James Dunne (St Johnstone).

77:14

Darren McGregor (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:19 Booking

Booking Steven Thompson (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

76:03

Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:03

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

74:31

Foul by Steven Anderson (St Johnstone).

74:31

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

71:02

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

71:02

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

70:36

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

69:26

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

67:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Gary Teale replaces Paul McGowan.

66:46

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:46

Foul by Gregg Wylde (St Mirren).

66:16

Attempt saved. Michael O'Halloran (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

63:15

Michael O'Halloran (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

63:15

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

60:25

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

58:22

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

57:58

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

56:07 Booking

Booking Chris Millar (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

56:04

Hand ball by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

50:52

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

50:24

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

48:19

Attempt missed. Josh Magennis (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

47:14

Attempt saved. Paul McGowan (St Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

46:17

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Darren McGregor.

45:56

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

45:00

Second Half begins St Mirren 0, St Johnstone 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Frazer Wright replaces Tim Clancy because of an injury.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Gregg Wylde replaces Conor Newton.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Chris Dilo replaces Marián Kello because of an injury.

45:00 +1:20 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, St Mirren 0, St Johnstone 1.

43:36

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

42:27

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

42:00

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

41:56

Foul by Darren McGregor (St Mirren).

41:00 Booking

Booking John McGinn (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

40:23

Tim Clancy (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:23

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

38:37 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Mirren 0, St Johnstone 1. Steven MacLean (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by David Wotherspoon.

37:05

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

36:16

Attempt missed. Darren McGregor (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

35:49

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by David Mackay.

33:25

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

33:25

Foul by Sean Kelly (St Mirren).

31:54

Foul by Tim Clancy (St Johnstone).

31:54

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

30:52

Attempt missed. David Mackay (St Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

26:08

Attempt missed. Michael O'Halloran (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

23:21

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Gary Miller.

22:19

Attempt missed. Michael O'Halloran (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

20:58

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

20:46

Attempt missed. Conor Newton (St Mirren) right footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

19:45

Foul by James Dunne (St Johnstone).

19:45

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

18:36

James Dunne (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

18:36

Foul by John McGinn (St Mirren).

17:21

Steven MacLean (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

17:21

Foul by Darren McGregor (St Mirren).

14:44

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

12:06

Attempt missed. James Dunne (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

9:27

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:27

Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).

9:05

Attempt saved. Steven MacLean (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

8:28

Attempt missed. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

8:09

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

7:39

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

7:28

Attempt saved. John McGinn (St Mirren) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

5:02

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

5:02

Foul by Marc McAusland (St Mirren).

3:38

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:38

Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers