St Johnstone claimed victory against Inverness in what could be manager Derek McInnes's last match in charge.
McInnes, who is to be interviewed for the vacant Bristol City job, watched on as Francisco Sandaza fired the hosts in front on 12 minutes.
Dave MacKay doubled the advantage 20 minutes into the second half, the defender finishing with his left foot.
Inverness could not find a way back into the match and they remain bottom of the Scottish Premier League.
The opener came in the 13th minute after Sandaza collected the ball just inside the Inverness half and fed Cillian Sheridan on the left wing.
Sheridan returned the ball to his strike partner on the edge of the area with a lofted pass and the Spaniard chested it down, shrugged off a defender and shot high into the net with his left foot.
Sandaza engineered another chance when his skill took him away from two men following Liam Craig's low cross, but goalkeeper Ryan Esson was quickly off his line to block the striker's close-range effort.
The forward pairing was split up in the 20th minute when Marcus Haber replaced the injured Sheridan.
Caley Thistle midfielder Greg Tansey fired in two decent long-range strikes, but neither forced goalkeeper Peter Enckelman into action and Andrew Shinnie curled an effort just over from a difficult angle.
Enckelman made his first save to guide David Proctor's header over following a corner, but St Johnstone survived the spell of pressure and should have gone further ahead in stoppage-time after a sweeping move from deep inside their own half.
Mackay and Chris Millar linked up brilliantly on the right to set up Haber 12 yards out, but the striker scuffed his shot against the post and Thomas Piermayr blocked as Craig followed up.
The Perth side came out eager to add to their tally and Esson got down well to save Mackay's drive after Chris Millar had fed his forward run.
Inverness should have been further behind when Kevin Moon ran unmarked on to Craig's cross, but the midfielder sliced his first-time effort over.
The second came when Sandaza put Esson under pressure from Morris's right-wing cross and the ball fell for Mackay, who sent a first-time left-footed effort into the bottom corner from 14 yards.
Foran almost pulled one back with a brilliant 20-yard strike, but Enckelman pushed it on to the bar and over and Saints held on to their lead comfortably to move one point behind Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.