Match ends, Dundee United 1, St. Mirren 0.
Dundee United 1-0 St Mirren
Billy King's early strike gave Dundee United a victory at Tannadice that at least postpones St Mirren's Championship title party.
Midfielder King slotted in a low cross from former Buddies winger Paul McMullan after only two minutes.
Danny Mullen fired against the United crossbar and St Mirren had most of the pressure in the second half.
But United goalkeeper Daniz Mehmet was rarely threatened and counterpart Craig Samson saved superbly from Sam Stanton.
While St Mirren remain a point away from the title, United move level with third-top Dunfermline Athletic with a game in hand.
Despite having recorded only one win in their previous seven matches, the home side started in great fashion.
McMullen got the better of Liam Smith down the right-hand side and sent a cross deep into the box.
Neither of the Saints centre-halfs, Gary McKenzie and Harry Davis, were able to clear and King fired the ball in at the near post.
It stung the visitors into action, with Lewis Morgan firing a free knock just wide and an Adam Eckersly cross was deflected only a few feet the wrong side of the post.
Roared on by more than 2,000 fans who had made the trip from Paisley to Tayside, the Buddies pushed forward looking for an equaliser.
Ryan Flynn found good space down the right-hand side and sent an inch perfect cross into the box for Mullen.
The former Livingston striker smashed the ball towards goal, it beat Mehmet but crashed off the underside of the crossbar.
Tackles were flying in with some velocity and referee Andrew Dallas' yellow cards were kept busy.
Thomas Mikkelsen latched on to a long ball over the top of the visiting defence, but his shot from 14 yards on the angle was straight into the arms of Samson.
Stanton was also given a golden opportunity to double United's advantage when sent through on goal by King.
However, the midfielders shot from just 12 yards was brilliantly pushing wide for a corner by the goalkeeper.
St Mirren were dominating possession, but Mehmet was having little to do in the home goal.
There was to be no way through and the Paisley faithful have to wait now until Saturday's home game against second-top Livingston for another chance to clinch the title and promotion.
Dundee United manager Csaba Laszlo: "This is what I want to see from my team all season. The pride today was there and it was very important we scored an early goal and the team defended really well after.
"St Mirren are dominating the league this season, but they had one chance, I think, when they hit the crossbar. But, generally, they didn't have any chances.
"I hope that the team gets a lift and against Falkirk we can continue this performance and keep this form until the end of the season."
St Mirren manager Jack Ross: "Disappointed in the result. I don't think we deserved to lose in terms of how much we dominated.
"It's a poor start, which gives them something to hold on to and it's ironic you come to the home of Dundee United and they're hanging on for 87 minutes.
"I've reminded the players the season we've had has enabled us to have five opportunities to win this league. We've got four left, so they'll be ok.
"What they've done to date has been outstanding. I didn't think they froze tonight.
"Their effort levels, commitment and desire to win the match was evident throughout."
- 4DurnanBooked at 45mins
- 7McMullanBooked at 41minsSubstituted forBrielsat 86'minutes
- 24GillespieBooked at 74mins
- 11KingSubstituted forGlassat 90+1'minutes
- 9MikkelsenBooked at 24mins
- 24DavisBooked at 65mins
- 4McGinnBooked at 24minsSubstituted forSuttonat 74'minutes
- 11SmithSubstituted forHippolyteat 80'minutes
- 10MorganBooked at 82mins
- 27MullenSubstituted forReillyat 64'minutes
- Andrew Dallas
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Dundee United 1, St. Mirren 0.
Substitution, Dundee United. Declan Glass replaces Billy King.
Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Anthony Ralston.
Attempt saved. John Sutton (St. Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Dundee United. Jordie Briels replaces Paul McMullan.
Myles Hippolyte (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Anthony Ralston (Dundee United).
Lewis Morgan (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, St. Mirren. Myles Hippolyte replaces Cameron Smith.
Gavin Reilly (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Bilel Mohsni (Dundee United).
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Craig Samson.
Attempt saved. Samuel Stanton (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Attempt saved. Kyle Magennis (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Substitution, St. Mirren. John Sutton replaces Stephen McGinn because of an injury.
Grant Gillespie (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Cameron Smith (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Grant Gillespie (Dundee United).
Foul by Cameron Smith (St. Mirren).
Grant Gillespie (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Liam Smith (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Paul McMullan (Dundee United).
Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Stewart Murdoch.
Stelios Demetriou (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Stewart Murdoch (Dundee United).
Harry Davis (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Harry Davis (St. Mirren).
Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Substitution, St. Mirren. Gavin Reilly replaces Daniel Mullen.
Attempt missed. Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Gary MacKenzie.
Billy King (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Adam Eckersley (St. Mirren).
Foul by Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United).
Stephen McGinn (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Stewart Murdoch (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ryan Flynn (St. Mirren).
Foul by Willo Flood (Dundee United).