Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, St. Mirren 0.
St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin described the call to send off Cammy MacPherson as "a joke" in his side's Scottish Premiership loss to St Johnstone.
The midfielder received two bookings for sliding challenges either side of the half-time interval.
Chris Kane's finish won the game, and Goodwin also took exception to the referee's decision making in the build-up to the goal.
"It's been a miserable afternoon," said Goodwin.
"Joe Shaughnessy clearly heads the ball onto Guy Melamed's arm [in the build-up to the goal], whose arm is way above his head. If it happens in the penalty area you are screaming for a penalty. Steven McLean's view of that is perfect.
"The sending off is a joke as far as I'm concerned. For the first one I think it's a good honest tackle. You could argue Cammy's trailing leg catches the St Johnstone player. The second one is just a mistake. I think the referee's position is all wrong. I don't think he can see Cammy touches the ball."
The win for St Johnstone ended a 10-game winless league run and means they are now level on points with eighth-placed St Mirren.
The visitors briefly started the brighter of the two sides as Eamonn Brophy came close to getting on the end of a Jamie McGrath volley that was driven into the ground.
But as the early stages progressed, the home side began to feel their way into the game as both Scott Tanser and Shaun Rooney saw two dangerous balls in quick succession evade everyone in the St Mirren box.
David Wotherspoon then came close to breaking the deadlock with a curling free-kick that drifted narrowly wide of Jak Alnwick's top-right corner, before Joe Shaughnessy glanced wide from a deep McGrath free-kick up the other end.
Shaughnessy was then called into duty in his own box as Kane turned Conor McCarthy before feeding Guy Melamed, but the St Mirren captain did well to deny the Israeli striker with a last-ditch challenge at close range.
However, the hosts would have their goal less than a minute into the second period. Melamed flicked a neat through ball to Kane who hammered a volley towards Alnwick from the edge of the box.
The St Mirren keeper could only parry straight back into the path of Kane who tapped home his sixth goal of the season.
The away side's afternoon went from bad to worse when MacPherson was dismissed for a second bookable offence just 10 minutes later, having mistimed two sliding tackles either side of the break.
Man of the match - Chris Kane
What did we learn?
So many times this season St Johnstone's frontline has failed to take chances when it counts, and it increasingly looked like an area of the pitch that Davidson would have to address in January.
However, with two goals in his last two games in matches that have earned the Perth side four points, Kane looks like he might be working himself into a run of form in a striking partnership with Melamed that looks promising.
As for St Mirren, after an impressive run throughout November and December - taking 14 points from seven games - their form has begun to stutter with no wins in four league games. And while their Covid breach appeal may have brought good news, the Paisley club now see themselves just five points off the bottom two. Goodwin's men cannot afford to let this dip in form spiral out of control.
What they said
St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson: "It was a funny game. First half there wasn't a lot in it. But if we wanted the three points, I asked for a scrappy 1-0 win and we got that.
"We can play better. The energy levels can be better. Defensively we were really good today. We were really solid and we got close to St Mirren."
St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "It was a really poor game. Jak Alnwik has had one save to make all afternoon and it's the save that leads to the goal. I thought it had 0-0 written all over it."
Both sides take part in next weekend's Scottish League Cup semi-finals as St Johnstone face Hibernian on Saturday (17:30 GMT) before St Mirren take on Livingston (16:00) the following day.
- 13BrysonSubstituted forCraigat 88'minutes
- 3TanserBooked at 65mins
- 10WotherspoonSubstituted forDavidsonat 68'minutesBooked at 85mins
- 17MelamedSubstituted forMayat 68'minutes
- 9KaneSubstituted forHendryat 82'minutes
- 14MacPhersonBooked at 55mins
- 21ConnollySubstituted forErhahonat 60'minutes
- 29BrophySubstituted forQuanerat 67'minutesSubstituted forMcAllisterat 87'minutes
- 23ErwinSubstituted forObikaat 87'minutes
- Steven McLean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, St. Mirren 0.
Offside, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig tries a through ball, but Stevie May is caught offside.
Hand ball by Ethan Erhahon (St. Mirren).
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig replaces Craig Bryson.
Substitution, St. Mirren. Kyle McAllister replaces Collin Quaner because of an injury.
Substitution, St. Mirren. Jonathan Obika replaces Lee Erwin.
Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Collin Quaner (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).
Attempt blocked. Craig Bryson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Callum Hendry replaces Christopher Kane.
Attempt missed. Conor McCarthy (St. Mirren) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jamie McGrath with a cross following a set piece situation.
Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone).
Foul by Jake Doyle-Hayes (St. Mirren).
Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Offside, St. Johnstone. Alistair McCann tries a through ball, but Stevie May is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Craig Bryson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Stevie May.
Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.