Second-half goals from Mikael Mandron and Toyosi Olusanya helped 10-player St Mirren to a 2-0 home win over Dundee in the Scottish Premiership.
James Bolton was sent off for the home side late on after Mandron had put them in front but the visitors could not capitalise on the man advantage and conceded a second goal to Olusanya in injury-time.
The victory extended fifth-placed Saints’ advantage over Dundee to nine points albeit having played two games more.
Manager Stephen Robinson went with the same starting line-up that thrashed Hibernian 3-0 at the weekend, with returning Australia international Keanu Baccus named among their substitutes.
Dundee, in turn, made just one change from their defeat to Hearts, with former Saints striker Curtis Main replacing Amadou Bakayoko in attack.
Kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes after the Dundee team bus was caught in traffic on their way to the stadium from their hotel.
It was the home side who had the first real chance, with Mandron’s turn and shot well off target.
Elvis Bwomono then unleashed a long-range effort that similarly flew over the crossbar.
Dundee responded with a Jordan McGhee header that was also off target before Trevor Carson was the first goalkeeper called into action to save Mandron’s low effort at the other end.
Alex Gogic then came close to opening the scoring with a flicked header from Greg Kiltie’s corner but it drifted just wide of the far post.
James Scott launched a shot that nearly sailed over the stand as St Mirren turned up the pressure without giving the Dundee defence too much to worry about.
The visitors almost forged in front on a counter-attack following a St Mirren corner.
Luke McCowan sent Owen Beck running clear from just outside the Dundee box but he was tracked all the way by Hyeok-kyu Kwon, on loan from Celtic, who did well to block the Liverpool loanee’s shot. Beck then pulled his second effort wide.
Saints had the first chance of the second half but Bolton’s header from Caolan Boyd-Munce’s corner lacked the power to beat Carson.
Gogic then headed wide from Kiltie’s free-kick before Baccus’ drive from the edge of the penalty box touched the top of the crossbar before going over.
St Mirren’s pressure finally told after 73 minutes when they went ahead. Mandron’s strike looked to be covered by Carson but the Northern Irishman could only push his shot into the net.
Mandron then passed up a gilt-edged chance to double the home side’s lead before substitute Lewis Jamieson saw his low driven shot well saved by Carson and Kiltie blazed an effort wide at the far post.
St Mirren played out the last five minutes with 10 men after Bolton was sent off for a heavy tackle on Owen Dodgson before Olusanya sprang the Dundee offside trap to score their second goal in stoppage time.
What the managers said:
St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson: “I thought it was very important in the last two games to get maximum points which we’ve done.
“We created a lot more chances and it probably should have been more comfortable than it was.
“Dundee were stubborn but we defended well, too. We controlled the game and made lots of good chances. Trevor Carson made two great saves, one in the first half and one in the second.
“It was important to follow up Saturday’s result with another good one. So we’re delighted to be able to do that.
“Dundee are a good side. If you’re not going to finish teams off you run that risk. We knew we’d have a chance to counter-attack with Toyosi coming off the bench. It’s our third win in four games and fifth in 10. There’s a real belief in the squad.”
Dundee manager Tony Docherty: “There was a decision in the 87th minute that should have gone our way, based on previous games. We’re aggrieved at that.
“It’s a handball that’s identical to the one Lee Ashcroft was punished for on Saturday. Yes, I agree the player’s hands weren’t in an unnatural position.
“But it stops the ball’s path to goal. I don’t understand why that one against Hearts was a penalty, and that one wasn’t.”
St Mirren’s attention turns to the Scottish Cup with a fifth-round tie against holders Celtic on Sunday. Kick-off 2pm.
Dundee are in Scottish Premiership action on Sunday at home to St Johnstone. Kick-off 3pm.