Saints fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Motherwell this afternoon, ending the club's eight match unbeaten run.
Early goals from Tom Aldred and Danny Johnson put the visitors in control at the break with Matty Kennedy missing the chance to reduce the deficit from the penalty spot.
Saints battled in the second half and managed to get one goal back courtesy of a Jason Kerr header but it was too little too late and Motherwell went back to North Lanarkshire with all three points.
It was a bitterly cold and wet afternoon at McDiarmid Park as in-form Saints welcomed Stephen Robinson's Motherwell to Perth in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
And it took the visitors little over a minute to get themselves in front courtesy of centre-back Tom Aldred. An early corner wasn't dealt with by the Saints defence and Aldred was there to tap home from inside the six-yard-box.
Saints tried to respond but were struggling to get into the match and the visitors punished Tommy Wright's men for their slow start with a second goal inside the first twenty minutes.
Some untidy defending and a stroke of good fortune allowed Danny Johnson to knock the ball past Zander Clark on 17 minutes to put 'Well 2-0 up.
That proved to be a bit of a wake-up call for Saints and the home side came into the game more with the realisation of the uphill task that faced them.
A handball from Charles Dunne after 25 minutes handed Saints a lifeline but Matty Kennedy's spotkick was brilliantly saved by Gillespie in the Motherwell goal.
The penalty miss summed up the first-half for the home side but they did have a few more chances before the interval.
Jason Kerr tried his luck from distance but his powerful strike was deflected wide. David McMillan had a great chance minutes later but the striker headed the ball straight at the 'keeper.
Matty Kennedy had the final chance of the first half after managing to beat his marker but his low effort was comfortably saved by Gillespie.
It was a slow start to the second period for Saints with the visitors looking more likely to add to their lead in the early stages.
However, Saints had a glorious opportunity to get back into the match just before the hour mark.
David McMillan was found in the area and connected with a right-foot volley but his effort went over the crossbar without troubling Gillespie.
Tommy Wright made his first subsitutions on 65 minutes with David Wotherspoon and David McMillan making way for Danny Swanson and Chris Kane as Saints searched for a way back into the match.
That lifeline wouldn't come until 18 minutes later when centre-back Jason Kerr powered a header into the back of the net for his second goal in as many games against Motherwell.
Alston had been introduced for Liam Craig just minutes before the goal and tried to galvanise his teammates into completing the comeback but a second goal proved to be out of reach and Motherwell secured the three points.
SAINTS: Clark, Foster, Tanser, Shaughnessy (c), Kerr, Wotherspoon (Swanson 65), Kennedy, Craig (Alston 79), Davidson, McMillan (Kane 65), Watt.
UNUSED SUBS: Hurst, Nydam, Gordon, Callachan.
SCORER: Jason Kerr (83)
MOTHERWELL: Gillespie, Tait, McHugh, Aldred, Campbell, Main (Bowman 89), Grimshaw, Dunne, Mbulu, Johnson (Sammon 89), Turnbull (Rodriguez-Gorrin 79).
UNUSED SUBS: Ferguson, Taylor-Sinclair, Hartley, Bowman, Bigirimana, Rodriguez-Gorrin.
SCORERS: Tom Alred (2), Danny Johnson (17)
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