ST MIRREN recorded their first victory of pre-season with a solitary goal win over Stockport County of the Blue Square North, but in truth, the margin of victory could and should have been more convincing.
Saints, playing in yellow away jerseys, featured Danny Grainger at left-back, listed as a trialist despite putting pen to paper on a two-year deal, and Newcastle United youngster Michael Richardson as manager Danny Lennon reacted to some indifferent pre-season results by bolstering his defensive and midfield options.
Steven Thompson was first to threaten for the Paisley men just after the quarter-hour mark when he forced home keeper Ian Ormson into a smart save and the teenager shot-stopper was proving his worth soon after when John McGinn called him into action.
Stockport were struggling to make headway and will have been pleased to have held Saints to the break, especially when Gary Harkins fired narrowly wide following enterprising play from Gary Teale.
The Scottish Premiership team continued to boss the game after the break, but continued to struggle to put them to the sword.
Chances, however, kept on coming for the Buddies, without a deserved breakthrough. Next up was sub Thomas Reilly, who, like Harkins before him failed to take full advantage of Teale’s good work. Stockport eventually began to have a say going forward and twice came close both of which fell to Rhys Turner who saw his first shot blocked then saw a shot saved by David Cornell, having evaded Jim Goodwin.
St Mirren quickly reasserted their supremacy with Paul McGowan and Thompson coming close, before Harkins finally broke the deadlock four minutes from time.
The former Dundee midfielder latched onto a loose ball inside the County area and slotted it home to secure the win.