Hibernian showed the character manager Jack Ross was looking for as they dug deep to secure a 2-1 win at St Mirren but his opposite number rued bad luck and poor finishing.
Hibs took the lead in the 27th minute through Christian Doidge but were penned in for long spells of the second half as St Mirren sought an equaliser.
Ross said: “It was all about winning the game.
“We had to dig it out. It’s still early but it’s given us a platform to push on.”
“Sometimes you’ve just got to find a way to win the game – and we’ve done that tonight,” added the former St Mirren boss on his return to Paisley.
Stevie Mallan got Hibs’ second from the penalty spot after a breakaway, meaning Junior Morias’ last gasp goal was mere consolation
St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin said: “We’re extremely disappointed but I couldn’t be more proud of the players in terms of their effort and commitment in the second half.
“It wasn’t just their effort but some of the football that they played. It’s a long, long time since one of my sides dominated a half of football like that against a very good team. But unfortunately we’ve nothing to show for it.”