Jack Ross, their manager, watched his side dig deeper than normal to keep the pressure on their Tayside rivals and wasn’t to be found complaining about the manner of this particular achievement.
Saints left freezing Glebe Park with a proverbial spring in their step courtesy of Cammy Smith’s controversial 64th-minute penalty after Isaac Layne had cancelled out Gavin Reilly’s 20th-minute opener, but had to display their full mettle in the Angus outpost.
The Paisley hopefuls remain just one point behind United and their manager saluted them for their admirable endeavour against their part-time opponents, who remain rooted at the foot of the Championship.
Ross, who also watched Brechin’s Andy Jackson smack the post in the last minute, said: “We’re delighted with the win.
“At this time of the season in our country, it’s just about winning games.
“We had to dig in. There’s a stigma attached to part-time players which is unfair. We’ve come a long way in such a short time and we just want to keep in contention with Dundee United.”
There was an element of good fortune about St Mirren’s opener as centre-back Sean Crighton missed a simple through ball, allowing Reilly to run on and slide the ball past the advancing Graeme Smith.
That should have settled the Buddies but they were shaken somewhat by the basement boys in 27 minutes.
A fairly routine ball from Liam Watt caught Harry Davis and Craig Samson in total confusion at the edge of the box, with Layne pouncing to slot the ball into the empty net.
Layne wasted a glorious chance to put Brechin in front before Ross’s men were awarded a spot-kick when goalkeeper Smith took out visiting striker Smith, and the former Aberdeen forward, pictured, stepped up and despatched the resultant penalty.
This was a missed opportunity for Brechin to narrow the gap on second-bottom Falkirk to three points after their match away to Inverness was postponed.
“That’s the most chances we’ve created in a game all season,” reflected Darren Dods, their manager, afterwards.
“We deserved another goal before half-time and we kept them quiet in the first half apart from that mistake by Sean Crighton.
“It’s surely only a matter of time before we get that first win.”