Airdrie Utd 2-1 St Johnstone
Saints kept up an unhappy record at the Excelsior Stadium, falling to a narrow defeat over Owen Coyle's former club.
With the home side steered by newly-appointed manager Kenny Black, another former Airdrie stalwart, after the departure of Sandy Stewart earlier this week. As is often the case, the Airdrie players seemed to respond and gave Saints a hard time for much of the game.
Saints went with the team which dispatched Rangers to defeat in the CIS Cup ten days ago - Jason Scotland shrugging off his midweek travels to take his usual place up front. Kevin Cuthbert's injury opened space on the bench for teenage replacement Gordon O'Brien.
The visitors started brightly enough, with Steven Milne the first to threaten Airdrie's goal after only four minutes. The Ibrox hero was put through by Goran Stanic but couldn't get anything behind his shot.
However there was a taste of things to come minutes later, as Bryan Prunty combined with Bryan McPhee to create a good chance - playing in Stephen McGowan for a shot which was well saved.
Indeed Airdrie had a dubious penalty claim turned down, as Anderson and McPhee tussled on the edge of the area, a good-natured physical battle which would carry on for much of the game.
Neither side looked particularly threatening for much of the half, and there were scant chances for either. Martin Hardie suffered a slight head knock which stopped the game for a couple of minutes.
Hardie was in the thick of a set piece as soon as he recovered though - Paul Lawson's cross aimed directly at the Saints midfielder - but the move petered out in the box.
Steven Anderson was booked in the 36th minute for a lunge at Brian McPhee, as the game got a bit scrappy at times.
It was going to take a freak goal to let either side break through, and so it turned out, in the 40th minute. Airdrie broke forward and a snap shot could only be parried by Bryn Halliwell - and as the Saints keeper lunged to recover the ball, he was adjudged to foul Prunty in the box.
Booked for his troubles, Halliwell was powerless to stop the spot-kick, sending Saints to a half-time defecit.
Saints came out with no changes for the second half, and were soon at the attack through Paul Sheerin. Three minutes into the half, the left midfielder had a great chance, clear through on goal, but fired straight at Steven Robertson's chest.
Steven Anderson picked up an injury in the process of making an important tackle, and despite bravely playing on for a few minutes, had to succumb to the bench. In a change of tactics, Willie McLaren came on, with Simon Mensing slipping into the back four.
However the defensive changes seemed to unsettle Saints briefly and once again they found themselves losing a goal to a loose ball. Halliwell did well to parry a shot, but the ball landed at the feet of Marc Smyth before a Saints defender could clear, leaving the visitors two goals down with half an hour left to play.
Airdrie looked the more likely team to score at this point, as Saints' substitutions took time to settle in. Peter MacDonald replaced Jason Scotland, and later Darren Sheridan took Lawson's place in midfield.
Eventually though, Saints were well on top as Airdrie looked to run down the clock. However despite having most of the play by this point, the numbers in attack seemed to stifle the play rather than support it, and Airdrie looked relatively comfortable holding their lead.
A few minutes before the end, a loose ball broke to Steven Milne just inside the box, and his superb curling shot completely evaded Robertson to give Saints a lifeline.
But despite several minutes' injury time, Saints' late push was in vain, going down to their second league defeat this season.
Airdrie Utd: Robertson, Smyth, McGowan, Taylor, Christie, McDonald, McDougall, Holmes, Prunty (McKeown 73), McPhee (McKenna 90), Barrau (Lovering 84).
Subs not used: Tierney, Hollis.
St Johnstone: Halliwell, Lawrie, Stanic, Mensing, McManus, Anderson (McLaren 60), Lawson (Sheridan 71), Hardie, Milne, Scotland (MacDonald 65), Sheerin.
Subs not used: O'Brien,Dyer.
Bookings: Anderson, Halliwell, Hardie
Referee: Steve Conroy