It was sunny but very cold as Saints kicked off against league leaders Hamilton Accies and they showed a couple of significant changes in the starting eleven with Steven Milne and Paul Sheerin dropped onto the bench to allow Rocco Quinn and David Weatherston to be on from the start.
Given the importance of the match, it was a low key opening quarter of an hour with Saints ahead in terms of pressure and shots on goal but without seriously troubling Accies keeper Bryn Halliwell. Liam Craig, Gary Irvine and Peter MacDonald all had shots but they lacked accuracy.
It was the 19th minute before Accies came close and it was former Saint Simon Mensing who just failed to reach a deep, looping cross into the six yard.
Only Hamilton defender Brian Easton was between David Weatherston and the opening goal in 22nd minutes when he did well to flick away a Liam Craig cross just a yard from goal with the recalled Saints winger right behind him.
Saints continued to look the more likely side to get a goal and a Gary Irvine ball down the inside right channel allowed Andy Jackson to run onto it and strike for goal but it flew into the side netting.
Liam Craig then sent a dipping volley just over the bar but against the run of play it was the visitors who opened the scoring on the half hour mark. Alex Neil had plenty of time to find Mark Gilhaney wide on the left and he got the better of Gary Irvine and moved infield before firing in a fine effort well wide of Alan Main and into the far corner of the net.
Five minutes before the half-time break Alex Neil was yellow carded for a studs up challenge on Rocco Quinn in the middle of the park and that proved to be the last significant action of the first half.
Five minutes after the re-start Andy Jackson created a shooting chance for Peter MacDonald but his effort went a foot over the bar and two minutes later Saints made a double substitution with Steven Milne and Paul Sheerin introduced for David Weatherston and Greg Cameron - within minutes Savo had got on the end of a MacDonald cross from the left but swept his shot wide of goal.
James Grady, the former Dundee player who broke Saints hearts on the last day of last season when he scored that injury time goal for Gretna at Ross County, was brought on by Accies.
Three Saints players were booked in quick succession as frustrations started to show: The 64th minute saw Gary Irvine booked for upending Elebert and Kevin Rutkiewicz followed soon after for dissent before Andy Jackson was yellow carded for understandably reacting to the theatrics of Elebert in a challenge.
Kevin Moon then replaced Rocco Quinn as the clock ticked down and as Saints tried to trouble Halliwell for the first time in the game Steven Milne was unable to a find the net from close range with a difficult chance from a bouncing ball.
However, with fifteen minutes remaining and Saints on the ascendancy the equaliser arrived by way of a tremendous finish from Liam Craig who ran onto a lovely lobbed pass from Peter MacDonald and caught the ball just right to send it screaming past Halliwell.
And it got better for Saints just three minutes when they took the lead. A ball into the box broke of an Accies defender to the far side of the box and Peter MacDonald produced a sublime lob towards goal and despite the presence of three defenders on the line the ball dropped over the line before being hooked away.
The visitors were stunned by the reversal in fortune and although they tried hard to get back into the game, only once did Alan Main have to come to Saints rescue.
A great win for Saints who had to fight back from being a goal down and once again Derek McInnes showed that he was not afraid to change things around and use his substitutes when required.
Website Man of the Match: Prominent through the game and a sublime finish from LIAM CRAIG.
SAINTS: Main, Irvine, Stanic, Cameron(Sheerin), Rutkiewicz, Anderson, Quinn (Moon), Craig, Jackson, MacDonald, Weatherston (Milne).
Subs: McManus, Cuthbert.
HAMILTON: Halliwell, Parratt (Waterworth), Easton, Mensing, Elebert, McLaughlin, Graham, McArthur, Offiong (Grady), Neil (McCarthy), Gilhaney.
Subs: Swailes, Cerny
Referee: Euan Norris
Peter MacDonald lobs home the winner
Gary Irvine battles for possession with Tom Parratt