Stephen Robinson praised his players’ character after St Mirren defeated Livingston 2-1 to move up to third place in the cinch Premiership table.
Alex Greive scored what proved to be the winner in the final minute after Bruce Anderson had appeared to earn the visitors a point with an 86th-minute equaliser.
Keanu Baccus had given the hosts the lead before Jonah Ayunga was sent off for deliberate handball. Sean Kelly missed the resultant penalty for Livingston.
Saints have now won five of their last six games and Robinson showered them with credit for not settling for a draw in the closing stages.
He said: “It wasn’t attractive but if you are going to stay in the top six you have to win games like that and dig it out.
“We were better after the equaliser. We are very good at letting teams have possession and putting in crosses. When they scored we turned up a gear, passing it around, getting balls into the box.
“Character is the one word I would use to sum it up. It wasn’t an attractive game of football but the weather didn’t help. We matched Livingston and outbattled them, which is rare.
“At 1-0 and they miss the penalty I was confident we wouldn’t concede as we work a lot on training with a man less.
“It was disappointing then when we did concede but we showed character to come back and win it.
“You can’t play well every week but you can work your socks off and that’s what they give me every week.
“Ryan Flynn came on and gave us a bit of quality. He has been fantastic with the younger boys. Flynny, Richard Tait and Joe Shaughnessy have been fantastic professionals.”
Livingston manager David Martindale felt his team deserved something from the game but lamented their defending at set-plays.
He said: “The game overall, I didn’t think there was much in it. I think we created the better chances.
“In the second half we had probably the better control of the game. We got the ball and progressed it well into wide areas. But if you want something to sum the game up, they defended their box better than us. That’s really what it comes down to. We shoot ourselves in the foot.
“First goal, we all turn our back on the throw. I don’t know if they are waiting on the long one into the box. St Mirren only have three or four players in the box at that point and we have seven or eight.”