Saints were always on top in this hard-fought match but they could not apply the killer touch until the last few minutes. Caley Thistle rarely threatened and the 500 travelling fans were disappointed with the lacklustre display. Barry Robson and Richie Hart missed the game and Charlie Christie was captain to celebrate his 300th appearance. The first shot came in the fifth minute from Saints’ Paddy Connolly – he turned and shot in the box but it was blocked by Stuart McCaffrey. In the ninth and eleventh minutes shots from Stuart Noble and Paul Hartley were both deflected for corners. A low shot from Paul Ritchie in 13 minutes was the first attempt on the Saints goal – Kevin Cuthbert gathered easily. In 17 minutes a Stuart Golabek free kick caused some confusion but after a succession of headers it was eventually cleared. Paul Hartley had a real chance in 22 minutes when he robbed Russell Duncan then ran on and shot past from 20 yards. In 27 minutes Connolly sent over a dangerous ball from the right but Christie cleared. A Golabek inswinging corner in 31 minutes was punched clear by Cuthbert then headed for another corner. This was the start of a good five minute spell for the visitors. It started with a weaving run from Christie before he was overpowered then Bobby Mann hit a free kick over the bar after Dennis Wyness had been fouled by Ian Maxwell. The miss of the game came at the other end in 40 minutes. A kick-out by Cuthbert was headed into the path of Connolly – he was one-on-one with Mark Brown but the ‘keeper narrowed the angle well and Connolly’s low shot went wide. As the half closed Brown made a point blank save from a Connolly header to keep Caley Thistle in the contest. Ritchie troubled Cuthbert twice early in the second half – his first effort was a lob from the left which seemed harmless but dipped in flight and came off the top of the bar. Ritchie then shot first time from the 18 yard line after a good run by Duncan but Cuthbert saved well. Substitute Keigan Parker added more urgency to the Saints attack and he hooked past the post with his first touch in 56 minutes. He limped off just eight minutes later and was replaced by the eventual match winner Chris Hay. Roy McBain tried a 20 yard shot in 72 minutes – Cuthbert failed to hold it cleanly and it ran for a corner. Substitute David Bagan looked sharp when he came on and his first touch was a shot over the bar after a good move involving Steve Hislop and Roy McBain. Saints dominance was finally rewarded six minutes from time. A Hartley corner from the left bounced around then fell at the feet of Hay – he reacted quickly and volleyed past Brown from 12 yards. As time ran out Caley Thistle threw caution to the wind in search of an equaliser but gaps at the back led to a second goal. In injury time four Saints players bore down on only two defenders and Hay scored his second with an angled shot from just inside the box. The final whistle went as the game was restarted. The points allowed Saints to move past Caley Thistle into second place.