Caley Thistle crashed out of the League Cup on Tuesday after a defeat by Rangers, but they ended the week on a high as goals from Marley Watkins and Ryan Christie secured the points, despite Brian Graham’s late strike.
The hosts gave an early glimpse of their attacking threat when Gary Warren nodded wide, but Saints also went in search of an opener as David Wotherspoon fired over.
Much of the attacking play was coming from Caley Thistle and Ross Draper headed over the bar, while Greg Tansey fired narrowly off target.
Wotherspoon’s shot was blocked in a rare opening for the visitors and they finished the half on the back foot, with Tansey driving the ball over the bar.
There was little change after the interval, with Saints stopper Alan Mannus keeping out a long-range effort from Billy McKay, and it was no surprise when Watkins (61) fired Caley ahead with a low shot.
St Johnstone were suddenly in disarray and Graeme Shinnie sent over an inviting ball to Christie (66), who calmly found the bottom corner.
But Graham (78) pulled one back for the visitors with a header from Lee Croft’s cross and they could have snatched a leveller as substitute Adam Morgan shot wide.