Nine days might have passed since their Europa League penalty shoot-out exit at the hands of FC Minsk at McDiarmid Park, and somewhere in the region of 6000 spectators have been lost in the interim, but there was still a feeling of catharsis about the manner in which the Perth side took out their frustrations on Ross County.
Even the four-goal gulf does not begin to tell of the disparity between the sides. The fact that St Johnstone's 41-year-old goalkeeper Stevie Banks will rarely have had an easier game in his 23-year career offers a clear indication as to just how hapless Derek Adams' men were. "I could have played in goal if they could have found a kit to fit me," deadpanned manager Tommy Wright, once a keeper of some standing himself.
The Northern Irishman, who disclosed that Peterborough have yet to make a further offer for Stevie May since their last approach on Wednesday, properly described his players as having totally controlled the game because the result was in no doubt as soon as Nigel Hasselbaink scored after 16 minutes. Having advanced towards the near post, the Dutchman alighted upon Murray Davidson's cutback and fashioned a subtle backheel away into the far corner.
That St Johnstone led was a fair reflection, the hosts having shifted the ball with purpose and been effectively encamped in the County half. The Dingwall side could not cope with their movement and were cleaved open again within a couple of minutes. This time David Wotherspoon released May, who flicked the ball past Scott Boyd but was prevented from following by a cynical swipe.
Referee Brian Colvin took pity on the defender by deemeing a yellow card sufficient, but Wotherspoon was merciless, sweeping a splendid free-kick high past Mark Brown.
Given the opening quarter had not yet elapsed, the manner in which the Perth front three discombobulated County's defence suggested more punishment could be forthcoming for a side still to register their first point.
May went close, Davidson had a shot saved then dragged wide after a magnificent Hasselbaink pass, and Steven Anderson twice headed wide from Wotherspoon set-pieces before the latter finally relented, the midfielder allowing Brown to save his weak penalty after Ben Gordon had caused him to crumple. It was to prove a fleeting reprieve. Within five minutes of the resumption, St Johnstone dispelled any notions the visitors might have held of rescuing a point with two further goals of galling simplicity.
First, May was given room to amble on to a ball and allowed inside by Gordon, the striker cleverly using the full-back as a shield to deceive Brown at his near post. Then Dave Mackay lifted a free-kick into the same corner after another foul on May. "They've set the standard now," Wright cautioned.
Standards at County, though, appear to have slipped. Having described the performance in last weekend's 3-1 loss to Partick Thistle as the worst of his tenure, Adams suggested this was "no better, no worse", despite welcoming back both Richard Brittain - booed throughout by the home fans after reneging on his deal to move to Perth in the summer - and Ivan Sproule. County were abject.
Their first effort on goal, a Graham Carey shot on the half hour, was deflected wide; a similar fate was suffered by Orham Mustafi before Sproule trundled a shot at Banks and Brittain skied over. "We were not good defensively and did not do enough offensively," Adams said. "They bullied us and it's concerning to be losing so many goals."