Barely two minutes off the bench, Zak Rudden’s up and under goal against St Mirren felt like the actions of a man who had been forced to sit and watch the previous 73 with the rest of us.

Daniel Phillips’ red card aside, Saturday’s draw at McDiarmid Park trudged on and on with barely any moment of note. It was probably always going to be a draw; St Johnstone’s home record is ropey and St Mirren don’t do too well outside Paisley.

So, credit then, to Rudden for finally injecting some life into a lifeless afternoon. His goal was unconventional, unorthodox and left keeper Trevor Carson in an unflattering heap.

Cammy MacPherson, an ex-Buddie, delivered from the right and the striker, facing away from goal, stooped and flicked the ball high and into the far corner via the post. St Johnstone hadn’t offered much since the red card, so Rudden’s sudden intervention was a most welcome one for a frustrated home support.

His loan from Dundee was for these kinds of moments, but opportunities have been limited by the presence of Stevie May and Nicky Clark. But the 23-year-old hopes the weekend has given manager Callum Davidson a little something to think about.

“That’s what I’ve been brought here to do – make an impact and score goals,” Rudden. “Hopefully it will continue through to the end of the season. I’ve not played that much since I came here so I’m really pleased to have got a goal already. Hopefully there are more to come – that’s certainly what I’ll be trying to do – and give the gaffer a nice problem.

“I’m usually a six-yard guy, tapping them in, but I’ll take a header like that. It was a great ball in from Cammy and I’ve just managed to get my head to it to direct it to the opposite side of the goal.”

May and Clark might be his rivals for a place on the pitch, but Rudden knows there’s knowledge to be soaked up from two experienced campaigners.

“Nicky and Stevie are playing very well and I wasn’t expecting to walk into this team,” he continued. “I’ve learned so much from them already – things like their movement and how to hold the ball up.

“I’m taking it all in like a sponge. I’ll be trying my hardest every day in training and to take any opportunities I get. I’ll have to do the right things when I get on the pitch and I’ve done that.”

READ MORE: St Johnstone boss left angry and baffled by Daniel Phillips red card

St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson was rather diplomatic in his assessment of a dreary day, but he’ll be well aware Aberdeen are now creeping up in their rear view mirror in the push for top six, while Livingston – two points behind with a game in hand – are still well in it.

Alex Gogic – a makeshift centre-back for much of the game – was the Paisley side’s saviour here, and every point will do between now and season’s end. St Mirren had a painfully near miss in their quest to break the upper half of the table last season, something Gogic well remembers.

If they are to be undone, squad depth feels the most likely factor. Robinson has few game-changers to turn to and, instead, has drafted in some promising academy players to fill his bench. Gogic, however, believes they have enough in their ranks to get the job done.

“Even the boys who maybe don’t get as much game-time or the young boys who come one, they know exactly what they’re doing,” he explained. “Every player pays attention in training so when your chance comes you really grab it. I think it will be enough to get top-six. Whether the gaffer wants more players, that’s up to the board, it’s nothing to do with me.

“We just have to focus on what we have. We can’t say, ‘oh, I wish we had that’. We’ve done great up until now and we just have to continue it.

“We don’t want to mess up. Last year, we were close again, but we didn’t end up finishing in the top-six. But that was our main goal from the start of the season.”