Given St Mirren’s perilous position in the table, every point is such a prisoner, they just about come with their own G4S security guard.

This was by no means some criminal act of daylight robbery, though. The spirited, defiant Saints were well worthy of a draw as they secured their second hard earned share of the spoils on the road in seven days after last weekend’s morale-boosting display at Aberdeen. Manager’s are a hard lot to please, of course. “I’d have taken one defeat and one win … and be a point better off,” said Oran Kearney, the St Mirren boss, with a wry smile.

St Mirren are still four points adrift at the bottom – Hamilton are in action today – but Kearney is seeing plenty of chinks of light at the end of the tunnel. His side’s equaliser came via a Sean Clare own goal in another sign that St Mirren’s fortunes are perhaps turning. “I’m confident that we will do it,” said Kearney as he mulled over the act of escapology St Mirren are embroiled in. “It’s been a crazy season and the three windows have been carnage in relation to players in and players out. But this is a new group so, hopefully, stringing two solid performances together in a week can be a real catalyst and brings the group tighter together.”

There have been plenty of times this season when St Mirren players have been left with their heads in their hands and that pose was struck in the opening seconds here as Greg Tansey, with a clear shot at goal, screwed a fine opportunity wide of the post. That set the tone for a sprightly opening spell as both sides embarked on telling surges. Steven Naismith brought a sturdy stop out of St Mirren keeper Vaclav Hladky while Paul McGinn miscued one wide of the post at the other end. It was all happening and St Mirren had robust appeals for a penalty dismissed when Duckens Nazon was felled right on the edge of the box. It’ll be clarified on Sportscene no doubt.

If the visitors were gasping their frustration there, then they were releasing great puffs of relief just after the half hour as they survived a fearsome Hearts bombardment. Clevid Dikamona, Christophe Berra and Olly Lee all had various efforts blocked by Hladky in rapid fire succession during the kind of chaotic siege that the word stramash was invented for. If that was something of a lucky escape, then St Mirren let Hearts off the hook themselves as the interval loomed. Kyle McAllister scampered free but with just the advancing keeper to beat, he poked his effort past the post.

The Paisley profligacy would come home to roost 11 minutes after the resumption as Hearts forged ahead. Dikamona rose powerfully to meet a Lee corner and plonked his header past Hladky with great aplomb.

Cue a stamping of authority from Hearts? Not quite. St Mirren responded with vigour and were level on 65 minutes as Clare got his bearings all wrong and headed into his own net from a corner. Moments later, Hearts came within a whisker of scoring a dicey double whammy of own goals when McGinn’s low cross was diverted towards the top corner by Dikamona only for Zdenek Zlamal to leap to his right and palm the ball away.

St Mirren finished strongly. Hearts, meanwhile, lacked the guile and urgency to plunder anything extra.

“We didn’t start the game particularly well today and brought pressure on ourselves,” suggested Craig Levein. “We didn’t cross the ball enough either. Alongside all, that we had some players who did not play well. Put together, the recipe isn’t a good one.”