Manager Danny Lennon was delighted with the collective effort of his St Mirren side after a 4-3 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win at Tannadice heaped further home misery on Dundee United.
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A Jon Daly penalty and Stuart Armstrong strike cancelled out Paul Dummett's opener to give United a 2-1 half-time lead which evaporated when Steven Thompson netted his fourth goal in three games after 50 minutes.
Marc McAusland put the Buddies in front after 65 minutes before United defender Brian McLean was sent off and a rare David van Zanten goal after 78 minutes completed victory for the visitors.
Barry Douglas' 90th-minute free-kick was mere consolation as United's winless run at Tannadice was extended to 10 games.
"It's a fantastic three points for us and a terrific way to finish 2012," Lennon said. "The key thing for us and our success today was the continuous work-rate for the players individually and, more importantly, as a team."
A second away win of the season took the Buddies to 24 points in a congested table, one behind United, who remained eighth after their winless run was extended to four matches, during which they have conceded 11 goals.
"We're just going to ask the boys for one last push before a welcome break and look for the same commitment, the same work ethic and the same quality," Lennon added.
"I don't know if that break's coming at a good time for us or not."
Saints hope to have a new recruit for Wednesday's match at home to Kilmarnock, with a six-month loan deal agreed with Newcastle for midfielder Conor Newton.
Dummett's loan from Newcastle has also been extended to include the Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final with Celtic and could be lengthened further.
"Newcastle are still assessing Paul's deal, but we're led to believe we'll have Paul until the end of the season," added Lennon, who denied a bid had been received for Kenny McLean, who is currently out injured.
Right-back Van Zanten's goal was his first in his third season at St Mirren.
He celebrated by hitching up his shorts in reference to a charity bet which means he will no longer have to don a Borat-style mankini and sing Madonna's Like a Virgin in front of fans. More than £1,000 has already been paid to Yorkhill Hospital in relation to the bet.
Van Zanten, who had not scored since 2006 while he was at Hibernian, said: "I'd had that (the celebration) planned for a couple of months now.
"A couple of them (his team-mates) are raging, but it's more important we got the three points."
United have not won at home since the August defeat of Dundee and assistant manager Paul Hegarty said: "Scoring three goals and coming away with nothing is disappointing.
"The goals we lost today were poor by our standards and it told in the end because we lost the three points.
"We've had too many games like that at home this year. We can't explain it."
Willo Flood went off midway through the first half with a groin problem and McLean's dismissal means a reshuffle will be required on Wednesday at Aberdeen.
Unless Sean Dillon recovers sooner than expected from a thigh injury, striker Daly is likely to drop back to centre-back.
Hegarty added: "He's a quality striker and we'd rather have him up front, but we had to put Jon back (after McLean's dismissal)."