Kilmarnock edged a 1-0 win at Motherwell thanks to Colin Nish.
Well almost took the lead straight from the kick-off when a Paul Quinn long ball released Scott McDonald but he carried the ball slightly too far before firing a shot wide across Alan Combe in the visitors goal.
Minutes later it was home skipper Scott Leitch who saw his long-range effort blocked as Motherwell tried to recover from two consecutive defeats. David Partridge then saw his weak header comfortably saved by Combe.
Killie almost took the lead as Martyn Corrigan lost possession in midfield to Allan Johnston but the Killie winger dallied before slotting the ball to the unmarked Craig Dargo, the striker still had time to steady and beat Gordon Marshall before seeing his effort rebound off the right-hand post.
Visiting defender Gordon Greer was lucky not to see red after two clumsy tackles on David Clarkson, particularly as he saw yellow for the first one.
Motherwell continued to look the more likely as chances fell to Clarkson, McDonald and Richie Foran but none troubled the keeper.
Just on the break Greer reacted well to prevent Clarkson's cross reaching McDonald as he waited to pounce at the front post.
McDonald had an early chance early in the second half after good work from Clarkson and Leitch but again he shot wide. Well skipper Leitch limped out of the action to be replaced by Shaun Fagan.
Killie were once again presented with a golden opportunity when a Partridge slide tackle played the ball into Johnston but his shot only found the sidenetting.
Well did not learn the lesson from this and more sloppy defending allowed Danny Invincibile space on the right and his shot cum cross was beaten out by Marshall, but only to Nish who rolled the ball into the empty net.
The game was a close affair with Killie clinging on to the lead as Motherwell struggled to find a way through the visiting rearguard.
Combe misjudged a Steven Hammell free-kick and as he floundered in the box he somehow kept out Partridge's and Jamie Paterson's shots.
Killie managed to see out the remainder of the game with no major scares and took three valuable points back to Ayrshire.