Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels praised the commitment of his players following the 2-1 defeat to St Johnstone but admitted his side couldn't compete with the Perth side's "positive energy."
A stoppage time goal from James Fowler only served as consolation for Killie, with strikes from Murray Davidson and Nigel Hasselbaink ensuring they came away from McDiarmid Park with nothing to show for their efforts.
Speaking after the defeat Sheils accepted defeat, hailing Saints' good run of form in the league.
He said: "When you play two at the back you do get caught and we accept that, but we were chasing to get the equaliser.
"We don't want to take anything away from St Johnstone because when you win games and you go on a little run it provides a positive energy and there's a chemistry in the St Johnstone team.
"They were really strong and committed. We tried to match that commitment and I can't say that our boys weren't committed to try and stop them from playing and trying to produce.
"After they got the goal we changed it and we got control of the ball, and we looked the more likely for the last 15 minutes of the first half and the first 20 minutes of the second half.
"We said at half-time they were there for the taking. They were on the ropes, there's no question of that.
"The best team won on the day and we're not taking that away from them but, unfortunately, we weren't at our best today."