St Mirrenoff failed to progress from their League Cup section after a defeat to holders Sandbank Rangers saw the Glasgow side clinch second place.
With both teams sitting on three points after two games and Sandbank edging the goal difference, the Saints supporters knew only a win would see them through to the quarter-finals.
But Saints were fortunate not to be a goal down inside the first minute when the Rangers striker, unmarked six yards out, crashed his shot off the top of the crossbar.
Slack Sandbanks defending saw Buddies striker David Wilson nick the ball in the corner, but his effort from a tight angle was kept out by the legs of the goalkeeper.
And it was a chance the Paisley side soon rued when the Rangers team took the lead on 14 minutes. Their left winger knocked the ball past Saints centre-half Graeme Mothersole and into the penalty box.
With the ball looking like it had crossed the line for a goal-kick, the Gers winger then squared the ball for his team-mate to tap home from close range as the referee waved away the Saints’ protests.
Things got worse just four minutes later as Sandbank doubled their lead. A long throw was misjudged by the Saints defence and the ball broke kindly for the Rangers midfielder to shoot into the bottom corner from 16 yards.
Sandbank looked to have had the match wrapped up after 37 minutes when they scored their third goal of the afternoon. A corner from the left was only half cleared and Sandbanks centre half was unmarked to volley the ball into the net.
Saints came out for the second half knowing they had to up their game to pull back a three goal deficit against their league winning opponents.
They gave themselves a lifeline on 52 minutes with some great individual skill from Fraser Gray. A long throw was cleared to just outside the penalty box to Andy Tucker. With the Rangers defence pushing out, Tucker played a neat pass to Gray, who lifted the ball over two defenders heads and coolly lobbed the on-rushing goalkeeper.
The Saints players were lifted by that goal and further reduced the margin two minutes later after Sandbank gave away a cheap foul right on the touchline. Wilson whipped in the cross and midfielder Chris Dailly timed his jump to perfection to bullet a header beyond the Gers keeper.
Sadly St Mirrenoff’s revival was over in Sandbanks next attack when, from another set-piece into the box, the Sandbank player rose unchallenged to head into the bottom corner.
Saints were denied a late chance to get back into the game when their appeals for a handball in the penalty box were waved away.
St Mirrenoff: Craig Muir, Chris Adam, Graeme Mothersole, Ian Craig, Duncan Johnston, Andrew Tucker (Barry Johnston), Gordian Mothersole, Chris Dailly, Fraser Gray (Craig Sinclair), Robert Hillcoat, David Wilson (Grant Elliott). Unused subs: Gareth Fairley, Ryan Keenan.
The next Saints match is on 3 October, in a league match away to Partick Thistle. Follow Saints progress at www.teamstats.net/stmirrenoff