They did not roll out the welcome mat for Brendan Rodgers' first game in Paisley.

Rather, the Celtic manager was not allowed to intrude on the party for Oran Kearney's unveiling as St Mirren boss.

Reduced to ten-men after the first-half dismissal of Olivier Ntcham, Celtic toiled to find any real fluency against a stuffy and well-organised St Mirren side.

A late flurry of chances almost brought forth the points but in truth the Paisley side were worth the point they took from Celtic.

There was a debut for Filip Benkovic with the on-loan Leicester defender forming part of a back three alongside Dedryck Boyata and Kristoffer Ajer but the talking point came from Ntcham.

Given the manner in which he started the game there was a suspicion about the French under-21 internationalist’s antics which led to a feeling that he fancied an early finish of a Friday evening.

He got his wish just seven minutes before the break after going through the back of St Mirren defender Stephen McGinn. It came after Ntcham had earlier escaped sanction for an obvious handball and then again for a tug of Cammy Smith’s shirt before he had finally and inevitably gone into the book for impeding Ryan Edwards.

Given the fact that Celtic knew they were in a game in Paisley with the early influence of Kearney felt in what was a resurgent performance from St Mirren, the last thing Brendan Rodgers’ side needed was a numerical disadvantage.

Ntcham’s foul on McGinn was stupid rather than malicious but it was in keeping with what was an uncharacteristically slovenly performance from the Frenchman. Having already trodden on thin ice, the midfielder ought to have shown a little more composure as he crashed through the legs of the St Mirren player after losing the ball with a poor touch. 

Given the unrest that has characterised the Paisley side of late, they looked and played like a team with the bit between their teeth. Kearney was given a warm welcome when he took a bow before the game kicked off but if anything the sense of appreciation grew as the game went on.

St Mirren were not cowed by Celtic but rather sought to take the game to the Parkhead side.

Anton Ferdinand took up his position after signing a season long deal with the club, a move that was formally announced around an hour before kick-off.

It was St Mirren who had shown an early attacking intention with Ntcham penalised for the use of a hand to swat away a ball across the edge of Celtic’s box. From the resultant free-kick Smith forced a decent save from Craig Gordon.

Prior to that Edwards had gone into the book after just 60 seconds for a push on Kieran Tierney just in front of both dugouts.

James Forrest retaliated after robbing Lee Hodson of the ball but is effort was dragged wide.

St Mirren, though, were undeterred and unnerved Celtic with a host of decent chances.

Ryan Flynn could consider himself unfortunate not to convert a header after rising to meet a Hodson cross but his effort went just over Gordon’s bar.

It was a familiar narrative to the evening; Smith had forced Gordon into a low save at his near post before Hodson rifled a shot from just inside the box that was deflected just past the Celtic keeper’s right-hand post.

It was Celtic, though, who came closes to finding the breakthrough after Dedryck Boyata had a header cleared off the line as the game edged its way towards the interval.

Ntcham’s dismissal was something that St Mirren looked to exploit as the game started after the break.

Celtic struggled to lift the tempo of their game while the hosts, encouraged by the openings that they found, were keen to make the most of their possession.

For much of the second period Celtic were staid and struggled to break down the Paisley side. Odsonne Edouard won a corner after running the ball into a ruck of players but by and large the Parkhead side toiled to create anything of note.

Leigh Griffiths, fresh from signing a new deal with the club, came off the bench to replace Benkovic as Celtic moved to two up front.

The Scotland internationalist was barely on the park when he whipped in a corner that Kristoffer Ajer rose to get his head on before the ball was scrambled.

Kieran Tierney tried his luck with a raking effort that crept just past the post and as St Mirren's legs started to tire, there was a feeling that the Parkhead side might just nick something as the minutes ticked by.

James Forrest unlocked St Mirren's defence with a pass that put through Edouard but Callum McGregor couldn't turn the Frenchman's pass across the six-yard box into the net. McGregor threatened again shortly after but his effort was straight into the arms of St Mirren keeper Craig Samson. Forrest was next up with a chip from the edge of the box as Celtic introduced Ryan Christie for Edourad for the final few minutes.

Boyata headed onto the roof of the net from a Griffiths corner and, ironically, the last kick of the ball came with Griffiths finally hitting the back of the net only for an offside flag to rule the goal off.

It summed up Celtic's night.