A PENALTY try seven minutes from time sent Saints crashing to a second Super League defeat on the spin.
Saints had fought back from another sluggish start to lead 12-10, but Jacob Miller was awarded the try after it was adjudged that Danny Richardson had forced him off the ball as he chased Sam Williams’ kick.
Although the Saints had out-scored the visitors three tries to two, they were made to pay a heavy price for their poor first half hour, missed conversions and their game management in the last 20 minutes when they needed to bring the game home.
For the second week running Saints started slowly, with a succession of dropped balls, lethargic running and a kicking game that was much poorer than their Trinity counterparts ensuring that they spent the bulk of the opening 40 minutes in their own half.
Two Williams penalties and a Mason Caton-Brown had put Wakefield 10 points ahead against a Saints side that was as flat as a pancake.
Significantly when Saints did get some decent ball they scored when Ryan Morgan collected full back Tommy Makinson’s pass to touch down.
Wakefield came straight back and a piercing run from hooker Ryan Wood needed a super tackle from Makinson to foil them.
Saints came out much stronger in the second half and the introduction of new boy Zeb Taia noticeably lifted the team and the crowd.
Fages and Makinson created the chance for Percival to bump off the defence and touch down.
Suddenly it was Saints who were on the front foot and Wilkin and Fages combined send Percival over for his second.
Wakefield were still not out of it and Caton-Brown almost responded but Adam Swift managed to nudge him out at the corner.
With their noses in front Saints began to open up, but they needed to manage the final 15 minutes much better.
Instead, a weak kicking game and failure to build any pressure and keep Trinity under the pump gave their opponents the opportunity to stay in the game.
And inevitably Trinity made Saints pay for that lack of ruthless game management with Miller’s try giving them their first win on St Helens soli since July 2009.
The crescendo of boos that greeted the final hooter was an audible reminder that the performance, once again, was simply not good enough.
And with a run of games against Hull, Catalans and Warrington to come Matty Smith's return cannot come soon enough to bring some direction to what looks like a rudderless side at the moment.
Saints: Makinson; Owens, Morgan, Percival, Swift; Fages, Richardson; Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Wilkin, Peyroux, Knowles. Subs: Amor, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Walker, Taia.
Wakefield: Grix; Johnstone, Lyne, Tupou, Caton-Brown; Miller, Williams; England, Wood, Huby, Ashurst, Kirmond, Sio. Subs: Finn, Arona, Fifita, Batchelor.