St Johnstone bolstered their top six Scottish Premiership position with a comfortable win against Kilmarnock.

Nigel Hasselbaink opened the scoring after 24 minutes with a fine strike.

Seven minutes later, Stevie May fired in before Jackson Irvine was sent off for a challenge on Chris Millar.

May converted from the spot, then Sean Clohessy reduced the deficit with a bizarre cross, but Killie were reduced to nine men when Darren Barr was dismissed for a second yellow card.

After a quiet start St Johnstone slowly gained superiority with both strikers, May and Hasselbaink, willing runners for a midfield that looked to stretch Kilmarnock left and right.

The opening goal when it came after 24 minutes was the opposite of the way that Saints had been playing.

Their short passing style cleverly set-aside for a moment to put Hasselbaink through on goal courtesy of a simple long ball.

Manuel Pascali spotted the danger just too late and he appeared to think better of taking the striker down allow the striker the shooting chance.

Hasselbaink remained calm as he angled his body to place the shot perfectly in the bottom right-hand corner past the advancing Craig Samson for his fourth straight goal in four Premiership matches.

Having beaten both Motherwell and Hearts 2-0 with goals from Hasselbaink and May, the scoreline had a familiar look after 31 minutes after Mark O'Hara inexplicably failed to deal with Gary Miller's cross-field ball, allowing May the chance to tuck the ball neatly behind a bemused Samson.

Kilmarnock's first half ended on a further low note when Irvine was booked for simulation after he went down in the box.

The second half was barely five minutes old when Irvine mistimed a challenge on Gary Miller and referee Willie Collum had no hesitation in showing yellow again to the Australian, and Kilmarnock were reduced to ten men.

Worse followed, Michael Gardyne tracking Chris Miller into the box after 54 minutes saw Gardyne trip the Saints player in a battle for possession and a and he conceded a penalty. May coolly converted, sending Samson the wrong way and Saints' lead looked commanding.

It was perhaps surprising given the play and the numerical situation that it was Kilmarnock who scored next.

Clohessy moving down the right side sent in a swinging cross that caught out Allan Mannus in the home goal and drifting over the keeper and in.

Saints were not to add to their lead but their pressure told again on the visiting defence when Barr took down May to earn a second yellow card and again Kilmarnock saw their numbers reduced to nine with just six minutes to play.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

St Johnstone

  • 01 Mannus
  • 19 Miller
  • 24 Easton
  • 18 Davidson
  • 02 Mackay
  • 03 Scobbie
  • 07 Millar
  • 08 McDonald
  • 11 Hasselbaink (Edwards - 77' )
  • 17 May (Kane - 90' )
  • 10 Wotherspoon (Caddis - 66' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Cregg
  • 14 Edwards
  • 15 Banks
  • 16 Caddis
  • 20 Brown
  • 25 Jahic
  • 41 Kane

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 16 Clohessy
  • 02 Tesselaar
  • 07 Nicholson (Ashcroft - 87' )
  • 05 Irvine Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 06 Barr Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 08 Clingan
  • 29 Pascali
  • 25 Gardyne (Fowler - 59' )
  • 09 Boyd
  • 26 O'Hara

Substitutes

  • 04 Fowler
  • 11 Gros
  • 12 Reguero
  • 18 McKenzie
  • 19 Ibrahim
  • 21 Winchester
  • 30 Ashcroft
Ref: William Collum
Att: 2,855

Match Stats

Shots

12 8

On target

8 3

Corners

1 2

Fouls

12 19

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, St Johnstone 3, Kilmarnock 1.

90:00 +1:52 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, St Johnstone 3, Kilmarnock 1.

90:00 +0:02

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right.

89:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Steve May.

86:47 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Lee Ashcroft replaces Barry Nicholson.

85:58 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Darren Barr (Kilmarnock).

85:48

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

85:48

Foul by Darren Barr (Kilmarnock).

84:02

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Craig Samson.

83:37

Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

83:20 Booking

Booking Darren Barr (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

83:12

Liam Caddis (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:12

Foul by Darren Barr (Kilmarnock).

82:25

Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

81:24

Attempt blocked. Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

77:01

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

77:01

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

76:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Gwion Edwards replaces Nigel Hasselbaink.

75:41

Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

75:41

James Fowler (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

71:31

Attempt missed. Steve May (St Johnstone) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

69:36

Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

68:24 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 3, Kilmarnock 1. Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right to the top left corner.

65:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Liam Caddis replaces David Wotherspoon.

60:00

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:00

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

58:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. James Fowler replaces Michael Gardyne.

57:45

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone).

57:45

Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:07

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

57:07

Foul by Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock).

54:00 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 3, Kilmarnock 0. Steve May (St Johnstone) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

53:38

Penalty St Johnstone. Chris Millar draws a foul in the penalty area.

53:38

Penalty conceded by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock) after a foul in the penalty area.

51:23 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

50:23

Chris Millar (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

50:23

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

49:29

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone).

49:29

Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:21

Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:21

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

46:22

Attempt missed. Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

45:47

Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

45:00

Second Half begins St Johnstone 2, Kilmarnock 0.

45:00 +0:03 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, St Johnstone 2, Kilmarnock 0.

44:22

Attempt missed. Barry Nicholson (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

43:07 Booking

Booking Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

42:57

Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) has gone down, but that's a dive.

42:04

Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

42:04

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

40:51

Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

40:15

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

40:15

Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

39:19

Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:19

Foul by Barry Nicholson (Kilmarnock).

37:09

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:09

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

36:11

Foul by Gary Miller (St Johnstone).

36:11

Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

34:12

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Thomas Scobbie.

34:04

Attempt blocked. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.

31:46

David Mackay (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:46

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

30:48 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 2, Kilmarnock 0. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gary Miller.

29:47

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

29:47

Foul by Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock).

29:32

Thomas Scobbie (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:32

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

28:03

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:03

Foul by Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock).

25:03

Foul by Gary Miller (St Johnstone).

25:03

Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

23:43 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 1, Kilmarnock 0. Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Brian Easton.

21:52

Attempt saved. Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

18:03

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

18:03

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

16:35

Attempt saved. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

15:47

Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

15:47

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

12:27

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

12:27

David Mackay (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

12:01

Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

12:01

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

9:30

Attempt missed. Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

8:40

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by David Mackay.

8:00

Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

8:00

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

6:54

Attempt missed. Barry Nicholson (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

4:47

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

4:47

Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:19

Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:19

Foul by Mark O'Hara (Kilmarnock).

3:39

Foul by Nigel Hasselbaink (St Johnstone).

3:39

Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

2:35

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

2:35

Darren Barr (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:30

Attempt blocked. Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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