St Johnstone warmed up for next week's Scottish Cup semi-final by coming from behind to beat Kilmarnock in the Premiership.

Robbie Muirhead slid in to edge Killie ahead early on.

But Frazer Wright headed Saints level and Steven Anderson's inventive back-heel turned the match in the Perth side's favour.

And though Tommy Wright's side could not add to their lead, they go into the cup meeting with Aberdeen in fine form.

Killie might reckon they have blown the chance to ease their end of season play-off fears, especially since St Mirren pulled off a last-gasp win at home to Motherwell.

Kilmarnock were ahead inside four minutes thanks to their hot prospect Muirhead.

Kris Boyd's shot on the turn was saved by Saints 'keeper Alan Mannus but he couldn't hold on to the ball and the 18-year-old pounced on the rebound to stab home the opening goal.

Allan Johnston's team kicked on from that dream start and dominated the first half-hour with a slick passing display. What they lacked was end product.

The closest they got to increasing their advantage was a 25-yard lob from Alexei Eremenko which was just a couple of feet too high.

And at the other end Kilmarnock couldn't cope with corner kicks. They were well warned when a David Wotherspoon header from Lee Croft's corner was cleared off the line by Rory McKenzie.

But they didn't learn their lesson and from another corner kick St Johnstone squared the game on 31 minutes.

On the end of Croft's corner, Wright escaped his marker and crashed a header into the top corner of Craig Samson's goal.

Kilmarnock were found guilty again of failing to deal with a corner kick two minutes shy of half-time.

This time it was an in-swinger from Wotherspoon which found another central defender taking advantage of penalty box freedom to score. Anderson's goal was one for his scrapbook as he flew threw the air and back-heeled the ball past Samson.

In the second half St Johnstone were solid and Kilmarnock never really looked like salvaging something from the game.

And having looked early on as if they might move further clear of the playoff dogfight, the East Ayrshire side are now deeply embroiled again.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (4)

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 15 Barbour Booked
  • 02 Tesselaar
  • 05 Irvine
  • 30 Ashcroft
  • 22 Maksimenko
  • 33 Muirhead (Gros - 77' )
  • 20 Eremenko (Gardyne - 73' )
  • 09 Boyd
  • 28 Slater Booked (Nicholson - 90' )
  • 18 McKenzie

Substitutes

  • 04 Fowler
  • 07 Nicholson
  • 11 Gros
  • 12 Reguero Chapinal
  • 16 Clohessy
  • 25 Gardyne
  • 83 Bouzid

St Johnstone

  • 01 Mannus
  • 02 Mackay Booked
  • 24 Easton
  • 12 Dunne
  • 06 Anderson
  • 05 Wright
  • 22 Croft
  • 07 Millar
  • 09 MacLean
  • 17 May (O'Halloran - 67' )
  • 10 Wotherspoon

Substitutes

  • 04 Cregg
  • 11 Hasselbaink
  • 15 Banks
  • 19 Miller
  • 23 Clancy
  • 25 Iwelumo
  • 29 O'Halloran
Ref: Steven McLean
Att: 3,665

Match Stats

Shots

7 11

On target

2 5

Corners

3 7

Fouls

12 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, St Johnstone 2.

90:00 +2:41 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, St Johnstone 2.

90:00 +1:56 Booking

Booking David Mackay (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +1:40

Foul by David Mackay (St Johnstone).

90:00 +1:40

William Gros (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Barry Nicholson replaces Craig Slater.

89:09 Booking

Booking Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

89:05

Michael O'Halloran (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:05

Foul by Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock).

88:15

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by David Mackay.

85:54 Booking

Booking Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

85:43

Foul by James Dunne (St Johnstone).

85:43

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

84:51

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

83:27

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:27

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

81:48

Attempt missed. Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

76:56 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. William Gros replaces Robbie Muirhead.

76:44

Attempt missed. Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

74:29

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

72:42 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Michael Gardyne replaces Alexei Eremenko.

72:25

Foul by Lee Croft (St Johnstone).

72:25

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:46

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:46

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

66:51 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Steve May.

66:39

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

66:00

Hand ball by Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock).

64:32

Foul by Brian Easton (St Johnstone).

64:32

Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:02

Attempt saved. David Mackay (St Johnstone) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

63:20

Chris Millar (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:20

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

59:33

Attempt missed. James Dunne (St Johnstone) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high.

59:06

Attempt missed. Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

58:35

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

57:00

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

56:59

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

54:00

Foul by Steven MacLean (St Johnstone).

54:00

Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

51:45

Attempt missed. Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is too high.

51:08

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Ross Barbour.

45:00

Second Half begins Kilmarnock 1, St Johnstone 2.

45:00 +0:07 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, St Johnstone 2.

44:28

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

43:04 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 1, St Johnstone 2. Steven Anderson (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Wotherspoon with a cross.

42:26

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Ross Barbour.

38:24

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

38:24

Foul by Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock).

32:00

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:57

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

30:23 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 1, St Johnstone 1. Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Lee Croft with a cross.

30:01

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Jeroen Tesselaar.

27:42

Foul by Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock).

27:42

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:23

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Craig Slater.

26:03

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Jackson Irvine.

25:34

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Vitalijs Maksimenko.

25:24

Attempt blocked. James Dunne (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

21:49

Hand ball by James Dunne (St Johnstone).

18:02

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

18:02

Foul by David Mackay (St Johnstone).

17:29

Foul by Frazer Wright (St Johnstone).

17:29

Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

17:03

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Ross Barbour.

14:18

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by David Mackay.

13:20

Attempt missed. Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

12:11

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

12:11

Chris Millar (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

8:33

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

8:33

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:31

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

7:06

Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

7:06

Lee Croft (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

5:03

Attempt missed. Brian Easton (St Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

4:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 1, St Johnstone 0. Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

4:02

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

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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