Scottish Premiership
Kilmarnock1St Johnstone2

Kilmarnock 1-2 St Johnstone

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.

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 1Samson
  • 15BarbourBooked at 90mins
  • 2Tesselaar
  • 5Irvine
  • 30Ashcroft
  • 22Maksimenko
  • 33MuirheadSubstituted forGrosat 77'minutes
  • 20EremenkoSubstituted forGardyneat 73'minutes
  • 9Boyd
  • 28SlaterBooked at 86minsSubstituted forNicholsonat 90'minutes
  • 18McKenzie

Substitutes

  • 4Fowler
  • 7Nicholson
  • 11Gros
  • 12Reguero Chapinal
  • 16Clohessy
  • 25Gardyne
  • 83Bouzid

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 2MackayBooked at 90mins
  • 24B Easton
  • 12Dunne
  • 6Anderson
  • 5Wright
  • 22Croft
  • 7Millar
  • 9MacLean
  • 17MaySubstituted forO'Halloranat 67'minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon

Substitutes

  • 4Cregg
  • 11Hasselbaink
  • 15Banks
  • 19Miller
  • 23Clancy
  • 25Iwelumo
  • 29O'Halloran
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
3,665

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home7
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home12
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, St Johnstone 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, St Johnstone 2.

Booking

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

Foul by David Mackay (St Johnstone).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Barry Nicholson replaces Craig Slater.

Booking

Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

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

Foul by Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock).

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by David Mackay.

Booking

Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by James Dunne (St Johnstone).

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

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

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

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. William Gros replaces Robbie Muirhead.

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

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

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Michael Gardyne replaces Alexei Eremenko.

Foul by Lee Croft (St Johnstone).

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

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

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

Substitution

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

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.

Hand ball by Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock).

Foul by Brian Easton (St Johnstone).

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

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

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

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

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

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

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

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

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

Foul by Steven MacLean (St Johnstone).

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

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Celtic3328416688
2Aberdeen3218681560
3Motherwell3319311560
4Dundee Utd3315991754
5Inverness CT3315711552
6St Johnstone3314613748
7Hibernian3281014-1334
8Kilmarnock339618-1633
9Ross County338718-1831
10St Mirren338718-2131
11Partick Thistle3361215-2130
12Hearts337719-2613
View full Scottish Premiership table

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