Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone2Kilmarnock1

St Johnstone 2-1 Kilmarnock

St Johnstone came from behind to beat visitors Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership.

Steven Smith nodded in Kallum Higginbotham's chipped cross to give Killie an early lead.

Michael O'Halloran levelled for Saints after a scramble in the box midway through the first half.

Chris Kane struck to give the home side the lead shortly after the break before Saints had Liam Craig sent off for a lunge on Smith.

It was an impressive performance from the home side, which earned a fifth league win in six games and moved them five points clear of the three sides directly below them in the table.

Some supporters were still easing into their seats when Kilmarnock announced their arrival with their first real attack.

Murray Davidson (left) and Kallum Higginbotham
St Johntone's Murray Davidson (left) and Kilmarnock's Kallum Higginbotham clash

Higginbotham curled an accurate cross from the right that sailed perfectly into Smith's path, and a lack of challenge allowed him to steer the ball home via the cross bar.

St Johnstone seemed a little off the pace in that opening period with Josh Magennis firing narrowly wide from outside the area.

Saints manager Tommy Wright suffered another blow when striker Graham Cummins pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Kane.

Slowly but surely the home side progressed up the pitch and were rewarded by the persistence of Steven MacLean.

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He gathered in the inside left position and appeared to delay too long as the defence streamed back into position.

It paid off though when he met Kane's return ball, and rather than blast from close range he laid the ball off to the better positioned O'Halloran to convert.

St Johnstone started the second half with more purpose and almost immediately could have been ahead.

It was great work from O'Halloran who cut inside, tried to slide a ball in behind the defence which visiting defender Mark O'Hara connected with, and watched as it snuck inches past his own post.

Moments later, superb work on the left from David Wotherspoon led to the ball being laid back to Kane and the substitute striker smashed the ball powerfully past goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald.

Magennis fired a powerful shot marginally off target as Kilmarnock threatened a response

However, St Johnstone seemed in command and Craig, Brian Easton and Kane had opportunities to seal the points.

Craig's afternoon ended with personal disappointment when a two-footed challenge on Smith was deemed too aggressive and he received a straight card.

Greg Kiltie and Dale Carrick might have rescued a point, but in truth the home side did enough to deserve victory in what's proving to be another impressive campaign.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 3Scobbie
  • 6Anderson
  • 24Easton
  • 29O'HalloranBooked at 54minsSubstituted forShaughnessyat 88'minutes
  • 8Davidson
  • 22FisherSubstituted forWotherspoonat 45'minutes
  • 26CraigBooked at 86mins
  • 9MacLean
  • 18CumminsSubstituted forKaneat 14'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Millar
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 11Sutton
  • 12Clark
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 25Kane
  • 27Thomson

Kilmarnock

  • 21MacDonald
  • 14O'Hara
  • 5Findlay
  • 26Balatoni
  • 22McHattie
  • 7McKenzie
  • 3SmithBooked at 25mins
  • 19SlaterSubstituted forCarrickat 84'minutes
  • 23KiltieBooked at 20minsSubstituted forObadeyiat 64'minutes
  • 11HigginbothamSubstituted forBoydat 71'minutes
  • 28MagennisBooked at 87mins

Substitutes

  • 1Ridgers
  • 4Hamill
  • 8Robinson
  • 9Boyd
  • 16Obadeyi
  • 18Ashcroft
  • 20Carrick
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
3,475

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home9
Away15
Shots on Target
Home6
Away5
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home6
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 2, Kilmarnock 1.

Full Time

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

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Conrad Balatoni (Kilmarnock).

Attempt blocked. Dale Carrick (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Joe Shaughnessy replaces Michael O'Halloran.

Booking

Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

Dismissal

Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) is shown the red card.

Foul by Liam Craig (St. Johnstone).

Steven Smith (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock).

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Dale Carrick replaces Craig Slater.

Attempt saved. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Kris Boyd.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Mark O'Hara.

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Kris Boyd replaces Kallum Higginbotham.

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

Foul by Kallum Higginbotham (Kilmarnock).

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kevin McHattie (Kilmarnock).

Attempt missed. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Tope Obadeyi (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt saved. Brian Easton (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Tope Obadeyi replaces Greg Kiltie.

Attempt saved. Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Attempt missed. Kallum Higginbotham (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Booking

Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Greg Kiltie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic13102134102432
2Hearts1492326141229
3Aberdeen149142116528
4St Johnstone147252922723
5Ross County135351815318
6Hamilton145361820-218
7Dundee144642023-318
8Inverness CT144551517-217
9Kilmarnock144371524-915
10Motherwell144281118-714
11Partick Thistle142571020-1011
12Dundee Utd1422101028-188
View full Scottish Premiership table

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