Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone0Kilmarnock1

St Johnstone 0-1 Kilmarnock

Scott Boyd
Scott Boyd turns home the winning goal for Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock ended their six-match winless run as Scott Boyd's goal gave them victory at McDiarmid Park.

Kilmarnock keeper Jamie MacDonald kept the scores level with two excellent stops to deny Liam Craig and Blair Alston.

Steven MacLean thought he had put Saints ahead just before the break, but his strike was ruled out for offside.

The home side were made to pay for spurning their chances when Boyd turned home the winner for Killie.

The victory moves Killie up to ninth in the Premiership table while St Johnstone remain in fifth.

Saints off target

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Highlights: St Johnstone 0-1 Kilmarnock

St Johnstone came in to this as clear favourites and did dominate spells of the game.

They found Killie keeper MacDonald in good form as they pressed but in truth they did not fire enough on target throughout the 90 minutes.

Possession, territorial advantage, numerous corners were all there but the decisive finish missing.

The breakthrough seemed to have arrived late in the first-half when MacLean took of advantage of hesitancy in the Kilmarnock defence, nipped in and slotted past the exposed MacDonald.

The assistant referee flagged offside. It was a very tight one.

Credit to Kilmarnock for standing firm after losing 10 goals in their last two outings.

They got their goal from a counter when Boyd bundled Jones' corner home late on and held out with a degree of comfort.

That was their first effort on target in over 180 minutes of football which needs to be improved on.

No matter, a big boost for Lee Clark and his side.

Jordan Jones, Richard Forster
Jordan Jones tries to hold off the challenge of Richard Forster

MacDonald's safe hands

One consistent bright spot for Kilmarnock is goalkeeper MacDonald.

As St Johnstone began to dominate early on he produced two outstanding saves to keep his side level.

The first low to his left to save a firm, well placed header from Craig.

Minutes later he got a fingertip to Alston's angled side-foot across goal to divert it past the post.

That allowed Kilmarnock to gain a foothold and progress up the pitch, which to their credit they did at times and gave the home side something to consider.

It's not just MacDonald's saves. He's alert, anticipates well and looks to get the ball moving.

One man does not make a team but MacDonald is worth his weight in gold to this Killie side, as his manager well knows.

Wright wronged?

Tommy Wright might feel his side were hard done by in losing the three points.

They allowed the match to drift in spells, particularly in the second-half when a more aggressive tempo might have put Kilmarnock under greater pressure.

It's a setback but in the grand scheme of things he can point to a strong start to the season. Frustrating not to have capitalised in a game they might have expected to.

Reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "We should have won. It was a comfortable game for us.

"We had great opportunities to win the game but I thought with the amount of possession we had we could have created more chances.

"We've dropped three points today when I felt we shouldn't. Fair play to them, they defended well and took their chance.

"I've been hard on them in the dressing room because I think it's three points lost. There's no point in pussyfooting about with that that's the facts."

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark: "That's the type of performance that allows you to get three points.

"Battling, people putting their bodies on the line. We felt we always had a threat.

"They're a good team. We knew coming off the back of two heavy defeats we were going to have to work really hard to get something.

"We've won the game and got that first clean sheet of the season. It's given everyone a big boost.

"As long as we can defend properly we've got opportunities to score. It's the old one of set plays being crucial, it wins many games at all levels of football."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 19Foster
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6AndersonBooked at 46mins
  • 24Easton
  • 26CraigSubstituted forCoulsonat 80'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 4AlstonSubstituted forWotherspoonat 69'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 8Davidson
  • 11Swanson
  • 25KaneSubstituted forCumminsat 77'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 7Millar
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 17Coulson
  • 18Paton
  • 23Gordon
  • 29Cummins

Kilmarnock

  • 1MacDonald
  • 27Hendrie
  • 4Addison
  • 17BurnSubstituted forBoydat 17'minutes
  • 24Taylor
  • 7McKenzie
  • 6Smith
  • 8DickerBooked at 43mins
  • 11Jones
  • 12Tyson
  • 19CoulibalySubstituted forAdamsat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Boyle
  • 16Boyd
  • 18Adams
  • 20Bojaj
  • 21Frizzell
  • 31Mackay
  • 36Wilson
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
2,930

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home12
Away4
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home9
Away1
Fouls
Home17
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 0, Kilmarnock 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 0, Kilmarnock 1.

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

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

Booking

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Charlee Adams replaces Souleymane Coulibaly.

Booking

Michael Coulson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Michael Coulson (St. Johnstone).

Luke Hendrie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Richard Foster (St. Johnstone).

Scott Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

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

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael Coulson replaces Liam Craig.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Graham Cummins replaces Christopher Kane.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 0, Kilmarnock 1. Scott Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Jones with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Richard Foster.

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Luke Hendrie (Kilmarnock).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces Blair Alston.

Attempt blocked. Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

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

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Miles Addison (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Blair Alston (St. Johnstone).

Miles Addison (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone).

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

Attempt saved. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Blair Alston (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock).

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

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

Miles Addison (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Greg Taylor.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic87102681822
2Aberdeen9531178918
3Hearts9522167917
4Rangers94321111015
5St Johnstone9423119214
6Motherwell92341114-39
7Inverness CT92341217-59
8Ross County9234713-69
9Kilmarnock9234919-109
10Hamilton91531115-48
11Partick Thistle8134913-46
12Dundee9135814-66
View full Scottish Premiership table

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