Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone0Kilmarnock2

St Johnstone 0-2 Kilmarnock

Rory McKenzie's wonderful first-half goal helped Kilmarnock earn three points against St Johnstone.

McKenzie grabbed his fifth goal of the season in the 12th minute as he fired home from 35 yards after a poor clearance from goalkeeper Zander Clark.

Sean Longstaff almost doubled Killie's lead on the half hour mark, but his shot was well saved by Clark.

Conor Sammon doubled Killie's lead midway through the second half as he headed home Greg Taylor's cross.

Despite their third win in a row at McDiarmid Park, Kilmarnock remain in eighth place in the Premiership as Dundee and Partick Thistle also won.

With Hearts losing at Firhill, St Johnstone missed an opportunity to move into fourth place.

Kilmarnock fully deserved the win in a game in which they always looked the more threatening team.

The side under caretaker Lee McCulloch dominated the first half and created the better of the chances throughout.

Quick thinking and superb execution from McKenzie fired the visitors in front, with the midfielder's spectacular looping shot sailing over Clark.

Conor Sammon celebrates doubling Kilmarnock's lead at McDiarmid Park.
Conor Sammon celebrates doubling Kilmarnock's lead.

Killie had gone close just eight minutes earlier when Kris Boyd's free kick from 25 yards was palmed away by the Saints goalkeeper.

David Wotherspoon tested Killie goalkeeper Freddie Woodman with a free kick, but it was easily held.

Conor Sammon then clipped a neat shot goalward from the edge of the area, but Clark stretched full length to beat it away.

Longstaff forced a save from the goalkeeper as the pressure on the home team intensified, but Saints rallied and MacLean's looping header landed on the roof of the net.

St Johnstone had plenty of possession in the second half, but they lacked punch and struggled to test the visitors' goalkeeper.

Sammon added a second for Killie in the 71st minute after finding space at the far post to nod in Greg Taylor's delivery.

Saints continued to work hard but struggled to find a way past the visitors' defence and Killie always looked like they carried the threat of adding to their lead.

They settled for what they had though and that gave them a comfortable and precious away win in Perth.

What the managers said

Tommy Wright St Johnstone Manager

"The first 45 without doubt is the worst I've seen since I've been at the club its was brutal, we didn't do any of the basics well, kept giving the ball away and couldn't get out of our own half, the pitch was bumpy so why did we continue to pass it around our own half and give them opportunities?

We got a reaction in the second half, we were much better, without working the keeper we had opportunities, but we should stop the cross, defend the cross and the keeper should save the header.

We gifted them a goal, Kilmarnock were better but if you look at it we could have got away with a 0-0 if we had defended better, That was poor and we got what we deserved."

Lee McCulloch Kilmarnock Manager

"I'm delighted with the result, delighted with the performance, I thought we stopped St Johnstone playing in the middle of the pitch.

They didn't have any clear cut chances, they are a top team and have a top manager but we're delighted to come here today, score two great goals and have a couple more chances as well.

I thought we looked organised I thought our desire and energy all over the pitch was brilliant today."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6AndersonBooked at 81mins
  • 3ScobbieSubstituted forCoulsonat 73'minutes
  • 19Foster
  • 4AlstonSubstituted forThomsonat 82'minutes
  • 7MillarSubstituted forPatonat 59'minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 24B Easton
  • 9MacLean
  • 25KaneBooked at 54mins

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 15Smith
  • 17Coulson
  • 18Paton
  • 27Thomson
  • 33Hunter
  • 49Jardine

Kilmarnock

  • 17Woodman
  • 8Dicker
  • 20Ajer
  • 16Boyd
  • 27Hendrie
  • 7McKenzie
  • 18LongstaffSubstituted forSmithat 90+3'minutes
  • 11Jones
  • 24Taylor
  • 19Sammon
  • 9Boyd

Substitutes

  • 1MacDonald
  • 6Smith
  • 12Tyson
  • 13Umerah
  • 21Frizzell
  • 25Roberts
  • 36Wilson
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
2,933

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home7
Away10
Shots on Target
Home1
Away6
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home10
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 0, Kilmarnock 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 0, Kilmarnock 2.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Martin Smith replaces Sean Longstaff.

Foul by Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone).

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

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Kristoffer Ajer.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Kristoffer Ajer.

Craig Thomson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Scott Boyd (Kilmarnock).

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Conor Sammon.

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

Attempt blocked. Paul Paton (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Craig Thomson replaces Blair Alston.

Booking

Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

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

Attempt missed. Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt missed. Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Kristoffer Ajer.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael Coulson replaces Tam Scobbie.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 0, Kilmarnock 2. Conor Sammon (Kilmarnock) header from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Greg Taylor.

Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Kristoffer Ajer.

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

Foul by Conor Sammon (Kilmarnock).

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

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Paul Paton replaces Chris Millar.

Booking

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

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

Foul by Brian Easton (St. Johnstone).

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

Foul by Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock).

Blair Alston (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Boyd (Kilmarnock).

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

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic26251069165376
2Aberdeen26164650232752
3Rangers2612773430443
4Hearts26108846341238
5St Johnstone2610793333037
6Dundee2686123136-530
7Partick Thistle2678112832-429
8Kilmarnock26610102441-1728
9Ross County2659122845-1724
10Motherwell2666143053-2324
11Inverness CT26410123147-1622
12Hamilton26312112539-1421
View full Scottish Premiership table

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