Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone3KilmarnockKilmarnock1

St Johnstone 3-1 Kilmarnock

By Paul MitchellBBC Sport

St Johnstone bolstered their top six Scottish Premiership position with a comfortable win against Kilmarnock.

Nigel Hasselbaink opened the scoring after 24 minutes with a fine strike.

Seven minutes later, Stevie May fired in before Jackson Irvine was sent off for a challenge on Chris Millar.

May converted from the spot, then Sean Clohessy reduced the deficit with a bizarre cross, but Killie were reduced to nine men when Darren Barr was dismissed for a second yellow card.

After a quiet start St Johnstone slowly gained superiority with both strikers, May and Hasselbaink, willing runners for a midfield that looked to stretch Kilmarnock left and right.

The opening goal when it came after 24 minutes was the opposite of the way that Saints had been playing.

Their short passing style cleverly set-aside for a moment to put Hasselbaink through on goal courtesy of a simple long ball.

Manuel Pascali spotted the danger just too late and he appeared to think better of taking the striker down allow the striker the shooting chance.

Hasselbaink remained calm as he angled his body to place the shot perfectly in the bottom right-hand corner past the advancing Craig Samson for his fourth straight goal in four Premiership matches.

Having beaten both Motherwell and Hearts 2-0 with goals from Hasselbaink and May, the scoreline had a familiar look after 31 minutes after Mark O'Hara inexplicably failed to deal with Gary Miller's cross-field ball, allowing May the chance to tuck the ball neatly behind a bemused Samson.

Kilmarnock's first half ended on a further low note when Irvine was booked for simulation after he went down in the box.

The second half was barely five minutes old when Irvine mistimed a challenge on Gary Miller and referee Willie Collum had no hesitation in showing yellow again to the Australian, and Kilmarnock were reduced to ten men.

Worse followed, Michael Gardyne tracking Chris Miller into the box after 54 minutes saw Gardyne trip the Saints player in a battle for possession and a and he conceded a penalty. May coolly converted, sending Samson the wrong way and Saints' lead looked commanding.

It was perhaps surprising given the play and the numerical situation that it was Kilmarnock who scored next.

Clohessy moving down the right side sent in a swinging cross that caught out Allan Mannus in the home goal and drifting over the keeper and in.

Saints were not to add to their lead but their pressure told again on the visiting defence when Barr took down May to earn a second yellow card and again Kilmarnock saw their numbers reduced to nine with just six minutes to play.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Mannus
  • 19Miller
  • 24Easton
  • 18Davidson
  • 2Mackay
  • 3Scobbie
  • 7Millar
  • 8McDonald
  • 11HasselbainkSubstituted forEdwardsat 77'minutes
  • 17MaySubstituted forKaneat 90'minutes
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forCaddisat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Cregg
  • 14Edwards
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 20Brown
  • 25Jahic
  • 41Kane

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Samson
  • 16Clohessy
  • 2Tesselaar
  • 7NicholsonSubstituted forAshcroftat 87'minutes
  • 5IrvineBooked at 52mins
  • 6BarrBooked at 86mins
  • 8Clingan
  • 29Pascali
  • 25GardyneSubstituted forFowlerat 59'minutes
  • 9Boyd
  • 26O'Hara

Substitutes

  • 4Fowler
  • 11Gros
  • 12Reguero
  • 18McKenzie
  • 19Ibrahim
  • 21Winchester
  • 30Ashcroft
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
2,855

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home12
Away8
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away2
Fouls
Home12
Away19

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St Johnstone 3, Kilmarnock 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St Johnstone 3, Kilmarnock 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, St Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Steve May.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Lee Ashcroft replaces Barry Nicholson.

  6. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Darren Barr (Kilmarnock).

  7. Post update

    Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Darren Barr (Kilmarnock).

  9. Post update

    Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Craig Samson.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  11. Booking

    Darren Barr (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

  12. Post update

    Liam Caddis (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Darren Barr (Kilmarnock).

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, St Johnstone. Gwion Edwards replaces Nigel Hasselbaink.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Chris Millar (St Johnstone).

  20. Post update

    James Fowler (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.