Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1KilmarnockKilmarnock2

St Johnstone 1-2 Kilmarnock

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland at McDiarmid Park

Josh Magennis managed to net two of the numerous chances that came his way to ensure Kilmarnock beat St Johnstone.

Saints took an early lead when Murray Davidson's close range effort was ruled to have crossed the line.

But two Magennis headers - one from open play and one from a corner - put Killie in front by half-time.

Saints had another Davidson goal ruled out for handball but they failed to test Killie goalkeeper Conor Brennan enough in the second half.

St Johnstone have now lost their last five Premiership games and it could mean the most testing time of manager Tommy Wright's tenure.

Kilmarnock, meanwhile go five matches unbeaten in the league, and that despite an air of anxiety around their camp leading up to this game which was played on an immaculately maintained grass pitch.

Not only were they without Alexei Eremenko, with the Russian born Finland international out with a hamstring injury suffered against Dundee United; they also had to cope without first-choice goalkeeper Craig Samson, who is out nursing a toe problem.

Add to that a players' bonus dispute, which is simmering away in the background, and you can understand why they were slow in starting.

Not long back after an eight-month knee injury, St Johnstone midfielder Davidson did just enough to give the hosts an early lead.

James McFadden, making his first Saints start, chipped a deep cross to the back post from the left-hand side, and it was nodded down for Davidson to poke in despite the best efforts of defender Manuel Pascali to stop it crossing the line.

The Killie players were raging that referee Craig Thomson judged it had gone in, but it would not be long before they were back level.

Northern Ireland international Magennis had already missed a good chance before being in the right place to head right-back Ross Barbour's delivery past Alan Mannus.

And the former Aberdeen and St Mirren striker had another two minutes later. Again a header, this time glancing in Sammy Clingan's corner.

St Johnstone striker Brian Graham was linking up well with McFadden and forced stand-in Kilmarnock goalkeeper - 18-year-old Brennan - into a fine save with his right boot.

Magennis should have had his hat-trick before fore half-time, but diverted Mark Connolly's header over when it seemed a goal was certain.

Nevertheless, he had still netted more goals in 45 minutes than he had done previously all season.

Davidson, too, nearly registered a brace but he was judged to have handled the ball and the goal did not stand.

The energy Magennis puts into his performances is admirable and he frequently got himself into excellent scoring positions, like in the second half when his intelligent volley flew past the post as Kilmarnock tried to kill the game off.

Having started his career as a goalkeeper, the Killie front-man once again had the opportunity to beat another one, but Mannus was equal to Magennis's low strike.

Simon Lappin whizzed a long range effort over Brennan's bar but the Perth side struggled to muster much more.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 14Graham
  • 6Anderson
  • 24Easton
  • 22CroftSubstituted forCaddisat 83'minutes
  • 18DavidsonBooked at 41mins
  • 4LappinSubstituted forO'Halloranat 76'minutes
  • 19MillerBooked at 60mins
  • 17McFaddenBooked at 70mins
  • 20BrownSubstituted forWotherspoonat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Wright
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 26Wilson
  • 29O'Halloran
  • 45Kitchen

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-4-2

  • 13BrennanBooked at 90mins
  • 2Barbour
  • 6Connolly
  • 29Pascali
  • 23Chantler
  • 4Hamill
  • 7McKenzie
  • 8Clingan
  • 10JohnstonSubstituted forMuirheadat 72'minutes
  • 16Obadeyi
  • 28MagennisBooked at 66mins

Substitutes

  • 9Miller
  • 18Ashcroft
  • 19Slater
  • 21Ngoo
  • 22Westlake
  • 31Mackay
  • 33Muirhead
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
3,115

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home10
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away7
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home13
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Kilmarnock 2.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Foul by Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock).

  5. Booking

    Conor Brennan (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. James McFadden (St. Johnstone) header from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Foul by Tope Obadeyi (Kilmarnock).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Caddis replaces Lee Croft.

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  14. Post update

    Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

  15. Post update

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

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael O'Halloran replaces Simon Lappin.

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Mark Connolly (Kilmarnock).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Robbie Muirhead replaces Chris Johnston.