Scottish Premiership
St MirrenSt Mirren1KilmarnockKilmarnock2
By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland

It took three penalty kicks to bring goals in difficult conditions at St Mirren Park, and Kilmarnock converted both of theirs to earn the victory.

Gusting wind and rain made the game challenging, and referee Willie Collum became a central figure.

As well as the penalties, scored by Alexei Eremenko, Craig Slater and the Buddies' Gregg Wylde, he sent two off.

Kenny McLean saw red for reacting to a foul and Slater earned a second yellow for celebrating his goal with the fans.

Creativity had to take shelter from the conditions. Driving wind and rain reduced this to a game of effort and toil, of which there was plenty. Perseverance was an obligation, but ingenuity was as rare as a ray of sunshine.

Neither manager could have been accused of a lack of ambition, since they selected their most creative players.

Eremenko lined up off the front for Kilmarnock, while McLean played up front for St Mirren, with John McGinn operating in the space between McLean and the St Mirren midfield.

They were all too often forlorn, though, McLean in particular. He is a clever, technically-sound footballer, but he is less involved when he is playing up front than in the midfield, and he also tended to move into the channels, leaving St Mirren's attacks without a focal point.

Kilmarnock managed two long-range efforts in the opening half, but the shots from Eremenko and Lee Ashcroft flew straight into the arms of Mark Ridgers, the St Mirren goalkeeper.

Alexei Eremenko scores from the spot
Alexei Eremenko broke the deadlock in Paisley with a second-half penalty

McLean grew increasingly frustrated with teammates not delivering the ball where and when he wanted it.

Set-pieces were an opportunity for composure, and St Mirren attempted a practised routine from a corner kick, with four players standing at the corner of the 18-yard box and then sprinting towards the goal just as the kick was taken.

No chance materialised, though, which was in keeping with the nature of the game. Even when Mark O'Hara sliced a clearance inside his own penalty area from a St Mirren corner-kick, the ball spun into the arms of the grateful Craig Samson.

The Kilmarnock goalkeeper was relieved again before the interval, when Sean Kelly lashed the ball over from a good position.

Set-pieces were the best hope for a breakthrough, however. Jason Naismith headed over his own cross bar when Eremenko swept one free-kick into the St Mirren penalty area in the second half. Jim Goodwin then curled the ball into the side netting from a free-kick 20 yards out.

The game was finely balanced, and it was a moment of awkwardness that separated the two sides. As the ball held up in the wind, Marc McAusland untidily barged into Josh Magennis, and ref Collum was convinced enough that it was a foul to award a penalty kick. Eremenko converted it expertly.

Craig Slater sees red
Kilmarnock's Craig Slater was sent off after sending his side 2-0 from the penalty spot

St Mirren could call upon some fighting spirit, and McGinn curled a shot just over as they pushed for an equaliser. The emotion could not be contained, though, and McLean reacted so angrily to Ross Barbour's foul on Kelly that he confronted several Kilmarnock players. There did not seem to be a specific incident, but Collum was close at hand and saw or heard something that prompted him to show McLean the red card.

Kilmarnock could now exert some control on the game, although the home fans grew increasingly irked by the decisions made by Collum. The grudge worsened when he awarded another penalty kick for Kilmarnock, although Stephen Mallan clearly tripped Magennis inside the area. Slater scored from the spot on this occasion, but then ran to celebrate with the fans and earned a second yellow card.

There was a late consolation for the home side, when Collum awarded a third spot kick, although there seemed little wrong with Manuel Pascali's challenge on Goodwin.

Wylde scored the penalty, but there was only enough time for the game to be restarted before Collum blew for full time.

Line-ups

St Mirren

  • 12Ridgers
  • 6Goodwin
  • 4McAuslandBooked at 53mins
  • 31Mallan
  • 3KellySubstituted forWyldeat 82'minutes
  • 2NaismithBooked at 90mins
  • 13OsbourneSubstituted forBallat 65'minutes
  • 32MclearSubstituted forMorganat 81'minutes
  • 22Tesselaar
  • 7McGinn
  • 8McLeanBooked at 73mins

Substitutes

  • 11Wylde
  • 14Reilly
  • 16Ball
  • 17Drury
  • 28Kello
  • 30Baird
  • 34Morgan

Kilmarnock

  • 1Samson
  • 2BarbourBooked at 74mins
  • 18Ashcroft
  • 6Connolly
  • 23ChantlerBooked at 50mins
  • 7McKenzieSubstituted forJohnstonat 90+2'minutes
  • 19SlaterBooked at 86mins
  • 26O'Hara
  • 28Magennis
  • 20EremenkoSubstituted forPascaliat 87'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 9MillerSubstituted forMuirheadat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Johnston
  • 11Cairney
  • 13Brennan
  • 29Pascali
  • 33Muirhead
  • 36Syme
  • 37Splaine
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
3,912

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home8
Away9
Shots on Target
Home1
Away5
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home17
Away19

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Mirren 1, Kilmarnock 2.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Goal!

    Goal! St. Mirren 1, Kilmarnock 2. Gregg Wylde (St. Mirren) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  4. Post update

    Penalty St. Mirren. Jim Goodwin draws a foul in the penalty area.

  5. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) after a foul in the penalty area.

  6. Booking

    Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Post update

    John McGinn (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

  9. Post update

    Callum Ball (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

  11. Post update

    Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (St. Mirren).

  12. Post update

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

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Chris Johnston replaces Rory McKenzie.

  14. Booking

    Jason Naismith (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Jason Naismith (St. Mirren).

  16. Post update

    Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Marc McAusland (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

  19. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jeroen Tesselaar.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Top Stories