Scottish Premiership
St MirrenSt Mirren4KilmarnockKilmarnock1

St Mirren 4-1 Kilmarnock

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland at St Mirren Park

Bottom side St Mirren moved to within seven points of Motherwell with four games to go by beating Kilmarnock.

Buddies defender Sean Kelly drilled into the far corner and Kieran Sadlier's close-range header doubled the lead.

Josh Magennis pulled one back from 18 yards for Kilmarnock.

But an Alexei Eremenko handball and a Manuel Pascali foul gave St Mirren two penalties which captain Steven Thompson duly converted.

Suddenly there is a chink of light for Gary Teale's St Mirren as they stare up out of the automatic relegation trap door that most felt had already shut and locked.

With 12 points still up for grabs, the Buddies know they can apply further pressure on Motherwell, who visit Paisley in the penultimate round of fixtures.

St Mirren Park has not previously been a daunting place to come calling - this was only the hosts' second home league win of the season - but Teale's side seemed re-energised against an underwhelming Kilmarnock.

Sean Kelly scores for St Mirren against Kilmarnock
Kelly emphatically gave the hosts the lead

The 50th anniversary of Killie's only top-flight title win should have inspired them, but instead Gary Locke's side struggled in the first half and St Mirren capitalised.

Centre-back Kelly was still up front following a set piece when Nathan Eccleston's misplaced pass presented the Buddies youngster with the chance to drill the ball into Craig Samson's far corner for his third of the season.

A last-ditch challenge on Thompson by Kilmarnock defender Lee Ashcroft did not bring a penalty but St Mirren's second came soon after when former West Ham forward Sadlier picked up the scraps when Jason Naismith's shot was partially saved.

Magennis's sixth of the season gave Killie a lifeline - the Northern Irishman finishing well beyond Mark Ridgers after Chris Johnston's pass.

Any resurgence would be short-lived though as referee Kevin Clancy awarded St Mirren the first of two penalties when Stephen Mallan's free-kick struck the hand of Eremenko.

Thompson's execution was not the cleanest but he saved a nicer finish for his second penalty eight minutes later after Pascali had felled Dayton.

Both sides hit the woodwork late on - Magennis and Mallan coming close - and Thompson got a standing ovation when substituted.

St Mirren players celebrating
Thompson (right) celebrates his second penalty conversion

Line-ups

St Mirren

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 12Ridgers
  • 2Naismith
  • 30Baird
  • 22Tesselaar
  • 3Kelly
  • 14ReillySubstituted forCuddihyat 87'minutes
  • 17DaytonSubstituted forBrownat 76'minutes
  • 31Mallan
  • 11Wylde
  • 10SadlierBooked at 82mins
  • 9ThompsonSubstituted forGowat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Gow
  • 15Arquin
  • 19Brown
  • 25Sonupe
  • 28Kello
  • 34Morgan
  • 35Cuddihy

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Samson
  • 26O'HaraBooked at 56mins
  • 29PascaliBooked at 64mins
  • 18Ashcroft
  • 2Barbour
  • 10Johnston
  • 8Clingan
  • 19SlaterSubstituted forEremenkoat 45'minutesBooked at 59mins
  • 16ObadeyiSubstituted forMcKenzieat 70'minutes
  • 28Magennis
  • 14EcclestonSubstituted forMillerat 27'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7McKenzie
  • 9Miller
  • 11Cairney
  • 13Brennan
  • 20Eremenko
  • 30Kiltie
  • 36Syme
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
3,205

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home14
Away13
Shots on Target
Home6
Away6
Corners
Home12
Away6
Fouls
Home6
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Mirren 4, Kilmarnock 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Mirren 4, Kilmarnock 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mark O'Hara (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  4. Post update

    Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box.

  5. Post update

    Hand ball by Craig Samson (Kilmarnock).

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lee Miller (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Barry Cuddihy (St. Mirren).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Adam Brown (St. Mirren) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  10. Post update

    Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Barry Cuddihy replaces Thomas Reilly.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  14. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Mark O'Hara.

  15. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Manuel Pascali.

  16. Booking

    Stephen Mallan (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) hits the left post with a header from the centre of the box.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Kieran Sadlier.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jack Baird.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic33254470175379
2Aberdeen34235656292774
3Inverness CT331671045351055
4St Johnstone34156133132-151
5Dundee Utd32154135247549
6Dundee341111124547-244
7Hamilton34137144448-446
8Partick Thistle34118154339441
9Kilmarnock34108163650-1438
10Ross County34107174058-1837
11Motherwell3494213359-2631
12St Mirren3473242660-3424
View full Scottish Premiership table

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