Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone1Kilmarnock2

St Johnstone 1-2 Kilmarnock

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Highlights: St Johnstone 1-2 Kilmarnock

Eamonn Brophy netted his first Kilmarnock goal to seal victory at St Johnstone, who were forced to change their line-up shortly before kick-off.

Saints' Richard Foster and Michael O'Halloran were late to McDiarmid Park and the hosts fell behind through Stuart Findlay's header.

But Steven MacLean nodded them level before the break.

Brophy fired in after positive play by Stephen O'Donnell before St Johnstone's David Wotherspoon hit the post.

Saints were dealt a blow before a ball was kicked when Foster and O'Halloran were caught behind an accident on the A9 meaning a hastily rearranged starting XI for a frustrated Tommy Wright.

On-loan Rangers winger O'Halloran was named amongst the substitutes, though that was more in hope of an appearance than expectation.

Killie were a goal behind inside a minute against Aberdeen last week but they went ahead on 10 and it was shambolic from the hosts.

Stuart Findlay scores
St Johnstone were caught out by Findlay's tame header

Scott Tanser overhit a passback to goalkeeper Zander Clark, who could not prevent the corner which was flighted in by Dom Thomas and nodded down by Findlay.

Liam Craig was on the line but swiped at fresh air, his face as red as Findlay's was painful, after taking a knock in the act of scoring.

The 22-year-old's first senior goal will not win any end of season awards, but it certainly acted as a remedy to Killie's poor performance in last Sunday's 3-1 defeat.

His second senior goal almost came seven minutes later, though Clark held on to the on-loan Newcastle defender's header on this occasion.

Saints had not scored at McDiarmid Park since mid-September's victory over Hamilton but did end their profligate ways away to Hibernian last time out.

Steven MacLean grabbed the winner in the capital and he ended the Perth goal drought with a bullet header as the first half drew to a close, thumping Blair Alston's cross past Jamie MacDonald.

Steven MacLean celebrates
MacLean celebrates his fifth goal of the season

The match was leaden, with both sides lacking the dynamism of O'Halloran and suspended Killie winger Jordan Jones.

Brophy attempted to restore the visitors' lead with a couple of speculative efforts from outside the box as the teams toiled to test the respective goalkeepers.

He succeeded in that task just beyond the hour mark, expertly steering the ball under Clark after a terrific through ball by O'Donnell.

It was Brophy's first since his summer move from Hamilton and was just reward after a spritely second-half showing.

It was all about the 21-year-old as he continued to be a menace to the hosts, firstly appealing for a penalty after a Steven Anderson challenge and then shooting at Clark having been played through and rounding the Saints keeper.

Wright's men almost drew level with just over three minutes left, substitute Wotherspoon desperately unlucky to see his curling effort from the left angle of the box smash off the reverse post.

It looked like a second equaliser and summed up how things have gone for Saints this season so far.

Defeat leaves them with just two wins in their last 12 while the away team has now prevailed in each of the past five meetings of these two.

For Killie, it was the perfect response to last week's home loss as both sides continue to struggle at home yet plunder points on their travels.

Post-match reaction

St Johnstone captain Joe Shaughnessy: "We give away a really poor goal, it's easily avoided. We do well to get back into the game.

"The second half I think we started pretty well. They get the second goal and it's always going to be hard.

"They've done to us what we do to a lot of teams. They've come away from home, they've played pretty well. They've got a goal and they've defended it really well.

"We had that chance - that strike off the post - which was close. Other than that, I think they probably defended pretty well and probably deserved to win in the end."

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke: "It wasn't the prettiest of games but we knew beforehand we'd have to dig in at times and we did that.

"We got a break when Wotherspoon's shot came back off the post but I think we'd earned that by that stage.

"We had pure dogged determination to stay in the game. The quality came from us in the second half.

"The winning goal was a good example of that."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 23Gordon
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Tanser
  • 4AlstonSubstituted forWotherspoonat 62'minutes
  • 8Davidson
  • 18PatonBooked at 90mins
  • 26CraigSubstituted forScougallat 69'minutes
  • 29CumminsSubstituted forHendryat 69'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 11O'Halloran
  • 20McClean
  • 21Scougall
  • 28Gilchrist
  • 50Hendry

Kilmarnock

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 5Broadfoot
  • 4Greer
  • 17Findlay
  • 15ThomasSubstituted forBurkeat 61'minutes
  • 6Power
  • 8DickerBooked at 81mins
  • 12Taylor
  • 25BrophyBooked at 77minsSubstituted forErwinat 79'minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 9BoydSubstituted forHawkshawat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 16Boyd
  • 18Waters
  • 21Frizzell
  • 22Erwin
  • 23Hawkshaw
  • 26Bell
  • 29Burke
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
2,950

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home6
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home7
Away7
Fouls
Home7
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Kilmarnock 2.

Full Time

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

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Stefan Scougall.

Booking

Paul Paton (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Dean Hawkshaw replaces Kris Boyd.

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box.

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

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

Booking

Lee Erwin (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

Stefan Scougall (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock).

Booking

Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Callum Hendry (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock).

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Lee Erwin replaces Eamonn Brophy because of an injury.

Delay in match Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Booking

Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock).

Liam Gordon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kirk Broadfoot (Kilmarnock).

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by David Wotherspoon.

Foul by Liam Gordon (St. Johnstone).

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock).

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Zander Clark.

Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a set piece situation.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Zander Clark.

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

Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

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

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Stefan Scougall replaces Liam Craig.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Callum Hendry replaces Graham Cummins.

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

Foul by Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic1511403682837
2Aberdeen159332318530
3Hibernian168532417729
4Rangers1583431171427
5Motherwell157262221123
6Hearts164661419-518
7St Johnstone155371623-718
8Hamilton164572326-317
9Dundee164391726-915
10Kilmarnock163671423-915
11Ross County164391424-1015
12Partick Thistle152581224-1211
View full Scottish Premiership table

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