Scottish Premiership
KilmarnockKilmarnock1St MirrenSt Mirren0

Kilmarnock 1-0 St Mirren: Hosts up to third in Premiership after Gary Dicker goal

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

Kilmarnock moved up to third in the Scottish Premiership after Gary Dicker's second goal in two games was enough to beat St Mirren at Rugby Park.

Dicker had scored his first strike in 94 games in the win over Livingston, and his second-half header was enough to settle a tight contest Ayrshire.

It means Killie have lost just once in their last eight games.

However, the hosts had defender Stuart Findlay taken off in the first half after injuring his hamstring.

Manager Angelo Alessio confirmed after the game the Scotland centre-back will have a scan on Monday.

For St Mirren, they sit third bottom, just one point ahead of St Johnstone after suffering their fifth away defeat in a row.

Intriguing battle

It was never likely to be a goal-fest at Rugby Park, with both sides priding themselves on fine defensive records. Kilmarnock had conceded once in three games before this one, Saints two in four.

However, that did not mean there was not some good football on show. Kilmarnock's patient build-up play against a quick and direct St Mirren made it an intriguing battle of styles.

Findlay's early injury rattled the home side for a spell. Within minutes his replacement Alex Bruce got caught under a looping ball and Danny Mullen turned him and forced Laurentiu Branescu to push away a powerful volley.

Bruce was more assured on the next occasion that Mullen threatened, this time getting in to clear after Jonathan Obika's trickery on the left was followed off by a slicing ball to the near post.

Under Angelo Alessio, Kilmarnock play a probing, passing game. At times it was admirable as they knocked the ball about in intricate patterns. For much of the game though they struggled to get past St Mirren's bank of defenders, with Niko Hamalainen's long range shot causing goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky little angst.

Hamalainen was at the centre of everything good for the home side though, constantly finding pockets of space in the middle and helping Killie double up down the left hand side.

But St Mirren looked the more likely to break the deadlock. Killie goalkeeper Branescu had to tip his own defender O'Donnell's header wide, then Tony Andreu raced through on goal but spurned his effort, injuring himself in the process and limping off.

For all Kilmarnock's determination to find a gap in the visiting defence, their winning goal came from a set-piece. Chris Burke's corner found Dicker who looped his header towards the back post to make it three wins in a row for the home side.

Kilmarnock's recent form

Man of the match - Gary Dicker

BBC Scotland's Jane Lewis at Rugby Park

The Kilmarnock captain rose brilliantly to head in the goal for Killie's winner.

Aside from his goal, Dicker played with a calm head, spreading the ball about well to the wide men.

Although there wasn't much to separate Killie and St Mirren, his goal was an important one in terms of extending Kilmarnock's winning run and their momentum.

Saints 'done by sucker punch' - post-match reaction

Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio: "We are happy and it's important to win the game, but at the same time we have to improve. Today we suffer a lot. St Mirren are good on the counter attack with a good striker.

"It's a good result for us."

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "I think we had the best chance of the game. Tony [Andreu] is through one-on-one and we would expect him to roll that into the corner. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be and we end up getting done by a sucker punch.

"I don't think there was much between the two teams, we were evenly matched."

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-3-3

  • 12Branescu
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 26Del FabroSubstituted forThomasat 82'minutes
  • 17FindlaySubstituted forBruceat 25'minutes
  • 14Hämäläinen
  • 6Power
  • 8Dicker
  • 15El Makrini
  • 7McKenzie
  • 9Brophy
  • 11MillarSubstituted forBurkeat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Hendrie
  • 4Bruce
  • 16Jackson
  • 23Thomas
  • 24Koprivec
  • 25St. Clair
  • 29Burke

St Mirren

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Hladky
  • 24MacPherson
  • 21Broadfoot
  • 5McLoughlin
  • 2McGinn
  • 7MagennisSubstituted forDurmusat 85'minutes
  • 4McGinn
  • 16Foley
  • 10AndreuSubstituted forMoriasat 73'minutes
  • 18Mullen
  • 9Obika

Substitutes

  • 8Flynn
  • 11Durmus
  • 19Morias
  • 23Djorkaeff
  • 25Erhahon
  • 26Lyness
  • 39Henderson
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
6,389

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home5
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away4
Fouls
Home11
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, St. Mirren 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, St. Mirren 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock).

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Mohamed El Makrini (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Kirk Broadfoot (St. Mirren).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

  8. Post update

    Sean McLoughlin (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Laurentiu Branescu (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Jonathan Obika (St. Mirren).

  11. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Ilkay Durmus.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Burke (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mohamed El Makrini.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Ilkay Durmus replaces Kyle Magennis.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Alan Power (Kilmarnock).

  15. Post update

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

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Dom Thomas replaces Dario Del Fabro.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Kilmarnock 1, St. Mirren 0. Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Chris Burke with a cross following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Paul McGinn.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Mohamed El Makrini (Kilmarnock).

  20. Post update

    Daniel Mullen (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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