Kilmarnock leapfrogged Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premiership after beating the Firhill side at Rugby Park.

Chris Johnston's third goal in four games gave the hosts a half-time lead.

Thistle started the second half brightly and were rewarded when Kris Doolan guided home his seventh goal of the season past Killie's Craig Samson.

But in the 73rd minute Kris Boyd's crucial touch on Jackson Irvine's long-range shot ensured Kilmarnock took three valuable points.

The East Ayrshire side move up to ninth in the league thanks to Boyd's ninth goal of the season.

However, Allan Johnston's men also have to give a huge pat on the back to their goalkeeper Samson, who deterred a persistent Thistle attack on several occasions in the second half.

Alan Archibald's Jags have not won since a mid-October victory against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Despite struggling for goals for much of this season, the visitors looked relatively potent up front, as Doolan thumped in an early effort to check Samson was on song.

His opposite number Scott Fox was also called upon in the opening exchanges to deal with Boyd's shot.

Fox was beaten just before the break, though, unable to keep out Johnston's lovely left-foot strike into the corner.

Within five minutes of the restart Partick Thistle were back on level terms.

When the ball arrived at Doolan he shaped to shoot with his left foot, but let it run onto his right before finishing competently.

Thistle almost kicked on from that to score another. Kallum Higginbotham drifted past Killie right-back Sean Clohessy and cut-back for Steven Lawless, but the midfielder fired over when he should have done better.

Kilmarnock's Jackson Irvine has become known for a sweet strike from distance, and it was another one of those that created their winner.

His angled half-volley from 30 yards was diverted into the net by Boyd to send the hosts on their way to a first home win since October.

Thistle did not roll over and Higginbotham almost capped a wonderful move with an equaliser, but Samson stayed true to form to pull off a magnificent save from the winger's seven-yard shot.

Samson further frustrated the Jags when he kept out a Ross Forbes free-kick and the follow-up shot by John Baird.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 16 Clohessy
  • 02 Tesselaar
  • 05 Irvine
  • 29 Pascali
  • 30 Ashcroft
  • 07 Nicholson (Gardyne - 59' )
  • 28 Slater
  • 18 McKenzie
  • 09 Boyd
  • 10 Johnston (Winchester - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 08 Clingan
  • 12 Reguero
  • 19 Ibrahim
  • 21 Winchester
  • 23 McKeown
  • 25 Gardyne
  • 33 Muirhead

Partick Thistle

  • 01 Fox
  • 16 McMillan
  • 03 Taylor-Sinclair
  • 08 Bannigan
  • 06 Balatoni Booked
  • 13 Gabriel
  • 23 Higginbotham (Forbes - 82' )
  • 07 Craigen Booked
  • 09 Doolan
  • 11 Lawless (Baird - 74' )
  • 14 Elliott (O'Donnell - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 02 O'Donnell
  • 05 Muirhead
  • 10 Forbes
  • 12 Gallacher
  • 17 Baird
  • 20 Kerr
  • 31 Wilson
Ref: Craig Thomson
Att: 3,865

Match Stats

Shots

10 13

On target

5 8

Corners

5 5

Fouls

10 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Kilmarnock 2, Partick Thistle 1.

90:00 +2:36 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 2, Partick Thistle 1.

90:00 +2:05

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

90:00 +2:05

Stephen O'Donnell (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:02

Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

90:00 +1:02

Ross Forbes (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Jude Winchester replaces Chris Johnston.

84:52 Booking

Booking James Craigen (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

84:47

Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

84:47

Foul by James Craigen (Partick Thistle).

84:01

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Craig Samson.

83:42

Attempt saved. Ross Forbes (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

83:05

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

83:05

Jordan McMillan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

81:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Partick Thistle. Ross Forbes replaces Kallum Higginbotham.

81:01

Attempt saved. Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

79:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Partick Thistle. Stephen O'Donnell replaces Christie Elliott.

78:42

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

78:42

Gabriel Rojo de la Vega (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:55

Attempt saved. John Baird (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

75:47

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

75:47

Gabriel Rojo de la Vega (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

74:18

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

74:18

John Baird (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Partick Thistle. John Baird replaces Steven Lawless.

73:19

Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

73:19

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

72:28 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 2, Partick Thistle 1. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jackson Irvine.

70:20

Attempt blocked. Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

69:08 Booking

Booking Conrad Balatoni (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.

69:00

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

68:52

Foul by Conrad Balatoni (Partick Thistle).

67:52

Attempt saved. Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

66:39

Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from very close range is too high.

64:41

Attempt saved. Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

64:08

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Gabriel Rojo de la Vega.

63:34

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Craig Samson.

63:10

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Craig Samson.

62:42

Attempt saved. Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner.

60:13

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Michael Gardyne.

58:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Michael Gardyne replaces Barry Nicholson.

57:29

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

57:29

Foul by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle).

55:00

Attempt missed. Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is too high.

54:40

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jordan McMillan.

54:00

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

53:57

Foul by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle).

53:10

Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:10

Foul by James Craigen (Partick Thistle).

48:51 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 1, Partick Thistle 1. Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kallum Higginbotham.

46:31

Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

46:31

Stuart Bannigan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:43

Attempt missed. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.

45:00

Second Half begins Kilmarnock 1, Partick Thistle 0.

45:00 +0:19 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Partick Thistle 0.

44:00

Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:55

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

43:26

Attempt saved. Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from long range on the left is saved in the top right corner.

42:01

Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

42:01

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

41:25 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 1, Partick Thistle 0. Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Craig Slater with a cross.

40:30

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair.

40:11

Attempt blocked. Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

38:44

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

38:44

Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:07

Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

32:44

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Stuart Bannigan.

31:22

Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:22

Foul by Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle).

30:39

Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:39

Foul by Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle).

24:41

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Sean Clohessy.

23:18

Attempt missed. James Craigen (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

18:55

Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

17:09

Attempt missed. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left.

16:25

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Conrad Balatoni.

15:13

Attempt saved. Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

12:40

Attempt missed. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

11:03

Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

11:03

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

10:29

Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

9:32

Attempt saved. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

8:12

Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

8:12

Foul by Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle).

6:21

Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

6:21

Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:52

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

1:52

James Craigen (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the left wing.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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