Kris Boyd's first-half strike was enough to give Kilmarnock a victory over St Mirren that leaves Hibernian second bottom of the Premiership.

But results elsewhere mean Killie face a showdown against Hibs on Saturday to avoid a relegation play-off.

Boyd missed a great early chance from eight yards, but he then squeezed a shot under goalkeeper Chris Dillo after from a fine Alexei Eremenko pass.

St Mirren threatened an equaliser then Killie's James Fowler was sent off.

The Ayrshire side held on to leapfrog Hibs by a point, but only two teams remain in danger of a play-off against Championship side going into the final weekend after Partick Thistle ensured their safety with a 4-2 victory away to Hearts that takes the Glasgow side above St Mirren into seventh spot.

Kilmarnock captain Manuel Pascali

Kilmarnock captain Manuel Pascali celebrated at the final whistle

Torrential rain lapping down on Rugby Park was a menace to both sides and, when Rory McKenzie intercepted a short Darren McGregor pass-back, goalkeeper Chris Dillo stayed on his feet to poke the ball out for a throw.

Another slip by Marc McAusland allowed McKenzie's low cross to find Boyd soon after, but the former Rangers striker stabbed wide from only six-yards out.

Steven Thompson then spurned Saints' first opening after he headed wide from Jim Goodwin's quick free-kick.

However, Killie were a different side from the one battered in the capital and they forced Dilo into another brilliant save as Manuel Pascali's header had the goalkeeper sprawling,

The Frenchman, though, was beaten by Boyd seconds later.

Dillo stood up well to deny the Killie hitman's first attempt after Alexei Eremenko swung a stunning ball to the back post but was powerless to stop Boyd battering home the rebound.

McAusland and John McGinn both sent efforts over Samson's bar as the visitors chased a leveller before the break.

However, Dilo ensured they only went in a goal down as he first saved from McKenzie after another McGregor slip-up then denied Lee Ashcroft with another instinctive block from the resulting corner.

The Buddies had looked anything but assertive in defence, but McAusland timed his last-ditch tackle to perfection to deny Boyd a second 10 minutes after half-time.

Samson kept out his former club again just after the hour mark as he got hands on Kenny McLean's low free-kick.

The final 10 minutes were torture for the home fans as Saints poured men forward - and their nerves were tested even further when Fowler, booked in the first half, collected a second yellow for tripping Jason Naismith on 87 minutes..

Killie, though, held out and referee Alan Muir's final whistle was greeted like a goal - now they have one-more nail-biter to see out on Saturday to ensure their 21-year stay in Scotland's top league continues.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (5)

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 15 Barbour Booked
  • 02 Tesselaar
  • 29 Pascali Booked
  • 30 Ashcroft Booked
  • 22 Maksimenko
  • 04 Fowler Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 20 Eremenko
  • 09 Boyd (Muirhead - 73' )
  • 18 McKenzie (Nicholson - 81' )
  • 05 Irvine

Substitutes

  • 07 Nicholson
  • 08 Clingan
  • 10 Johnston
  • 11 Gros
  • 12 Reguero Chapinal
  • 28 Slater
  • 33 Muirhead

St Mirren

  • 30 Dilo
  • 22 Naismith
  • 18 Kelly
  • 06 Goodwin
  • 14 McAusland
  • 04 McGregor
  • 10 McGowan (Wylde - 58' )
  • 24 Newton (Magennis - 59' )
  • 09 Thompson Booked
  • 11 McLean
  • 07 McGinn (Teale - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 02 van Zanten
  • 12 Campbell
  • 16 Magennis
  • 21 Teale
  • 28 Kello
  • 39 Wylde
  • 99 Djemba-Djemba
Ref: Alan Muir
Att: 4,911

Match Stats

Shots

14 11

On target

7 4

Corners

12 4

Fouls

19 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, St Mirren 0.

90:00 +3:09 Full time

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

90:00 +2:14

Attempt saved. Kenny McLean (St Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

90:00 +1:32

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

90:00 +1:32

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:54

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

89:33

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Gregg Wylde.

86:28 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to James Fowler (Kilmarnock).

86:24

Foul by James Fowler (Kilmarnock).

86:24

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

85:30

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

84:58 Booking

Booking Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

84:53

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

84:53

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:29

Attempt missed. Josh Magennis (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

82:55

James Fowler (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

82:55

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

82:20

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

82:08

Attempt saved. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

81:24

Attempt missed. Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

81:03

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

80:48

Attempt saved. Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

80:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Barry Nicholson replaces Rory McKenzie.

79:32

Attempt blocked. Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

78:18

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

78:18

Foul by Darren McGregor (St Mirren).

77:31

Attempt blocked. Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

76:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Gary Teale replaces John McGinn.

74:59

Attempt missed. Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

74:22

Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

74:22

Foul by Josh Magennis (St Mirren).

73:44

James Fowler (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

73:44

Foul by John McGinn (St Mirren).

72:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Robbie Muirhead replaces Kris Boyd because of an injury.

69:10

Attempt missed. Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high.

68:56

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

68:05

Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:05

Foul by Gregg Wylde (St Mirren).

67:05

Foul by Marc McAusland (St Mirren).

67:05

Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:38

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Ross Barbour.

66:19

Attempt saved. Gregg Wylde (St Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

65:34

Foul by James Fowler (Kilmarnock).

65:34

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

61:34

Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (St Mirren) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is close, but misses the top right corner.

60:37

Attempt missed. James Goodwin (St Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

60:08

Attempt saved. Kenny McLean (St Mirren) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

59:44

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

59:44

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

59:26

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

59:26

Josh Magennis (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Josh Magennis replaces Conor Newton.

57:54 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Gregg Wylde replaces Paul McGowan.

57:26

Attempt missed. Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

57:11

Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

57:11

Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).

55:12

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Marc McAusland.

53:20

Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

53:20

Sean Kelly (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

50:43

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Darren McGregor.

49:52 Booking

Booking Steven Thompson (St Mirren) is shown the yellow card.

49:47

Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

49:47

Foul by Paul McGowan (St Mirren).

48:38

Foul by Paul McGowan (St Mirren).

48:38

Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:16

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

47:16

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

46:45

Foul by Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock).

46:45

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:21

Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:21

Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).

45:00

Second Half begins Kilmarnock 1, St Mirren 0.

45:00 +1:08 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, St Mirren 0.

43:52

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

43:09

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

42:39

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Chris Dilo.

42:30

Attempt saved. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

41:31

Foul by Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock).

41:31

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

39:56

Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).

39:56

Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

36:02 Booking

Booking James Fowler (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

36:00

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

35:40

Foul by James Fowler (Kilmarnock).

33:39

Attempt missed. John McGinn (St Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

33:11

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

33:11

Paul McGowan (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:35

Attempt missed. Marc McAusland (St Mirren) header from the right side of the six yard box is too high.

31:20

Foul by Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock).

31:20

Sean Kelly (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.

30:30 Booking

Booking Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

30:27

Foul by Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock).

30:27

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

29:34

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

28:04

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

27:13

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

27:13

Foul by Paul McGowan (St Mirren).

24:31

Foul by Kenny McLean (St Mirren).

24:31

Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

23:27

Foul by Marc McAusland (St Mirren).

23:27

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

22:23

Attempt saved. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

20:24 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 1, St Mirren 0. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexei Eremenko with a cross.

19:51

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Darren McGregor.

19:34

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

18:49

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by James Goodwin.

17:49

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Kris Boyd.

17:25 Booking

Booking Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

17:13

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

17:13

Foul by Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock).

15:34

Kenny McLean (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:34

Foul by James Fowler (Kilmarnock).

14:19

Attempt missed. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

13:54

Kenny McLean (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

13:54

Foul by James Fowler (Kilmarnock).

12:25

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

11:30

Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (St Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

6:12

Hand ball by Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock).

3:33

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by Vitalijs Maksimenko.

0:12

Steven Thompson (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:12

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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