Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1KilmarnockKilmarnock2

St Johnstone 1-2 Kilmarnock

By Liam McLeodBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park

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

Formation 4-4-2

  • 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

Formation 4-4-2

  • 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

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Kilmarnock 2.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Stefan Scougall.

  4. Booking

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

  5. Post update

    Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

  6. Post update

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

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Dean Hawkshaw replaces Kris Boyd.

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

  11. Booking

    Lee Erwin (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock).

  14. Booking

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

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Foul by Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock).

  17. Substitution

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

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

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

  20. Booking

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

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