Scottish Premiership
KilmarnockKilmarnock2St MirrenSt Mirren1

Kilmarnock 2-1 St Mirren: Findlay & Jones give hosts win

Kilmarnock moved to within a point of Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic with a hard-fought win over St Mirren.

Steve Clarke's side remain third, behind Rangers, after Stuart Findlay and Jordan Jones scored against the Paisley side.

Simeon Jackson pulled one back for the visitors before the interval. Eamonn Brophy came close to extending Kilmarnock's lead, but fired over.

Defeat leaves St Mirren second bottom, two points clear of Dundee.

Stewart shines for Kilmarnock

Stewart was the creative force that drove Kilmarnock to another victory. The attacker was irrepressible in the opening stages, and delivered the assists for both his side's goals.

The first came when he swung a corner into the St Mirren penalty area that Findlay rose to head beyond goalkeeper Dean Lyness.

The second was more eye-catching, as Stewart gathered the ball on the right touchline then jinked and shimmied beyond a slew of St Mirren players to reach the bye-line and turn the ball across goal. Jones came bustling in at the far post to convert from close range.

Another Stewart run and cross created a chance for Brophy, who fired over, and at that stage St Mirren were looking bedraggled.

The visitors regrouped, though, and Jackson rose well to convert Adam Hammill's cross. The latter also had an effort before half-time, but lifted his shot over.

The game was less dynamic after the break, although Stewart might have added a third for his side after another driving run, but shot straight at Lyness.

St Mirren forward Simeon Jackson scores against Kilmarnock
St Mirren forward Simeon Jackson pulled one goal back for his side with a deft header

'Clarke can enjoy his winter break' - analysis

BBC Scotland's John Barnes at Rugby Park

The level of consistency shown by Kilmarnock has been impressive. In the Premiership during 2018, they have accumulated 74 points from 38 games, an average of 1.94 points per game.

Manager Steve Clarke can enjoy the winter break with his side sitting third in the league, but given his diligent work ethic he won't relax too much as he monitors the transfer market before preparing his squad for the Scottish Cup and their next league opponents, Rangers.

St Mirren's year ended with their 15th defeat since retuning to the top flight, and now the hard work really begins for manager Oran Kearney as he looks to acquire quality players to improve their situation.

'I'm going to turn my phone off' - reaction

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke: "A club like Kilmarnock, we have to be flexible and understand that if someone comes in with a big bid for one of our players then we'd probably have to accept it.

"I'm going to turn my phone off for four weeks so they're going to have a job getting hold of me."

St Mirren manager Oran Kearney: The manner of it was the hardest thing to take. It's not acceptable, not good enough, and that's the big problem.

"When I took this job I did believe we could keep ourselves in the mix with this group of players and be alive in January. The first part of the mission has been accomplished and that fills me full of optimism. It's going to be busy [the January transfer window]."

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 26Bachmann
  • 2O'DonnellSubstituted forMillenat 56'minutes
  • 16Boyd
  • 17Findlay
  • 3Taylor
  • 11Jones
  • 6Power
  • 8Dicker
  • 29BurkeSubstituted forMcKenzieat 83'minutes
  • 19Stewart
  • 25BrophyBooked at 48minsSubstituted forNdjoliat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1MacDonald
  • 7McKenzie
  • 9Boyd
  • 12Ndjoli
  • 18Waters
  • 22Millen
  • 27Tshibola

St Mirren

  • 26Lyness
  • 15BairdBooked at 88mins
  • 35Ferdinand
  • 19Jones
  • 2McGinnBooked at 82mins
  • 4McGinn
  • 21Hodson
  • 39Erhahon
  • 10SmithSubstituted forJamiesonat 83'minutes
  • 77Hammill
  • 11Jackson

Substitutes

  • 8Flynn
  • 14Kirkpatrick
  • 16McShane
  • 25Rogers
  • 36Jamieson
  • 40Breadner
  • 43Glover
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
7,131

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home12
Away3
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home8
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Kilmarnock 2, St. Mirren 1.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Lee Hodson.

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Foul by Lee Hodson (St. Mirren).

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Greg Stewart (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  8. Booking

    Jack Baird (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Mikael Ndjoli (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Jack Baird (St. Mirren).

  11. Post update

    Greg Stewart (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Stephen McGinn (St. Mirren).

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Samuel Jamieson replaces Cameron Smith.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Rory McKenzie replaces Chris Burke.

  15. Booking

    Paul McGinn (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  16. Post update

    Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Paul McGinn (St. Mirren).

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Foul by Stephen McGinn (St. Mirren).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Mikael Ndjoli replaces Eamonn Brophy.

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport