in Match Reports December 29, 2018
Killie ended 2018 on a high after a fine 2-1 victory over St Mirren at Rugby Park thanks to goals from Stuart Findlay and Jordan Jones.
Victory ensured Killie have picked up 16 points from a possible 21 in December and took our final 2018 total for the calendar year at 74 points.
The match was only three minutes old when Greg Stewart's corner was met by the onrushing Stuart Findlay and the centre back placed a fine and firm header into the bottom corner to settle any early nerves.
Rangers' victory over Celtic at Ibrox earlier in the day had bunched up the top of the Scottish Premiership table with a win seeing Killie sit just one point off the two Glasgow clubs.
That feat moved closer to becoming reality thanks to a wonderful piece of brilliance from Greg Stewart.
The attacker showed fantastic close control to dribble down the byline and square for Jordan Jones to tap the ball home.
A crowd of 7,131 were inside Rugby Park with the Killie crowd in fine voice throughout the match.
The 1,002 St Mirren supporters had a moment to cheer as Simeon Jackson glanced home a whipped cross from the right to pull the Buddies back into the game on 22 minutes. This was only to prove a minor wobble as Steve Clarke's side regained their composure and their grip on the contest.
Chris Burke and Eamonn Brophy had been reinstated in place of Aaron Tshibola and Kris Boyd and both men tried to add to Killie's lead only to see their efforts stopped.
Ross Millen signed a new Killie contract until the summer of 2020 earlier in the day and he was called upon after Stephen O'Donnell pulled up for the second time in the match. The full back performed well once more and showed why he's earned another 18 months in Ayrshire.
Mikael Ndjoli and Rory McKenzie were introduced to the action to see the game out but if another goal was to come it would have been for Killie with St Mirren unable to fashion a meaningful attack in the second period.
Stewart kept the ball in the corner in injury time and a loud roar at the final whistle was followed by a rendition of Paper Roses as 12 months of Killie brilliance sees the team one point of the summit after 21 matches.
Kilmarnock: Bachmann; O'Donnell (Millen), S.Boyd, Findlay, Taylor; Power, Dicker, Jones, Burke (McKenzie), Stewart, Brophy (Ndjoli)