in Match Reports October 15, 2016
St Johnstone 0 Kilmarnock 1
Alan Cochrane @ McDiarmid Park
Three points at the end of the day was the most important outcome for Killie after a gruelling, hard-fought contest in Perth today. The previous two games, and the heavy defeats suffered, must have dented the confidence in the team, but right from the start, Kilmarnock had their sleeves rolled up and got stuck into the task. Skipper Miles Addison was back in the defence, but his partner Jonathan Burn only lasted 15 minutes before a bash on the face saw him leave the field with his nose streaming blood, to be replaced by Scott Boyd. That was later to prove significant.
St Johnstone had the better of the first half, but not too many chances on goal. A Craig header from a Foster cross after 18 minutes was well saved low to his left by Jamie MacDonald, and an Alston shot was touched away for a corner a minute later. Steven MacLean (not the referee) had the ball in the net in the 38th minute, but Steven McLean (the referee) ruled it offside, to very little protest from the home side. For Killie, Jordan Jones had a shot go narrowly wide after a good run through the Saints’ defence, but with the defences on top, there was no scoring before the interval.
Kilmarnock were brighter in the second half, and McKenzie rattled a shot just wide of the goal on the hour mark, after good work on the left by Greg Taylor. Killie were now keeping St Johnstone quiet , and in the 75th minute they got their reward. A corner from the left by Jordan Jones was met by the onrushing Scott Boyd, and the ball was bulleted into the net past the helpless Zander Clark. For the last 15 minutes, Saints roused themselves from their torpor and poured forward, but their best, and final, chance didn’t come until the 89th minute when a Cummins shot, which was actually going just wide, was blocked away by the ever-present Scott Boyd,
At the end Lee Clark had a smile on his face, at at what was a happy ending to a long two weeks. “We had a lot of soul-searching and debriefing after two heavy defeats. It was against two good teams, but we should have done better. There seems to be a lot of negativity around the club, but we have the same number of points as Inverness, who have been deemed to have had a good start to the season. It was good to get Miles Addison back from the start, and our clean sheet today, against a good team, was no coincidence. And I’ve inherited a great goalkeeper. A set play [a corner] was the difference between the teams today.” As he left, his parting shot, with a twinkle in his eye, was “Jonathan Burn’s broken nose is not going to do his courting days any good!”
St Johnstone:Clark, Alston (Wotherspoon), Anderso, Davidson, MacLean, Swanson, Shaughnessy, Foster, Easton, Kane (Cummins), Craig (Coulson)
Kilmarnock: MacDonald, Addison, Smith, Dicker, Jones, McKenzie, Tyson, Burn (Boyd), Coulibaly (Adams), Taylor, Hendrie
Referee: Steven McLean
Sandy Ferguson's match pictures.