Saturday 5th August
A fanstastic solo effort with one minute remaining from Michael O'Halloran saw Saints start the Scottish Premiership season with a 2-1 win at Kilmarnock.
David Wotherspoon had put Saints ahead after ten minutes with a fine finish before Kris Boyd equalised on 59 minutes for Killie.
Saints travelled to Ayrshire today to get their SPFL Premiership league campaign underway with a match against Kilmarnock. There were 3 changes to the Saints team that started at East Fife last Saturday as Brian Easton, Paul Paton and Murray Davidson came into replace Scott Tanser, Chris Millar and Liam Craig. Kilmarnock manager Lee McCulloch made two changes to the team that started last weekend’s 3-0 home win against Dumbarton as Stephen O’Donnell and William Graham dropped out to be replaced by Jordan Jones and Gordon Greer.
It was Saints who got the match underway in the lovely summer sun and they forced a couple of early corners but the danger was comfortably cleared by the home defence.
Saints started the game well and on 8 minutes some good play by Stefan Scougall setup Murray Davidson on the edge of the box but the midfielder’s effort was deflected narrowly over for a corner.
Saints though were rewarded for their good start on 10 minutes as they took the lead. A long ball forward picked out Graham Cummins and he did well to turn his man before advancing with the ball. The Saints striker then slipped the ball to David Wotherspoon who weaved his way into the box before blasting a great effort past Jamie MacDonald and into the roof of the net.
The home side created a half chance on 17 minutes however, Alan Mannus wasn’t troubled as Jordan Jones put his effort wide of the target.
Richard Foster almost gifted the home side a goal on 25 minutes to put Chris Burke through however, Mannus did well to catch the lob by the Killie winger.
Then a minute later Davidson saw MacDonald off his line so he unleashed a shot at goal from 10 yards into the Kilmarnock half which crashed off the crossbar.
With 10 minutes of the first half remaining the home side were awarded a free kick for a foul on Kris Boyd. The free kick was taken by Dominic Thomas however; referee blew for a foul on Joe Shaughnessy in the box.
The first change of the match came on 56 minutes as Kilmarnock introduced new signing Lee Erwin for Chris Burke.
The home side were awarded a free kick just before the hour mark as Scougall pulled down Jones. The free kick was taken by Kris Boyd and he fired it from about 30 yards over the wall and past Mannus to draw the home side level.
Looking for a quick response Saints then introduced Michael O’Halloran into the action for Stefan Scougall.
However, it was the home side that created the next chance at goal as substitute Erwin raced forward on 69 minutes before having a shot at goal which was well saved by Mannus. The loose ball then fell to Boyd but his effort was smothered by Mannus. Then a minute later Erwin had another shot at goal which went well over.
Kilmarnock created another chance on 73 minutes as Boyd broke the offside trap before having a shot which was brilliantly pushed onto the bar by Mannus before being cleared.
The balance of play then switched in Saints favour as they forced a couple of corners but couldn’t take advantage of them. Then on 83 minutes loose play by Killie let in Chris Kane however, his effort went wide of the target.
Then with a minute of normal time remaining Saints regained the lead through Michael O’Halloran. The on-loan attacker went on a fantastic run that beat the entire home defence before calmly slotting past MacDonald much to the delight of the travelling Saints fans in the Chadwick Stand behind the goal. It was a great individual goal to secure the three points.
Man of the Match: Murray Davidson
Kilmarnock: MacDonald, Taylor, Broadfoot, Burke (Erwin 56), McKenzie, Boyd, Jones, Thomas (Power 86), Greer, Wilson, Frizzell Unused Substitutes: Bell (GK), Waters, O’Donnell, Samizadeh, Graham Booked: Frizzell Scorers: Boyd (59)
Saints: Mannus, Alston, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Davidson, Wotherspoon (Craig 85), Paton, Foster, Scougall (O’Halloran 62), Easton, Cummins (Kane 72) Unused Substitutes: Clark (GK), Tanser, McClean, Gilchrist Booked: Wotherspoon, Davidson, Scougall, Foster Scorers: Wotherspoon (10), O’Halloran (89)
Referee: Steven MacLean Attendance: 3,935
Match Report by Daryl Scott
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