Saints 1-2 Kilmarnock

Saturday 2nd December

Saints lost 2-1 to Kilmarnock this afternoon at McDiarmid Park. The visitors took the lead on 10 minutes when Stuart Finlay headed home a Dom Thomas corner.

Saints responded and they equalised on 43 minutes when Steven MacLean converted a Blair Alston cross from the right.

However, the visitors regained the lead on 66 minutes when Stephen O’Donnell setup Eamonn Brophy who calmly despatched the ball past Zander Clark.

Saints pushed for an equaliser and the closest they came was when substitute David Wotherspoon unleashed a curling strike at goal which hit Jamie MacDonald’s right hand post with 3 minutes remaining.

MATCH REPORT

After having a free weekend last week due to Motherwell’s involvement in the Betfred Cup Final against Celtic at Hampden, Saints returned to action this afternoon when they welcomed Kilmarnock to McDiarmid Park. Tommy Wright made two changes to the Saints side that started last time out when Saints defeated Hibs 2-1 at Easter Road as Liam Gordon and Graham Cummins came in for Aaron Comrie and Michael O’Halloran. Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke made four changes to the side that started last Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Aberdeen. Out went Rory McKenzie, Adam Frizzell, Lee Erwin and Jordan Jones. They were replaced by Dom Thomas, Gary Dicker, Eamonn Brophy and Kris Boyd.

Saints got the match underway but they would find themselves behind after 10 minutes. Kilmarnock were awarded a corner after Scott Tanser put too much power into his back pass which Zander Clark could only put out for a corner. Dom Thomas flighted in the corner and his ball into the box met the head of the rising Stuart Findlay who knocked it into the net. Liam Craig had a chance to clear off the line but took a fresh-air swipe at the ball.

The visitors created another chance on 17 minutes as Thomas’ ball into the box picked out Findlay whose header was gathered by Clark.

Saints rallied as they looked to get back into the game. On 20 minutes an in-swinging Craig free kick into the box was cleared by the Killie defence. Then 2 minutes later Steven MacLean flashed a cross across the face of the visitor’s goal however, the was no takers as Killie cleared their lines.

Saints continued to press the visitors as they delivered several crosses into the box but Kilmarnock comfortably dealt with the danger as they cleared their lines.

Kilmarnock created a chance to double their advantage on 41 minutes as Eamonn Brophy flicked the ball into the path of Kris Boyd and the striker advanced with the ball before unleashing a shot at goal which went well wide.

On 43 minutes Saints were awarded a free kick after Graham Cummins had been fouled. The free kick was taken quickly as it was slipped down the right to Blair Alston and the midfielder advanced with the ball before delivering a good cross into the box which picked out MacLean. The Saints striker did well to get in front of Gordon Greer at the near post to knock the ball into the net to level the match.

Kilmarnock got the second half underway and in the first minute Brophy fired an effort just over Clark’s goal. Then on 52 minutes Brophy had another strike at goal which was well held by Clark.

Saints created a chance on 56 minutes as Cummins advanced with the ball before slipping out to the left to Craig who had a shot at goal which was well gathered by Jamie MacDonald in the Killie goal.

On 61 minutes both sides made their first change of the match as Saints brought on David Wotherspoon for Blair Alston. Whilst Kilmarnock brought on Chris Burke for Dom Thomas.

Kilmarnock then regained the lead on 66 minutes as Brophy angled in a shot from just inside the box after right-back Stephen O’Donnell had jinked his way past two Saints players and slipped the ball into his path.

Tommy Wright then made a double change 3 minutes later as Callum Hendry and Stefan Scougall came on for Graham Cummins and Liam Craig.

However, Kilmarnock came close to a third goal on 71 minutes as Boyd played the ball to Brophy who was in on goal. The striker tried to round Clark but the Saints keeper somehow managed to get a touch to the ball to turn it behind for a corner. Then shortly after Boyd beat Liam Gordon to the ball before having a shot from a very tight angle that was spilled by Clark for a corner.

Saints continued to press for the equaliser and they agonisingly close to an equaliser on 87 minutes as Wotherspoon cut inside before curling a great strike which cannoned off the post as Kilmarnock held out to secure the three points.

Saints: Clark, Tanser, Alston (Wotherspoon 61), Shaughnessy, Anderson, Davidson, MacLean, Paton, Gordon, Craig (Scougall 69), Cummins (Hendry 69)

Unused Substitutes: Mannus (GK), O’Halloran, McClean, Gilchrist

Booked: Paton

Scorer: MacLean (43)

Kilmarnock: MacDonald, O’Donnell, Broadfoot, Greer, Findlay, Thomas (Burke 61), Power, Dicker, Taylor, Brophy (Erwin 79), K. Boyd (Hawkshaw 90)

Unused Substitutes: Bell (GK), Frizzell, S. Boyd, Watters

Booked: Brophy, Dicker, Erwin

Scorers: Findlay (10), Brophy (66)

Referee: John Beaton

Attendance: 2,950

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: David Wotherspoon has a shot at goal