Kilmarnock 0-0 St Johnstone- Match Report

Rugby Park clash ends goalless

Kilmarnock and St Johnstone were forced to share the points after a largely drab affair ended goalless at Rugby Park.

The stalemate meant the Ayrshire side were left still seeking their first Scottish Premiership win of the season despite being slightly the better side.

The positives for Kilmarnock were that skipper Manuel Pascali was back in the squad for the first time since February after recovering from a hamstring problem, and they confirmed the signing of full-back Sean Clohessy on a two-year deal, although the former Arsenal youth player's capture came too late to have any involvement in this game.

Saints headed into the match seeking a positive result following their midweek Europa League qualifying exit to FC Minsk on penalties. However, chances were few and far between for both sides in a dreary opening period devoid of any real action.

Stevie May had a half-chance for the visitors with a half-volley that was off target, and Saints then scrambled Rory McKeown's cross to safety before Kris Boyd could bundle over the line.

Boyd then tried to turn provider with a flick-on for Paul Heffernan but his effort was blocked.

At the other end, Gwion Edwards whipped a dangerous ball into the box for Rory Fallon but Mark O'Hara was alert to clear the danger before the forward could connect in front of goal.

The best chance so far came when May unleashed a ferocious volley from six yards that Craig Samson did well to block in the Killie goal.

With half-time fast approaching, both sides suddenly looked livelier and Saints goalkeeper Alan Mannus was called into action to parry a Heffernan header.

However, the late flurry of activity was not enough for either side to claim the advantage heading into half-time.

Kilmarnock had the better of the chances after the restart, albeit the standard of entertainment was not much better than the first.

Mannus was called into action to scramble to safety a Darren Barr header from six yards after he threw himself in front of Rory McKenzie's corner.

Boyd then saw his powerful strike fizz inches past the upright as the home side tried desperately to break the deadlock.

Jeroen Tesselaar picked up the first booking for a challenge on May with 73 minutes on the clock but substitute David Wotherspoon rifled harmlessly wide from the resultant free-kick.

Killie could have snatched victory when Boyd tried his luck with a shot from justinside the box but the effort lacked power and skimmed the outside of the post before trundling out of play.

The home side then claimed for a penalty when William Gros' drive appeared to hit the hand of Frazer Wright but the defender knew little about it and there was no spot-kick award from referee Willie Collum.

Boyd was again denied by the woodwork when he collected the loose ball and rattled the underside of the crossbar.

The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for the sight of Pascali coming off the bench to make his long-awaited return in injury time, after Barr was involved in a clash of heads and forced out of the action.

Source: PA

Source: PA