Kilmarnock 2-1 St Johnstone- Match Report

Own goal gifts Kilmarnock win over St JohnstoneKilmarnock came from behind to beat St Johnstone 2-1 at Rugby Park but it took a freak own goal to earn their first home Ladbrokes Premiership win of the season.Killie striker Josh Magennis' header in the 40th minute cancelled out midfielder David Wotherspoon's 16th-minute opener for the McDiarmid Park side.But all the points remained in Ayrshire when Rory McKenzie's cross from wide on the right in the 59th minute appeared to strike Saints left-back Brian Easton before looping over keeper Alan Mannus and bouncing into the net off the post.After their first league win of the season last week at Dundee United, Kilmarnock boss Gary Locke may feel his side's season took another turn for the better against a team who had been unbeaten on their last nine visits to Rugby Park.Locke kept the same starting XI from Dundee, with new signing Conrad Balatoni on the bench.St Johnstone striker Steven MacLean was not included in the 18-man squad even though he scored a hat-trick in the 4-1 win over Hamilton last week.Boss Tommy Wright refused to risk his player on the artificial surface, determined to protect MacLean's knee on medical advice.Liam Craig replaced Murray Davidson and the midfielder was involved in the Saints' opener.When the ball got played wide to Easton, his fine hanging cross was headed against the post by forward Graham Cummins, with Wotherspoon on hand to fire the rebound into the net for his first goal of the season.In the 37th minute the Ayrshire side were forced into a change, with Mark O'Hara replacing injured defender Darryl Westlake, but a few minutes later they got themselves back level when Magennis flashed a header from a Greg Kiltie cross past Mannus.Saints defender Steven Anderson, back after recovering from surgery to a fractured eye socket, replaced injured right-back Darnell Fisher for the start of the second half, which began with Craig turning a Cummins cut-back well wide of the target.More injury woe followed for Killie when keeper Jamie MacDonald limped off after picking up an earlier knock to be replaced by Conor Brennan, although the change appeared to galvanise the home side.McKenzie curled a shot just past the post before Magennis tested Mannus with a powerful low drive from distance, but the winner just before the hour mark was unexpected to say the least.McKenzie's cross from wide on the right took a nick off Easton and to Mannus' horror it went right over his head, with the Killie wide-man not sure how to celebrate his good fortune.The match raged from end to end and Kilmarnock should have stretched their lead.Mannus blocked from McKenzie before Kallum Higginbotham struck the post, with St Johnstone managing to get it away to safety.Magennis then missed a good chance he himself had created and a determined Killie side saw out four fraught added minutes before celebrating the morale-boosting win

Source : PA

Source: PA