Post-match zone | St Johnstone (H)
‘Performance level must improve; effort level must remain’ says Derek McInnes following 10-man Killie’s defeat to St Johnstone.
Speaking at full-time, the manager said: “I always thought there would be twists and turns. We were certainly confident coming into today, and I think if we keep 11 men on the pitch we get something from the game.
“The level of performance has to be better; the level of effort has to remain.
“We need to get the boys back in tomorrow, see where we are fitness-wise and go again. Going up to Tannadice and getting a win isn’t beyond my team.”
You can listen to the full interview – HERE.
Kilmarnock missed the opportunity to pull St Johnstone into the relegation battle as the visitors secured Premiership safety with a 1-0 win against 10-man Killie on Saturday 20th May.
The home side started positively, with Chambers and Armstrong quick to throw searching balls into the box, but it was their keeper who was first to be called into action. The Killie stopper would go on to make a string of solid saves throughout the match. However, his resistance was broken after 11 minutes when Saints captain Gordon nodded in a ball which found its way to the back post (0-1).
A frantic 15 minutes would follow as both sides jostled to control possession in the midfield. Amongst a series of stoppages for niggling tackles, Killie did manage to progress into the final third. A Doidge glancing header and half-volley from Vassell escaped the target, before Chambers created his side’s best chance of the match. The young full-back progressed into the box from the left wing and unleashed a strike which smashed against the Saints No.1’s front post.
Killie’s quest for a comeback took a detrimental blow moments before half-time when Watson was awarded a straight red card for serious foul play, following a challenge on Ballantyne in the middle of the park.
Killie’s advances in the second half were limited by a Saints side eager to slow the tempo at every opportunity.
A handful of half-chances would come Killie’s way in the second period; McKenzie’s 25-yard strike on goal one of the few to dirty the gloves of Mathews. The 10 men continued to search for opportunities, with their effort backed by a near 6000 strong home support.
The manager would call on the bench to inject energy: Jones, Lyons and the returning Cameron joined the action for the final stage. As the hosts threw bodies forward in attack, Walker was tasked with guarding the back door on several occasions. Carey and Rudden passed up St Johnstone’s best chances to double their advantage, but a one-goal lead would prove to be enough for the Perth side.
Result: Kilmarnock 0-1 St Johnstone
Scorers: Liam Gordon (11’)
Kilmarnock lineup: Walker, Mayo, Wright, Dorsett (Lyons 62’), Chambers, Armstrong, Donnelly (Power 49’), Watson, McKenzie (Jones 78’), Vassell, Doidge (Cameron 78’)
Kilmarnock Man of the Match: Lewis Mayo
Check out the image gallery below, thanks to club photographers Jeff Holmes and Ross MacKenzie: