Kilmarnock move a point off leaders Celtic after battling win over St Mirren

Kilmarnock rounded off an impressive year with a 2-1 victory over St Mirren to keep the pace at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Early goals from Stuart Findlay and Jordan Jones did the damage as the Ayrshire side won their fourth consecutive home match, in front of over 7,000 at Rugby Park.

And the win means that Steve Clarke’s men are just a point off the summit as the top flight enters its winter break.

St Mirren, who registered through defender Alfie Jones, remain 11th despite the defeat.

It was the hosts who edged a breathless first half after a vibrant start that saw them put their shocked opponents to the sword.

Just three minutes were gone when Findlay nodded in the opener from a Greg Stewart cross. The quality was all in the delivery from Stewart, Killie’s biggest creative threat throughout, and Findlay simply had to divert his header into a corner.

If Stewart was the provider for the first, then he was the sole architect seven minutes later as the Ayrshire side doubled their advantage. His mazy run almost defied belief as he jinked past numerous defenders on the byline.

He then simply helped the ball into a dangerous area where Jordan Jones was on hand to apply the finishing touch to grab his second goal in four days.

At that stage it looked as if damage limitation was going to be he order of the day for the beleaguered Buddies, but Alfie Jones soon gave them hope with a deft header.

Again the quality was in the set-up, with Adam Hammill’s curling delivery glanced past the despairing Bachmann for the defender’s second Saints goal.

It seemed to give the Buddies, and their vocal away support, a shot in the arm and they soon set about finding an equaliser.

Hammill was once again involved, this time at the end of the move after some good work from Cammy Smith. The Englishman really should have done better as his shot from the edge of the box sailed over the crossbar.

The second-half was a less eventful affair with the only real chance of note arriving to the hosts’ Stewart after another trademark jinking run.

His right footed shot was weak on that occasion, but it mattered not as Kilmarnock ended the calendar year with another three points.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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