Kilmarnock vs. St Johnstone – Football Match Report – March 7, 2018
A magical performance from Jordan Jones saw Kilmarnock climb to fifth in the Ladbrokes Premiership with a 2-0 win over 10-man St Johnstone.
The winger terrorised the Saints defence, earning a penalty and tempting a cynical challenge from Jason Kerr, who was sent off late in the first half.
Kris Boyd scored his 13th of the season, blasting home from the spot after a stunning piece of skill from Jones had tempted Blair Alston into a rash tackle.
He exchanged angry words with Saints boss Tommy Wright on the touchline – before Wright turned on the home fans – but that only inspired Jones, who then went clean through on goal just before the break only to be brought down by Kerr.
Lee Erwin scored his first league goal since August in the second half to continue an impressive home run under Steve Clarke which has played a big part in their rise up to fifth in the table.
Back-to-back draws against Hibernian and Aberdeen could have slowed down their recent momentum, but Killie were quickly out of the blocks with Jones offering a glimpse of what was to come.
He combined neatly with Aaron Tshibola on the left before the latter found Boyd in the area, but the striker’s glancing header drifted wide when he should have done better.
Saints were not shy in getting forward and Chris Kane volleyed over from close range, but time and again they left themselves far too open in midfield allowing Jones to counter at speed.
A mazy run brought a save from Alan Mannus, but he took confidence from that and soon enough tempted Alston into a foul inside the area with a brilliant piece of footwork before Boyd hammered home to put his side 1-0 up just before the 30-minute mark.
Jones was then involved in a brief flare-up with Wright on the touchline after he was again cynically brought down, before returning to the heart of the action to rob Chris Millar in the centre of the pitch and go racing through on goal only to be scythed down by Kerr.
Referee Willie Collum was left with no choice but to show the red card, and from there it was plain sailing for Killie against a lacklustre St Johnstone team who looked a shadow of their former selves.
Erwin made sure the points would stay at Rugby Park with a neat finish after cutting in from the left 15 minutes into the second half before Kilmarnock coasted through the final third of the game to climb above Hearts in the table.