May 11 2012 by Lizzie Smith, Kilmarnock Standard
Clydesdale Bank premier league
SAINTS turned over Killie for the third time in four meetings this season and were worthy winners on Wednesday night, writes Alex Milligan.
The home side even passed up an opportunity to claw their way back into the game early in the second half when a Dean Shiels’ penalty was saved by ex-Killie goalkeeper Craig Samson.
The Rugby Park outfit had the best of the opening few minutes with Shiels having a shot blocked by Jim Goodwin followed by a Michael Nelson header from a corner that was held by Samson.
But the more direct and potent Paisley side didn’t have to wait long to take the lead, the ever-dangerous Paul McGowan taking a Steven Thompson head flick in his stride and driving into the box before deftly flicking the ball past Cammy Bell on nine minutes.
Five minutes later Samson pulled off a good double stop, blocking a Gary Harkins shot as well as the follow-up from James Fowler.
At the other end Bell did well to deny the busy Nigel Hasselbaink as the Paisley side tried to increase their lead.
Six minutes from the break it took a timely intervention from Lee Mair to get in ahead of Dieter van Tornhout from connecting with a Harkins cross.
But in the last minute of the first half the Killie defence was caught flat-footed when Thompson lashed in his side’s second from a Jeroen Tesselaar assist.
On 52 minutes Kenny McLean passed up a good opportunity to stretch his side’s lead even further, but he slipped the ball just wide of the post.
A minute later Killie were offered a lifeline when Darren McGregor handled in the box, but Shiels was denied by Samson who diverted the ball away with his legs.
On 59 minutes gaffer Kenny Shiels’ threw on all three substitutes – with James Dayton, William Gros and Matthew Kennedy replacing Lewis Toshney, Danny Racchi and van Tornhout.
The changes did add some bite to the home attack, but Saints defence was resolute and dealt with anything that came their way.
There was a late chance for Harkins when he raced in on goal, but he lost control of the ball at the edge of the box with only Samson in his line of fire.
But it was the visitors who had the last chance with substitute Gary Teale only denied by a last gasp tackle from Liam Kelly.
Kilmarnock: Bell, Toshney (Dayton). O’Leary, Nelson, Gordon, Fowler, Racchi (Kennedy), Kelly, Shiels, van Tornhout (Gros), Harkins. Subs (not used): Letheren, Johnston, Pursehouse, Sissoko.
St Mirren: Samson, van Zanten, Mair, McGregor, McLean, Thompson, McGowan (Teale), Tesselaar, Imrie (Carey), Goodwin, Hasselbaink (Thomson). Subs (not used): Smith, Murray, Naismith, Reilly.