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Saturday, 18 December, 1999, 19:16 GMT
Saints win basement battle




Kilmarnock 1-2 St Johnstone

St Johnstone overcame Kilmarnock 2-1 at Rugby Park to win the battle of the Premier League stragglers.

Killie launched a late and sustained period of attack, but they were unable to snatch the equaliser that would take the pressure off manager Bobby Williamson.


Match facts
16 mins: McBride puts Saints ahead
32 mins: O'Neill makes it two
68 mins: Wright pulls one back for Killie
The home side started well, with skipper Ian Durrant narrowly missing from 20 yards and striker Andy Smith troubling keeper Alan Main early on.

But Saints soon established a measure of ascendancy through strikers Graeme Jones and Nathan Lowndes.

John Paul McBride opened the scoring on 16 minutes, ingnoring a strong appeal for offside to hammer the ball in past Colin Meldrum from 12 yards.

Jones almost made it two moments later, but Meldrum gathered. It was to no avail, however, as McBride fed John O'Neill for the visitors' second.

Killie came out firing for the second half and worked their way into the opposition half, eventually being rewarded as Peter Canero crossed for Paul Wright to score at the back post.

The goal led to a bout of pressure that saw Saints nearly crack and produced bookings for Killie's Paul Wright and Christophe Cocard and Saints' Jim Weir.

Teams:

Kilmarnock: Meldrum, Canero, McGowne, Lauchlan, Hay, Holt, Durrant, Cocard, Reilly, Wright, Smith. Subs: Watt, Jeffrey, Mitchell, Vareille, Hessey.

St Johnstone: Main, McQuillan, Weir, Kane, Bollan, O'Neil, Griffin, O'Halloran, McBride, Jones, Lowndes. Subs: Robertson, O'Boyle, McCluskey, McAnespie, McMahon.

Referee: George Clyde (Scotland)

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Links to other Scottish Premier stories are at the foot of the page.