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BBC Sport's Bill Moulds
reports from Love Street
 real 14k

Tuesday, 26 December, 2000, 20:12 GMT
Wright stuff for Killie
Kilmarnock staged a late fightback at Love Street
Kilmarnock staged a late fightback at Love Street
St Mirren 1-3 Kilmarnock

A Paul Wright hat-trick ensured Kilmarnock took all three points against 10-man St Mirren.

Graham Fenton gave Saints a first-half lead when he grabbed his first goal for the Love Street side.

Heavy fog meant the game could have been abandoned a half-time but referee John Underhill ruled that the game could go ahead much to the delight of the home support.

But that joy turned to despair after the interval when Wright's header past goalkeeper Ludovic Roy threw Killie a lifeline.

That was quickly followed the sending off of Paul Rudden. Five minutes from time Wright grabbed a second and completed his hat-trick with a last minute penalty.

Slotting home

In the 14th minute Scott Walker's long through ball found Graham Fenton. The former Leicester striker beat the offside trap before taking the ball round goalkeeper Gordon Marshall and slotting home.

Graham Fenton fired St Mirren in front
Graham Fenton fired St Mirren in front
St Mirren were looking like the better side and Tom Brown could have doubled their advantage two minutes before the break but his on-rushing header was blocked by Marshall.

The Saints received a blow 10 minutes after the break when scorer Fenton looked like he had picked up an injury and he was replaced by Steven McGarry.

This was followed by a promising period for Killie and Andy McLaren could have snatched the leveller after 56 minutes when he burst into the box but was blocked by Turner before he could pull the trigger.

Superb solo run

Gary Holt was next to try his luck when he went on a superb solo run only to pull the shot wide.

McGarry had the chance to make an impact for Saints when he almost set up Brown for the second but he drilled wide.

Andy McLaren shields the orange ball
Andy McLaren shields the orange ball
However, it was Killie who had the ball in the net next. Holt sent the ball through to Paul Wright who bulleted a header past Roy in 66 minutes.

In 70 minutes St Mirren were hit with another blow when Rudden was ordered off.

Last man

The referee judged that the Saints player tripped last man Dargo just outside the box when he was clear on goal. McLaren stepped up for the free-kick but it deflected over the crossbar.

Kilmarnock took full advantage of their extra man and piled the pressure on the St Mirren goal.

And with just five minutes to go, Wright grabbed his second when he fired home a McLaren pass.

The striker them made sure of the pints with a last minute penalty when Walker chopped down Peter Canero in the box.

St Mirren: Roy, Turner, Barry McLaughlin, Walker, Nicolson, Murray, Brown, Gillies, Bowman, Fenton, Renfurm.

Subs: McGarry, Yardley, Kerr, Rudden, Trialist..

Kilmarnock: Marshall, Canero, McGowne, Dindeleux, Hay, Holt, Mahood, Davidson, Wright, Dargo, McLaren.

Subs: Cocard, Baker, Fowler, Innes, Meldrum.

Referee: John Underhill

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