Kilmarnock 2-Zero St Johnstone
Kilmarnock started their Scottish Premiership marketing campaign with a deserved victory over St Johnstone.
Scott Boyd pounced on an error by Zander Clark to stab house the opener, earlier than Mikael Ndjoli sealed the win with a rasped long-range drive.
The house facet dominated possession and territory, however mustered solely two pictures on course in a turgid first half.
Impressed by Jordan Jones, Killie have been extra aggressive and incisive after the break, hemming Saints in their very own field.
And Steve Clarke’s facet have been rewarded with a successful begin to the marketing campaign.
Kilmarnock get going after break
As curtain-raisers go, the primary 45 minutes produced largely drab and bitty fare, Alan Energy’s whizzing 20-yard strike, tipped clear by Clark, the one probability of be aware.
With Jones’ velocity and vigour up the left, Killie started the second half with aplomb. Their breakthrough got here when Clark fumbled a tame Lee Erwin shot into the trail of Boyd, who gleefully prodded the ball into the empty internet.
Jones rattled the crossbar and, though Saints’ David McMillan ought to have executed higher with a header from a nook, Kilmarnock at all times seemed in command.
Their victory was confirmed 5 minutes from time when Ndjoli hammered in a vicious right-foot shot from outdoors the world.
Jones is the fulcrum
Regardless of dropping their game-breaker, Youssouf Mulumbu, over the summer season, Kilmarnock stay a potent mix of trade and precision.
Gary Dicker and Energy patrol the midfield, snaffling possession and feeding the extra offensive gamers outdoors and forward of them.
Jones scarcely had a kick earlier than the break, however emerged for the second interval a snarling, decided menace up the left flank.
The Northern Irishman’s tempo and shut management bamboozled the Saints defence. He bent one shot vast, noticed one other saved by Clark, was repeatedly fouled by flailing defenders, and thundered an excellent curling strike off the crossbar.
It was his affect that powered Kilmarnock in direction of their second-half targets.
What about Watt?
Tony Watt’s return to Scottish soccer and pursuit of a settled and profitable atmosphere after so many barren seasons is likely one of the most intriguing elements of the Premiership marketing campaign forward.
Watt seems dynamic, muscular and hungry to know this probably pivotal alternative.
He held the ball up effectively, utilizing his physique, and was an ever-willing runner, however too typically lower an remoted determine as Saints’ lone striker.
Kilmarnock supervisor Steve Clarke: “St Johnstone made it actually troublesome for us. We discovered it troublesome to get via them, however we saved probing.
“With Jordan, there wasn’t a number of house within the first half as a result of St Johnstone did their job. Within the second half, he discovered house, bought inside and seemed threatening.”
St Johnstone supervisor Tommy Wright: “Large room for enchancment. They understand it. They’re extraordinarily disillusioned, which they need to be.
“Individuals did not need the ball right this moment and other people did not cross the ball 10 yards at occasions. They dominated us, we did not do sufficient and we bought what we deserved.”