Kilmarnock 1-1 St Johnstone: Dolly Wright’s screamer scores points for St Johnstone at Rugby Park
An excellent long-range attack from Dray Wright scored a point for St Johnstone to draw Kilmarnock 1–1 at Rugby Park.
The first half was completely dominated by the home side, taking the lead with Joe Wright’s back post tap-in after Kyle Bussell saw a goal ruled out by VAR.
Killy would be disappointed to have been conceded just one goal before the break, but the Saints improved slightly in the second half, with Dray Wright stabbing into the bottom corner from 25 yards to draw.
At least one point would have been enough for the Rugby Park side to move past Ross County into tenth place, while St Johnstone remained eighth in the Premiership.
Kilmarnock’s team sheet showed three changes from last weekend’s Scottish Cup defeat to Inverness. Ash Taylor, Liam Polworth and Luke Chambers are all out, replaced by Jeriel Dorsett, Jordan Jones and youngster David Watson, who is making his league debut.
With Andy Considine returning in place of Adam Montgomery and Theo Bear nodding ahead of Conor McLennan, Saints boss Callum Davidson only made two changes.
The home side started on the front foot, with Danny Armstrong testing Remi Matthews and an early free-kick.
The St Johnstone goalkeeper made another good save in the 18th minute, acrobatic scrabbling the ball after Armstrong met Jones’ deep cross at the far post.
The hosts’ dominance continued, and after an impressive save from Matthews, they thought they had taken the lead when Vassell slammed the ball over the crossbar.
Killy’s celebration was short-lived, however, as referee Chris Graham ruled out a handball goal against Vassell after being called to the monitors by VAR.
The Rugby Park side continued to press and Armstrong had another great chance in the 28th minute. The winger ghosted him in far at his post and loose he beat Matthews with the ball, but the ball intriguingly drifted outside the left-hand post.
Kilmarnock’s pressure finally came to light in the 38th minute, when Matthews misjudged Jones’ deep swinging cross and Joe Wright stabbed home at the back post to give the hosts a first-half lead.
St Johnstone were very poor in the opening period but improved after the break. Wright had his first shot on target in the 49th minute, Sam sticking his Walker palm out of range and Melker his Hallberg seeing the moment the shot was blocked.
Kilmarnock then appealed for a penalty as Considine and Joe Wright challenged crosses, but the VAR ruled there was no handball late.
After Liam Donnelly took possession, both sides struggled to create in the brutishness of the second half until Dray Wright created a moment of magic in the 70th minute.
Zach Ludden’s first shot was well blocked, but the ball fell gently to the St Johnstone wing-back.
Kilmarnock were convinced Donnelly had been fouled and the home fans were further frustrated when officials ruled Armstrong’s Considine foul was slightly out of the area in the 79th minute.
Substitute Fraser Murray nearly won the home team’s death, but Matthews put his finger on his inswing low shot when the game ended in a square.
Kilmarnock Back in Scottish Premiership action after international break at home Hearts April 1st.
st johnstone stay at home Aberdeen On the same day. Both games kick off at 3pm.