St Mirren 1-1 Kilmarnock: Kilmarnock earn hard-fought point

Liam Kelly scored for Kilmarnock
Liam Kelly scored for Kilmarnock
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ST MIRREN failed to clinch a second successive victory in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League as Cammy Bell helped Kilmarnock earn a hard-fought point at St Mirren Park.

Scorers: St Mirren: McGowan (68 pen); Kilmarnock: Kelly (5 pen)

Referee: B Colvin

Attendance: 6,347

Liam Kelly fired Kilmarnock ahead from the penalty spot after four minutes when James Dayton was brought down

inside the box. St Mirren pushed for an equaliser and Bell made three fantastic saves before

finally conceding to Paul McGowan’s penalty midway through the second-half.

There were late chances for Jim Goodwin and David Barron, but the Rugby Park side held out for a point.

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels felt the penalty award was harsh on his team, and later threatened to refuse to comment on referees’ performances until the officials themselves are put before the microphones.

“I have to watch what I say. Mark was unlucky. Let’s put things into perspective, I’m the manager of Kilmarnock and I’m going to be biased towards my team,” said Shiels, who has been at the centre of controversy

already this season following criticism of officials.

“If you want me to speak about decisions in a game then interview the referee. I will talk all day long in response to what he has said.

“That’s the way it should be. I will not answer questions about referees and I’m emphatic about that. I’m not doing any more interviews until the referees are interviewed.

“The conditions were really difficult for both teams and I was very pleased with the performance. We were in control of the game, but it was taken out of our hands. The penalty changed the whole shape of the game.”

A bumper travelling support of over 2,000 roared Kilmarnock on in the early stages and they were soon rewarded as referee Brian Colvin pointed at the spot after Barron fouled Dayton. Kelly stepped up to take the resulting kick and duly drilled the ball low beyond Craig Samson.

McGowan forced Bell into his first save of the match with an effort from distance, but St Mirren almost found themselves two behind when Dayton’s sublime cross was met by Paul Heffernan and the striker was only denied by a fine stop by Samson.

The driving wind almost assisted Steven Thompson in levelling the match after Gary Teale robbed Pascali, but this time it was Bell’s turn to make an excellent save, his one-handed stop preventing the ball from swerving into the top corner.

The hosts made the brighter start to the second half and Bell made another fantastic stop to keep out Lewis Guy’s back-post header. The Scotland international was at it again as he tipped over Barron’s driven shot minutes later and it seemed that it was only a matter of time before the equaliser would arrive. With 22 minutes remaining, St Mirren were awarded a penalty of their own after Dougie Imrie was felled by Mark O’Hara, McGowan sending Bell the wrong way from the spot.