Kilmarnock winger Chris Johnston heaped praise on Kris Boyd after the striker scored one and made one in Saturday’s much-needed victory over fellow strugglers Ross County.
Kilmarnock, who had lost their previous four games in succession, took the lead in the seventh minute when Boyd’s delivery across the face of goal fell to Johnston at the back post and he smashed the ball low into the far corner of the net.
Boyd popped up with the winner after Stuart Kettlewell had replied for the hosts, as Killie earned their first away win in the league this season.
“It’s been brilliant to work with him day in day out in training – he wants the best from you and the goal he got was different class. It’s great playing with a player like him,” teenager Johnston said of Boyd. “He helps you all the time throughout games, on and off the ball, especially to be in the right areas.”
Johnston, capped by Scotland’s Under-19s and highly regarded at Killie, also reserved special praise for manager Allan Johnston. “The gaffer was a winger as well. He just tells me to get at them, one v one, just go take them on. It’s brilliant I’ve got that freedom just to go and play,” he said. “He’ll come up to you individually and give you tips on what to do.
“For instance, if the ball is on the other side get in the box at the back post, you don’t know where it is going to break, and obviously I was in the right place when it broke for me today.”
With both teams toiling towards the bottom of the table, the three points lifted Kilmarnock above County and into 10th place, and Johnston hopes they are moving in the right direction.
“The most important thing was the three points,” said Johnston, who was also on target in last week’s 5-2 loss to Dundee United. “To come up here after a long journey and get the points is good – we go home happy.” Boyd’s winner was a brilliant chipped finish from 20 yards that gave County goalkeeper Mark Brown no chance. “As soon as he shaped up I thought that was what he was going to do. I tried to get back on the line but that’s the quality he’s got,” said Brown.
Reflecting on the game overall, Brown added: “I thought we started the game well and played some good stuff. Unfortunately an error led to Kilmarnock taking the lead and it’s a different type of game after that.”
County, who slipped to second bottom after a sixth game in a row without a win, are now the only side in the league to have collected fewer points than bottom side Hearts, who were docked 15 points. “I don’t think we are too far away from turning these defeats and draws into victories,” said Brown.