Kilmarnock seal fourth place in the Premiership with win over St Mirren

Kilmarnock secured fourth place in the SPFL Premiership with two games to space as Kyle Vassell's first half goal gave them a 1-0 win over St Mirren.

The skipper was calm and composed in the penalty area to rifle the ball high into the roof of the net to seal the deal and spark scenes of delight amongst the travelling fans - and the players and staff - at full-time.

The win will see the Rugby Park side enter next season's Europa League at the second qualifying round stage.

Derek McInnes made two changes to the side that suffered a heavy 4-1 loss to Rangers last weekend. Robbie Deas slotted into the defence to replace the suspended Joe Wright, while David Watson started at the expense of Liam Polworth.

The glorious weather was matched by a passionate near sell-out crowd in Paisley but the action on the pitch took a while to heat up.

Both sides were intent on trying to take the upper hand and play attacking football in the early stages but were unable to produce the goods. Killie went close to taking a fortuitous lead on 12 minutes when Zach Hemming's clearance clattered off Vassell and flew over the bar.

At the other end, St Mirren working the ball into a good position only for Toyosi Olusanya to blaze wildly over summed up much of the early passages of play.

Marley Watkins has been a constant threat up front for Killie all season but his shooting boots failed him on the half hour mark when Vassell found him in space on the left-hand side. His angled drive went tamely wide.

The 2000-strong away support didn't have to wait too long for something to cheer about, however, as the forward pair combined to greater effect on 36 minutes. Watkins got in behind the Saints backline before squaring across goal to Vassell. The skipper showed plenty of composure to settle himself before lashing the ball high into the roof of the net to open the scoring.

St Mirren showed more urgency after the restart and twice went close in quick succession to finding a leveller. Scott Tanser's strike was instinctively palmed away by Dennis with Alex Gogic - fresh off signing a new three-year deal with St Mirren - attempting an acrobatic effort from the rebound as his bicycle kick went over the bar.

The game was becoming more open and Killie twice looked like they'd double their advantage only to be denied by their former keeper. Hemming produced a smart save at his near post to thwart Watkins before seconds later tipping a thundering Robbie Deas header over for a corner.

Having skewed an effort wildly over the bar in the first half, Olusanya went agonisingly close to producing a tremendous leveller on 74 minutes when he was teed up down the left flank. The attacker fired an angled strike that looked for all the world that it was finding the top corner - only for it to clatter the woodwork.

The closing stages were a little frantic and there was plenty of backs to the wall defending but Killie saw it out and got the party started as the whistle blew for full-time.

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