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A first-half goal from Marley Watkins gave Derek McInnes’ side another three points in Paisley as the in-form side in the Scottish Premiership claimed a fourth win from their last five games.

It is a victory that moves them four points clear of a St Mirren side who are toiling after an impressive start to the season. This defeat makes it back-to-back losses for Stephen Robinson’s side who have just one win from their last seven league games.

Kilmarnock, by contrast, have their tails up after claiming 13 points from a possible 15 across their last five games with McInnes’s side heading towards the winter break in fine form.

St Mirren thought they had opened the scoring when Jonah Ayunga poured on Will Dennis’ parried save from Toyosi Olusanya. The celebrations from the Saints fans were short-lived, however, as  Olusanya was judged to have been offside in the build-up.

St Mirren enjoyed a lot of possession without causing too many issues for Kilmarnock.

It was the visitors who took the lead midway through the opening period when Kyle Vassell picked out Matty Kennedy on a swift counter-attack. he slipped the ball into the path of Watkins who lashed his effort high into the net to give Derek McInnes’ side the lead.

Having got their noses in front, Kilmarnock went for the jugular as St Mirren struggled to cope with the in-form Danny Armstrong who caused all manner of problems on the right flank.

Brad Lyons whipped in a decent ball to the back post for Vassell with Saints defender Marcus Fraser getting his head in to nick it away from the striker.

Next, Armstrong robbed Richard Taylor with the panicked defender upending the winger. Referee Evan Anderson judged the offence to be just outside the box and, with Alex Gogic covering, it was a yellow rather than red card offence. The free-kick came to nothing but was indicative of Killie’s menace in the final third as they looked to assert their dominance.

Killie continued to carry a threat in the second period although Saints sub Conor McMenamin thought he’d drawn Robinson’s side level when he flashed an effort just wide of the target.

St Mirren were dogged as they valiantly pushed for a leveller. James Bolton thought he had got it only for Dennis to palm his close range header over the bar.

At the other end, Lyons’ had a header booted off the line before Zach Hemming pushed away a second strike from the edge of the area.

St Mirren kept at it with McMenamin’s cross picked out Scott Tanser at the far post but Kilmarnock managed to somehow keep the ball from crossing the line after a scramble in the six-yard box.

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