WHEN you are fighting for your life at the bottom of the league, it can sometimes seem like it never rains but it pours.

Certainly, that would have been the sentiment of the drookit St Mirren fans who trudged out of the Simple Digital Arena last night having suffered through the vast majority of a contest that was hampered by the atrocious weather conditions, only for the point that would have seen them off the bottom of the Premiership snatched away in the dying stages by a poacher’s goal from Kilmarnock substitute Liam Millar.

It was rough justice on a home side who were full of endeavour, and you had to feel for the St Mirren players having poured so much into a contest in such appalling weather only to come away with little more than a decent chance of the flu. No doubt the result would sting even more than the first contact of their extremities with the warm showers that would provide cold comfort after yet another opportunity slipped away.

But what a fillip for Kilmarnock, who will be hoping that the floodgates will now open after their first goal in six matches and their first win in nine.

“It was a good three points and I think we deserved it on the night,” said a relieved Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke. “We certainly deserved a break after our efforts over the last few weeks.

“We were the only team trying to win it during the second half, really. We pushed forward and were caught a couple of times on the counter, which was disappointing, but big Stuart Findlay defended two situations really well.

“I thought when Eamonn Brophy hit the post it was going to be one of those nights so it was nice to get the goal. We’ve been accustomed to winning over the last 17 months so it was good to end the drought.”

Talk of a drought seemed incongruous amidst the pounding rain and swirling gales of Paisley, and it all must have seemed a long way from the sunshine island of Tenerife as Kilmarnock - fresh from their delayed trip to the Canaries – were brought back to the realities of life in the Scottish Premiership with a thud.

Clarke would have been hoping that the break would have re-energised and refocused his men, but it was St Mirren who started the brighter, with Kyle McAllister putting in a dangerous cross that was only cleared back to him, with his follow-up effort finding the side netting.

Kilmarnock were feeling their way into the game though, and Stephen O’Donnell’s cross was diverted wide by Brophy with a diving header. The Killie attacker then didn’t cover himself in glory though as he hit the deck tamely in the area under the slightest of contact from Ethan Erhahon, referee Don Robertson rightly telling Brophy to get up and get on with it.

St Mirren had the wind at their backs, but they were missing the influence of skipper Stephen McGinn in midfield – who had to pull out after feeling under par in the warm up – and too often their build-up play was slow and ponderous.

The effect that the elements were having was underlined as Bachmann booted a goal-kick skywards that his centre-back Findlay had to head clear from the edge of his own box, and it pressed home the need for the home side to take some advantage into the change of ends, which they failed to do.

St Mirren did try to get on the front foot after the restart, with Erhahon drilling a low shot in from the left that Bachmann fielded well, but it was Killie who came within a whisker of opening the scoring.

A penetrating run by Jordan Jones down the left allowed the winger to feed Brophy in the area, and the forward took a touch before swivelling and cracking a shot off the outside of Vaclav Hladky’s right-hand post.

That was the cue for Mirren boss Oran Kearney to throw on Duckens Nazon as the game opened up, but it was the unlikely figure of Kilmarnock centre-back Findlay who was at the centre of the action next. First, he got up to meet a Chris Burke free-kick and head straight at Hladky when he really should have scored, before sprinting up the other end of the pitch to foil the St Mirren counter with a brilliant last-gasp block on Jackson just as was pulling the trigger.

Jackson then forced a good save from Bachmann with a sidefoot volley from Nazon’s cross, but it was a substitute from Clarke who would go on to make the difference with just three minutes remaining.

Burke slid a precise pass down the line to set Brophy scampering away on the right, and whether he was attempting a shot or a cross mattered not, with the ball landing perfectly into the path of the arriving Millar to slam home at the back post.

That left the sizeable Killie support singing in the rain, while after their bright spell of late, the dark clouds are following Oran Kearney’s men once more.