KILMARNOCK turned in arguably their poorest performance since their humiliating Europa League defeat by Welsh part-timers Connah’s Quay Nomads in July and the fact that manager Angelo Alessio’s men are now undefeated in regulation time on their own artificial turf since Connor Goldson scored a last-minute winner for Rangers in the opening weekend of the season cut no ice with their disgruntled fans, who made their unhappiness known at the final whistle.

The tiny travelling support (89 of them, which is very possibly a top-tier low and not just for this season) were almost elated as they made their way back up the M80, safe in the knowledge that they are no longer propping up the Premiership, having hoisted themselves into 11th place with a display which was gritty rather than pretty and effective as opposed to aesthetically pleasing.

Fixed-odds fans, conscious of the fact St Johnstone had failed to win away from home in all competitions this year, would have piled in on the home side, generously quoted at evens by some benevolent bookmakers.

Yet, to the consternation of the Kilmarnock support, their side approached the opening 45 minutes as though it was a game of walking football, although it soon became evident that taking their time did not improve their accuracy when it came to distribution.

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They were second to every ball and, with the Perth club on the front foot, found themselves having to defend frantically at times, with Alan Power’s brave block depriving Liam Gordon of an early opener.

Perhaps the disappointing nature of their away results has bred wariness in the visitors, though, because they failed to build on their encouraging start, even though Killie continued to be the very definition of mediocrity.

Their temerity allowed the home team to gain a foothold in the contest and both Dario Del Fabro and Stephen O’Donnell squandered good opportunities by heading wastefully wide from Chris Burke free-kicks.

Zander Clark had his only save from Burke’s angled drive, although the winger claimed that Jason Kerr handled his attempt from the rebound. “It was a clear penalty,” said Alessio. “But sometimes you can lose games like this so a point is good.”

Del Fabro passed up another good chance when he contrived not to connect with a Bruce delivery but this was a match which neither side deserved to win; in truth, neither of them deserved to draw.