Liam Donnelly has two goals in two games for Kilmarnock.  

While he joked that he’s turned into a goal machine for Derek McInnes’ men, his opener against St Mirren on Saturday proved pivotal as the Rugby Park outfit marched to their first three points away from home all season. 

The brilliant Kyle Vassell laid off the midfielder to give Killie the lead on 18 minutes in Paisley at the weekend. Christian Doidge then doubled his strike after some tricky wing play by Danny Armstrong.  

Killie went 407 days with the sweet taste of victory on the road. On Saturday, their hoodoo finally came to an end, and deservedly so, with a superb team performance. 

Donnelly admits it could prove to be a vital moment in the club’s season. He said: “It was a big result. I know what it meant to St Mirren but we were in need of points too. It is nice to finally get that first away win as well. We came with a plan to get the three points and thankfully we did that. 

“It has taken a lot longer than what we wanted and our home form has been really good. We have found it quite difficult to go away from home. I don’t know if that is going from the artificial pitch after training on that all week and then going to grass but it really did take us far too long to get the win away from home. Some of our performances have not been to the level that they should have been. I am delighted we got the monkey off our backs. 

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“There are five huge games coming up now and we are delighted to have got the win today but we will have our break and work hard leading up to the next game and we need to make sure we play like that in the final five games.” 

Donnelly and Alan Power were the experienced heads in Killie’s midfield on Saturday, with David Watson providing some exuberance with his youthful energy.  

He added: “He has been excellent and it is refreshing to see the energy and desire he has on the pitch. He has every chance to go on and do well in the game and being alongside a few of experienced heads has helped him. He can go a long way.” 

Meanwhile, Joe Shaughnessy is adamant that St Mirren are not content just to ride out the remainder of the season.  

With the five post-split fixtures to come, the Buddies are level on 44 points with Hibs, who sit in fifth place. Whoever finishes in this position will enter the qualification phases for the Europa Conference League.  

And while the defender may not be at the SMiSA Stadium for those potential games, he insists everybody at the club will be doing all they can to secure European football for the Buddies next term.  

“We were not very good at all, it’s probably the worst we’ve been. Over the course of the season though, I think we’ve got what we deserved,” Shaughnessy said. “We’ve played 33 games, Saturday was the worst of the lot, but we set out to get into the top six and we’ve achieved that, so we’ll enjoy that then kick on when the games start. 

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“I think over the season we’ve done enough to get here. The wins against Livingston and Hearts over the past couple of weeks were big results for us.  

“I was here when we missed out on the top six by goal difference two years ago, that was sickening. I think we drew that day in Hamilton. That was probably the lowest I’ve felt in the dressing room that day.  So, to get beat and still end up in the top six, I’ll take that all day long. We’ll just enjoy it now. 

“We’ve achieved the first part of our aims for the season by getting into the top six. Now, I think we’ve got a really good chance to kick on and push up the table.  

“I don’t think anyone at the club is going to be happy by sitting sixth and getting beat for five games. It’s a case of, take this week to relax and then really try to push on.  

“Of the teams in the top six, the only one we haven’t beaten this season is Rangers. Why can’t we kick on and really try to achieve something? 

“For all of the teams in the top six, they’re probably all thinking the same now. It’s a chance to get into the European qualifiers.  

“There’s no way anyone’s going to be happy getting beat in five games and then saying ‘oh well, we finished sixth, that’s fine’ because it’s not.”