This piece is an extract from yesterday's The Rugby Road Gates newsletter, which is emailed out at 6pm every Wednesday. To receive our full, free Kilmarnock newsletter straight to your email inbox, click here.

“Any time you lose two poor goals from set-plays, it can knock the stuffing out of you, and it affected us first half. We spoke at half-time about what we expected of ourselves, and to a man everyone was outstanding. It was a top performance from a group of lads who don't know they're beat. We are so motivated to do well and that was a huge step towards the top six. Sometimes you need half-time to give them a gentle reminder of what's required. Some players needed woken up, reminded why they were in the team, reminded of their responsibilities.”

Talk about Jekyll & Hyde. Much like everyone else at Rugby Park at the weekend, I can’t recall a game like it. Never mind Killie, but football in general.

As Derek McInnes’ quotes read above, the team was way off the pace in the first half against St Mirren. After two identical goals from Greg Kiltie’s inswinging corners, the visitors could've been out of sight. If truth be told, it’s a bit of a failure on their part that they didn’t hammer home their advantage in the opening 45. They bossed proceedings from the start of the game. While that doesn’t necessarily mean they outplayed Killie, they were strutting their stuff at a higher tempo, with more confidence and cohesion.

Understandably, boos rang out among a fair portion of the home support as the half-time whistle sounded. I know this really grinds on some folks’ gears but given the apparent continuation of the dismal performance at Pittodrie, it can be of little surprise that the fans were majorly p*****d off. The team was sinking without a trace.

Whether this helped fuel the comeback or not, whatever happened over the next hour or so from this moment onwards was mind-blowing. The manager said he had to remind his players of why they were in the team; to let them know what was hanging on their shoulders. At this point, things were looking bleak. From holding out hope of going on a European tour this summer to doubting if we’d even finish in the top six – that’s where my mindset was at certainly. St Mirren were headed four points clear in fourth spot, an almost unthinkable scenario during the club’s long unbeaten run over the past few months.

To my amazement – and those sitting around me in the East Stand – McInnes made zero substitutions. On my typical scroll through social media at half-time, I saw calls for three changes to the team for the second half – a viewpoint I agreed with. The starting XI all came back out onto the pitch though, and until about 55 minutes it appeared to be more of the same stuff with the defence looking nervous and nothing sticking up top. It’s a good thing none of us are the boss.

Kyle Vassell stuck one beyond Zach Hemming on 61 minutes to spark the most bizarre 18 minutes of football I’ve ever seen. Danny Armstrong produced from the spot yet again minutes later, as he and the superb Liam Donnelly enjoyed the last laugh with their old teammate Hemming. Before anyone had a chance to catch their breath and gain any sort of time to contemplate what they’d witnessed, Marley Watkins leaped like a salmon to make it 11 for this season. The power and direction he generated with his header was of top quality and showed the sort of confidence he has in front of goal, as he broke his goalscoring record with two months of football left to play. Truly euphoric.

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I wish the scenes in the stands after that goal could be bottled up and re-lived. It was one of those momentous occasions where you had to be there to really take in what was unfolding in front of your eyes. Rugby Park hasn’t seen celebrations like that since the Arbroath title decider a little under two years ago, and it was great to be a part of it. The players undoubtedly fed off the crowd with the more momentum they gained. Watkins loved winding up the large away support, pointing to his ears and gesturing to them to shush after their Europa League chants in the first half. Also, at a throw-in around the halfway line in front of the East Stand, Vassell could be seen bobbing his head along to the noisy home crowd.

It was so pleasing to see Vassell stick two away. His first was scrappy and nothing but sheer determination to score. His second was a display of brilliant striker play, anticipating the pass, beating the defender in a foot race, setting himself with a touch and then placing a powerful shot into the corner of the goal. The big man must be a nightmare to play against given his stature and while some of the criticism aimed his way is justified, plenty of it is not. The good news for all concerned is that he’ll go into the next match at Tynecastle brimming with confidence, as will David Watson after his sensational Lionel Messi impression.

I don’t subscribe to the view that third place is on, even if three points are collected against Hearts, but I do believe that fourth is very much ours to lose. Killie have recovered straight away from the biggest disappointment of the season in the Scottish Cup at Aberdeen. It’s now time to ensure the Premiership run-in is as memorable as Saturday.