GLASGOW (AFP) – Kilmarnock’s Jordan Jones damaged his future club’s Scottish Premiership title ambitions with the decisive strike in a 2-1 win over Rangers, while leaders Celtic thrashed St Mirren 4-0 on Wednesday night.
Jones is set to join Steven Gerrard’s Rangers next season after signing a pre-contract earlier this month.
But the Northern Ireland winger showed his loyalties still lie with Kilmarnock for now as he wrecked Jermain Defoe’s Rangers debut at Rugby Park.
Jones repaid Kilmarnock manager’s Steve Clarke’s trust with the goal that sees his side leapfrog Rangers into second place.
It took Defoe just 12 minutes to open his Rangers account after the former England striker’s loan move from Premier League side Bournemouth.
But the 36-year-old did not even have much time to saviour his strike as a Joe Worrall blunder handed Eamonn Brophy the equaliser eight minutes later.
In the 66th minute, Rangers midfielder Steven Davis played a wayward pass to Jones and his Northern Ireland team-mate drove 40 yards upfield before firing a low strike from 25 yards past Allan McGregor.
“We deserve the criticism. It’s even more painful because we had so much control in the first 15 minutes of the game,” Gerrard said.
“One moment had a huge effect on us and that’s a concern. It is a difficult one to take.”