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Jacko's Return A Wash Out!  

Kilmarnock 1 - 2 Livingston
(SPL Under 21 Match - Rugby Park, 9th September 2002, 7.00pm Kick Off)

A decent crowd of 277 braved rain lashed conditions to see Killie's first home reserve match against Livi in a game that saw Paul di Giacomo make his long awaited return to action. Both clubs fielded strong teams and it was the visitors who readily adapted to the conditions in the opening half whilst the Killie defence had obviously been reading "Suicidal Defending for Beginners" by Dailly and Weir.

    

With the back four pushing too far forward and the goalie unsure about rushing out his box Livi sprung the offside trap at will and took the lead in 10 minutes. McMenamin, who previously had a trial with Killie, raced through the defence and although Meldrum blocked his initial effort the ball rolled kindly for the striker who tucked it into an empty net.

Killie came close three minutes later when a short corner saw Boyle swing a cross and McSwegan flicking a header on to the roof of the net. Livi went straight up the park and as the Killie defence parted wide open Camacho raced through and slipped the ball under Meldrum into the corner of the pokey. Two goals down in the opening quarter of an hour and schoolboy defending, now where have I seen that in the last few days?

    

Killie battled to get into the game but their best effort was a low shot by Quitongo that was well saved by McEwan. The last action of the half saw a sweet move down the right by the visitors ending with Camacho scoring from 7 yards only for the stand side linesman to spoil his fun with an offside flag.

Killie were a different team after the break and carried the fight to Livi from the opening whistle. The pressure paid off in 52 minutes when a mazy run by wee Ruby saw the ball drop at the feet of Gary McDonald who fired home via the post from 10 yards. The tails were up now and Garry Hay had an effort cleared off the line two minutes later, the same player went close with a 25 yard screamer shortly after.

    

Paul Di Giacomo got the biggest cheer of the night when he replaced Quitongo in 66 minutes and the young striker looked as lively as ever. Twice he had a chance to bring us level but he was thwarted by a combination of dreadful conditions and the sprawling goalie. Livi were threatening on the break as Killie pushed on and a great 50 yard run by Camacho ended with a fine 20 yard drive being well saved by Meldrum.

    

Killie could maybe feel aggrieved at not getting a point but the visitors probably edged it on their first half performance. Yellow cards were dished out to Hay and Jaconelli for us plus Bollan and Greacen for Ferranti. Killie were best served by Hay, McDonald and Murray whilst Camacho and Wilson caused us the most grief. Finally I must mention the pitch which stood up admirably to the constant downpour and seems to have got over being pulverised by our previous groundsman!

Kilmarnock: Meldrum, Canning, Dillon, Hessey, Innes, Hay (McGuiness 86), McDonald, Boyle, McSwegan (Jaconelli 45), Murray, Quitongo (Di Giacomo 66)

Livingston: McEwan, McNamee, Hilton, Bollan, Greacen, O'Brien, Wilson, Camacho, Brittain, McMenamin (Canarotti 90), Quinn (Fairgreave 77)

Report by The Killie Hippo

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