2006-2007

Season Diary 2006-2007

July 2006

Di Giacomo Scores Against Preston NE

Killie lose only one first-team squad member in Gary McDonald (who moved on to Oldham) during the off season. Invincibile was the last team member to sign-on again, and does for two more seasons!  It is also learned that Killie may be sweating Alan Combe's availability for the season opener at champions Celtic on July 29th, as he recovers from a hip surgery. Killie take three trialists to Il Ciocco, in Italy. Keith Lasley 26, who spent five seasons with Motherwell before moving to Plymouth Argyle in 2004. Australian 21-year-old McClenachan who played 34 times last season for the MK Dons (on loan from West Ham United), and 30 year-old defender Grant Murray, who was with Partick last term. Murray impresses manager enough to warrant a 1 year deal with Killie. Killie's new home top was released early before the "Open" day, and was very well received. Killie then start their pre-season tune-up, coming twice from behind to draw 2-2 with QoS, down in Dumfries, with Danny & Naisy grabbing Killie's goals.

Killie then play 2 games in 2 days at Elgin in the Ennstone Challenge Cup. Killie beat Elgin 3-0 (Jacko (2) & trialist Barrowman), and fall 0-1 to Ross Co, (with Naisy missing a penalty.)
Killie then host West Brom and win 2-1 (Jacko & Nish), then draw 1-1 with Preston NE 1-1, with Jacko again scoring, his 4th goal of the pre-season.
The Killie open day, was held on July 23rd, and is now called the "Killie Festival" and a great time was had by all!

Before Killie's  06-07 SPL season opener at Parkhead against 05-06 SPL champs Celtic, they sign Andrew Barrowman to a one year contract.

Killie fall 1-4 at Parkhead to extend our 55-56 year league misery there! Naisy opens his account for Killie was one of the rare good Killie talking points. Stand in keeper Graeme Smith also gave a good account of himself also!

Aug 2006

Naisy & Big Colin Both On Target Vs Hibs!

Killie host Hibernian for their first match of the new season, at Rugby Park, and it took a great first half performance by stand in keeper Graeme Smith, to keep Killie in the contest only down a single goal at the half! A fierce team-talk by JJ at the half resulted, in a much more spirited 2nd half performance, and Killie were soon on level terms with Colin Nish putting Killie even. A wonder solo goal (right) by Steven "Kid Goals" Naismith sealed a fantastic 2-1 comeback win!

 

Killie then toil against the Arabs at home who played 50 odd min's a man down holding Killie to a disappointing 0-0 draw. Killie offer Keith Lasley a deal, but he knocks us back to return to bottom of the league Motherwell. Better signing news is that David Fernandez does sign, for 2 years (with an option for a 3rd year).
Killie then travel to Westfield and pick up 3 points with Gary Wales pulling Killie even, and sub Paul Di Giacomo (left) netting a late winner as Killie steal the points, in a 2-1 win over the Bairns. This was Jacko's first league goal since Nov 16th 2002 (when we beat Livi 2-0 at home!). Grant Murray also plays very well in his Killie debut! This was Killie's first away win of 2006, having not won away from Rugby Park, since we beat Falkirk 2-1 in Dec of 2005!

Killie bring August to a close with a Sunday match at home to Rangers. Killie come twice from behind to thwart a Kris Boyd double, and earn a 2-2 draw, with Graeme Smith making several fine stops in the Killie goal. 
This was Killie's first point off of the Old Firm in 4 years! Fraser Wright scored his first goal for the club, and Steven Naismith scored in the 90th min from the spot, after several Killie penalty appeals had been denied. Fernandez made his Killie debut, and looked pretty good! Naisy also headed down to London to train with Arsenal after the match, but nothing concrete came of his visit.

Before the transfer window closes, manager Jefferies snaps up Iain Campbell, a 21 year old, left full-back, from Dunfermline.

Sep 2006

Naisy Goes Close at Love Street

The Euro 2008 qualifiers, meant that Killie did not play for 2 weeks, and then  threw away the points in a 2-3 defeat to the Pars at East End Park, after twice having taken the lead through Invincible, & Wales. Some better new for Killie was that Jim Jefferies was named the SPL's manager of the month for Aug!.

Killie do bounce back with some fine football at Love St, with a 1-0 win over the Buddies. Gus heaps the praise on his former employers, stating Killie were the best footballing team to come to Paisy so far this term!  For the record Killie's winning goal was an O.G.!

Killie then go into the next 2 week international break where the match will go down as the "Fir Park Fiasco", conceding 3 goals in 9 min's to winless bottom of the league Motherwell, after Danny had headed onto the bar with the game scoreless. Killie went onto lose by a 0-5 scoreline, a real sore one!

Killie finish the month in 6th place in the SPL with 12 points from 9 matches.


Oct 2006

JJ Celebrates His First Killie Win at Tynecastle!

 
Many Killie fans went into the Aberdeen home match worried about the team's defensive frailties after the Well match, and with Greer & Lilley both out. However Simon Ford made a welcome first start, but could not see the match out and Ryan O'Leary had to step in to replace him from the bench. Both contributed in helping Killie grind a fine 1-0 home win! Gary Wales scoring the game's only goal. Naismith also seemed to be in hungrier form, having been given a week off, prior to the match by manager Jefferies.  Killie then headed of to Tynecastle, to play 2nd placed Hearts, where we had not won for 6 seasons. Jim Jefferies face (see above pic) said it all as Killie won comfortably 2-0 with Invincible, & Wales scoring for Killie. Gordon Greer also returned, and Wright, Fernandez & Fowler were singled out as 3 men of the match in a tremendous all-round team performance.

Killie finish a good October with a home match against Celtic. Killie lose 1-2 in a match most noteworthy for a horrendous challenge on David Fernandez by Caldwell, that should have produced a straight red. Fernandez tears his knee ligaments, and his season would now be over. Colin Nish Ferdy's replacement opened the scoring with a fine shot, but sadly Killie could not hold on for what would have been a well deserved point.

Killie finish the month in 5th place in the SPL with 18 points from 12 matches.


Nov 2006


Killie Move On To The CIS Semi's!

Killie start November against a newly appointed John Collins Hibs side at Easter Rd. Four goals in the first 20 min's of the 2nd half see both teams play to a 2-2 draw. Killie open the scoring with a deflected Naisy shot (credited as an O.G.), and then pull even, with a close range Naismith header.
Killie then hosted Motherwell in the CIS Quarter-Final, and picked up a modicum of revenge for their 0-5 Fir Park loss, just 5 weeks earlier. Fraser "Fright" Wright scored a double (conceded a penalty also!) and was named "man of the match" by the sponsors as Killie moved on to the Semi's. Danny Invincibile (left) scoring the winner with a wonder left foot shot!

Killie then travel to Tannadice, and put a very "flat" performance and fall 0-1, without Wales, AJ (& obviously Fernandez).

With no wins in their last 3 SPL outings the Bairns home match was labelled by many as a "must win"! Killie do win, 2-1, after trailing at the half. Garry Hay scoring the game tie-ing (his first since Dec 2001), and Fright forcing a headed Bairns O.G. to give Killie a valuable much-needed 3 points! Colin Nish unfortunately picked up Killie's first red card, for allegedly diving in the box.

Rangers away were next, and Killie's dismal run in Glasgow continued as they fell 0-3. Graeme Smith in the Killie goal was our star man keeping the score respectable. Boyd again scores against his former club to add to Killie's woe!

Killie finish the month in 6th place in the SPL with 22 points from 16 matches.

Dec 2006


Killie Net Five Against The Pars!

Killie bounce back from their Ibrox failings to pick up 4 out of 6 points at Rugby Park over the Pars 5-1, and a 1-1 draw with the Buddies. Colin Nish nets a double against his old club as does Paul Di Giacomo. Garry Hay & Gordon Greer were to left to argue about who picked the Pars opening goal. Jacko  (right) opens the scoring against St Mirren, but Killie could only salvage a point, despite dominating for long periods, as the Saints score with their only shot on goal, which was deflected (into the bargain). Both games saw Gary Wales missing with a hamstring injury.

Killie are also drawn away to Morton in the 3rd round of the Scottish Cup, to be played on Jan the 8th of 2007.

Killie then pick up a stunning 4-3 victory at Inverness, after twice falling behind. Naisy tied the score before a Colin Nish double made it 3-3, and a Naisy penalty sealed the win! Graeme Smith made several key stops, to help Killie pick up the 3 points. Killie then fall flat on their faces, with what Billy Brown called their worst performances in 18+ months, as Killie fell 1-2 to Motherwell at home, and then worse 1-3 at Aberdeen on Boxing Day. Stephen Naismith scoring both consolation goals for Killie.

The in-form Di Giacomo was lost for at least a month after 3-4 min's in the Well match with a broken cheek bone. Hay is sent off in the dying moments also meaning a real make-shift outfit was fielded at Pittodrie, as Wright also was unavailable.

Killie finished the year without flu-ridden Colin Nish, and with Peter Leven playing up front in the 0-0 year finale at Rugby Park against Hearts.

A great team performance saw both teams miss great chances, where neither team deserved to lose.

It was nice to see Simon Ford back in the Killie line-up, along with Gordon Greer & Grant Murray who all had great games in the Killie defence.

Andrew Barrowman also features in the final 2 matches of the year as a sub, having been recalled from his QoS 3 month loan.

Killie finish the month in 6th place in the SPL with 30 points from 22 matches.


Jan 2007

Naisy Wonder Show Puts Killie Into the CIS Final

What  a crazy January it was for Killie! We opened the month with 3 straight 2 goal losses, followed by 3 straight wins. Killie’s first fixture of the New Year was Jan 2nd away to champ’s elect Celtic, where we lost 0-2, and had manager Jim Jefferies sent to the stand, for laughing at the linesman’s call leading up to Celtic’s opening goal. Our 56 year hoodoo continued when Fraser Wright headed against their bar, before they scored a last minute 2nd goal. Worse was to follow, as a gutless showing in Greenock saw Killie bounced out of the Scottish Cup 1-3 to Morton, after Colin Nish gave Killie an early 2nd half lead. Killie’s 3rd straight loss, was another sore one, losing 0-2 at home to Hibs, where they fielded a crop of youngsters in their starting XI, in this Monday night Setanta fixture. The game was also noteworthy for Alan Combe’s first start in the Killie goal, all year, new signing Mohammed Sylla’s debut, and for a Gary Wales Red-Card.

It is also reported that Danny Invincibile now needs a groin op, which would have a 6 week recovery period. So with this in mind JJ swooped for 19 year old Rocco Quinn on a loan from Celtic (they probably felt obliged having crocked "our" Ferdy back in Oct).

Killie’s season was now pretty much at crisis point, having not won in 6 outings, taking 1 point out of 15 in the SPL, having dropped out of the "Top 6", and the Scottish Cup being a non-starter!

The next 3 games were to be crucial to Killie’s season, two win-able SPL matches, and a CIS Cup Final berth being up for grabs.

Well in typical Killie fashion (unpredictable as you know what) they won all 3, with 3 clean sheets on the trot, go figure! Killie beat the Arabs 1-0, at Rugby Park, thanks to a Peter Leven goal, after a great move involving both Hay & Johnson. Quinn also impressed in his Killie debut!

 
Killie then faced Falkirk twice in 4 days, and maintained their 11 year jinx over them. In the SPL Killie picked up all 3 points, on their travels, thanks to goals from Nish & Naismith, in the first half, as Killie ran out 2-0 winners. This win moved Killie back into the "Top 6" back above the Bairns!

Four days later Killie booked their spot for the 2nd time in 6 years in the CIS Cup Final (against Hibs), with what can only be described as the “Steven Naismith Show’. Naisy’s wonder showing resulted in a hat-trick, with 2 super strikes, and a spot kick. Alan Combe was also called on to help keep a clean sheet as Killie’s cup dreams stayed alive, in this 3-0 win at Motherwell’s Fir Park.

Prior to the Jan transfer window closing Killie play some more musical chairs sending Stevie "Ruby" Murray & Jamie Adams out on loan to Queens through the end of the 06-07 season. In return Killie sign Queens Willie Gibson, then loan him back to QoS. Andrew Barrowman is then free’ed also, as he also heads down to Dumfries. Eighteen year old David Gray  joins Kilmarnock on Jan 31st 2007,  after leaving Scottish Premier League rivals Dundee United.

Killie finish the month in 6th place in the SPL with 36 points from 26 matches, and with a CIS Cup Final to look forward to on Sunday March 18th.


Feb 2007

Murray & Locke Hold the Pars!

Killie next hosted Rangers on Sunday Feb 11th at Rugby Park and lost 1-3 with Kris Boyd scoring a "hat-trick" against his former employers. A strange game saw Killie concede 2 penalties (the first of which the ref had to acknowledge afterwards that he's blown the call as Simon had cleanly tackled Boyd). Killie themselves missed a penalty (by Leven, as Naisy was off the field hurt at the time). Naismith did get Killie a consolation goal. Killie then headed off to East End Park and opened the scoring again through Naismith (his 5th straight Killie goal!). Killie could only pick up a point as Ford is sent off just before the break in conceding a penalty, as the match finished a 1-1 draw. Before the Pars match Killie sign Ivory Coast striker Aime Koudou to a short term deal, and then scores a "hat-trick" in his first outing, for the reserves. Eric "The King" Skora, (right) also resumed training with Killie as JJ starts his planning for next term!

Killie finish the month in 6th place in the SPL with 37points  from 28 matches.


March 2007

Killie's Magnificent Fans at Hampden

Killie open March with 2 wins to virtually assure themselves of a "Top 6" SPL finish! Firstly a fine 2-0 win at Love St, with Colin Nish netting a double, whichwas followed by a 3-2 home win over Inverness, After falling behind to an early goal. Jacko netted twice before Naisy scored the winner with a wonder over-head kick. Combe is rested for the Caley match in preparation for the CIS Cup Final the following week. Rolf Harris releases a new Killie version of "Fine Day", as Killie gear up for the Final.
Also of note was the ICT crowd was well over 7,500, (their highest non-Old Firm crowd of the season) as Killie reduced the prices to get some of the "fair-weather" fans back into Rugby Park.

Kilmarnock then contested their 5th League Cup Final, on Sunday March 18th Vs Hibernian.

An estimated 20,000 Killie fans made their way to the National Stadium at Hampden, only to see Killie suffer 1-5 at the hands of Hibernian. Was it stage fright or was it frost bite? Gordon Greer at least scored Killie's first goal in a Final of this competition. Things could have been so very different if only Killie had taken their chances in the first 25 min's, but sadly lost the opening goal to set piece when Jones headed home from 6 yards in the 27th min. After that Combe made a couple of good stops, to keep Killie in it at the half. A second half comeback never materialised, and Killie only had one decent spell after falling behind 0-3. "Killie Till I Die" could be heard ringing around Hampden, after Greer pulled one back, but two more slack defending situations cost Killie dear, as Killie attempted to chase the game. The fifth Hibs goal being a personal nightmare for Alan Combe.

Some good news for Killie was that Inverness's home loss to the Pars confirmed Killie's "Top 6" SPL finish, with 3 matches to spare!

Dons at home on March 31st concluded the month. Killie "hammered" (JJ's expression) the Dons and ended up getting "mugged" in a 1-2 defeat. The Dons scored on Graeme Smith twice with only one shot on target the entire game, due to Fowler-Howler OG. Naisy scored a late penalty, but Killie were truly robbed of something from the match. The SPL then releases the post-split fixtures, and Killie draw the short straw again and will play 18 at home & 20 away matches (for the 2nd season in a row!).
Killie finish the month in 6th place in the SPL with 43 points  from 31 matches.


April 2007

Killie Celebrate the Theft Of 3 Points at Fir Park

Killie finish up the regular season (before the "split"), with 2 bizare results! Firstly a 1-0 win at Fir Park, in a game we were really never in! Sub Colin Nish scoring in injury time with a fine header, from a Leven corner. Then a cruel 0-1 loss was suffered at Tynecastle where Killie certainly gave as good as they got for the entire match. Killie went into this match with Stephen Naismith being named March's Young SPL Player of the month, and with a growing treatment room. Unavailable for the Hearts match were: Combe, Hay, G Murray, Fernandez, Lilley, Gibson, Koudou, Invincibile & Magic (who just had season ending surgery). JJ gives Jamie Hammill his debut, and he goes on to put an excellent shift. Eric "the King" Skora is also named to the sub's bench. This was the first time Eric's name had been on a Killie team-sheet since May 12th 2004 in his final loan appearance (from Preston NE) against the Dons.

Killie finish the regular season in 5th place in the SPL with 46 points from 33 matches.

Killie then hosted SPL Champ's elect next at Rugby Park, on Sunday April 22nd. Celtic needing a win to clinch the title. Nakamura had the last say when he curled a sweet strike round the defensive wall and beyond a stranded Alan Combe, in the 92nd min to rob Killie of a deserved point, as Killie fall 1-2. Killie certainly the champ's as good as they got with Colin Nish netting after fine work by Wales. Again there are problems in visiting fans sneaking in to home sections of Rugby Park, and also the "world's greatest fans" wreck hundreds of seats, celebrating after the final whistle. Stephen Naismith after the match then wins his second straight writers SPFA Young Player of the Year.

Killie finish April up at Aberdeen and fall 0-3 to the Dons. The third being a freak goal where Alan Combe had a  quick throw out, strike the back of Mackie's head with the ball, which bounced directly into of his net.


May 2007

 JJ Picks Up His First Old Firm Win!

Killie go on to finish the 2006-07 in fine style with three straight one nil wins!!  This was the best form of any of the teams in the "top 6", post the "split". Firstly Killie pick up a modicum of revenge, for their CIS Cup Final failure, with a fine 1-0 win at Hibernian. O'Leary, Hamill & Gibson all start as JJ opt's for youth. For the record it was Colin Nish who headed home a ball over the keeper in the Hib's goal, for his 14th goal of the season.
Interesting Hibs had not picked up a win in 8 outings since their CIS win over us!
Next up were Rangers at Ibrox, and manager Jim Jefferies picked up his first Old Firm win! A first time volley by Stephen Naismith from a nice headed feed from Big Colin were enough to sink the Gers, as Alan Combe had a second great outing after his Dons "gaff". Aime Koudou makes his first start for Killie, and looked decent, and may have done enough to get a 1 year contract for next term.
All the Monday morning paper talk was about Naisy heading to amongst some places... Ibrox!

Killie then go on to complete their closing "hat-trick" of wins at home to JJ's former employers Hearts at home. Hearts needing a win to keep their UEFA Cup aspirations alive, fell 1-0 to a 82nd min Naisy penalty, (right....his 19th of the season) after Gordon had fouled him. Prior to the Hearts kick-off a moments silence is honored for club photographer Tom Brown, who had passed 2 weeks earlier.
On the player front, it looks like Peter Leven, has joined Graeme Smith in leaving Killie both having rejected Killie's final offers to each of them. However Johnston & Skora (2 year deals)  Locke (1 year) are each re-signed.

Jim Jefferies shares his thoughts on the 06-07 season......"We've equalled the record number of wins for a season, we got our first win for seven years at Ibrox last week and we've been to a cup final. It's time to quit I think - only kidding!  We would be quite happy to start next year with the same targets - trying to get into the top six and another decent cup run."

Killie finish the season in 5th place in the SPL with 55 points from 38 matches.

June 2007

 Steven Naismith Makes His Scotland Debut

Gordon Greer (Doncaster Rov), Stevie Murray (Partick T) , Peter Leven & Graeme Smith (Rangers)... are the only "first team" members reported thus far, to be moving on. Magic, Fowler, Clancy, Hay, Skora, Koudou & Locke are all signed up for next term.
Steven Naismith wins his first Scotland "Full" cap, as a late sub in Scotland's 2-0 win over the Fareo Islands. Naisy is now all the talk of the Scottish press, with both sides of the Old Firm being reported as being interested in his signature. Killie chairman Michael Johnston speaks exclusively to the fans via killiefc.com - Here  A fresh bid worth £1.5m (£700K initially) with add-ons was then reportedly made to the Rugby Park club, by Rangers, however Killie rejected this offer!  Rangers then have to cheek to blame Killie for playing out the transfer in the press!


Season 2006-2007 Form Guide

2006 - 2007

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

Pos

First 11

11

05

03

03

-03

18

4th

Second 11

11

03

03

05

-02

12

6th

Third 11

11

05

01

05

-01

16

5th

Post Split

33

13

07

13

-06

46

5th

Final 5

05

3

0

2

-01

09

5th

Season Totals

38

16

07

15

-07

55

5th

 

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