2007-2008

Season Diary 2007-2008

July 2007



"Le God" Returns!

The Killie first team squad reported back for training on July 3, flying out to their Italian training camp at Il Ciocco for a week-long stay. In Killie's travel party is newly signed Craig Bryson (from Clyde) & the recuperating David Fernández. Also French keeper Damien Rascle is brought in on trial. Killie then take on Dumbarton and play to an uninspiring 0-0 draw, without Steven Naismith in their ranks as manager Jim Jefferies tells the press he is now resigned himself to the fact that he will now be moving on.

Killie's new sponsor is also announced, Small World Media, who are an Irvine based company.

Killie then draw 2-2 at Dens Park (Jacko (Pen) & Naisy) followed by a bizarre 1-3 home loss to Notts Forrest after conceding 3 penalties, 2 of which were fouls by Fright!
Big Colin ensured a 2nd half "win" for the Killie. Steven Naismith then hands in his formal transfer request to Killie, and he is then promptly dropped from the 1-0 win over Leicester City at Rugby Park. Gary Wales (left) scored in the 1st min, as Killie went on to record both their first win and clean-sheet of the pre-season. Sunday July 29th was the annual Killie Festival, and a great day was had by all, although a certain Mr Naismith was ill and couldn't make it... MMMM?

Aug 2007



Ford & Combe Perform Parkhead Heroics!

Killie opened their SPL season at Parkhead on Sunday Aug 5th, and earned a costly point in a 0-0 draw against last terms champions. Jamie Fowler suffered a serious ankle injury, Garry Hay a hamstring injury, and sub David Fernandez, an eye socked bash! Prior to the Celtic match Stephen Naismith withdrew his transfer request, and Momo Sylla, fell out with manager Jefferies, and subsequently would be moving on.

The history books will show that Kilmarnock won 2-1 twice in five days having prevailed after looking like they should have been dead and buried long before two late winning goals were scored. First a 2-1 win over the Arabs was recorded on a Monday night Setanta match. Killie getting late goals from Gibson (on as a sub), and Nish. Hay & Fowler were both missing from the Celtic match. Then it was on to Fir Park where another 3 points were "stolen" with Rhian Dodds netting an injury time winner, after Lillie had pulled Killie even. The Well PA announcer credited Dodds injury time winner to "Dick Turpin".
Rangers were Killie's final Aug opponents, and they put in a fine shift in a 1-2 losing effort. Danny Invincibile (right) scoring a fine goal for the Ayrshire men. Prior to Gers match Killie brought in 21 year old striker Ryan Jarvis on-loan from Norwich, and making way for Jarvis was Paul Di Giacomo, who headed out on loan to Partick. Invincibile also reinjures his groin, and he too would now be missing!
To close out Aug Killie picked up a fine 3-0 win in their first ever visit to Peterhead in the 2nd rd of the CIS Cup. This match was to become even more note-able as it represented Stephen Naismith's last game for Killie. Naisy was on the score-sheet that night (along with Nish & Wright) before his 11:45pm 31/8/7  £2 million pound transfer to Rangers.

Killie finish the month in 6th place in the SPL with 7 points from 4 matches.

Sept 2007



Fright Nods Just Over Against The Dons

Killie fans had a miserable day the 1st of Sept 2007, as many fans woke to breaking news that Naismith had been sold, and to rub salt in the wounds Killie lose 0-1 to the Dons at home, having been worth at least a draw. Even worse was the loss of Gary Wales, as Killie's treatment room gets even busier. Killie then head to the friendly confines of Fir Park, and take on Gretna for the first time, and pick up another 2-1 win. A wonder goal from Wullie Gibson, (right) and a first goal for Jarvis (from a perfect knock down from Nish) put Killie into cruise control. Again unfortunately another injury as Ryan O'Leary breaks his nose giving way to debut for Tim Clancy.
Clancy makes one more appearance in a drab home 0-0 draw to the Buddies before he his also lost to a hip injury! Some good news is that "BeckenFowler" did return from an opening day injury. Craig Bryson comes off the bench to make his Killie debut, and nearly wins at the end for Killie. Killie then head to new Douglas Park to play unbeaten 1st Div leaders Hamilton, and put in a shocking 90 min's and crash out of the CIS Cup 0-2. Rhian Dodds limps off after 8 min's giving way to teenager Iain Flannigan, while Bryson make his first start for Killie. Sub Fernandez gets a red card, for 2 quick dissent yellow cards, to compound Killie's misery, in front of over 1,200 unhappy travelling Killie fans.
Manager Jim Jefferies then has to suspend practice the Thursday prior to Hibs away match as Nish and others pick up knocks in training.

A complete summary was....Rhian Dodds (ankle ligaments) Colin Nish (hamstring) David Fernandez (twisted knee) Chad Harpur (ankle), Ryan O'Leary (broken nose), Danny Invincibile (groin), Eric Skora (knee), Gary Wales (foot), Garry Hay (hamstring) and Tim Clancy (hip) on the sidelines.

O'Leary does make the Hibs match, only to get a red card, as Killie concede 3 (2 converted) penalties, in 1-4 loss at Easter Rd. Colin Nish (only fit enough to start from the bench) nets Killie's first goal in over 240 min's of SPL action. Aime Koudou having scored 3 goals for Killie's first placed SPL reserve team makes his first start of the season. Alan Combe makes several key stops including a penalty save to keep the score some-what respectable.

Killie finish the month in 7th place in the SPL with 11 points from 8 matches.

Oct 2007



The Fow and Nishy Celebrate Against Hearts

Killie without Invincibile, Johnston, Wales, Fernandez, Hay Dodds, Clancy (& O'Leary suspended with Locke, Murray& Jarvis only fit enough for a seat on the bench) host Inverness and pick up a point in an entertaining point in a 2-2 draw with Inverness. Koudou scores first goal for the club, and "Big Colin" (right) got his 4th of the season. Other notable points were Simon's luckless "OG" and first team starts for Craig Bryson & Iain Flannigan. During Caley's (after Ford's OG) next corner, one of the Killie Faithful could be heard yelling at the Killie defence... "Someone mark Simon (Ford)".....
Aye Its still great to be a Killie fan!

Killie then complete two more October fixtures, and finish up the month unbeaten! These matches were away to Falkirk & at home to Hearts. The Falkirk match ended 1-1 with Killie getting off to the worst possible start going a goal down after just 2 mins, but not to worry as Fraser "Fright" Wright (left) headed Killie even some 10 mins later. Making their returns were Danny Invincibile & Gary Wales, as Killie remained unbeaten to the Bairns for over 10 years!
Hearts were then emphatically thumped 3-1 at Rugby Park, with Garry Hay returning to the side as captain! A 10 man second half Hearts succumbed to a Gary Wales volley, a Colin Nish penalty (our first of the season) and a Wullie Gibson goal, from a poor keeper clearance. Alan Combe (right) was booked at the 90 min mark, for winding-up the remaining Hearts fans behind his goal, as he went on to kiss his Killie badge on his shirt!

Killie finish the month in 5th place in the SPL with 16 points from 11 matches.

Nov 2007


Rare Nov Bright Spot As Taouil Starts

After an unbeaten Oct Killie then go on a 5 match winless streak that would not end until the home Dec Gretna match.  November's results were a 1-2 loss to Celtic, where Fright pulled Killie even, and then a 0-2 loss at Dundee Utd. In both instances JJ had to have unrepeatable half-time team talks. Alan Combe did save his second penalty of the season in the Arab match.
To finish Nov, Killie hosted an in-form Motherwell and went down 0-1, where sub Koudou missed a sitter in the last min. Also Mehdi Taouil made an impressive first start for the club. Jim Jefferies tells the press that top goal scorer Colin Nish has knocked back the terms of a new contract that was offered to him, and he has been linked to perhaps signing a pre-contract with his boyhood hero's Hibernian, in Dec-Jan when the transfer window re-opens.

Killie finish the month in 8th place in the SPL with 16 points from 14 matches.

Dec 2007



Danny & Ferdy Both On Target Vs Gretna

Killie open Dec at Ibrox, and after conceding an early goal, they gave a good account of themselves. Neither Boyd or Naismith scored either, as Killie went on to lose 0-2. Killie's on-going injury worries continue as both Clancy & Hay come back in and out of the squad.
The club announce new 2 year deals for both Simon Ford & Fraser Wright, keeping them at the club till May 2009.
Killie then pick up their 5th straight loss up at Aberdeen, after taking a deserved lead in at the half. In a brutal second half 5 min period, Ryan O'Leary gives up a dubious penalty, and both Danny & Fright are lost to injury, as Killie eventually went down 1-2, with Ferdy scoring his first goal in over a year.
Killie go into the Gretna home match with just three fit defenders available as they looked to halt a five-game losing streak.  Despite falling behind 3 times Killie do "stop the rot" (JJ) and pick up a battling point in a 3-3 draw. Again Ryan O'Leary gives up another dubious penalty, for Gretna's 2nd goal, however if the truth be told Killie should have been dead and buried at the half, with only the woodwork & Alan Combe keeping Killie in it. For the record Killie's scorers were Danny, Ferdy & Gibbo (with a cross into the net).

On Dec 22nd, Killie travelled to Love St, and draw 0-0 in a very dull encounter. Killie then host on Boxing Day, a free-falling Hibs team, who had only won once since they destroyed us up at Easter Rd. Killie put on their best performance, in weeks, and pick up an impressive 2-1 win, with Hibs only scoring in stoppage time via a dubious penalty. Taouil scored his first goal for the club, with the opener, followed by Colin Nish (right) header , who may be Hibs bound as he is being courted by them. To close out the year Killie's mini-revival comes to a thundering halt to an in-form Inverness side in a 1-3 loss up there, with Big Colin netting a late consolation penalty. It is also learned that Alan Morgan will be joining from ICT once the transfer window re-opens in Jan. Ryan Jarvis also ended his Norwich loan, as he returned down south.

Killie finish the month in 9th place in the SPL with 21 points from 20 matches.

Jan 2008



Jacko Returns To Score At Tynecastle

Killie open the New Year hosting a flying Bairns side and go down 0-1, representing Falkirk's first win over Ayrshire's finest in 10+ odd years. Alan Morgan makes his debut as a second half sub, in a game where Killie were denied several time at the death, where Fraser Wright saw red also. Killie then travelled to Tynecastle and drew 1-1 with Hearts. Paul Di Giacomo, netting upon his recall from his loan to Plastic Whistle. Newly signed ex-Motherwell man Martyn Corrigan, starts in place for the suspended Wright, and puts in a solid shift. Despite playing against only 10 men, it was Alan Combe that was the man of the match, with several outstanding stops.

With two-thirds of the season now completed Killie stood in 9th place in the SPL with 22 points from 22 matches but had picked up only one win (Hibs at home), and 6 total points,  from the current 11 game rotation.

Killie were then due to next travel to New Broomfield to play Airdrie Utd in the Scottish Cup, however the match was postponed, due to a water logged pitch.

Site picks up it's 3 millionth Front Page "hit"! Thanks for all you support Allan & Baz.

Killie then started their final 11 matches of the "regular" SPL season and fell 0-1 to Celtic at Parkhied, with Martyn Corrigan, scoring an OG. JJ's post match comments... "They had some really good chances but Alan Combe was brilliant"

Killie then next hosted Dundee Utd, and lost 1-2 with sub Gary Wales netting for Killie. The Arabs winning goal, was a real nightmare for Corrigan & Combe, who collided with each other giving the Arabs a simple free header into an open goal.

Some good news at last see's Taouil extend his Killie contract through the end of the season.

To finish Jan, Killie went to New Broomfield to play Airdrie Utd in the Scottish Cup, knowing there was a big pay-day waiting for the winners with a home BBC tie against Celtic.
Killie put in a professional shift and came out victors 2-0. Jamie Hamill opened the scoring and Colin Nish converting from the spot in what would turn out to be his last appearance fro the club. Chad Harpur also made his first start for the club in goal also that night.

Nish then signs a pre-contract with Hibs for 08-09, and Killie then choose to cash-in and get £100K transfer fee, and transfer the lanky striker at the close of the Jan transfer window.

With Nish's departure immanent Killie took Ex-Brighton striker Bas Savage (left) on trial and he featured in a reserve game against Rangers, however JJ questioned his overall fitness, and nothing further has come of Killie's interest. Killie also missed out on Airdrie Utd striker Allan Russell, as the transfer window closed, with the press having a field day at our inability to scrounge up the funds for the second division striker (as a replacement for Nish).

Killie finish the month in 11th place in the SPL with 22 points from 24 matches.

Feb 2008



Fright Celebrates His Dons Winner!

Killie open Feb hosting a BBC televised lunch-time Scottish Cup tie against Celtic. Only 6,491 bother to show up, and Killie promptly responded with a dismal 2nd half showing, allowing 4 goals as they crashed out of the cup 1-5 to the holders. Hamill scoring his 2nd cup goal in a week, along with Combe's form in the Killie goal, being the only real bright spots for Killie. Killie then travelled to Fir Park and despite losing 0-1 (to a cruel 91st min injury time goal) put in a decent shift.

Two consecutive Sunday home fixtures, were on the horizon. The league leaders Rangers were first, and Killie battled Rangers all the way in an 0-2 home loss, where their 2nd goal was a penalty converted by a certain Mr Boyd. This would be Killie's last loss at Rugby Park for the remainder of the season, as Killie went on to win 4, and draw 2 in their final 6 home games!

Killie then hosted the following Sunday a travel weary (back from Bayern in Germany) Aberdeen side, having picked up only one point in their prior 7 SPL outings (which including 4 narrow one goal losses). The improved play from both the Motherwell & Rangers matches, continued as Killie thumped the Dons 3-1 with a double from "man of the match" Craig Bryson, (his first goals for the club), and Fraser Wright. Invincibile & Hamill also had fine games. The Dons didn't get on the scoresheet till the last few min's with a freak OG, from Wright. Making his debut for Killie as a late sub in the Dons match was new signing (till the end of the season) Paul Dalglish. A great team performance, and first league win for 2008!
The win over-shadowed a small band of Killie fans message of "Johnston Out", aiming their angst at Killie's Chairman Michael Johnston.

Killie then reported that Eric Skora and Aimie Koudou had both left the club, with Eric "Le King"  retiring (knee problems) from football at the age of 26, to return to his native France.

To close out Feb, Killie would then travel in a confident mood to take on bottom of the league SPL strugglers Gretna on the last Weds of Feb. A win would see Killie open a 15 point gap over them, and pretty much assure Ayrshire's finest top-flight football for a 16 consecutive season. With Killie knowing the importance of this match, the club put on free busses, up to Motherwell, and with some 1,300+ in attendance gave the team an outstanding vocal backing.  After a bright start Killie "committed football suicide" (JJ) and allowed 3 goals towards the end of the half. A fourth goal brought "Your Not Fit To Wear the Shirt" howls from the stands. Killie were clearly missing Combe & Lilley, with Chad Harpur having a howler in the Killie goal. Killie scored twice late on, through Ford & sub Gibson, but the result was never in doubt for a poor Killie team.

Killie finish the month in 11th place in the SPL with 25 points from 28 matches.

Mar 2008

Danny Scrambles Home the Buddies Winner!

Killie, just 3 days after the Gretna debacle, hosted 10th place St Mirren, and with a win could see Killie move above them. Which Killie team would show up... the team that trounced the Dons 6 days earlier, or that mob disguised as Killie that got embarrassed by Gretna?

Killie in an no-frills fashion beat the Buddies 1-0 thanks to Danny scrambling home a fumbled corner. Both Lilley & Combe returned, to command the Killie defence, as Invincibile & Bryson had stormers.

See webmaster Auld's diary "home" for the Gretna & Buddies matches - 2008 Trip Home

Prior to Killie's next match at Easter Rd, bottom club Gretna filled for administration, and incurred a 10 point penalty deduction, leaving Killie in a safe league position for the remainder of the 2007-08 SPL season. Chairman Michael Johnston, reassures us 11th place in the SPL will not be relegated.

Killie do fall 0-2 at Easter Rd, but manager Jefferies tells the press "That was the best performance from a Kilmarnock side away from home in a long time" Some good football, without a lot of punch up-front.
Inverness were next to come calling to Rugby Park, and after a poor start Killie found themselves a goal down, only to come back and pick up their biggest victory of the season by a 4-1 margin. On target for Killie Wright (after giving up a penalty) Bryson with "double" & young Flannigan (his first senior goal for the club). Clancy also returned to the side and gave a good account of himself! This was Killie's 3rd straight home win!

Killie closed out March with a 0-0 draw away to Falkirk. Alan Combe made a couple of stops, and again Killie provided little "punch" on the break on a very cold blustery away day. The draw stopped the Bairns making the "Top 6", in a game they had to pick up 3 points from.

Killie finish the month in 10th place in the SPL with 32 points from 32 matches.

Apr 2008



Killie Batter Hearts But Can Only Draw!

Killie then batter Hearts in a home 0-0 draw, twice hitting the woodwork, and were well worth all 3 points. Again, Killie stopped Hearts making the "Top 6". Gary Locke made a rare start and battled hard against his old employers. Regardless of what you might think about JJ, he certainly doesn't like to give them any "freebies". Fright is sent off in the closing moments, and goes on to get season ending surgery after the match.

Killie finish in 10th place, at the "split" with 33 points from 33 matches, and have a 3 match unbeaten run going into the final 5 matches.

Prior to the Caley match, JJ confirms he has spoken to Gavin Skelton, the Gretna midfielder, as JJ starts to turn his attentions towards the 08-09 season.

Killie go into their final 5 fixtures, missing, Bryson, Fright, Gibson, & Morgan, all of whom have had season ending surgeries. Corrigan, Magic  and Taouil (at the last min) were also all missing for the Caley clash. As expected Killie fail to score for their 3rd straight match, and fell 0-3, in a showing that JJ described ... "Some of the players who have contracts on the line did not help themselves". Manager Jefferies then has the entire squad come in for Sunday training, after the Caley performance (or lack there of), to send a message that the season was/is by no means over!
In other player news, Rhian Dodds contract is re-worked to keep him at Rugby Park thru Dec 08, David Lilley is offered a 2 year deal, and Simon Ford may want to move on, having not played since the late Feb Gretna (A) debacle.

Ford did return to the starting line-up for the first time in almost two months while Paul Dalglish made his first start for the club, as Killie hosted relegated Gretna, who can only now be described as Killie's "bogey" team. David Fernandez (left) scores Killie's first goal in over 350 min's of SPL action, but Killie fail to hang on and go on to draw 1-1, and were not worthy of the win. To make matters worse for Killie was "in-form" full back Tim Clancy was carried off in the first half, with a suspected broken leg.

Killie finish the month in 11th place in the SPL with 34 points from 35 matches.

May 2008



Jacko Celebrates His Bairns Winner!

Killie then travelled next to Love St, on May 3rd, and in true 2007-08 fashion found a way to lose 0-1 conceding the games only goal in injury time. This result would ultimately cost Killie any shot at finishing above the Buddies for 10th place in the SPL. Gary Wales comes on as a 2nd half sub for Ferdy, and accomplishes very little, in what was probably his last outing as a Killie player. One bright spot was the return of Mehdi Taouil (as 2nd half sub) who had been missing since the Hearts home 0-0 draw.

Killie then went into their last away match of the season having not won away from Rugby Park  in almost 6 months (since the Gretna Sept 15th 2-1 Fir Park win).  After a dull first half Killie go on and put in a decent 2nd half shift, and record a fine 2-0 win at Tynecastle. The Hearts match scorers were Grant Murray & sub (making his 1st appearance in almost a month) Paul Di Giacomo. Teenager David Cox makes his Killie debut as a late sub for Ferdy, who had been booked earlier for overly-celebrating Murray's goal!

With the loss, Hearts became the only team in season 07-8, NOT to register an SPL win over Ayrshire's Finest!

Prior to the last match of the season Killie boss, Jim Jefferies completed the signing of Allan Russell (a 20 + goal scorer from 2nd Div outfit Airdrie Utd) & Abdul Osman (a 22 year old midfield utility player from Gretna).

Thursday May 15th 2008, ........ will sadly be remembered as the day that Tommy Burns lost his battle against skin cancer, at only 51 years of age. To a generation of Killie fans he will be remembered as one of the best players they ever saw don the stripes...

R.I.P.    ........   "TB".
 

 

Killie's place in the Tommy Burns story has inevitably been overlooked, but to the supporters of the Ayrshire club he will never be forgotten for his huge contribution to their cause.
During his three + years as a player and then player-manager at Rugby Park (before Fergus McCann whisked him away to Parkhead in 1994), he not only took Killie into the Premier Division but, against all the odds, kept them there. .

Killie's supporters left a wealth of flowers, scarves, tops and tributes, outside Rugby Park, and there was a minute's respectful clapping to mark Burns's passing, prior to the Bairns home match kick-off, to show their appreciation to "TB".

Killie go on to finish up the miserable 2007-08 season in style, dominating the Bairns off the park, (except on the scoreboard), with Dalglish (along with Ferdy & Danny) being the culprits in not destroying Falkirk. For the record a 2-1 was picked up, with Taouil pulling Killie even, and super-sub (for the second week running) Paul Di Giacomo netting the winner after coming off the bench.
Manager Jefferies tells the press one of his main priorities is to get Mehdi Taouil signed up for the 08-09 season, as he really makes a huge difference in how Killie play. Killie also introduce their own "1869" brand of shirts, dumping Lotto as their equipment supplier. The home top receives rave reviews when Killie play in it during the last match of the season.

Killie finish the season in 11th place in the SPL with 40 points from 38 matches.

The record books will show Killie's defence continued to improve conceding 52 goals in 07-08, representing a 2 goal improvement over 06-07, and a 12 goal improvement over 05-06. (However should be noted that 05-06 & 06-07 were "Top 6" finishes). The 52 goals conceded represent Killie's best ever SPL performance for a 38 game season!
The opposite was true for Killie's goal scored for season 07-08, netting only a mere 39 times representing Killie's worst ever SPL performance for a 38 game season! The drop-off is further illustrated when you consider Killie scored 47 SPL goals in 06-07, and 63 goals in season 05-06. Clearly the selling off of Boyd, Naismith & to a lesser extent Nish, needs to be addressed, to help make Killie more competitive again.

Season 2007-2008 Form Guide

2007 - 2008

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

Pos

First 11

11

4

4

3

0

16

5th

Second 11

11

1

3

7

-09

06

9th

Third 11

11

3

2

6

-03

11

10th

Post Split

33

8

9

16

-12

33

10th

Final 5

05

2

1

2

-01

07

11th

Season Totals

38

10

10

18

-13

40

11th

 
Go to Season: 2006-07 2008-09

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