No. of Shots
Shots on Target
|Goals||El Bakhtaoui (7)||
Jamie MacDonald, Luke Hendrie, Jonny Burn, Scott Boyd , Steven Smith, Rory McKenzie, Adam Frizzell (Jordon Jones 54), Dean Harkshaw (Charlee Adams 72) (George Green 80 ), Gary Dicker, Souleymane Coulibaly, Kris Boyd.
Subs Not Used: Devlin MacKay, Will Boyle, Dapo Kayode, Lewis Morrison.
Alan Walker @ Dens Park
A paltry 315 Killie fans made the journey up to Dundee to see Killie try to build on their spirited 1-1 draw against league new boys Rangers. Lee Clark had some team changes to make with Kiltie and Addison injured and Kris Boyd dealing with a recent personal loss. The manager showed great commitment to the SPL top goal scorer, allowing him to decide whether or not he wanted to play, and he did. Boyd was given a fantastic reception from the visiting support and we wish him, and his family, our heartfelt condolences and offers of support.
New loanee Scott Boyd came into partner Burn at centre-back and Hawkshaw came in for the aforementioned Kiltie. Kris Boyd was the sole striker with Coulibaly on the right wing, Frizzell on the left and Hawkshaw partnering McKenzie and Dicker in the middle.
It was clear that both teams were looking to play attacking football and the entire match consisted of one of the two teams pressing heavily. Ex-Killie Mark O’Hara has had a fine start to the season with Dundee, particularly due to his new role as attacking midfielder. Mark spent much of the first half in the space between Killie’s defense and midfield and it was from that position that he nearly did some damage on only the sixth minute. Ex-Celtic defender Darren O’Dea sent a long high ball upfield and O’Hara used his height to head the ball down for Whigton to strike, but Burn blocked the ball well for a corner.
Moments later, Captain Smith needlessly fouled Dundee’s Kerr on the left-wing and the resultant free-kick from Tom Hately was dummied by Whigton for the impressive El Bakhtaoui to slot home. Captain Smith found missing when he should have been marking the Dundee scorer.
It was an early set-back for Killie, but we persisted with some impressive passing and as a result Coulibaly got into a good area for a shot, but blasted high and wide. Still, more to come later from our little superstar. Killie were raining crosses into the Dundee box, particularly from the full backs, and Kris Boyd was unlucky to put a header wide from such a cross.
Dundee weren’t out the races completely though, and Mark O’Hara was a little unfortunate with a cheeky wee flick towards goal after a cross from Kerr.
Killie’s fine play paid off on the 32nd minute after some good play from Hendrie and Frizzell won us a throw-in on the right. Hendrie took the throw in and Frizzell chested it back. Hendrie then laid it back off to Frizzell who sent in a high looping cross. The Dundee defense didn’t look to be in too much danger but didn’t foresee an exquisite piece of talent from Coulibaly (right) as he leaped in the air for a sensational overhead kick. Bain had no chance, Coulibaly gave the fans a customary somersault and even conceded to a “I can’t believe I pulled that off” hand to mouth gesture.
Dundee lost O’Dea to injury, with him being replaced by the easily pronounceable Julen Etxabeguren Leanizbarrutia. El Bakhtaoui was their most dangerous player and after some good hold-up play he slotted the ball wide for Holt to shoot but his shot went well wide. El Bakhtaoui had another shot moments later but that also went wide of goal.
So half time hit and it was a chance for the Killie fans to wax lyrical about Coulibaly’s goal and the “just alright” Dundee pies (average rating - 7/10).
Dundee started the second half more brightly than Killie and would have been in the lead again had it not been for a good double save from MacDonald, twice denying Wighton at his left-hand post. However, Killie weren’t exactly being run over and Coulibaly has another chance to impress from a long distance shot in the 56th minute. His attempt, however, was high and wide when it might have been more prudent for him to pass. I think we’ll let him off, just this once.
Frizzell had a good chance to score moments later but his shot was blocked and then at the other end bothy Hateley and El Bakhtaoui had shots which went wide. El Bakhtaoui was dropping deeper and deeper as the matched progress, in order to get possession of the ball, but always looked dangerous in possession. A cross from him allowed a chance at goal for O’Hara but he headed wide, much to the delight and (mostly) light-hearted ribbing from the Killie faithful.
As time passed and both sides searched for a winner (with a string of attacking substitutions made), Dundee had a couple of chances from stramashes in the Killie box, but the defense always managed to clear.
However one of those substitutions had to be substituted himself on the 83rd minute. Charlee Adams latched on to a loose ball just moments before Mario Gomis arrived with his studs a little too visible for referee Don Robertson. Both players were injured, but Gomis saw red, and Adams was stretchered off and replaced by Green. That was the last real action from the game, aside from a couple of niggly fouls as Robertson, who had refereed the game so well until then, started to lose a little control.
In the end, it was a well-deserved point, with some impressive passing and movement from Killie. Hopefully, the missing fans will be back for the Thistle game as Killie look to keep the Glasgow side bottom of the table, where they belong.
Lee Clark: "Possibly [a draw] could have been the correct result but I'm a little bit disappointed. We had numerous opportunities and scored an unbelievable goal from Coulibaly. I just felt we didn't quite push on in the second half. I left it [the decision to play] up to Kris. He is an experienced man and an experienced footballer. It's been a horrendous week. My toughest week as a football manager to deal with this situation. We can only support him and his family. He is a local boy from Kilmarnock. He showed great courage. We had a little talk before the game and in a tribute to Kris and his family we get a positive result. Unfortunately we couldn't get three points but it's the mark of the man he wanted to play today."
All images © Ross MacKenzie and should not be reproduced without his permission