SP06


April 2016

No. of Shots

14 18

Shots on Target

6 7

Possession

47% 53%

Fouls Conceded

12 12

Corners Won

9 7

Discipline

Goals Boyd (17)
Coulibaly (65)

Lawless (32)
Lindsay (82)

 

Killie Team

Jamie MacDonald, Luke Hendrie , Scott Boyd, Jonny Burn, Stevie Smith (Martin Smith 24) (Jordon Jones 92),  Rory McKenzie, Adam Frizzell (Nathan Tyson 54), Gary Dicker, Dean Hawkshaw , Souleymane Coulibaly, Kris Boyd. 
Subs Not Used: Devlin MacKay, Will Boyle, Lewis Morrison, Iain Wilson.

Attendance: 4,169

Man of the Match Vote

Match Report

Alan Walker @ Rugby Park

Lee Clark fielded the same eleven two weeks in a row as Killie looked to build on their recent points at home to Sevco and away to Dundee. The Killie fans were treated to an end-to-end game at Dens Park last week and they were looking for the same amount of commitment (and spectacular goals) against bottom-placed Thistle.

For the first ten minutes of the game, however, Thistle had other ideas. Killie were put under real pressure with Amoo, Lawless, and Killie nemesis Doolan all having shots at goal. Amoo’s shot was saved by MacDonald, Lawless’ was blocked and Doolan sent his just wide. Thistle’s neat one-twos and cheeky flicks were causing the Killie midfield and defence plenty of problems. In return, Killie seemed happy to thump the ball up to Boyd for Coulibaly to sniff around any flick-ons.

It certainly wasn’t pretty from Killie but it nearly got the job down on the 11th minute. A long free-kick from Smith was partially cleared by the Thistle defence but only got so far as Dicker. Dicker thumped it back into the box where Coulibaly took the ball onto his chest and tried for his second overhead kick goal in as many weeks. Scully must have been watching the highlights though as he got down well to turn the ball out for a corner.

From the resulting corner, Dicker ghosted past Amoo to meet a deliberate long corner. However, his goal-bound header was diverted out for another corner by Gordon. Amoo didn’t let that happen again with his continuous holding and obstruction unnoticed by clownshoe Dallas. It was clear that Killie had been working on their set-pieces and the fans were treated to an array of tactics in the slew of corners which followed.

Killie were certainly by far the better team in the second ten minutes, however much of their play did seem to be in the form of hoofing the ball up to the Boyd. Nevertheless, it was one such hoof that led Killie to the opener. MacDonald took a free-kick deep in Killie’s half and thumped it far upfield. Coulibaly got the flick-on to Boyd who got a little lucky as the ball bounced back of a Thistle shin to set him up with only the keeper to beat. Naturally, Boyd beat the keeper with a low toe-poke and his celebration was centred around a mark of respect for his late brother.

Mark it up, 102 Killie goals for Kris Boyd.

There has been much said about Killie’s artificial surface since its inception and the players must be in agreement with many of the naysayers as they played head tennis for most of the first half. On the rare occasion that the ball was on the deck for any length of time, it was Thistle in possession and Doolan brought out a good save from MacDonald after Erskine tried to play the ball on the deck.

Then, as he wasn’t getting enough attention already, Dallas came in to save the day. Smith held back a throw-in for as long as possible as he was injured and was being substituted. He was replaced by Martin Smith with Hendrie moving to left-back and Hawkshaw to right-back. Aforementioned Hendrie took a little too long in setting up his throw-in and was booked, essentially for Stevie Smith’s tardiness.

More passing play from Thistle resulted in their equaliser. A neat one-two in the middle of the park allowed Osman to release Amoo down the line. Hendrie, having been unjustly booked moments earlier, gave Amoo a little more respect than he deserved and the cross was delivered. Lawless deceived Scott Boyd at the front post with a neat flick and then buried the ball past MacDonald.

More thumping the ball up the park allowed for shots from Boyd and Coulibaly, but Thistle keeper Scully was having a good game and kept both shots out. Meanwhile Chris Erskine was unlucky not to beat MacDonald when his shot from outside the box went just wide.

After a half-time of sampling new pies (not for this reporter), applauding half-time entertainment and laughing at perhaps the worst crossbar challenge attempt, the 4000-odd fans were ready for more. Thistle started the brighter again and Booth brought out another save from MacDonald after a surging run down the Frank Beattie Stand touchline. However, the game then resorted to even more long balls and head tennis. Hardly inspiring stuff for the support who had travelled up from the North of England.

Fifteen minutes of hoofball followed before McKenzie was brought down near the edge of the box. After having hit the wall with his last free-kick, Boyd allowed Coulibaly a shot at goal. His low drive brought out another great save from Scully. Thistle were perhaps getting desperate for the win and Lawless resorted to diving to try and win a penalty. Tyson, on for the ineffective Frizzell, was unimpressed by Lawless’ performance but Dallas gave neither the penalty, nor the booking for simulation.

Killie took the lead again on the 65th minute. A poor throw-in and pass from Hawkshaw and Smith resulted in Hawkshaw hoofing the ball into the Thistle box. However, somehow Coulibaly got up inbetween Gordon and Devine to glance the ball into the net, giving Scully no chance this time. Six goals for Coulibaly this season, still a few away from Kris Boyd’s all-time record, but Killie fans will afford him the time to get there. Hoof balls equals goals for Killie.

The game was pretty scrappy for the remainder of the time, but Tyson and Coulibaly having shots at goal for Killie and Azeez trying his luck for Thistle. Scott Boyd then made another big error on the 82nd minute. A needless foul on the far left allowed Erskine an opportunity to send the ball into the box. The cross evaded everyone and after bouncing off the post, the Thistle centre-back Lindsay fired home after having walked away from static Scott Boyd. Ross County fans shaking with laughter.

Killie, and in particular, McKenzie, then decided that maybe running with the ball at feet was an idea. However, McKenzie was always either fouled when a pass was on, or left to run until he realised that there was no pass on. Two of those fouls resulted in two yellows for Thistle Captain Osman. Still, Thistle were going for the winner, even with ten men, and were desperately unlucky not to score in injury time when Azeez strolled past Burn and Boyd and tried to chip MacDonald. However, his chip was just too low and the onrushing MacDonald took it comfortably.

It finished 2-2 and Thistle moved off the bottom of the league, but only for 24-hours as Killie’s next opposition, Celtic, could only manage a 2-2 draw with the Caley Jags. A tough game awaits Killie, especially if the defence remains as porous. However, Celtic’s defence looks just as shaky and we could be in for another paradise in ‘paradise’.

 

Comments

Lee Clark: "The key thing for us is we've got to start keeping some clean sheets because we're certainly a threat at the other end. It's frustrating. We need to stop conceding these silly goals and go on to win games. We certainly are (making progress), there's lots of positives to take. We're creating lots of opportunities, we have players in the attacking areas on form, we're proving very difficult for teams to beat."

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All images © Ross Mackenzie and should not be reproduced without his permission

 


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