SPL, 9th Place 37 Points
SPL, 9th Place 37 Points
Killie's new 99 top is introduced, with JJB as sponsor.Kille complete the signing of Michael Jeffrey, a forward on a free transfer from Fortuna Sittard in Holland. Killie Draw in the UEFA Cup qualifying round KR Reykjavik of Iceland.
Killie complete their Pre-season warm-up with a tour of Germany, and have wins over E Fife & Dumbarton, coupled with a loss at St Mirren to complete their new campaign preparation. Ally McCoist signs up for one more season. Frederic Dindeleux a left sided full back is signed on a "free" from Lille in France. Killie go into their SPL opener against Rangers at Ibrox, with Marshall (out 6-8 weeks), Durrant (out 2-3 weeks), Henry, & Baker all out through injury. Killie lose 2-1, and put up a very creditable showing. Also neither Paul Wright or Ally McCoist dress for the game. ( Goto Rugby Park "A Proud Century" HERE).
Killie host Aberdeen, as the first team to play on the newly laid Rugby Park playing surface, Killie win 2-0 thanks to 21 year old Garry Hay's double strike, in his Rugby Park debut! Killie the then put up a very poor performance in the UEFA Cup qualifying round against KR Reykjavik losing 1-0 in Iceland, with Killie's man of the match being stand-in goalie Colin Meldrum. Killie then lose 2-0 at St Johnstone, with a slight improvement in form. McCoist is again missing ! It becomes known that he has a clause in his contract, that part of his job is to promote Kilmarnock F C away from the actual games. Killie ask the SFA to compensate them for the loss of Ian Durrant for the 1st 4 competitive matches of the season, as he was hurt representing Killie, while playing for Scotland. Killie lose 1-0 at home to Motherwell, which was by no means the perfect "tune-up" for the KR Reykjavik UEFA Cup 2nd leg ! (Goto Killie in Europe HERE) Thursday the 26th arrives and the match represents the 100 year anniversary of Rugby Park and Killie play against 10 men for about 50 mins, before a last min Paul Wright penalty, puts the tie into extra time! David Bagan (above) curls a beauty into the top corner, 2 mins into extra time and Killie win the tie. A glamour tie for Killie next against Germans ...Kaiserslautern. Killie finish the month still short of goals in a 0-0 draw at Dundee Utd, with perhaps lady luck starting to smile on them a little !! Killie were 9th in the SPL with 4 points from 5 matches.
Killie host Celtic on Sept 11th and lose 1-0 on an offside Burchill goal. In Europe Killie crash out 3-0 to Kaiserslautern, away and 2-0 at home. League play continues to be inconsistent with a 3-0 wins at Hibs followed by a disappointing home 0-2 loss to Dundee. Christophe Cocard a 31 year old former French internationalist is signed, but breaks his nose in his first training session !! John Henry is sold to Falkirk and he scores 2 goals for them on his debut !! Killie are 7th in the SPL with 7 points from 8 matches.
Cocard A Bright Spot for Killie
October's form seems to see Killie improving with a home win in the League Cup over Hibs, which saw Coisty get a pair and Gus finishing up in the nets. Then Killie get 3 comeback draws in the SPL; Killie draw with Rangers (the first team to take a point off them all season) 1-1 with Jeffrey netting for Killie. Ally McCoist breaks his leg during the match and is " done " till the new year. Our other "Super Ally" pops up to score in the 86 min to get Killie a draw 2-2 at Aberdeen. Cocard scored his first goal for the club also ! Watt has 2 good outings in goal for Killie also, Killie's 3rd draw in a row sees Cocard score in injury time at Hearts to help Killie get a 2-2 draw !! Killie finish the month with a very disappointing 5-1 loss at Parkhead, after Killie led 1-0 at the break. Shortly after Viduka tied the game, Martin Baker was sent off , and Viduka goes on to get a "hat trick" within 5 mins!
Killie are 9th in the SPL with 10 points from 12 matches.
Another poor start to the month with a 2-0 loss at home to Hibs, with Killie not taking advantage of their possession, they give up 2 goals in the last 15 mins. Ian Durrant is named to the Scotland squad to play in the Euro 2000 qualifier Vs England. Killie's fiscal year 1998-99 closes with an announced profit of 280,00 pounds. Then its the "tale of two draws" the first against Dundee Utd, where Killie dominate the game, take the lead after Cocard converts Killie's 2nd pen (Durrant missed an earlier one), then give up a goal and 2 points on United's only shot on goal all day! Then against Hearts Killie get a last min equalizer from Reilly to cap a comeback from a 2 goal half-time deficit !!
Dec starts with 3 postponed matches Hearts (SLC), Dundee & Motherwell in the SPL. Two more one goal losses follow 1-0 at Ibrox, and a 2-1 one home loss to then 3rd bottom St Johnstone. Paul Wright scores from open play for the first time in about a year !! On loan striker Andy Smith gets in only 2 games during his 30 day trial, and looked OK.... his future as of mid-Dec looks to be hanging in the balance. Smith then scores the opening goal for Killie at Easter Rd, (above) then Killie take a 2-0 lead after he is fouled, and Cocard converts from the spot. Killie do however give up a 93rd min Hibs equalizer, after Killie were denied a clear penalty to go 3 up ! Aberdeen win to leave Killie one point off of the bottom of the SPL. Williamson now states Smith is wanted on a permanent basis. Killie finish the decade a proud but under-achieving club. What will 2000 bring ???
Tosh McKinley is signed up, Andy Smith's loan is extended, and later bought for around 150,000 pounds. Killie get only 2 SPL draws in Jan, 1-1 at home to Celtic, where Killie were very unlucky only to get a draw. Reilly scored with a deflected shot. Then a drab 0-0 draw at Dundee, where a Martin Baker header was cleared "off the line"..... but all reports are it was in !! Killie finish Jan in 9th place with 15 points from 20 games, and are only 2 points clear of bottom club Aberdeen.
Killie start the month with "Cups" on their mind....... first of all booking a League Cup Semi-Final place Vs Celtic after a 1-0 win over Hearts, with Jeffrey again scoring with a deflected shot. This was Killie's first win since they beat Hibs in the same competition 13 matches prior !!! During that 12 SPL match span, Killie had 0 wins and 8 DRAWS !! Killie then turned their attention to the Scottish Cup with a home 0-0 draw Vs Alloa, losing the replay 1-0. Motherwell were then outplayed but managed a 2-0 win at Rugby Park, after being reduced to 10 men. Killie's only real bright spot of the season..... their League Cup run ended with Cocard being booked twice in a min. at Hampden in a 1-0 loss to Celtic. Kilmarnock then sign West Ham's 26-year-old striker Samassi Abou (left) on loan until the end of the season. Killie finish Feb brightly with 2 good away results a 4-0 win at Motherwell with French boys Cocard and Vareille (sub) netting twice each for Killie, this was followed by a 0-0 draw at Hearts. Killie finish Feb with 19 points from 23 matches, and were 2 points adrift of Aberdeen.
March starts with two 2-2 draws snatched from the draws of victories ! Killie were comfortably ahead of Dundee at home 2-0 , only to concede 2 goals in the last 15 mins. Gordon Marshall makes his debut for the season. The second draw at Dundee Utd was even more cruel with a last min header being deflected past Marshall to give United a share of the points. Durrant had now scored 3 goals in his last 2 games for Killie. Killie finish the month with a 6 match un-beaten run with an away draw at St Johnstone 0-0, and get a 1-0 home win over Hibs with Jerome notching the vital winner. This is Killie's first home SPL win since Aug !!! Killie finish the month with 25 points from 27 matches, and are in 9th place above Aberdeen who have 2 games in hand. It looks like the relegation battle is going to go down to the wire!
Paul Wright ties the Celtic game at 2-2, making only his 5th appearance for the team as Killie go down 4-2 at Parkhead. Killie then face a huge SPL survival test ...and get two 1-0 home wins over Dundee Utd and more importantly the Dons, with Paul Wright getting the winner. It is learned at this point that Falkirk will finish in the top 3 of the Scottish League Division 1, which ensures that there will no relegation from the SPL for this season.
Killie then have 2 away matches at Motherwell and lose 2-0, and pick up their first win at Dens park since 1980, 2-1 was the score with Wright netting twice, one from the penalty spot after debut youngster Fowler is brought down. Killie finish April with a 1-0 home loss to Hearts, after a superb first half performance, they now had 34 points from 33 matches, and were now 7 points clear of bottom placed Aberdeen. Ian Durrant plays for Scotland in Holland and Gary Holt is named to the bench.
With nothing to play for Killie "go through the motions " in a 0-2 loss at home to run away champions Rangers, and then get thumped 1-5 at bottom of the league Aberdeen, with Marshall allowing 2 very soft goals, and Sean Hessey being sent off. Killie regroup to finish up the season on a high note with a 3-2 home win over St Johnstone, after cruising 3-0 with 15 mins to go.
Bobby Williamson tells the media that the fans can expect quite a few personnel changes before the start of the 2000-2001 season. Abou (left) & Dylan Kerr are both released.
Killie finish in 9th place with 37 points from 36 matches.
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