SPFL Match 16 - November 28th 2015 - Rugby Park
SPFL Match 16 - November 28th 2015 - Rugby Park
No. of Shots
Shots on Target
Doolan (8, 14),
Jamie MacDonald, Steven Smith, Mark Connolly , Scott Robinson, Kallum Higginbotham (Dale Carrick 68), Mark O'Hara, Tope Obadeyi (Kris Boyd 54), Kevin McHattie (Craig Slater 54), Greg Kiltie , Conrad Balatoni, Josh Magennis.
Subs Not Used: Mark Ridgers, Jamie Hamill, Ross Barbour, Stuart Findlay.
David Shaw @ Rugby Park
Killie welcomed Thistle to Rugby Park for a fun-filled festive alternative to trailing around the town’s Christmas-pound shops. Faced with some torrential rain and an excruciatingly cold gale-force wind, 3,860 hardy souls settled into their ice-bucket seats in what promised to be a spectacle even scarier than ‘Kingsley’ – Thistle’s terrifying new mascot!
But what this fixture often lacked in charisma or sporting grace; passion and sheer will-to-win ensured that fans from both camps turned up in expectation, despite the utterly appalling conditions. Killie were without Rory McKenzie after he injured a hamstring against Celtic, so Obadeyi deputised. Robinson kept his place in midfield at the expense of Slater. Thistle lined up with ex-Killie youngster, Robbie Muirhead, up front alongside Kris Doolan. Ex-Ayr nutter, Ryan Stevenson, was on the bench.
Magennis had the first real effort on goal after bringing a long ball down beautifully in the Thistle penalty box. Alas, he shot tamely into the arms of Scully and the score remained level after 5 minutes. Two minutes later though and Killie were suddenly behind. Doolan was played through on goal and slid the ball nicely past McDonald as the Killie defenders claimed in vain for offside. And it was to get even worse for the home faithful only 8 minutes later as a free kick on the left was headed home by Doolan after McDonald hesitated in coming for the ball. The signs were already looking ominous for Killie but to their credit they came back into the match with Kiltie then Magennis going close.
Eventually, Killie got a goal back after good work on the right from Balatoni created a half chance for Magennis to sweep home his eighth of the season. Then, the weather turned really nasty and as Killie fans fled the bottom half of the East Stand in order to find shelter further up, Killie players, to a man, almost immediately began to wilt under the storm. Thistle, however, were up for the fight and their fullbacks began to roam forward unopposed.
The second half began with Thistle continuing to dominate and they went further ahead when Muirhead was played in by the impressive Dumbuya. Muirhead’s cutback eluded Killie’s entire defence and Gary Fraser scored easily. Locke immediately threw on Boyd and Slater for Obadeyi and McHattie with Smith going to left back. Ten minutes later, Muirhead cut in from the right, and as almost the entire East Stand shouted for Smith to close him down, he didn’t – 25 yard screamer into the top corner of the net! Doolan then missed a complete sitter from only 5 yards for his hat-trick as Killie completely collapsed.
Connolly did get a goal back after 72 minutes when Sully flapped at his looping header but Thistle deservedly restored their 3 goal cushion when O’Hara was skinned twice before Muirhead hooked in the resultant cross for his second of the match. There were to be no more goals as Thistle played out the match with ease. In all honesty, this was an utter trouncing from a team that cost less money to build than a Ford Focus.
When we do these reports for the website, we try and add in a little bias now and then. After all, it’s only Killie fans that really read them. Sometimes, the ref gets it in the neck; sometimes dirty players are to blame. Sometimes, it’s even just plain bad luck. This wasn’t the case today, and there can be no excuses for the appalling performance that 3000 plus loyal Killie supporters had to endure on a day that weather-wise wasn’t fit for Navy Seals let alone fed up football supporters.
This reporter has now completed four reports and suffered four losses – 3 of them were diabolical. Gary Locke says he was embarrassed by the performance today. Maybe, like me, he has completely run out of excuses...
Gary Locke: "I am very angry, They got a bit of credit last week about how they went about the game and then you've got to take that on to this week. From minute one to minute 90 we were all over the place at times. It was virtually the same team [that played at Celtic Park], we worked on the same things. Credit to Partick, they created good opportunities but we simply never did our job. Too many players were out there and didn't do what was required. We need to make sure we respond because that performance was embarrassing at times."
All images © Sandy Ferguson and should not be reproduced without his permission
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