Killie 2-1 Inverness
SPFL Match 23 - January 16th 2016 - Rugby Park
Killie 2-1 Inverness
SPFL Match 23 - January 16th 2016 - Rugby Park
SPFL Match 23 - January 16th 2016 - Rugby Park
SPFL Match 23 - January 16th 2016 - Rugby Park
No. of Shots
Shots on Target
Jamie MacDonald, David Syme, Conrad Balatoni, Stuart Findlay, Lee Ashcroft, Craig Slater, Jamie Hamill, Adam Frizzell (Tope Obadeyi 78), Greg Kiltie, Kalum Higginbotham (Scott Robinson 88), Dale Carrick.
Subs Not Used: Conor Brennan, Aaron Splaine, Dean Hawkshaw, Kris Boyd.
David Shaw @ Rugby Park
ICT made the long trip down to Ayrshire to find that the weather was surprisingly worse than back home in the Highlands – in the land of peat bogs, Balamory and knocked-off Tommy Scott DVDs.
Eighty eight brave souls filled a cubicle in the West Stand to support their Highland heroes, including Ross Draper from WWE wrestling and some other dudes with weird names – Miles Storey, Wedderburn, Tansey, and Vigurs - and not forgetting Mbuyi-Mutombo! You can just imagine the eloquent John ‘Yogi’ Hughes reading out the team sheet before kick off!
Killie, unbeaten in their last two outings, lined up without the suspended Magennis, Smith and McHattie - Carrick, Hamill and Findlay taking their places accordingly. Refereeing, if you could call it that, was attempted by Don Robertson.
Light snow had fallen constantly in Ayrshire all morning but the game went ahead with no real problems for the ref to be concerned with. However, the snow would get heavier as the first half wore on, resulting in the lines being cleared. Killie had started the brighter team with Frizzell, Carrick, Kiltie and Slater buzzing around the middle of the park like flies around Somerset Park, and with nine minutes gone the early Killie pressure paid dividends as Kiltie slid the ball home after Frizzell’s shot was saved. Killie kept up the pressure with Hamill dominating the game from his defensive midfield slot, although he was lucky not to be booked for one or two heavy challenges.
Likewise, man mountain Draper was throwing his weight around to the disgust of the home support and to the detriment of Kiltie and Carrick, who were both hacked to the ground. Then, as referee Robertson began to lose control of the game, the Killie defence switched off and an ICT corner wasn’t cleared properly, resulting in a harmless low cross being swiped home by Draper for the equaliser. The interval gave the players a chance to warm up and the famous Killie tractor was able to clear snow from the penalty boxes.
Killie began the second half on the front foot, with driving runs by Carrick and Kiltie creating panic in the Inverness defence. And it would be from one of those runs down the right that Craig Slater met a cross and somehow hooked in an acrobatic volley via the underside of the bar. It was Slater’s second goal in as many games and was worthy of winning any football match.
Again, the lines needed to be cleared of snow midway through the second half, and it would be at this point that ICT began to take charge of the match. The aforementioned Mbuyi-Mutombo had replaced Polworth just after the hour and he would be at the heart of everything that the Highlanders began throwing at the home team. Raven had a couple of efforts go close and MacDonald had to punch clear corner after corner as Killie held on.
Tope Obdeyi replaced Adam Frizzell with 15 minutes left and should really have made the game safe for Killie. But after beating three defenders in the box, he duly tried to beat them again instead of shooting past Williams. Finally, Scott Robinson replaced the tiring Higginbotham as Gary Locke battened down the hatches for the last few moments of normal time.
Seven minutes of injury time were played out, mainly in Killie’s penalty area, before the ref finally blew for full time. Killie had bagged three precious points and were now unbeaten in three matches. Even more importantly, this reporter could now report his first victory. The monkey was finally off my back and was lying face down in the snow.
Best for Killie were Slater, Hamill, Kiltie and Carrick. Best for ICT were the 88 souls who had to travel all that way home – bless their tartan socks!
Gary Locke: "If the fans see the endeavour of the players, they'll back you, I've always said that. You could see that here. Too many times we have let ourselves down here and we've had criticism. But if the players keep putting that type of effort in, the fans will get behind them. You have to apply yourself week-in, week-out. We needed to make progress. We were well aware that we needed a half-decent start to 2016, but we've a long way to go. It helps you can get back-to-back wins and I hope that breeds a bit of confidence to kick on."
All images © Sandy Ferguson and should not be reproduced without his permission
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