Season Diary 2020-21
Alex Gets Two Year Deal
Meanwhile Asst Manager, Massimo Donati leaves Killie by mutual consent with Andy Millen becoming the next assistant manager.
Club release first pic's (away top left) of the 2020-21 new kit made by Hummel, with Browings as the sponsor.
Killie then announce that first team trio Rory McKenzie, Greg Kiltie and Ross Millen have agreed new contracts. Chris Burke, & Ally Taylor then sign one year deals with goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald opting to turn down a new contract. This all happening after SOD's confirmed departure.
Killie Sport New Hummel Kit Away to the Arabs.
Killie then add 4 more to the squad with Mitch Pinnock, Bournemouth centre-back Zeno Rossi, Brandon Haunstrup ( from Portsmouth) and Danny Whitehall (a six month contract). On the playing field, Kille have 3 bounce games in July; Well 2-3 Killie, (Kabamba,Trialist, Kiltie), Killie1-2 Livi. (McKenzie) & Arabs 1-1 Killie (Kiltie). Also in July, Killie accept a small fee for Dom Thomas from the Pars.
Killie in the last week of July sign two keeper in three days: Jake Eastwood arriving on a six-month loan from Sheffield United, and ex-Dons keeper Danny Rodgers to a one year deal. On July 31st Aaron Tshibola does a Boydie and rejoins Killie for a third spell, on a one year deal.
Kabamba Earns Killie A Penalty Against Celtic
Killie go down 1-2 to Hibs on opening day, after falling behind in 6 min's to debut keeper Eastwood's "howler! Burke's subline freekick brings Killie back into it, but Boyle's double clinches the 3 points for Hibs. Prior to the upcoming Celtic match Killie sign former Hearts centre-back Clevid Dikamona to a one-year deal. Killie go on and pick a valuable point in a 1-1 home draw with Celtic, after man of the match Kabamba was fouled. Burke then makes 3 goals in 3 games as Killie draw 2-2 in Dingwall, having scored from the spot against Celtic. Alan Power was also on the scoresheet against the Staggies.
Killie then self-destruct in a 1-2 home loss to the Perth Saints. Millen is sent off needlessly after Aaaron T opened the scoring for Killie. Findlay's pass back in the 94th min gifts the winner. Very Painful! Killie then go through the motions in a 0-2 loss at Ibrox, losing Power to an injury.
Killie finish up Aug picking up an impressive 4-0 win against the Arabs at Rugby Park. Dyer plays two up top for the first time with Kabamba (2) and Brophy (1) Right) getting on the scoresheet. Super-sub Rory scores a sublime 4th team goal for Killie also. Prior to the Arabs match Killie announce that they had signed (for a 3rd time) Youssouf Mulumbu on a short term 5 month deal. He had been an unattached free agent prior. Making way for Youssouf was Mohammed El Makrini.
Killie finish Aug in 8th place with 5 points from 6 matches.
Kabamba Nets the Winner Vs the Accies
Killie open Sept away to the Dons and lose 0-1 The match is played in front of 300 fans, as the govt had allowed this match to be used for fan testing purposes. There had been no Killie players selected for Steve Clarke's Scotland squad, with Alex Dyer stepping down as his National Team assistant, leading up to the Dons match.
Killie then pick up their 2nd consecutive home win 2-1 over the Accies. After Kiltie opens the scoring the Wolf then see's Red, before Nicke nets his 3rd (above) as Killie move up to 7th.
To close-out Sept, Killie make it 3 wins out of 4, as Nicke's 4th goal of the season was enough to see off the Buddies 0-1 in Paisley.
Killie finish Sept in 5th place with 11 points from 9 matches.
Greg Celebrates his Livi Goal
killie were set to host Murderwell on 2-10-20, however after 3 positive Covid-19 tests (and then another 3 positive tests) the match is postponed. Killie may now be subject to an investigation from the SPFL and may face sanctions. (Said Neil Doncaster - HERE ). Killie forfeit their Betfred League Cup opener to the Bairns 0-3, and get the same 0-3 result at home to the Pars, while fielding only 6 first team squad members.
On Oct 17th Killie get most of their squad back and trounce Livi 1-3, after falling behind (Tishbola, Burke (Pen) & Kiltie). It is then confirmed that the SPFL has announced disciplinary proceedings have been commenced against Kilmarnock FC - More
To close out October Nisbet slots in his eighth goal of the season on 27 minutes from the penalty spot after Doidge had been "clipped" by Clevid Dikamona. The call on the Killie defender was very harsh. Killie had NO shots on target, compared to the Hibee's 2 (inc their penalty), as they went down 0-1.
Also of note in October was Innes Cameron going out on loan to A*r Utd, where he scored on his debut for "them" to secure a point at Inverness.
Killie finish October in 5th place with 14 points from 11 matches.
The Wolf Gets His Second Goal in Two Games (Against the Staggies).
Killie lose 0-1 Rangers and for the second week in a row, the conceded goal (Millen handball) is a penalty, while containing the unbeaten league leaders to only 2 shots on goal. Dyer tells the press "We should them way too much respect in the first half". Killie then travel to Perth and fall 0-1 (for a third straight game) to the Saints on a foggy night. Dyer says "we were flat" !
As Steve Clarke's Scotland troops were qualifying for the 2021 Euro's, Killie returned to Betfred League Cup action, and pick two 2-0 wins away to Clyde (Whitehall 2) & Dumbarton at home (Brophy & Pinnock). Aaron McGowan also returns to the team and plays well.
Killie close-out Nov with a fine 3-1 home win over the Staggies. After Findlay seeing red in the 8th min, Brophy put Killie in front before going in even at the break. Eamonn is then sacraficed for Rossi at the half. Nicke nets a penalty, before super-sub Burke scored a worldie! Ensuring the win was a brilliant Danny Rodgers save (4-5 min's from time) with the score at 2-1.
Killie finish November in 6th place with 17 points from 14 matches.
Kiltie Nets the Opener at Fir Park in Dec's Only Win!
Killie open Dec away to the Accies, and fall 0-1. The game was marred by controversy with the Accies getting a penalty for a hand-ball, where Killie were denied a similar call for the same infringement. Dikamona also recieved a Red (in the 29th min), so a horrendous day for Ayrshire's finest.
Killie go on to lose their next 4 matches in a horror December.... Celtic (A) 0-2, Dons (h) 0-2, Arabs (a) 0-2, and Livi 1-2 (H) conceding in injury time... truely painful. Added to all this was the SPFL's "award" of 3 pts to Motherwell for the October Covid-19 "forfeit". Killie subsequemtly appealed this decision.
Here are the BBC Killie headlines for the month....
To close out 2020, Killie visit Fir Park, where the Well had only picked up 2 points themselves out of their last 8 matches. Dyer benches Kabamba, & Brophy, and starts Pinnock & Whitehall for the first time. Killie go on and win 2-0 (Kiltie & Whithall (Pen)) to end a painful month.
Killie finish December in 8th place with 20 points from 20 matches.
Rodgers Last Min "Howler" Costs Killie 2 Points Vs the Buddies!
Killie start 2021 by hosting the Buddies and tied 1-1, with a horror error from Rodgers in injury time denying Killie all 3 points. Whitheall is rewarded with an extended deal through May after opening the scoring. Eamonn Brophy then signs a pre-contract with St Mirren and is subsequently loaned to them for the remainder of the season. Youssouf Mulumbu & Danny Whitehall, extends their stays thru May, while Jake Eastwood's loan (from Sheff Utd) was ended. Killie also sign Diaguely Dabo.
The 28-year-old central midfielder has joined on a deal until the end of the season, and goes on to make his debut as a second half sub in the 2-0 home win over the Accies where Kiltie scored both goals.
Prior to the Hibs (A) match Killie win their appeal against the 3-0 Motherwell forfeit. At Easter Rd it finishes Hibs 2-0 Killie.
Innes Cameron goes out on loan to Alloa Ath, and then prior to the Livi (A) match, Killie sign George Oakley till the end of the season
In what was to be Alex Dyer's final 2 matches, Killie suffer two cruel results. Killie concede twice in the final 3-4 min's at Livi, and then even worse go down to St Johnstone 2-3, (Burke, Tshbola) at home, having been 2-0 up at the break.
A Kilmarnock Football Club Statement was to follow, indicating the departure of Manager Alex Dyer (right) by mutual consent following the 3-2 defeat to St Johnstone. Prior to the Saints match, Killie confirm that two members of the playing staff have tested positive for Covid-19 and are self-isolating at home.
Killie finish the month with; Mulumbu, Broadfoot, Findlay, & Kiltie all side-lined and with no manager.
Killie finish January in 9th place with 24 points from 25 matches.
Tommy Wright Is Named New Killie Boss
Killie start the month looking for a new manager, and have two poor showings, under James Fowler's stewardship, losing 0-2 to the Buddies, and 0-4 at home to Celtic. Killie are now 10th when they appoint Tommy Wright on a two and a half deal to become the club's latest manager.
Wright's first signing is Kyle Lafferty thru the end of the season.
Killie then score their first goal in 571 minutes to end an eight-game losing streak in a more than deserved Scottish Premiership point, in a 1-1 home draw against Dundee United, to close-out a dismal February.
Zach Medley (above right) was Killie's scorer.
Killie finish February in 11th place with 25 points from 31 matches.
Pinnock & Co Celebrate his Motherwell (H) Goal
Wright's fifth game in charge results in his 4th one goal loss, in Dingwall. Two softs goals just after half-time do Killie in, and despite a late surge Killie failed to claw their way back, and went down 3-2. Also Killie had Ross Millen sent off in the final minute as their winless run extends to 10 league games as they dropped to the foot of the Premiership, for the first time that season. Greg Kiltie looks also to be done with a arm/shoulder injury.
Killie's ownly bright spot was Kyle Lafferty who netted twice (the second one from the spot). Killie's form, of 1 point out of 30, is now the worst in Europe, across all the UEFA Nations. KillieFC.Com's message boards band-width goes though the roof, as Ayrshire's Finest are/were getting well deserved pelters from "the Faithful".
Killie come out of the 2 week International break and thump Motherwell 4-1 at home, with Lafferty Rory, Pinnock & Burke all scoring.
Killie finish March in 11th place with 28 points from 33 matches.
Wright & Hughes In April Stalemate at Rugby Park
Killie open April at Stenhousemuir in the Cup, and win 4-0, thanks to a Lafferty Hat-Trick, and a first goal for George Oakley (remember him?). Killie will now host Montrose in the next round, with the Buddies potentially (also at home) on the horizon in the quarters.
The post-split fixtures were kind to Killie getting 3 games at home (meanining the Arabs had to visit Rugby Park 3 times!).
First up were the Staggies at home, and despite twice taking the lead, Killie could not (nor did they deserve) to pick-up the full 3 points, with the game ending at 2-2 (Buke & Pinnock). Killie then book their place in the Scottish Cup Quarter's fine a 3-1 win over Montrose. It was Lafferty, Pinnock & Kiltie on target, in a game that kicked-off at 11:45am (owing to the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh).
Killie's final Premiership match for April was a 3-0 canter over the Arabs at Ruggers, with that man Lafferty netting a "hat-trick" inside a 12 min period in the first half. The post Arabs table can be seen right.
To close out April Killie suffered a cruel Scootish Cup exit at the Quarter Final Stage, at home to the Buddies on penatlies (4-5) after a 3-3 draw. Killie took a half time lead with goals from Ibsen-Rossi & Killtie, after a Doyle "howler" gifted the Paisley men the lead. Shaughnessy leveled the tie at 2-2 with 7 min's to go, with Broadfoot and Co left wanting on their coner kick marking. Into extra time and Millen converts a "dodgy" penalty to give Killie the advantage again. Sub, Kabamba gets hurt early in the extra-time period leaving Killie to try to hang on with 10 men. The Buddies in the 119th min are then awarded a "make-up" call (for our dodgy pen), with an even "dodgier" penalty of their own. The Buddies covert, and score with all 5 of their penalties (with Rory missing for Killie) and Killie were out! Ten goal man Lafferty saddy missed the tie through injury, although Oakley had a decent game in his absence.
Killie finish April in 10th place with 32 points from 35 matches.
Kyle Lafferty April 2021 Premiership Player of the Month
Alan Power Sheds a Tear as Killie Go Down!
Killie's slender cushion over the Staggies is gone after a gutless 0-2 loss at Motherwell to open May. Both the Accies and Staggies win, as Rodgers replaces the dropped Doyle in the Killie goal.
Killie pick up 4 points in the their final 2 league matches, a 3-3 draw at home to the Buddies, and a 2-0 (a Pinnock double) win at the relegated Accies. The Staggies win their final 2 (final 3 actually) games which confined Killie into the dreaded Play-Offs, where they faced Dundee. Doyle returned for Rodgers at Hamilton as the Killie Keeper "Yo-Yo" continued.
Half-Time Scores on the Final Day Had Killie Staying Up in 10th!
The Buddies match was very cruel as Rodgers dives out of the way on the Saints game tying goal, after Kiltie had scored with a wonder strike. (Lafferty also netted a fine brace against the Buddies).
On the line in the Play-Off's was Killie's 28 year stay in the Top Flight of Scottish Football.
Sadly, Killie lost both leg's to Dundee, 1-2 (2-4 on aggregate) and were relegated to the Championship for Season 2021-22. Mulumbu bailed after the Accies match, and missed getting to see the 500 fans in attendance for the Season Finale.
Tommy Wright said in Dee Post-Match Interview: "Too many players haven't turned up and not just in the play-off games – it's all season. That's 24 defeats this season in 40 games if you count this as two league games in. That says a lot about the squad. We've been gifting goals away. The first day I arrived I told them if they do the basics, defend well and take responsibility you can stay in the league. But we haven't done that. They haven't done it all season. There's a rebuild job now. I think there's only four or five signed players now. One or two others may have been getting contracts even if we went down. I might have to revisit that. I just feel sorry for the fans. I've let them down and ultimately the players have let themselves and let the club down. But I'll take my responsibility myself as well. I'm not ducking anything. I thought I could get us out of it, but unfortunately I didn't.” - More
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