Well 1-2 Killie
SPL Match 38, Fir Park, May 23rd, 2009
SPL Match 38, Fir Park, May 23rd, 2009
Motherwell (0) 1 Kilmarnock (1) 2
SPL Match 38, Fir Park, May 23rd, 2009.
Killie: Cameron Bell, David Lilley, (61 mins for O'Leary), Simon Ford, Mehdi Taouil, Danny Invincibile, Grant Murray (12 mins for Skelton), David Fernandez. Tim Clancy, Jamie Hamill, Iain Flannigan, Manuel Pascali (21 mins for Fowler),
Subs Not Used: Alan Combe, Willie Gibson, Conor Sammon, Thomas Nolan
Well Goals: McLean 80 mins
Killie Goals: Invincibile 27 mins. Taouil 90+2 mins.
Under-strength Kilmarnock finished the season with a flourish with a fine win secured by a fine Mehdi Taouil goal.
Killie completed a fine "double" over Motherwell at Fir Park en route to taking 10 out of a possible 12 points from the Steelmen. Killie probably won't be shedding too many tears over bogey team Inverness's relegation either as they dropped into Division 1, having picked up 3 SPL wins over Killie.
Killie boss Jim Jefferies made seven changes, left out in-form striker Kevin Kyle and lost three players to head knocks during the game.
Victory ensured that Kilmarnock finish eighth, one place below Motherwell.
Kilmarnock brought in Iain Flannigan and left out several players (Hay, Wright, Kyle, Combe)who would be at risk of picking up a suspension for next season.
Kevin Kyle was among those dropping out after scoring seven goals in four games to keep Killie in the SPL despite playing through injury.
And Killie had to make another change after just 12 minutes when Grant Murray (left) went off with a head knock, and was replaced with Gavin Skelton, after clashing with team-mate Manuel Pascali.
Sheridan should have tested young Killie goalkeeper Cameron Bell in the 18th minute but shot well over from 16 yards after being set up by David Clarkson.
Pascali followed Murray into the dressing-room after 20 minutes, with James Fowler coming on.
But the visitors took the lead seven minutes later on the counter attack as Taouil fed the unmarked Danny Invincibile to power home from 12 yards.
The only time Motherwell threatened an equaliser before the break was when Clarkson headed Hammell's near-post corner across the face of goal.
It was Motherwell's turn to lose a player to injury, on-loan Maros Klimpl being replaced with Bob Malcolm.
Well came close to an equaliser when defender Brian McLean sent a header against the crossbar with a header.
Killie's defence was further disrupted when yet another head knock forced David Lilley to be replaced with Ryan O'Leary.
Sheridan squandered a chance, firing wide as Well applied more pressure, and was denied by a good save at this feet by goalkeeper Bell.
But the on-loan striker did find the net 10 minutes from the end after good work from Clarkson.
Killie full-back Tim Clancy tripped over the ball to give possession to David Clarkson who cut it back for Brian McLean to score.
The game looked set to finish 1-1 until an inspired finish from Killie's two mavericks settled the issue.
In the dying seconds Spaniard David Fernandez's genius backflick took out three Well defenders and Mehdi Taouil produced a couple of stepovers before blasting in the winner from a tight angle.
It was vintage stuff and a beautiful way to end a season in front of the overjoyed Killie fans who didn't let jobsworth coppers or stewards ruin their day.
Free of relegation torture, some were dressed in beach shorts and Hawaii shirts and chucked rubber rings, inflatable palm trees and a blow-up crocodile among themselves.
Great fun - unless you wear a luminous jacket and have authority.
Hell mend anyone having fun at football. Stewards and police promptly confiscated the items.
When Scottish football is begging people to go to games they could do without them being told they can't enjoy their day out with a bit of harmless fun.
Mercifully, the enforcers of law and order couldn't get on to the park to stop Fernandez and Taouil producing their moments of magic.
"People said we did not have the bottle or the character or the type of player to get us through it if we got dragged into the relegation battle, Well, we have shut a few people up. We finished with three wins and that does not happen often in the Premier League. We have been better than our finishing position in the league this season."
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