05-05-1990 Cowdenbeath (H) Div 2

Killie Promoted on the Final Day

Kilmarnock 2 Cowdenbeath 1

(Scottish Second Division, Match 39, Rugby Park, May 5th 1990)

This was the final match of the 1989-90 season. Killie went into this match needing a point to secure their promotion.....

After Paul Flexney had headed Killie in front at the half, Beath's Malone countered in the 77th minute.

In the 81st minute, with 9 mins left in the season Killie were awarded a promotion clinching penalty kick opportunity.

Killie Captain Davie MacKinnon recalls... My family and friends had supported me tremendously throughout the season and we decided we should mark the importance of the game by booking into a Kilmarnock hotel on the morning of the game. As a group, we walked the short distance to the ground to savour the building atmosphere the supporters were providing. The game was not the best of spectacles; the early goal should have settled us, but after missing some easy chances, we seemed to just sit back and hope that Cowdenbeath would allow the game to peter out without putting up much of a fight. When they scored I thought we were about to blow it, but then came the penalty! Willie Watters had missed one just after the turn of the year and it was Jim McSherry who nominated me to take the next one. The next one never came, and for weeks I had a recurring dream that we would get one in the final game and that promotion would depend upon it. I had only taken about four in my career, mainly in penalty shootouts and luckily I had never missed one.

This was different though and as I walked the long distance to place the ball on the spot, the importance of the kick dominated. I took a long walk back, and focused on getting my head over the ball and blasting it as hard as I could. 

This wasn't a time to place it and I reckoned that if I didn't have a clue which part of the goal the ball would hit, Willie Lamont, in the Cowdenbeath goal wouldn't either.

The elation when the ball missed Willie's head by a couple of inches and crashed into the back of the net was unbelievable. In all honesty, it is the best feeling of my football career.

The post match celebrations were fantastic. After we eventually left Rugby Park, we had a meal and visited one or two local hostelries where the fans were tremendous. We met up with Robert Reilly  and being the shy, retiring figure that he is, he persuaded me to go to a disco with him. Once there, he promptly commandeered the microphone from the DJ and announced that the Kilmarnock captain would sing 'Paper Roses' to them!

Kilmarnock: Geddes, Montgomerie, Spence, MacKinnon, Flexney, Burns, Porteous, Tait, Watters, Sludden & Reilly

Subs: Wylde & Cody

Attendance: 8,526



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