Premiership Match 38 - May 20th 2017 - Rugby Park
No. of Shots
Shots on Target
|Goals||Sammon (10 Pen)||
Boyce (42, 70)
Jamie McDonald, Greg Taylor, Gary Dicker , Kristoffer Ajer, Steven Smith , Iain Wilson (William Graham 83), Adam Frizzell, Jordan Jones (Innes Cameron 64), Sean Longstaff, Greg Kiltie (Rory McKenzie 45), Connor Sammon.
Subs Not Used: Curtis Lyle, Karleigh Osborne, Cal Roberts, Dean Hawkshaw.
James Morrison @ Rugby Park
Saturday’s final game of the season at Rugby Park turned out to be a strange game in a number of ways: It was the first match following the surprise resignation of former Chairman Michael Johnston from the Club Board and as Company Secretary. The attendance seemed to be several hundred more than would have been expected before Friday’s statement from the Club. Killie were awarded what appeared to be a soft penalty. 1997 Cup Final hero Jim McIntyre was the manager of the opposing side and vying with Killie for 7th place in the league. Oh...and two guys with the legendary names of Sneddon and Morrison were on the park – but they were just making a presentation to the departing physio Alex McQueen to mark 15 years excellent service to Kilmarnock!
The visitors started well and their prodigious scorer Liam Boyce forced MacDonald into an early blocking save. However, in the 10th minute some fine link up play between Jones, Smith and the dynamic Frizzell saw Frizzell chip the ball forward to the advancing winger who took on County full back Franks and headed into the penalty area. The defender stuck out his right leg and probably caught Jones who hit the ground looked up and possibly optimistically appealed for a penalty. To the surprise of most of the Killie faithful referee Madden was already pointing to the spot. We then had a few bizarre moments watching what seemed to be argument between The Fish and Greg Kiltie as to who should take the spot kick. Sammon prevailed and place the ball just beyond the right hand of the despairing dive of County ‘keeper McCarey.
Killie in the lead – playing some neat passing football and with the 20th anniversary celebrations to come later that evening. Somehow, we knew that things seemed too good to be true! The whole afternoon would pivot and turn around a crucial few minutes just before half time and then around the 69th minute. As half time approached that man Franks was allowed some space and struck a fierce left foot shot which rebounded from MacDonald’s left hand post to Rotis who flicked the ball back across the goal. At that point the assistant referee in front of the Frank Beattie stand raised his flag as Boyce was almost on the goal line and looked offside. The ball struck the County striker, the flag was lowered and the goal stood despite protests from Dicker, Ajer and Taylor.
Worse was to follow a couple of minutes later when Greg Kiltie went down just outside the centre circle in obvious agony with a problem with his right ankle. All Killie fans will hope the injury is not too serious but it’s a pity the Killie starlet will now miss representing Scotland in an Under 20 tournament in France. The half time break saw fans reps Messrs Sneddon and Morrison presenting Alex McQueen with a “thank you” gift on behalf of supporters for 15 years service to our club; Tommy Adams also presented a cheque for over £4000 (which he’d raised!) to ’97 legends Mark Reilly and Kevin McGowne to go towards the Rett Syndrome Charity.
The second half started with Kiltie being replaced by Rory McKenzie who was returning from a knee injury. Throughout the game there were encouraging signs with a young midfield moving and passing the ball well and the lively Frizzell being involved in almost everything – many fans wondered why he’d not been selected and played more often during the season. The game then tipped County’s way from the 67th to 70th minutes; three times Killie forced excellent saves from the visiting ‘keeper with that man Frizzell being thwarted twice and then McKenzie being denied with a right foot effort following a fine through ball from (yeah) Frizzell. Within moments disaster was to follow - a simple lob of a long ball was sent forward from the County back, somehow the usually dependable Ajer mis-judged it and allowed the ball to flight over him. It fell perfectly for predator Boyce who lobbed it over the on-rushing MacDonald and into the empty net in the 70th minute.
MacDonald then foiled Boyce scoring a hat-trick by punching the ball away as Jamie scrambled across the ground. Disappointingly Killie could not create another clear cut chance and their poor home record continues. However there were encouraging signs with youngsters Taylor, Wilson, Frizzell and also Innes Cameron looking like first team regulars next season. We can also hope that the injury to Greg Kiltie isn’t as bad as first thought and he can take some part in pre-season. An 8th place finish would have been accepted by many fans at the start of the league campaign but I keep thinking that Lee’s Lucky Lotto was not the way to take our club forward and it’s now great to see more home-grown Killie youngsters being given their chance.
Lee McCulloch: We played really well today. Passed the ball, looked dangerous, we just didn't have a cutting edge up front. [on his future] I would say hopefully we will just get a sit down with Billy Bowie. Billy is a really busy man and he has worked wonders with this club. Hopefully in the next few days we will get time and have a proper chat and hopefully come to some agreement for the way forward for the club. I want to speak to Billy and John Kiltie and let's see if we can put a plan together for the future of the club, and that's all I am going to say."
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