Season Diary 2022-23
Season Diary for 2022-23...
Killie's New 2022-23 Kit
Killie go into the close-season with the following players under contract; Sam Walker, Chris Stokes, Euan Murray, Jack Sanders, Ash Taylor, Charlie McArthur, Liam Polworth, Brad Lyons, Blair Alston, Fraser Murray, Oli Shaw, Scott Robinson, Innes Cameron, & Steven Warnock.
During the course of June McInnes recruits Alan Power (Ex-Buddies, 1 year deal), Kerr McInroy (Ex-Celtic 2 year deal), and re-loans Zach Hemming back from Middelsboro, on a season-long deal.
Harvey Gilmour signs a one year professional contract at Killie, while Chris Burke decides to part company with Kilmarnock after five years, to continue his playing career. "I just think sometimes fairytales do end, but it's ended in a good way, I just want to see the club do well".
Prior to the Bairns (A) friendly Killie free Euan Murray to let him join Hartlepool, having just signed Lewis Mayo, on a season long loan from Newco.
Killie beat the Bairns 4-1 (Taylor 2 & Cameron 2), and then head off for training camp sessions in Spain.
Also of note in June was the pending sale of Charlie McArthur to Newcastle and the unveiling of Killie's third strip (right).
Ash Saves A Point For Killie on Flag Day!
Killie end a good week in Spain by beating Charlton Ath 1-0 before returning to Scotland.
Killie start the campaign in the League Cup away to Fraserburgh and win 3-1.(Shaw, Murray & Lafferty). Before the Fraserbourgh match Killie announce the signing of Liam Donnelly to a one year deal, and that James Fowler following a restructure has taken a voluntary redundancy and departed his role of Head of Football operations. Killie also confirm that Charlie McArthur had joined Newcastle United for an undisclosed fee.
Killie then host the Jags in the Scottish League Cup, and draw 1-1 Jags, (with Donnelly scoring on his Killie debut), however Killie went on to lose 5-4 on Pen's.
Some better news was that Killie had added Chris Burke to Killie's backroom staff, and had brought in ex-Doncaster defender Joe Wright (who had been on trial at Hearts).
Killie's next result was in the Scottish League Cup, where it finished Montrose 0-3 Killie. (McInroy (on his Killie debut), Armstrong & Shaw).
Before Killie's "must win" home Stenhousemuir League Cup match, McInnes was agian busy, bringing in "much needed pace" in the form of Jordan Jones (on a season long loan from Wigan Ath) and Ryan Alebiosu (on loan from from Arsenal).
Having just loaned Curtis Lyle out to East Kilbride, Killie then sign Gary Woods, as reports indicate that Zach Hemming may be out for an extended period of time, and that he would return to Middlesboro for treatment.
Killie go on and beat Stenny 4-1 Stenny, (Polworth, Shaw (2) & Armstrong), in the Scottish League Cup, and were drawn away to Hearts in the next round.
It would be a 91st min volley from Ash Taylor that secured a point for Killie at Rugby Park against the Arabs on "Flag Day" to open the 2022-23 Premiership season for Killie, in a match attended by over 8,000 fans.
Also of note in July was that Kyle Connell had gone out on loan to Raith Rovers (thru Dec).
Big Innes Sends Killie Through in the League Cup
August In’s & Out’s
In : The loan signing of Jeriel Dorsett from Reading FC, Deji Sotona on a one year loan deal from OGC Nice, Ben Chrisene on loan from Aston Villa, & Christian Doidge on loan from Hibs.
Out: Lee Hodson went out on loan to Partick
Premiership Form: Killie played 4 Premiership matches in Aug losing the first three Rangers (A) 0-2, Celtic (H) 0-5, & Ross Co (A) 0-1. Obviously no goals and no clean sheets meant no points for Killie.
Most disappointing was the surrendering of a point in Dingwall, conceding a 86th min goal to the 10 man Staggies.
Killie then have their best outing of the season in a come from behind triumph over Motherwell 2-1 at Rugby Park to close out August with Danny Armstrong AND Big Ash getting the killie goals.
Killie move off the bottom of the League and up to 9th with this fine performance & result!
Killie Were One Win Away From Hampden in the League Cup: Even better was to follow on Weds Aug 31st where Killie picked up a 0-1 win at Tynecastle in the League Cup, with Innes Cameron getting his first goal of the season.
Killie are then drawn at home to the Arabs in the QF's.
Boyle Fooling With The Wrong Guy!
September saw only 2 matches for Killie with the passing of the Queen, and Stevie Clarke's Scotland European Nations League fixtures. Killie had no home fixtures.
Killie open Sept at Easter Rd, and fall 0-1. Ash Taylor was red-carded after 11 min's, leaving Killie with an uphill task. A good performance with no goals and no points.
Killie then lose at Livi 0-1 in a pretty dismal performance. Zach Hemming did return in the Killie goal, and didnt cover himself in glory while conceding the games only goal from a corner. Also of note was second Premiership debut for Jordan Jones.
In off the field news Killie did have to issue a club statement to address alleged discriminatory behaviour on the part of Kyle Laffery. Lafferty subsequently apologised for his actions, and had an SFA hearing pending going into October.
On September 30th Killie announces a three and a half year extention to manager Derek McInnes's contract.
Del said: "I've known for a while that Kilmarnock is the place that I wanted to commit my future to, so I'm really pleased that the extension has now been agreed. Thanks to the backing of the board and the supporters, the club has come a long way since we joined forces in January and I’m looking forward to the next stage of our journey. With a bolstered club structure and strengthening recruitment process behind the scenes, there are plenty of reasons for Kilmarnock fans to be excited about the club's long-term future. In the short-term, there’s a lot of football to be played and everyone including the squad, staff and supporters will play their part."
Additionaly, Killie announce the following appointments ; General Manager, Gregg McEwan, Recruitment Manager Russ Richardson, Senior Analyst, Greig Thomson, Also Liam McDaid was welcomed to the football administration team, working alongside Club Secretary Karen Costello. Lastly, Andrew Fitzsimmons joined Killie as Marketing and Media Co-ordinator.
In other news Killie added two more year's to teenager David Watson's contract and that Jack Sanders (Cove Rangers) & Jon Craig (Clyde) had gone out on loan for the remainder of the season.
Hampden Here We Come!
After the good news of McInnes's new contract Killie got thumped 4-1 at Pittodrie against his old employers. Taylor did manage his 3rd league goal of the season, however forwards Shaw, Lafferty & Doidge had still to get off the mark for the new season!
Then up stepped Danny Armstrong! (he would score 4 goals in October!).
Danny scored twice in Killie's 2-1 home win over the Saints. Then Stokes & Laff gave killie a two goal advantage over Hearts at home, only to succumb to a stopage time "worldie" in a 2-2 draw.!
The Hearts match was the second straight home game where Killie had conceded "wonder-strikes" in stoppage time for the luck-less Hemming.
Prior to the Arabs home League Cup Quarter-Final, Killie picked up their first point of the season away from home at Paisley in a 0-0 draw at the Buddies!. Killie did prevail over the Arabs at Ruggers 2-1, (Lafferty (Pen), & Armstrong (again)) and booked their Semi-Final date at Hampden on Jan 14th 2023 against holders Celtic. This Hampden date is Killie's first match there in 10 years!.
Kyle Lafferty is then banned for 10 matches by the Scottish Football Association over a sectarian comment he made. He will be unavailable until Killie's League Cup semi-final against Celtic.
Killie's fine home continues with a 1-0 win over the Staggies, with Danny A netting the winner from a Cameron flick on. This was the first match played at Rugby Park where VAR was in use!
While VAR was'nt an issue in Killie's prior match, it certainly was in there second! After going down 0-1 at Perth Del said:" I think we were good enough to get something. We lose such a scabby goal; it's not even going towards goal - it's going back across the six-yard box and it hits off big Ash [Taylor]. We scored what I feel is a legitimate goal. I don't see why VAR has to get involved in that." Also of note in Perth was a cameo debut for Bobby Wales!
Killie finish the month in 10th place, with 12 points from 13 matches.
Big Sam Replaces Hemming to Pick-Up Hibs (H) Clean Sheet
Killie had 3 Premiership fixture in Nov, prior to the World Cup break
First Killie fall 2-3 at home to Livi despite Joe Wright giving Killie the lead twice in a Friday night affair. Chris Stokes had a "mare" in conceding both a penalty & and the game losing O.G.
Although not confirmed it is believed that this the first time in the club's history that Killie had lost consecutive matches to Own Goals.
Killie then travel the bottom of the table Dundee Utd and got pumped 0-4 and move to the bottom of the league themselves. Del makes a triple-sub after only 35 mins at Tannadice.
Killie Arabs Line Up: Hemming, Alebiosu, (Power 35), Taylor, Wright, Mayo, Armstrong, McInroy, Alston, (McKenzie 35), Donnelly , (Murray 76), Jones, (Cameron 35), Doidge, (Wales 76).
Subs Not Used: Walker, Dorsett, Polworth, Shaw.
Killie would now need a result against Hibs at home to avoid 5 weeks of dwelling on being rooted to the bottom during the World Cup break.
Killie Hibs Line Up: Walker, Mayo, Dorsett, (Stokes 81), Wright, Murray, (Taylor 84), Power , Donnelly, Polworth, (Alston 92), McKenzie , Armstrong, Cameron, (Wales 92).
Subs Not Used: Hemming, Lyons, McInroy, Jones, Shaw.
Out of Killie's stating line-up went: Hemming, Alebiosu (injured), Taylor, McInroy, Alston, Jones, & Doidge (inelidgible). Only Mayo, Donnelly, Wright & Armstrong kept their places!
The Hibs match finished 1-0 to Killie, with the aid of a VAR awarded second half penalty taken by Armstrong who had just signed a 2 year contract extention to stay at Killie through May of 2025.
Killie are then drawn at Home to Dumbarton in the 4th rd of the Scottish Cup.
Killie finish the month in 11th place, with 15 points from 16 matches.
Robinson Scores on his First Start in 11 Months
Post the World Cup shut-down Killie visited happy hunting ground Tynecastle on Dec 17th and were only given an allocation of 500 odd tickets. Killie lose 1-3 after a poor first half. Taylor again scores to give Killie some second half hope before a late penalty finishes off Killie!
Next up on Dec 23rd Liam Polworth (right) saves Killie's Christmas scoring a screamer to pull Killie even at 2-2 having trailed 0-2 (and down to 10 men after a Power red card) at Fir Park. In the announced attendance of 4,861 there were a remarkable 1,046 Killie fans!
To finish up 2022, Killie host the Dons looking to break an 11 year home Hoodoo against them! Goodwin says in his Dons post-match that the score "flattered them" as Killie ran out "easy" 2-1 winners in a fine all-round team performance. Scott Robinson after two second-half Dec sub appearances scored on his first start for nearly 11 months to open the scoring for Killie, with big Joe heading the second just before half-time.
Also of note in December, Physio Ross Goodwin returned to his former club Killie. He had also previously worked with Queen of the South, as well as Annan Athletic, & Carlisle. Ross replaced Alan White who left in November.
Killie finish the month with 19 points from 19 matches and were in 9th place in the table.
Zach Serves Up "A Howler" at Victoria Park
Killie start the New Year with a dissapointing home 0-0 draw with the Buddies, despite having a man advantage for over 80 mins!
On the squad front Killie extend Lee Hodson's loan at Partick, send Dylan McGowan out on loan to the Accies, and bring free-agent Northern Ireland international Kyle Vassell on a deal until the end of the season.
Additionally Jack Sanders loan at Cove was ended, and Curtis Lyle and Kyle Connell's contracts expired. Deji Sotona's loan from Nice was also ended.
Killie then play three consecutive Old-Firm matches. Killie fell 2-0 at Parkhead conceding the opener on the stroke of half-time, which they could not recover from.
A much improved showing at Hampden in the League Cup Semi, saw Killie be very unfortunate not to take the tie to extra-time having a strong penalty shout being denied in stoppage time. Killie lost 0-2, with Lafferty making his return in front of just under 8,000 Killie fans.
Next was a Premiership mid-week home loss to Rangers where Killie scored first and last (Stokes & Wright) in a 2-3 loss.
Killie's only January win was against Dumbarton at home in the Cup, where sub Jordan Jones scored in stoppage time to save Killie's blushes.
The real "kick in the teeth" was Killie's visit Dingwall where Brophy opened scoring while Ash and Robbo missed sitters just before half-time. A quick counter and a Zach "Howler" saw Killie go on to lose 0-3 and fall to the bottom of the Premiership (on goal difference along with the Staggies, Dundee Utd & Motherwell). .
On January 30th Killie sign England youth international Luke Chambers who joins from Liverpool FC on a loan deal until the end of the season. This loan was needed due to the long-term injury to Ben Chrisene (which he picked up in the Hampden Semi).
On transfer deadline day, Killie confirm the realease of Kyle Lafferty. and Gary Woods. Also, Oli Shaw has departed to join EFL League One side Barnsley for an undisclosed fee. Killie made no new signings.
Killie finish the month with 20 points from 23 matches and were in 12th place in the table.
Killie host the Arabs to start out Feb.
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