Killie 2-4 Dundee Utd
SPFL Match 38 - May 14th 2016 - Rugby Park
Killie 2-4 Dundee Utd
SPFL Match 38 - May 14th 2016 - Rugby Park
SPFL Match 38 - May 14th 2016 - Rugby Park
SPFL Match 38 - May 14th 2016 - Rugby Park
No. of Shots
Shots on Target
Jamie MacDonald, Greg Taylor, Lee Ashcroft, Conrad Balatoni (Lewis Clark 67), Lee Hodson (Julien Faubert 70) Craig Slater, Alex Henshall, Kallum Higginbotham (Kevin McHattie 80), Rory McKenzie, Adam Frizzell, Tope Obadeyi.
Subs Not Used: Conor Brennan, Greg Kiltie, Gary Dicker, Jack Whittaker.
Jim Mann @ Rugby Park
It was a bright and sunny day for BT Sport and the 2,700 or so souls who turned up to watch this end of season game , including over 200 Arabs showing true loyalty. Lee Clark chose to make 7 changes, resting a number of key players for the play off games coming up versus Falkirk, with a starting debut for Greg Taylor at left back.
The away fans started with a resounding rendition of 'we are staying up' , a very early practice for the start to their 2016/17 season in the Championship! Looking at the teams it was a Little and Large picture with the height advantage to the visitors, and this was to tell in the 12th minute when Durnan powered home a header from a United corner, not helped by being given the 'freedom of Kilmarnock' in the penalty box.
Killie responded well and after a call of ' this is embarrassing' from a Killie fan the visitors took it upon themselves to be embarrassing, a long range hit from Slater only parried by the United keeper, straight to a defender, a sloppy back header and cheeky chappy Higgy popped in to roll the ball past the keeper, 1-1!
4 minutes later it was 2-1 to Killie, an unusually clinical affair, a United defender had his pocket picked on the halfway line, a rapid counter attack by the home side, a defence splitting pass to Tope playing in the striker role, a dink past the keeper, excellent stuff! 2-1 to Killie in the 31st minute. All whilst Killie were down to 10 men, with Ashcroft off to have some repair work to his head. Half time 2-1 to the home side.
Half time thoughts were that Killie were starting to impress with their passing and movement with Greg Taylor particularly impressive at left back making a number of key tackles to thwart the United forwards. Justin Johnson, on his debut for the Arabs was also making an impressive start causing chaos every time he got the ball, and Simon Murray looked to be a player with real promise for them .
The second half opened with hope for Killie with a number of well worked chances which were simply not capitalised on in the United goalmouth, and this finally came to hurt us in the 73rd minute when Simon Murray, yes the one showing real promise, burst into the Killie box to fire a fine strike past Jamie MacDonald. 2-2, with the Arabs beginning to take a real hold on the game.
Lee Clark made a number of tactical substitutions to avoid 'card damage' for the play off finals, with Hodson and Ashcroft replaced by debutant Lewis Clark and Kevin McHattie. United made a number of substitutions also, bringing on a number of even taller guys! The Arabs took a grip on the game and Simon Murray did it again, breaking free from a McHattie tackle, finding a bit of space and firing past Jamie from the edge of the box, with a shot that moved away from the keeper. The game was over in the 86th minute when the giant Harry Souttar scored from short range.
Overall a disappointing result but with a very encouraging display from Greg Taylor at left back, clearly a lad with great promise. At times Alex Henshall impressed with his speed on the wing and looks like someone who could really hurt the opposition. Some of the Killie passing and movement was easy on the eye but some of the defending was the opposite, not surprising given the number of changes to personnel in the starting line up, and not helped by the fact that height seems to be a key ingredient in player selection for the Arabs.
For Killie this was a bit like the final dress rehearsal where tradition has it that it's good for things to go badly so that it can be 'all right on the night' , let's hope it is!
Lee Clark: "It became a bit disjointed with the two substitutions I had to make, I was informed that if they had got another [yellow card] they could potentially miss Thursday. I had to make those split decisions. And obviously if you are giving debuts and have a really young team and having to play a left-back at right-back, it isn't ideal. Although I've got to say I thought young Greg Taylor had a terrific debut at left-back. It's obviously disappointing but the bigger picture was always Thursday,"
"That's why we left so many players out and that's why I had to make the decisions at 2-1 to take the two senior lads out. You want to win every game but Thursday and Sunday are too big for us to take any risks. I hate losing the game but I would have felt worse if Balatoni or Hodson had got another yellow card. The team will be completely different in terms of personnel, because one thing we will need on Thursday and Sunday is freshness."
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