in Match Reports May 5, 2018
Killie suffered late disappointment as a David Bates goal handed Rangers a 1-0 victory at Ibrox.
The defender, who will depart for Hamburg this summer, headed home from close range from a free kick to undo Killie's good work across the 90 minutes.
Youssouf Mulumbu, Eamonn Brophy and Jamie MacDonald returned to the Killie team following last weekend's thrilling contest at Easter Road.
A fascinating battle between Daniel Candeias and Greg Taylor was typical of an even first half with both players showing their qualities throughout.
Aaron Tshibola was having a real impact for Killie and he came close to netting the opening goal when Jak Alnwick spilled Kris Boyd's free kick. Tshibola tried to lift the ball over the goalkeeper but the shot stopper was equal to his effort.
Steve Clarke's side were defending well with Kirk Broadfoot and Stuart Findlay holding firm against some tempting crosses by Candeias and Morelos.
Killie were left unhappy with a few refereeing decisions on the day with two clashes between Morelos and Findlay seeing the forward receive a yellow card.
Lee Erwin, Greg Kiltie and Iain Wilson were introduced into the action as the men from Ayrshire looked to turn one point into three but they were caught cold by the hosts from a set play.
The ball was worked out wide and centre back Bates got to the ball first with the effort finding the net past the helpless MacDonald.
Substitute Kiltie came very close to grabbing a draw but his header was deflected narrowly over the bar to the dismay of the visiting fans.
Fifth place could well be secured if Hearts fail to take maximum points against Celtic with attention turning to our final two games against the champions and Craig Levein's men.
Kilmarnock: MacDonald; O'Donnell, Broadfoot, Findlay, Taylor; Dicker, Mulumbu (Wilson), Tshibola; Jones, Brophy (Erwin), K.Boyd (Kiltie)