in Match Reports September 10, 2018
Kilmarnock's experienced performers showed their class during a 3-1 victory over Partick Thistle as Andy Millen's men started their Reserve Cup campaign with a victory.
Goals from Dom Thomas, Greg Kiltie and Rory McKenzie did the damage as the hosts dominated throughout at Rugby Park.
Jack Byrne pulled on the stripes for the first time following his deadline day move, taking up a central midfield role and the Irishman showed his impressive passing range in a polished performance.
Adam Frizzell also made his comeback from injury as he steps up his recovery ahead of kickstarting his loan move with Queen of the South.
Killie have scored nine goals in their opening two Reserve League matches so far and they showed their attacking intent from the off here.
Luke Scullion was a busy man in the Partick Thistle goal with Greg Kiltie and Innes Cameron combining well to force him into his first save of the afternoon in the opening stages. Luke Barlow also hooked the ball over the bar following a scramble in the six-yard box as Killie made things difficult for a young Thistle side lacking in experience.
The only downside to the day was an injury to Will Graham, who was forced to limp off after 18 minutes with hopes that the midfielder's injury isn't too bad.
A consistent performer for the Reserves so far this season, Dom Thomas started to make his mark on the game creating numerous chances for team-mates only to see them denied by some fine goalkeeping from Scullion. The young Thistle keeper's most spectacular save to halt Greg Kiltie's goal-bound shot only delayed the inevitable Killie breakthrough.
And it was Thomas who got it as he showed great technique to fire low and into the corner at the second attempt. It would prove to be a bitter blow to Thistle as they looked to hold out until half time.
Having made the breakthrough, Killie started the second half with purpose and it was no surprise when the lead was doubled. Thomas found Kenny Barr on the overlap and the full back provided a fine cross for Greg Kiltie to head home past the helpless Scullion.
The match was turning into a procession with Thistle's inexperience showing despite plenty of effort from the visitors. Killie's streetwise performers had a stranglehold on the game with the energy of McKenzie and the technical prowess of Byrne keeping Thistle at bay.
McKenzie added a third goal shortly after the hour mark, producing a fine low finish after taking the ball into the box at pace.
Callum Wilson latched onto a through ball from Scott Walker to grab a consolation goal for Thistle but the scoreline could have been much more emphatic but for a fine save from Scullion to stop Innes Cameron's attempt with minutes remaining.
An encouraging start to the Reserve Cup for Killie with Hearts beating city rivals Hibernian in the group's other game with the top two set to meet next month.
Kilmarnock: Mackay; McKenzie, Waters, Millen, Barlow; Byrne, Graham (Barr), Frizzell (McDonald), Thomas (Paterson), Kiltie, Cameron