in #KillieStories December 22, 2018
Steve Clarke believes opponents now view his Kilmarnock side in a different light after the draw with Hamilton sparked scenes of celebration from the hosts.
Eamonn Brophy opened the scoring against his former club before the forward gave away a penalty as the teams played out a 1-1 draw in Lanarkshire.
The hosts appeared thrilled with the result, a reaction Clarke feels indicates that his team are now seen as a scalp by others.
He said: "For me the biggest measure of progress was that Hamilton and their supporters celebrated at the end of the game. It was a home point against Kilmarnock and they celebrated it as if they had taken points off one of the Old Firm.
"I said to the lads after the game maybe people are holding us in a different light now so we have to be ready for those challenges."
Brophy turned sharply in the box to fire past Gary Woods after just six minutes but despite being in control of the game Killie couldn't extend their advantage. The men from Ayrshire were made to pay as Mickel Miller scored from the spot after a Brophy handball.
Clarke added: "We started ok, got in front and should have done a little bit better and probably got a second goal, which would have killed the game off and then Hamilton do what they do well."They stay in the game and make it a scratchy, broken game with lots of free kicks and the referee didn’t help. I thought he’d swallowed his whistle at one stage because it went off so often.
"Too many free kicks broke up the rhythm of the game and suited them more than it suited us.
"At the start of the game, we were the better team. We passed the ball well and moved with one and two touches but the niggly fouls breaks up the flow of the game and it ended up suiting Hamilton more than it did for us.
"We had enough decent chances in the game to get the second goal which would have given us the three points."
Over 2,200 Killie fans made the trip to Lanarkshire for the match and the Killie boss praised the turnout just days before Christmas.
He said: "The travelling support have been fantastic for us and you heard them from the first minute to the last minute today and the team give loads to shout about."At the end of the game the crowd are getting excited and they were trying to suck the ball into that net. We were the only team trying to win the game in the last 15 minutes but the supporters have been great for us.
"They’ll probably go home a little bit disappointed tonight but they shouldn’t be. At the end of the season we’ll know if that was a good point or a bad point."