in Match Reports April 30, 2016
HAMILTON 0 KILMARNOCK 4Alan Cochrane @New Douglas Park
At the end, one of the press pack in the media room asked Lee Clark what the difference had been this week to make Kilmarnock “look like a team transformed.”
“I disagree with your ‘transformed’ because we haven't done anything wrong in the previous weeks. We have put in a strong performance at Partick, we were vey good against St Johnstone, last week was surreal. We were in control of the game and we shot ourselves in the foot. The level of performance has been high. Today we had a little bit of luck to go with our good play.”And then about the fans. “We know how important they are to us. For them to turn out in their numbers to support us [in the position we are in] and to give us that support, is credit to them.”
That good play, and that fantastic travelling support, were both evident from the start. Within 30 seconds of the first whistle, a cross from Slater on the right was headed against his own bar by a stretched Michael Devlin, and McGovern did well to smother Kiltie’s follow up shot. Killie kept up the pressure, and got their reward after 10 minutes. McKenzie worked the ball in from the left corner flag, Kiltie took over, made himself an angle, and fairly hammered the ball past McGovern, and into the roof of the net. With half an hour gone, the same player did it again. This time it was captain for the day Kris Boyd who released Kiltie to get behind the defence, and he made short work of beating the keeper again and doubling Kilmarnock's lead.Hamilton kept trying to get back into the game, and Imrie had a shot go wide, before Conor Brennan had to be lively to get out and smother the ball at the same player’s feet. Before the interval Gary Dicker had a shot go just wide, so the half ended with Killie two goals ahead.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were quieter, but that ended when Lucas Tagliapietra handle the ball in the box, and Kris Boyd sent the keeper to his right and hit the spot kick smartly inside his left hand post.
For the next ten minutes, Hamilton lost some of their discipline, and picked up four yellow cards in that spell, as Kilmarnock kept turning the screw. McKenzie chipped over the keeper but saw the ball drift just the wrong side of the post, and Josh Magennis did head the ball into the net from a Kiltie cross, but was ruled offside. Killie’s fourth goal in the 78th minute was made on the left when Greg Kiltie ran outside the full back onto a defence splitting pass and set up Magennis. McGovern did get a hand to his shot but couldn't keep it out.
The travelling support behind McGovern’s goal were in raptures by now, cheering every move, calling “Boydy, Boydy, give us a wave”, and generally having a good day out. At the end, the players (and the manager) went to salute them. Scoring those four goals means that we now have a better (or less bad!) goal difference than Hamilton, although we are still four points behind them,
As the manager said at the end “We’re not getting excited. We still have it all to do. If we can continue like this, and get nine points from the three games left, which is a big ask, we give ourselves a great opportunity to get out of where we are.”
Hamilton: McGovern, Gordon, Kurakins, Devlin, Gillespie, Imrie, Crawford, Morris, MacKinnon (Redmond), Docherty (Kurtaj), Tagliapietra
Kilmarnock: Brennan, Addison, McKenzie, Boyd, O’Hara, Slater, Kiltie, Balatoni, Hodson, Magennis (Obadeyi), Dicker
Referee: Craig Thomson
Sandy Ferguson's match pictures.