in Match Reports August 22, 2016
Alan Cochrane @ Global Energy Stadium
20/08/2016 Kick-off 3pm
Ross County’s fast start to this game, including winning a corner within the first minute, and their determination in midfield, was an early pointer to how this game was going to go.
An early free kick from George Green had to be scrambled away by the County defence, and Green and Jones on both wings had decent wide forays ending in shots being blocked, but the home side always looked the more aggressive. Their central defence was solid, the midfield was determined to control the game, they had pace down both flanks, and a strong and confident striker in Liam Boyce.
The Staggies opened the scoring in the 29th minute, but it came in a break after Killie had been attacking. Good work down the left by Boyce and Gardyne, a cross from the latter which was slightly deflected, and a finish by the former, who fairly lashed the ball into the net. Kilmarnock had few chances for the remainder of the half, so the score at the break was Ross County 1 Kilmarnock 0.
The second period was even tougher for Killie, and Scott Fox in the County goal didn't have to make a single save. Unfortunately for the visitors it was not the same at the other end. Boyce shot wide with the goal at his mercy, and Gardyne had two good chances go wide, but with just over 15 minutes left, Boyce beat the offside trap, and at the second attempt, scored the home side’s second.
Killie had a couple of shots at goal blocked by the defence, but their main tactic of firing high balls forward for Kris Boyd to head on was completely stymied by a solid defence, in particular by Andrew Davies, who headed everything away all afternoon.Lee Clark was disappointed at the end with his side's defending, and particularly with the goals, which were entirely preventable. Initially we had done very well down the outside, but better decision making will be required, going forward. But you learn from everything, and we look forward to the game on Friday evening.
Ross County: Fox,Woods, Quinn (C), Franks (Dingwall), McEveley, Curran (Schalk), Davies, Boyce, Gardine, (Morrison), Routis, Cikos
Kilmarnock: MacDonald, S Smith (C), Addison (Burn), Boyle, M Smith, Boyd, Jones, Adams (Hawkshaw), Coulibaly, Green(McFadzean), Hendrie
Referee: Nick Walsh