Match Report: Kilmarnock  2 - 0 Hearts

Match Report: Kilmarnock 2 - 0 Hearts

in Match Reports October 26, 2016

Kilmarnock 2 Hearts 0

Alan Cochrane @ Rugby Park

A goal in each half, one from Souleymane Coulibaly, the second from Steven Smith, crowned a great performance by Kilmarnock, and added a deserved three points to their total. As the manager said at the end, from goalkeeper to final substitute, every player performed well and gave everything. Lee Clark couldn't have had a better early birthday present.

From the first whistle, Kilmarnock hounded and harried Hearts all over the pitch. Inside the first couple of minutes, Greg Taylor cut in and had a shot blocked away, as he and Jordan Jones started a partnership up the left hand side which created mayhem all evening. One of the visitors few chances fell to Tony Watt from a cross by ex-Killie man Robbie Muirhead, but the Hearts man fluffed his lines. Souleymane Coulibaly had a double attempt blocked in front of goal, and then had a shot from 25 yards slip past the post, but with a quarter of the game gone he got his due reward. Wonderful chest control brought the ball to his feet, he turned and slipped between two defenders, and sent a shot across Hearts keeper Hamilton, inside his right hand post to give Killie the lead. His trademark back flip was well received by the jubilant Killie support.

Hearts couldn't get going as Kilmarnock gave them no time, frequently shutting them down in their own half and forcing them to continually play the ball backwards. Killie on the other hand were always trying to go forward. Rory McKenzie, who may have just shaded being the best player on view, had a goal-bound shot blocked, Jones shot just over, and Coulibaly should have got his second but his header was too close to Jack Hamilton.

During the interval, the Killie support must have been wondering if the home side could keep up their astonishing work rate. They did. Jones continued teasing the defence down the left, Coulibaly’s pressing caused Hamilton to drop a cross, only to gather at the second attempt, and his lovely little lob over the full back created a chance for the overlapping Hendrie. McKenzie had a shot clip the bar and Steven Smith had a free kick saved, but the skipper did double Killie’s lead in the 70th minute. McKenzie collected the ball in the middle, created space down the left, before cutting the ball back across the middle to Smith. His sweet, left foot strike fairly fizzed past Hamilton to give the home side a deserved 2-0 lead.

Right to the end, Killie kept pressing, and Hearts simply couldn't get any momentum. As Hearts manager Robbie Neilson said at the end, Kilmarnock’s plan was to press the life out of us. As for Lee Clark,”"Fantastic performance. From the goalkeeper to the two late substitutes. We scored two fantastic goals tonight. Souley is going to have his own DVD for goal of the season.”
The boss reckoned that, considering the strength of the opposition, that it was probably the team's best performance since he arrived at the club. It wasn't a fluke.

Kilmarnock: MacDonald, Smith, Addison, McKenzie, Dicker, Jones (Frizzell),Tyson (Boyd), S Boyd, Coulibaly, Taylor, Hendrie

Hearts: Hamilton, Paterson, Rherras, Branco, Kitchen (Buaben), Djoum, Souttar, Cowie, Sammon (Johnson), Muirhead, Watt (Walker)

Referee: Andrew, Dallas



Sandy Ferguson's match pictures.