in Match Reports December 17, 2016
Kilmarnock 1 Inverness 1
Alan Cochrane @ Rugby Park
“It feels like a loss” was the summation from a very sombre Lee Clark at the end of a game that Kilmarnock should have taken all three points from. We were well on top throughout the first half, went ahead when Coulibaly scored after 73 minutes, and then lost a soft goal seven minutes from time when a floated free kick was poorly defended and Gary Warren headed the equaliser.
It was a frustrating game, with innumerable stoppages, particularly in the first half, when the Inverness medic seemed to spend as much time on the field as the players. Despite that, Killie tried hard to keep the tempo up, and varied their play with route one football interspersed with some good passing moves. Steven Smith had a couple of near things, firstly from a free kick which evaded everyone but also narrowly evaded the goal at Fon-Williams’ right hand post, and a couple of minutes later had a shot whistle over the bar. ICT’s only real chance came when a long diagonal ball found Tremarco on the left, but MacDonald dealt well with the shot.
Iain Wilson, making his first start in the Premiership two days after his eighteenth birthday, had an excellent game in the centre of defence, covering for the injured Scott Boyd, and a long pass from him gave Nathan Tyson an opportunity, but the striker’s lob drifted over the bar. The Killie support were howling for a penalty when a cross from Jordan Jones appeared to be blocked away by the upraised arm of Ross Draper, but referee Nick Walsh didn't see it that way. Just before the interval, Tyson had an even better lob over the Inverness keeper, but Josh Meekings somehow got back to hook it off the goal line.
The second half was more even, and substitute Alex Fisher had an early shot go just wide, but Kilmarnock still looked the more likely. Coulibaly volleyed over the bar, and Tyson came close with a header, but it was the man from the Ivory Coast who gave the home side the lead. He collected a pass wide on the left, after he and Jordan Jones had swapped wings, turned the full back inside out with four twists and turns, and lashed a shot across the keeper and inside the back post. Souleymane still doesn't seem to do ordinary goals. Rory McKenzie had a chance to increase the lead with a fine run through the middle but his shot was too tame to worry Fon-Williams, and it was the visitors who got the final goal of the game. A free kick awarded when the ball hit Dicker’s arm was chipped into the penalty box, wasn't cleared, and Gary Warren squared the game with a simple header.
Richie Foran thought that a draw was a fair result as Inverness had defended long balls very well, and had shaded the second half. Lee Clark saw it differently. “There is only one reason for my frustration. We haven't won it. We deserved to. We made an error in defending a ball which travelled a long way and had no pace on it. So we got a draw, but being pegged back so late in the game, it feels like a loss.”
Kilmarnock: MacDonald, Smith, Boyle, McKenzie, Dicker, Jones, Tyson, Wilson, Coulibaly, Taylor, Hendrie
Inverness: Fon-Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Meekings, Draper, Vigurs, Taney, Horner (King), McKay (Polworth), Doumbouya (Fisher), Cole
Referee: Nick Walsh