in Match Reports March 4, 2017
Alan Cochrane @ Rugby Park
A crowd of over 4000 saw a long war of attrition at Rugby Park today. It was a physical game with a lot of pushing and shoving, tackles flying in, and referee Bobby Madden obviously decided to let both teams sort it out themselves. Kilmarnock had the better of the first half, and after half an hour got the upper hand when Gary Dicker found Kris Boyd with a pass through the middle, and the striker held off the defence to score his 200th goal in Scottish football. That was after he had seen a shot come crashing back off the crossbar, saw a free kick blocked by the Motherwell wall, and had a couple of headers go wide when he would have expected to hit the target. Rory McKenzie had a a 30 yard shot graze the bar too, as he tried for his third goal in three games, but Killie couldn't add to their total, and were only one goal ahead at the break.
The visitors made a double substitution during the interval, with Bowman and Frear coming on for Hammell, and Lasley, and the effect of the change was quickly shown. A Frear corner wasn't dealt with, and McHugh brought Motherwell level from close range. Kilmarnock pushed to retake the initiative, and Jones, Boyd and McKenzie all came close, while Dicker had a terrific shot pushed onto the bar and over by ex-Killie keeper Craig Samson. For Kilmarnock, Woodman had good save from a close range effort by Scott McDonald, but could do nothing when Zak Jules, from another set piece, gave Motherwell the lead.
For the last 15 minutes Killie laid siege to the visitors’ goal, and with the 90 minutes gone it looked like their chance came when Roberts was pulled down and Bobby Madden awarded a penalty. Kris Boyd stepped up, with the chance of scoring his 100th goal for Kilmarnock, but his shot came crashing back off he inside of the post, and the points went back to Lanarkshire.
As Lee McCulloch said after the game, “If there was a penalty in the next five minutes, you would want Kris Boyd to take it. It is an unbelievable achievement to get 200 goals in Scotland. The big man was outstanding today. For the first 15-20 minutes in both halves we didn't start, and Craig Samson pulled off some amazing saves. The biggest disappointment was at set plays, with people switching off, not doing their jobs, and individual errors have lost us two goals today. However, their were lots of positives, we have come a long way, and we have to kick on.”
Kilmarnock: Woodman, Sammon, Jones, McKenzie, Dicker, Boyd, Longstaff (Roberts), Ajer, Taylor, Boyd, Hendrie
Motherwell: Samson, Tait (Ferguson), Hammell (Bowman), Heneghan, McHugh, Moult, Cadden, Lasley (Frear), Jules, McDonald, Pearson
Referee: Bobby Madden
Sandy Ferguson's match pictures.