in Match Reports May 6, 2017
Alan Cochrane @ Rugby Park
“Two or three minutes into the game I turned to Peter [Leven] and said “we’re miles off it”, and I thought we were for the full game. The last 30 minutes flattered us a wee bit. I thought we deserved nothing from that game. We missed some clear cut chances; we could be playing yet and still not score”
That was the summary of manager Lee McCulloch at the end of a frustrating afternoon for Kilmarnock. For most of the 4000 crowd it was an afternoon to forget. For the travelling support, well they went home happy. Scott Bain in the Dundee goal had a few decent saves, Killie occasionally burst through the defence and threatened the goal, but for the most part the passing was woeful, the ball was in the sky far too often, and any decent play looked more accidental than intended. In the first half, Dundee had the ball in the net but it was ruled offside in what looked a close call, Kris Boyd dId the same, but that was well offside, and in the second half Killie were denied a penalty for what looked like a deliberate handling offence, but the manager was right. Kilmarnock deserved nothing from this game.
The only goal of the game came after 55 minutes when Haber got on the end of a McGowan cross to head strongly past Freddie Woodman. From then until the end, Kilmarnock bombarded the Dundee defence with high, long balls, which Kevin Gomis comfortably cleared for the rest of the game. Longstaff, Kiltie and Sammon never stopped trying, Luke Hendrie and Gary Dicker kept prompting from the back, but in the end, the quality was not there. Some light relief came when assistant referee Andrew McWilliam was physically sick, only for referee Craig Thomson to unsympathetically show him a red card. Fortunately Mr McWilliam was able to continue.
The manager again. “Kilmarnock didn't win second balls, didn't speak to each other, and weren't aggressive enough. We didn't really pass the ball; we kicked it out of the pitch under no pressure. We looked like a different team altogether. Now we dust ourselves down and get back to work on Monday. We all know that we are not yet safe [from a playoff place]. We lost a terrible goal, but that was coming from the first two or three minutes. Dundee more than deserved the three points today. I think that we are overdue to make one or two changes.”
As would be expected, Dundee boss Neil McCann couldn't have been more upbeat. “I am so proud of the players. To come to a difficult place like Kilmarnock, and a team under Lee McCulloch who are hard to break down, to win two on the bounce after a long losing streak was quite something.”
Kilmarnock: Woodman, Ajer, Jones (Roberts), Hendrie, Dicker, Smith, Longstaff, Sammon, Taylor, Boyd, Wilson (Kiltie)
Dundee: Bain, Holt, Vincent, O’Dea, Hateley, O’Hara, McGowan (Ross), El Bakhtaoui (Wighton), Haber (Ojamaa), Kerr, Gomis
Referee: Craig Thomson
Sandy Ferguson's match pictures.