Killie fought back to draw with Hearts in an
entertaining Scottish Premier League match at Rugby Park.
Ian Black was denied by Killie goalkeeper Cammy Bell and Alexei
Eremenko had a free-kick touched on to the Hearts crossbar in the first
James Fowler's deflected drive edged the hosts ahead, but Rudi
Skacel's poacher's goal levelled for Hearts.
Ryan Stevenson's header looked to have handed the win to the
visitors, but Kieran Agard volleyed Killie level.
The draw takes Jim Jefferies' side eight points clear of fourth-place
Dundee United, who play Celtic on Sunday, while Kilmarnock's wait for a
first win under caretaker manager Kenny Shiels continues.
Black was denied by an excellent save by Bell early on, the Killie
keeper diving to his right to turn away the midfielder's left-foot
From the corner, Craig Thomson's delivery was flicked on at the near
post by Ruben Palazuelos and Eggert Jonsson could not keep his header
down when he rose in the six-yard box.
It was Kilmarnock's turn to go close when they won a free-kick in the
inside left channel, Eremenko's curling effort touched on to the
crossbar by Hearts stopper Jamie MacDonald.
Tim Clancy took exception to Thomson clearing the ball as the Killie
player fell to the ground and the pair were booked after a bit of
David Templeton got the break of the ball on the edge of the box as
Hearts pushed and the winger's low left-foot drive was just past the
Kilmarnock started the second half brightly and MacDonald stooped to
his right to keep out a downward Manuel Pascali header.
Eremenko was booked for simulation as Killie continued to force
And the breakthrough came when Liam Kelly teed up Fowler for a shot
and the defender's drive took a nick off a Hearts defender and flew into
Hearts looked to respond at a corner and Marius Zaliukas' head-flick
was nodded on by Stephen Elliott and Bell nervously punched the ball
away from the crowded six-yard box.
The equaliser came in the 67th minute when Templeton's inswinging
cross from the left bounced up on to the crossbar and Skacel reacted
quickest to slam the ball into the net.
Templeton and Stevenson combined to set up Black for a shot just
inside the Kilmarnock box, but the midfielder could not keep his effort
However, Hearts were soon ahead as Thomson's corner kick was nodded
into the net by Stevenson.
Skacel lifted a shot wide after bursting into the box as Hearts
looked to make sure of victory.
Killie went back on the attack and David Silva flashed a shot wide
after cutting in from the left.
And substitute Agard should have done better with a header after
being picked out superbly by Eremenko.
However, Agard made no mistake with his next effort as Killie
levelled the scores once more.
Eremenko's back-heel flick into the six-yard box was headed out, but
the ball dropped near the penalty spot for Agard to convert a wonderful
volley on the turn.
Kilmarnock might have claimed all three points in the closing stages
with Agard and fellow substitute James Dayton having efforts saved and
Silva sending a tame shot trundling into the arms of MacDonald from the
edge of the area.
Sandy's Match Pic's are