Holt Scores Killie's first goal of the season
Killie head off to Germany for their pre-season training and closed door "bounce" matches. with Craig Dargo (former Raith Rovers), Neil MacFarlane (former Queens Park) and Andy McLaren (former Dundee Utd). David Bagan Signs with Inverness. The re-signing of Ally McCoist hangs in the balance ! Cocard is left in Kilmarnock to train with Baker, Lauchlan (who will be moving on!) & Jeffrey, because he was late turning up for training camp ! Killie return to take on Clyde and Draw 1-1, with Cocard scoring for Killie. Scotland On Line becomes the new Killie shirt sponsor.
Killie open the season at St Mirren and get a 1-0 win thanks to a Gary Holt header (above), and a few excellent saves from Gordon Marshall.
SPL Aug Player of the Month ...Andy McLaren
Killie's home opener is to champions Rangers, and take an early 2-0 lead, with both goals coming from Andy McLaren. Mcgowan is then sent off and Killie hold onto to their lead before succumbing 2-4 . Williamson again comments on the lack of consistency in Killie-Old Firm matches. Gus is awarded a testimonial match. McLaren is to be offered a longer term contract. Jeffrey is given a free transfer so he can join Grimbsy. Killie draw Clyde away in the CIS cup. Killie then lose 1-2 at Parkeid to Celtic after McLaren had given Killie a 1-0 halftime advantage, with Martin Baker being sent off in the last few seconds. Cocard who came on as a sub missed a decent chance to give Killie draw with only 5 mins remaining !! Killie then outplay Hibs at home, and lose 1-0 with Hibs only real shot on target. Craig Dargo makes his Killie debut as a sub coming on for McCoist in the last 20 mins ! Killie find out that Andy McLaren's stock is way up....and will have competition to re-sign him. Killie then have a fine couple of comebacks, first against Motherwell 3-2, after being down twice with Dargo (in his first start) Wright (from the spot) & Freddie Dindeleux all scoring for Killie. The second comeback was against Clyde in the SL Cup. After falling behind in extra time, both Freddie & Coisty score with headers to give Killie a 2-1 win. McLaren is reported as being close to re-signing with Killie. Killie then head to Perth and get a 1-1 draw with St Johnstone, with that man McLaren scoring for Killie. Killie are unlucky not to pick up all 3 points, hitting the post twice in the second half. Killie will have to play at St Johnstone again in the 3rd round of the CIS Scottish League Cup. Andy McLaren is named SPL Player of the month for Aug.
SPL Sept Manager of the Month ...Bobby Williamson
Killie do sign McLaren up to a 3 year deal !! Gary Holt makes his Scotland debut as a sub Vs Latvia. Craig Dargo remains unavailable due to a mystery illness, and could be out indefinitely. Killie beat St Johnstone in the CIS Cup 1-0 at Perth, thanks to an Ally McCoist goal. Killie Draw Hibernian at home in CIS Cup QF's. Dundee Utd at Rugby Park were next in the SPL, with Killie picking up a 1-0 win thanks to an Ally Mitchell strike, which moved them up into 4th place in the SPL. Killie's unbeaten run is now at 5 matches !! Dargo who did not play declared himself fit again. Mahood's form was still keeping captain Durrant on the bench ! Cocard too, cannot a find a starting place either ! Durrant returns with new Scotland man Holt being dropped as Killie beat Aberdeen 1-0 again thanks to an Ally Mitchell first half strike at Rugby Park. There was some doubt about the game even being "on" as there were multiple fuel shortages throughout the UK !! Killie finish September on a high note with 2 away matches, at Hearts where Killie produce a sparkling performance and win 2-0, thanks to a Paul Wright shot, and a Freddie Dindeleux header. September closes with a 0-0 draw at Dundee, and Killie consolidate their 4th place standing with 17 points from 10 SPL matches. Bobby Williamson is named the SPL's manager of the month for Sept !
Where were you on October 28th 2000 ?
Gary Holt is again named to the Scotland squad, and plays for the last 2 mins as a sub Vs Croatia. Killie open up with a lucky 2-1 home win Vs the Pars. After being 0-1 down Wright leveled the score from the spot, after a "dubious call" from the linesman ! Holt headed home from sub Cocard in the 83rd min. to give Killie a fortunate win. Killie then beat St Mirren 2-1, again after being a goal down at the half.... Killie's scorers were McLaren & Mahood. Killie have now had 7 different scorers in their last 5 matches !! Killie then pull off the shock result of the season so far with an incredible 3-0 win at Ibrox over Rangers. Cocard (wearing trainers), Holt & a Numan O.G. secure the points for Killie. Killie then have their third consecutive 2-1 home win, after trailing by a goal, this time 2-1 over Hibs in the CIS Cup. Super sub Dargo nets the winner, with McLaren (who was the man of the match) getting Killie even. Alex Burke leaves the club to join Falkirk, and Jim Lauchlan is sold to Dundee Utd.
McLaren & Wright Celebrate Point at Easter Rd.
Killie enter Nov riding a 12 match unbeaten run, are placed third in the SPL, and host unbeaten Celtic and lose 1-0. Killie then draw St. Mirren in the CIS cup semi-final, which will be played at Hampden after the club complains to the SFL. Barnsley are close to completing a deal to sign Gary Holt who is out of contract at the end of the season. Holt was currently hurt having taken a knee knock Vs Hibs, and missed the Celtic match. Then an 86 min Paul Wright wonder strike gives Killie a share of the points at Easter Rd. in a 1-1 draw at Hibs. It is reported that N Ireland may be interested in capping in form Killie man Alan Mahood. Chris Innes another man in super form breaks his cheek-bone and will be out till after the break.(the Winter SPL shut-down one!). True character was then shown by Killie in a come from behind 2-1 win at Motherwell. Wright pulled Killie level, and sub Cocard scored the winner in the 87th minute. Killie's sub's have now scored in 3 out of their last 4 matches (where was the one we needed Vs the Tic?) . With Jim Jefferies departing Hearts in Nov Bobby Williamson now became the SPL's most tenured manager. Killie also announce a "Buy a Brick" program for their fans ! November comes to close with St Johnstone....who are fast becoming Killie's SPL bogey team as they lose 0-2 at home. Dundee Utd away finished up Killie's Nov. fixtures, as Craig Dargo nets the only goal as Killie win 1-0.
McLaren scores Vs the Dons
Killie start the month in 3rd place with 33 points from 18 matches and pick up another great away result with a 2-1 win at Aberdeen. McLaren & sub Fowler scoring for Killie. Killie's squad size is starting to pay off for them as ; Holt (still not transferred ), Gus, Freddie, Durrant, McCoist & Innes were all unavailable, for the Dons match. Then Killie lose 2 home straight matches......0-3 to Hearts, with Killie gifting 2 of the 3 goals, and then worse was to follow after Killie collapse 2-3 to Dundee after Cocard & Baker had given Killie a 2 goal lead ! Killie head into the festive season with away matches at Dunfermilne then St Mirren. These matches become the "Paul Wright" story as he misses a last min penalty as Killie went down 0-1 to the Pars, however he made amends with a second half boxing day hat trick at Love St. this time Paul scores from the spot in the last min ! Gary Holt returns for the first time since the end of Nov. in their 3-1 win over the Saints. Killie conduct their AGM on Dec 24th !!! Killie's last match of the year at home to Rangers is postponed, not to playing conditions BUT fan travelling conditions .
Andy Battles the Jags in the Cup!
No happy new year for Killie as they get gubbed 0-6 by Celtic in Glasgow before the 3 week SPL winter break. Killie then returned to action in the 3rd round of the Scottish Cup, and beat Partick Thistle, 1-0.thanks to an Ally Mitchell goal !.Killie will play at Inverness CT in the next round who came from 3 goals down to beat A*r Utd. Killie finish the month with a home 1-1 draw with Hibs, with Garry Hay netting for Killie. It is also reported that the Gary Holt saga is close to being over with Gary reported is willing to accept Killie's final contract offer to him ! Killie are 4th in the SPL with 40 points from 25 matches.
McLaren & Co Celebrate
No improvement in Killie's home form to start Feb as they go down 1-2 to Motherwell at home with Craig Dargo scoring for Killie with the last kick of the ball. Feb 6th Killie took on St Mirren Scottish League Cup Semi Final at Hampden Park and won 3-0, with goals from McLaren, Dargo (right) & Canero, Killie will play Celtic in the Final. It is announced that Killie star Gary Holt will be leaving having rejected Killie's final offer to him. St Johnstone away was the next Sunday SKY match and Peter Canero scored the winner with the last Kick of the ball as Killie win 2-1, after Craig Dargo scored in his third consecutive match. Fourth round Scottish Cup action was next Killie drew 1-1 at Inverness, with Garry Hay scoring 30 seconds after Caley had scored, for a 10 man Killie outfit as Andy McLaren was sent off ! This draw means Killie will now play 4 straight at Rugby Park before the CIS Final ! Dundee Utd, Inverness (replay), Aberdeen & Rangers ! The winner of the Killie/Caley was rewarded with a home draw against Hibs in the next round ! To start the "Home Stand" Killie & Dundee Utd play to a dire 0-0 draw, and then the Inverness Replay is abandoned after 28 mins with McLaren having missed a penalty for Killie, their is much bad press for Killie about the game even being "on" before the cancellation occurred ! The replay will now "bump" the Rangers home SPL the following week with Killie now losing out on their share of the SKY TV money !
"We Were There"
Killie play to a better 0-0 draw at home with Aberdeen to start the month. Inverness were again next as Killie in the Scottish Cup and they pull off a 2-1 comeback win with goals from Kevin McGowne & Paul Wright from the spot. So Killie then took their place in the Quarter Final to Host Hibs and lost 0-1 to a goal scored in the 93rd min of the match ! Neither McLaren (who came on a sub) or Dargo were fit due to the flu ! Killie then lost next in midweek to Hearts 0-3 after keeper Marshall is red-carded. Killie's biggest outing of the season was to come next as they went down 0-3 to Celtic in the CIS Cup Final. After a decent first half Killie caved in with the loss of Ian Durrant after 38 mins, and a deflected shot for the Tic's 2nd !! Gary Holt is transferred to Norwich after the match, and Martin Baker then vows never to play for Bobby Williamson again as he is left out of the Final squad ! Baker then apologises ! Before the transfer deadline Killie swoop for the Airdrie Spanish duo of Jesus Sanjuan & Antonio Calderon ! Sanjuan makes a dream debut against Dundee laying on the opener for Craig Dargo, then leaves the match with a knee injury. Killie go on to get a 2-2 draw, after Dargo is sent off, and Alan Mahood was the man who pulled Killie even ! Killie's point ensure a top 6 SPL finish for the season. Killie are 5th in the SPL with 46 points from 31 matches.
Gus, Andy & Ally Celebrate Pars Home Win
Prior to the Pars home match Andy Smith is freed to sign with Raith Rovers, Craig Dargo gets a 3 match ban, & Garry Hay signs a new 3 year deal with Killie ! Killie then do go on to get their first home SPL win since Oct, 2-1 over Dunfermline, with Gus & Super Ally notching the goals.
Killie move back into 4th, and it looks like they will have to battle Hearts for a place in next seasons UEFA Cup ! Killie then face Rangers at home and lose 2-1, Garry Hay netting for Killie, with Ally McCoist missing a first half penalty ! It is learned that just prior to the match that assistant Killie boss Jim Clark has been hospitalised with a brain condition ! With 33 matches played the SPL "split" happens and Killie lead Hearts by 2 points with 49 from 33 matches.
Manager Bobby Williamson is then named as stand-in Scotland Under-21 Boss for their clash in Poland, which had some Killie some fans concerned that it may impede Killie's build-up to Hearts match, their second after the "split". To add to this ...The Hearts match has been brought forward to the Friday for a SKY TV audience. Killie then have a Press Conference to announce that children under 16 will get into Rugby Park free next season ! Killie do get a decent result to start their last 5 SPL fixtures with a point at Easter Road, with Christophe Cocard netting for Killie first in a 1-1 draw.
Andy McLaren is the drafted into the Scotland squad for the friendly in Poland, and he earns his first cap with a decent second half sub. performance ! The most important match of the season arrives on Friday the 29th as Killie host Hearts. The game ends in a 1-1 draw with Niemi in the Hearts goal having an inspired match. Kevin McGowne scores a brilliant free kick from outside the box, to help Killie maintain their 3 point cushion between them and Hearts, but Killie miss a great chance to wrap up a Euro spot as Christophe Cocard misses a first half spot kick !
Bobby, Coisty & Co Celebrate Euro Qualification
Chris Innes signs a new 3 year deal with Killie. Freddie Dindeleux signs a 2 year contract extension also . Killie then lose their next 2 away matches at Dundee 1-2 & Rangers 1-5, with Craig Dargo netting on both occasions for Killie. McCoist is on the bench at Ibrox and does not play, and Williamson is subject to a lot of abuse from the Rangers fans.
It is now becoming clear that Paul Wright is going to be moving on, and many Killie fans feel "Bunion" is getting similar treatment as Monty did when he left the club in 1998.
Ian Welch, the Killie CEO, announces his resignation. The FC Killie ladies team beat Ayr in the Scottish Cup Final. Killie's last SPL match Vs Celtic at home is moved to SKY TV, and Killie will need a win if Hearts beat Dundee , to qualify for Europe next season. Craig Dargo (pictured right with baz) wins the www.killiefc.com 2000-01 Player of the Year award ! With the Scottish Cup on their mind Celtic field a weakened side, and Alan Mahood nets the only goal to put Killie in Europe, to give Killie a vital 1-0 win over SPL Champions Celtic.
Then the celebrations began with the Killie players and management team getting deserved applause for a marvelous end to the season. There was also a terrific reception for strikers Paul Wright and Ally McCoist, both of whom have ended their playing relationship with the Rugby Park side. Before the end of May Alan Mahood, Colin Meldrum & Colin Stewart all accept new contracts to stay with Killie.
Finishing fourth in the SPL with 54 points from 38 matches, qualifying for Europe, reaching the CIS Cup final and the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup ... tell us ...it has was a pretty darn good year.