|Goals||McLean (90 Pen)||
Curtis Lyle, Jack Whittaker, Scott McLean, Taylor Queen, Lewis Clark, Sam Lidington, Adam Frizzell, Dean Hawkshaw, Innes Cameron, Trialist (Darren Curtis 45), Jack Paterson.
Subs Not Used: Oliver McDonald, Kenny Barr, Thomas Dempsie, Paddy Queen, Ewan McLevy, Ross Wylie.
Oliver Pain, Thomas Fry, Adam Livingstone, Barry Maguire, David Ferguson, Alan Campbell, Jake Hastie, David Turnbull, James Scott (Alfredo Agyeman 89), Stephen Pearson (Dylan Mackin 67), Shea Gordon.
Subs: Jordan Armstrong, Jordan Pettigrew.
Gary Kirkpatrick @ Rugby Park
A confidently dispatched last gasp penalty helped Killie see off a toothless Motherwell and gain a welcome three points in the league at Rugby Park. Scott McLean, skillful winger turned efficient full-back for the night, provided his side with another win - two on the bounce - to lift the Ayrshiremen up to 11th place in the Development League table. Yet again, Killie’s attack was spearheaded by an unnamed trialist. However, his night was a fruitless one. Despite a couple of nice touches, He never looked like a genuine threat and was substituted at the interval for Darren Curtis. It wasn’t the prettiest of affairs. There were some sporadic moments of neat football in and around the penalty area but casting a cloud over both sides was a cutting edge in the final third - thus the lack of goals. Motherwell didn’t come across as a team who had scored 16 goals in their last 3 matches. They seemed a bit sluggish and proved to be ineffectual in attack. Killie weren’t great either but the lads secured the three points and that was the requirement heading into the match.
The match started with both teams handing each other possession back and forth before Killie settled and found some rhythm to their play. The trialist almost made a dream start but his audacious, looping flick from 15 yards out went just wide. It was then James Scott’s turn to throw away a good opportunity for Motherwell. A lovely curling cross from Adam Livingstone was directed towards the unmarked Scott but he failed to connect properly with the ball. Motherwell continued to struggle in attack and failed to hit the target for the remainder of the first period. Meanwhile, Killie saw efforts from Hawkshaw and McLean fail to threaten Steelmen keeper Oliver Pain. In fairness, despite the distinct absence of firepower from both teams, the defending was top drawer and undoubtedly played a factor in the eventual low scoreline.
It was much the same for the second half. There were several chances, notably for the Rugby Park side but they couldn’t be converted. Motherwell continued to offer little and seemed to be playing for the draw. The busy McLean saw a fierce left-footed drive narrowly miss the target and from his beautiful cross, striker Innes Cameron rose but failed to meet the ball in the air, similar to Scott’s chance for ‘Well in the first half. McLean then drove another delicious ball across the face of goal but with Cameron and young Jack Paterson waiting to gobble up the chance, they somehow both missed the ball. Cue the touchline frustrations of Killie coach Paul Stephenson. Motherwell’s Jake Hastie fired hopeful efforts towards Lyle’s goal but nothing that was going to trouble the keeper. He almost opened the scoring when he found space in the box but his skewed shot sailed high and wide out of play.
Just as the game drew to a close, the referee awarded a penalty to Killie on 90 minutes after Jack Paterson’s driving run into the box was brought to a thumping halt by keeper Pain - a ‘painful’ one to take. So up stepped the brilliant McLean. With the chance to seal victory, he duly smashed the ball down the middle to put Killie ahead with minutes to spare. Motherwell did have another shot on goal moments later but it was well blocked by Taylor Queen. It proved to be the final action of the night as Killie won for the second league game in a row - not something that has happened very often this campaign. Next up for Killie is a trip to the Paisley 2021 Stadium where they will face St Mirren. That game kicks off at 6pm on 14th February.
All images © Gary Kirkpatrick and should not be reproduced without his permission