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Match Statistics

Dundee Killie

No. of Shots

6 4

Shots on Target

5 2

Possession

54% 46%

Fouls Conceded

7 11

Corners Won

12 5

Discipline

Goals Loy (18)

Balatoni (55)

 

Killie Team

Jamie MacDonald, Stuart Findlay (Mark O'Hara 35 ), Miles Addison, Conrad Balatoni , Lee Hodson, Julien Faubert (Craig Slater 45), Adam Frizzell, Gary Dicker, Greg Kiltie, Josh Magennis, Kris Boyd.
Subs Not Used: Conor Brennan, Alex Henshall, Tope Obadeyi, Greg Taylor, Jack Whitaker.

Man of the Match Vote

 

Match Report

Alan Walker @ Dens Park

It has been said before that Killie will almost certainly be in a different division from their opponents next year. That statement became closer to the truth last week when Killie were pumped 0-2 by Thistle and thus confined to the play-off spot to face either Falkirk or Hibernian. This meant that manager Clark has two games to tinker with the team, try out some new tactics, and get the players mentally prepared for the crucial two-leg playoff.

Tinkering with the team was certainly on Clark’s mind. Celtic loanee Findlay was brought in from the cold to play left-back, with Hodson moving over to right-back and O’Hara dropping to the bench. This was tough on O’Hara, who certainly wasn’t the worst against Thistle, and tough on Findlay as he isn’t a full back. Actual left back McHaddie was nowhere to be seen. Faubert replaced Slater who, like most of the midfield, was posted missing on Saturday. Killie starlet Kiltie replaced McKenzie who is a booking away from missing the playoffs. Higginbotham missing out for, presumably, the same reason.

It would be fair to say that Dundee were by far the better team in the first half. Killie had three points of note, a header from Balatoni which went wide, a shot from Magennis which went wide and a substitution: young Findlay being replaced by O’Hara as he was having a torrid time against ex-Killie Rory Loy and the other Dundee strikers. One such torrid moment for Findlay came in the form of his letting Loy get in front of him for a ball down the wing. Findlay fell over the striker and the free-kick from Stewart almost crept in at the front post. MacDonald on hand.

MacDonald had no chance on the 18th minute though. Dundee had three corners in quick succession and the third was well worked. It was rolled along the ground to the edge of the box, where Ross met it with a little cross. Rory Loy got away from Findlay to glance the ball into the far corner of the net. Findlay substituted 17 minutes later.

Hodson performed a little better in the left-back role, and so Dundee resorted to testing the slow centre-back pairing of Balatoni and Addison. Rory Loy should have made it 2-0 when he raced through the defence but could only shot straight at the oncoming MacDonald. Hemmings did likewise a minute before half time, Addison lucky to think twice about his ‘last-man’ tug.

Slater replaced the ineffective Faubert at the break and so it is anyone’s guess as to which one of the midfielders will get the nod against the Championship side next week. Slater had an immediate impact. Kiltie won a free-kick on the left and Slater’s free-kick was well-judged by Balatoni as he headed the ball into the far post. An overdue goal from Balatoni, a muted celebration from the Killie team, a wry smile from the few Killie fans who attended.

That was almost about it for Killie’s second half showing. Dundee almost took the lead soon after when a cross from Stewart was met on the head by Etxabeguren, but Addison had backtracked enough to clear the ball off the line.

MacDonald was close to another red card for the season and perhaps Clark should consider this for the United game. He rushed out to meet another through ball from Stewart to Ross and must’ve got the faintest of touches on the ball before hammering Ross to the ground. No penalty (meh) and no red card (hallelujah) for MacDonald.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Dicker had a tame shot easily saved by Bain.

Back to Macdonald’s goal, another through ball for Stewart led to a chance for Arturo but he couldn’t get his feet in order. Furthermore, Loy had another shot saved by MacDonald after the ball broke free in the box. Loy tried to turn provider after twisting and turning free of Hodson in the box, but Arturo’s header was well saved by MacDonald. The same goes for Arturo’s shot from about 2 yards moments later.

On the whole, another defensive shambles with only MacDonald saving Killie from another 5-goal pumping. Those who didn’t attend the match might be surprised to hear that Boyd, Magennis and Frizzell all got a game, but did little enough to warrant a mention. Plenty of problems for Clark to consider, especially considering the speed of the opposition we might face in the playoffs and the speed of our defence. Solutions to those problems may be as hard to find as McHattie…

 

Comments

Lee Clark: "We were very, very disappointed in our performance in that first half. It was very lethargic, very flat and nothing like what we had based some of our previous performances on. Those involved a lot of energy and being solid, being strong and being a threat ourselves. None of those things were shown in the first 45. But we had a good conversation at half-time and we came out much, much better. We got the goal and had other opportunities to score. However, when the players can produce what they did in the second half, you have to put that first-half display down to a mental situation because it was such a huge difference. We are not a group who can switch off like that. Our success has come off the back of real hard work and organisation. But we won't start like that again. We've had a good chat after the game and it will not be repeated."

 

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