SPFL Match 12 - October 24th 2015 - Dens Park
No. of Shots
Shots on Target
Magennis (9) Smith (48)
Jamie MacDonald, Steven Smith , Stuart Findlay, Rory McKenzie (Robinson 77), Kalum Higginbotham , Mark O'Hara, Craig Slater, Kevin McHattie, Greg Kiltie (Obadeyi 62), Conrad Balatoni, Josh Magennis (Kris Boyd 66).
Subs Not Used: Mark Ridgers, Jamie Hamill, Darryl Westlake, Lee Ashcroft.
James Morrison @ Dens Park
Dundee- City of Discovery and 6 points! Last season I travelled up to see Killie lose at Tannadice and having missed the equivalent game a few weeks ago I set off from Ayrshire on a rainy Saturday morning, although the forecast for Dundee was for sun and brightness! Reality kicked in immediately when I noticed the group sitting opposite me on the train was three blind/partially sited young people with two carers; I truly admire how such folk have a cheery disposition and their carers are fantastic. Maybe the football result wouldn't really matter but Killie were out to avenge the 0-4 thumping from the truly awful first game of the season.
Arriving in sunny Dundee I met my daughter who had driven down from her work base in Aberdeen. We headed up to Dens Park wondering if an unchanged Killie side would continue their recent good run of form. It was disappointing to find the hundreds of Killie fans squeezed into the end of the main stand - literally having to squeeze my skinny frame into a seat with less leg room than the East Stand at Rugby Park as shown in an accompanying picture!
Killie started confidently and were ahead within ten minutes when, following excellent link up play with captain Rory McKenzie, Kallum Higginbotham turned and twisted his way to the right-hand side before sending a hanging cross into the Dundee box. Magennis soared above the home defence and headed low into the bottom right-hand corner of Scott Bain's goal. Yet another quality Killie goal following the two excellent efforts against Inverness Caley.
I had not recognised the referee but he soon took centre stage- yellow carding Dundee central defender Meggatt for a deliberate handball which could have denied Magennis a goal scoring opportunity and then only booking their full back Holt for a shocking two footed tackle on Stevie Smith. On checking the programme I realised that as we approached Halloween it was a certain Andrew Dallas in a referee's costume.
Killie continued to push forwards and our Northern Irish striker was proving a real handful for the Dundee rearguard, using his strength and power to upset both James McPake and Daryll Meggat in central defence.
Live-wire Rory McKenzie came close to adding a second after finding space at the back post, his header hitting the side net. Magennis then took a brilliant first touch to go clear on goal but his effort was straight at Bain who blocked with his legs.
It was almost half -time before Jamie MacDonald was called into action cutting out a low cross ball. As Dallas blew to end the first half I wondered if Killie would regret not taking chances although the distraction of pantomime baddy Gary Harkins was certainly amusing. After looking slim and fit at Rugby Park in August it did look that he was no longer on a "Slimfast" diet!
Three minutes into the second half McKenzie shrugged off a tackle and set off on a mazy run beating three or four Dens defenders before laying the ball off to Stevie Smith - I admit to shouting "Hit it!" which he duly did dispatching a wonderful left foot strike past the despairing dive of Dundee keeper Bain.
Killie substituted Greg Kiltie with the enigmatic Tope Obedayi whose pace immediately caused problems to the home side. A few minutes later Josh Magennis came off with Kris Boyd replacing him - Gary Locke later explained that the on-form Josh had been nursing a hamstring problem.
Dundee had been poor, creating very little and I wondered if a set piece would be their best chance- and they duly scored following a short corner - on loan striker Rhys Healey heading past MacDonald. Another header, this time by Paul McGinn, required a truly wonderful one-handed save by Jamie MacDonald to keep Killie ahead.
After another magnificent run into the box McKenzie pulled up clutching his calf muscle and had to be substituted by Scott Robinson who duly gave the ball away a couple of times to the frustration and annoyance of the travelling support. There has been such a difference in the midfield from the early season Robinson - Hamill combination - which did seem like putting ice cream with tomato sauce instead of chocolate sauce!
Dundee only really started playing after they scored and what seemed an unlikely nervous final 10 minutes was brought to an end with Killie running down the clock with short corners and throw ins.
Having now taken 13 points from a possible 18 and with "twenty's plenty" in place at Rugby Park it's great to look forwards to next Saturday.....reading the Sunday sports pages....and watching another Killie win on Sunday night on Sportscene! #superKillieaway #KTID
Gary Locke: "This was our best away performance of the season. So all credit to the lads. I'm really just delighted for each and every one of them. We were excellent for 75 minutes to be fair. But then a bit of slackness led to their goal and then we were left hanging on near the end. But this is a difficult venue, so we're very happy to come away with the three points. It was a great save from Jamie, who didn't have a lot to do. It was one save today and he's come up with the goods. We're on a good run and Dundee are a good team, so we should be happy with our efforts."
Jamie MacDonald: "I think a top-six place was our aim at the start of the season and it is still the aim now, We need to aim as high as possible and we are more than capable of a top-six place this season. There has not been a massive difference in training, we are doing the same things now in training as we were then. New players, though, are gelling and there's confidence as well. I think the poor run at the end of last season was still hanging around the club. Their was immense pressure on the gaffer, There were a lot of people calling for his head. But if we keep winning then we can keep moving forward."
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