SPFL Match 13 - October 31st 2015 - Rugby Park
1964-65 Championship Winning Full Back
No. of Shots
Shots on Target
Jamie MacDonald, Mark O'Hara, Conrad Balatoni, Stuart Findlay , Steven Smith, Craig Slater, Kevin McHattie , Rory McKenzie , Greg Kiltie, (Tope Obadeyi 72), Kalum Higginbotham (Kris Boyd 85), Josh Magennis .
Subs Not Used: Mark Ridgers, Jamie Hamill, Lee Ashcroft, Dale Carrick.
David Shaw @ Rugby Park
Killie welcomed Motherwell to The Theatre of Pies on a sunny Halloween afternoon, hoping for a third straight league victory and a chance to go seven points clear of the Steelmen.
Motherwell have recently appointed former Aberdeen manager, Mark McGhee, as their new boss. McGhee famously stated that he only took the Dons job because Celtic didn’t want him. Presumably he only took the Motherwell job because Poundland aren’t hiring at the moment!
For the first time in a long while, Killie fans found themselves watching their team go into this league match as bookies favourites, thanks partly to the rise from the ashes of metamorphic frontman, Josh Magennis. Not only has the superstar internationalist striker scored regularly for club and country in the last few weeks; not only has he kept the SPL’s all-time leading goal scorer on the bench during this period; but incredibly Josh has managed to stop enigmatic Killie critic, Gordon Sawers, from trolling YouTube with his weekly ‘rantathon’! Life sure is good for Killie fans right now – but would it continue today?
Killie lined up with the same team that defeated Dundee last Saturday, persisting with their attacking looking 4-2-3-1 formation. Motherwell also lined up with a positive formation – McDonald and Robinson up top with wingers Johnson and Ainsworth supporting. And after a minute’s applause for Killie legends, Matt Watson and Billy Muir, who both passed away recently, 3951 faithful supporters prepared for an exciting afternoon’s football.
Alas, Mark McGhee clearly played two wide men with the sole intention of stopping Killie’s overlapping full-backs from bombing forward. Nevertheless, Killie started the brightest with their attacking midfield spraying passes about with an elegance that was sadly lacking a few months ago. Motherwell defended their box extremely well and Killie were restricted to a McKenzie drive being deflected just wide after 20 minutes and a long range shot from the same player being saved comfortably just before the break. Motherwell enjoyed a few brief forays forward in the first half but McDonald was a virtual spectator in goals for Killie. The only other highlight of any significance was a flare up between McHattie and Ainsworth that resulted in a booking each.
The second half began with Motherwell suddenly coming to life and trying to get a foothold in the midfield. The lively Johnson started to glide past O’Hara with ease, but thankfully for Killie, McDonald and Robinson were a yard short of any crosses and McDonald continued to enjoy a relatively easy afternoon in goal for Ayrshire’s finest.
Killie came back into it with a Higginbotham snapshot and then a Magennis header but still they couldn’t break the deadlock. Then, the game’s best effort saw a screaming half volley from Higgy brilliantly saved by Ripley in the Well goal. At this point, Killie fans started to feel that it just might not be their day.
Further efforts from Kiltie and McKenzie fared no better and despite Killie’s dominance you felt that Motherwell might just snatch a goal on the break. Obadeyi and Boyd replaced Kiltie and Higgy but still the goal wouldn’t come for the home side. And with only 3 minutes remaining, substitute Moult who had come on earlier for the injured Robinson, swiped at a loose ball in the box to win the game for the Steelmen and wake up the 637 comatose Well fans in the Chadwick Stand.
It was certainly rough justice on a Killie side that played well in stages. Referee Madden didn’t entirely help their cause with some strange decisions, including a ridiculous booking for Magennis. And to be fair, some credit must go to Mark McGhee for getting his tactics absolutely spot on.
Ironically, the only goal scored by someone in a Killie shirt today was by Gordon Sawers who took part in a bizarre halftime penalty shout out – on his own! Let’s hope he left the ground in a good mood!
Gary Locke: "I thought we played really well in the game and, if we take our chances, we win the game comfortably. I thought we dominated the game, but Motherwell did look dangerous on the counter-attacks. But I'm really frustrated and disappointed because I certainly don't think we got what we deserved from the game. But, when you get the chances, you've got to take them. [Earlier in the season] We got beat in a couple of games and it was a really disappointing manner in the way we were beaten. We're certainly not happy at losing the game, but if the lads give us that effort and commitment week-in, week-out, we'll win more games than we lose."
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