Motherwell and Kilmarnock will send echoes bouncing around an empty Rugby Park on Friday evening as they search for precious league points.
Almost 6,000 fans watched a Jake Carroll free kick secure a win for Motherwell on our last visit to the artificial surface. That goal returned Stephen Robinson’s team to third place and that’s where we stayed when the curtailed season ended. A repeat of that result would lift us to the eleven point mark that Killie already occupy.
They won on the last visit
Our hosts have found a bit of form. After a poor start, wins over Dundee United, Hamilton and St Mirren have shot them up the table with nine points from the last four games. Nicke Kabamba scored three times in those four fixtures.
Chris Burke has played an important part in creating the confidence that must be in the Rugby Park home changing room. The veteran supplied the ball for Kabamba’s winner last weekend. Alan Power and Greg Kiltie joined the striker in getting praise from Alex Dyer after that match. An unchanged side is likely to take to the pitch on Friday.
Motherwell faced Rangers on Sunday hoping for a third league win in a row. Instead, avoidance of a third straight defeat is the task ahead. The losses in Israel and at Fir Park will be forgiven if we can beat the odds under the floodlights.
The manager seems to have settled on Tony Watt as his first choice striker with either Callum Lang or Chris Long as a partner. One clear difficulty has come from the concession of penalties. Almost half of the 18 goals lost this season (in all competitions) have come from spot kicks. Maybe an adaptation of the kit to include deep pockets could help, with instructions to defenders to bury both hands deep when the opposition launch balls into our area.
The game is available at ppv.kilmarnockfc.co.uk for £12.50.
Let’s hope for an entertaining night’s viewing. 2-2.