Killie's run ended by marvellous Motherwell

Last updated : 27 February 2010 By Firparkcorner

There were two changes to this week's starting eleven. Jutkiewicz returned as did Humphrey with Coke demoted to the bench. O'Brien was missing, reported as 'ill'.

We kicked off facing the Killie fans in the upper tier of the South stand and immediately took charge. We earned the first of several early corners inside the opening minute. Ruddy was a spectator for the first 25 minutes, it took them so long to mount anything like an attack.

Craigan clears the line

Despite our possession we made no breakthrough in the first period. A dangerous low cross from Hammell forced Hay to clear over the bar from inside his own six yard box but the best chance fell to Murphy in 41 minutes when a defensive lapse freed him with only the keeper to beat. He choose the narrow gap between Bell and his near post instead of the long way round but the save was made.

We were forced to make a change when Jutkiewicz signalled that he needed to come off. He was replaced by Coke in 38 minutes. Murphy put in an excellent shift in the first half. His runs and constant probing gave the Killie defence all sorts of problems.

Half time entertainment

We were entertained at the break by dancing girls, fountains, substitutes warming up, ground staff repairing the pitch the SPL inspector examining the surface in detail - there must have been thirty folk on the park!

The second half was a more even affair. Killie came into the game and there was more end to end action. The game was not helped by the difficult conditions and the occasional bobble embarrassed the players but we persevered and tried to pass through midfield when possible.

The breakthrough came midway through the half. Coke was fouled at the angle of the box and a free kick was awarded. Hateley curled the dead ball to the far post and Murphy's head got a touch to help it onto the net. Bell was fixed to his line and the game was won.

The remaining twenty minutes had more action than the previous seventy. Killie pushed forward but Ruddy was not beaten. Murphy could have doubled the lead in the closing minutes. A fine run from Coke presented the young striker with a great chance but he pulled the effort wide. In his defence he was wearing only one boot at the time and had to recover the missing footwear from a sandy divot some way outside the box!

Craigan set up the perfect winning performance before his testimonial dinner with a fine showing. Only a collapse will rob us of a top six finish and a win next week in Perth could all but ensure it. Well done lads!