Motherwell gained three valuable points at Rugby Park thanks to Alan Campbell’s second half strike. The home side had the balance of play but failed to find the net.
With his second goal in two games Alan Campbell turned this match with a 15 yard strike into the roof of the net. A quick throw up the line from Jake Carroll followed by good footwork from Tony Watt presented the Motherwell hero with the chance in the 70th minute.
Graham Alexander had no difficulty is selecting his starting eleven and elected to go with those who opened in the previous two games.
Kilmarnock had the better of the first half although Liam Kelly was not tested. Both teams had a chance to fire on target with long range free kicks but the defensive walls held their shape and blocked the attempts.
Devante Cole had the best chance of the first period when he found the ball at his feet 16 yards from goal. Tony Watt was provider with a header but his fellow striker scuffed the shot giving Colin Doyle an easy catch.
There was plenty effort but no fluency. Motherwell rarely held possession for more than a couple of passes and Kilmarnock were quick to move forward with the scraps.
The pattern was repeated after the break. The home team looked sharper while Motherwell looked unsure and unconvincing. Yet for all Kilmarnock’s possession they were unable to fashion much in the way of goal chances. The claret and amber defence won the aerial battles with Bevis Mugabi leading by example. Shots were blocked by eager defenders and Kelly was on hand to mop up if needed.
Motherwell were rare visitors to the Killie goal but they did produce the best scoring opportunities. Jake Carroll delivered a long range free kick, Ricki Lamie headed to Cole and the striker header goalwards from close range forcing Doyle into an excellent stop.
Mark O’Hara replaced Robbie Crawford before the hour as we struggled to get a grip on the game. Just before Campbell’s goal the visitors produced a fine flowing move from back to front that deserved more than the offside flag at the end. But Campbell’s goal came and dealt a body blow to the home side.
The manager introduced fresh legs for the final hold out and after three added minutes that featured a good save by Kelly from Kabamba, Willie Collum ended the game.
It was a great result and sets the team up well for the arrival of Hamilton at Fir Park on Saturday.
Kilmarnock 0 Motherwell 1
Team: Kelly, O'Donnell, Lamie, Mugabi, Carroll, Maguire, Crawford (O'Hara 57), Campbell, Long (Smith 83), Watt, Cole (Magloire 83)
Wednesday 10 February 2021