Scottish Premiership
Kilmarnock3Ross County2

Kilmarnock 3-2 Ross County

Sean Longstaff scores for Kilmarnock against Ross County
Sean Longstaff's stoppage-time winner earned Kilmarnock victory over Ross County

Kris Boyd scored after just 10.4 seconds as Kilmarnock beat Ross County to go eighth in the Scottish Premiership.

The ex-Scotland striker pounced to lift the ball home, but within 12 minutes Killie were behind to goals from Christopher Routis and Alex Schalk.

Gary Dicker levelled for a persistent home side on the hour mark.

And Sean Longstaff struck low beyond Scott Fox in stoppage time to snatch three vital points for Killie.

Killie's good start turns sour

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Highlights: Kilmarnock 3-2 Ross County

Kilmarnock could scarcely have hoped for a better start to the match, as Boyd struck before many fans had taken their seats.

After the Scottish Cup exit to Hamilton Academical and the midweek departure of star man Souleymane Coulibaly, it was a much-needed lift for the Kilmarnock followers.

But the sense of urgency and belief with which the home team started the game took County only seven minutes to puncture and a further five to deflate entirely.

As the home crowd got on the players' backs, so the confidence drained, passes went astray and the visitors took advantage of the malaise.

County show their class

Ross County are too good an attacking team to be fazed by the concession of an early goal and the manner in which they responded underlined their own self-belief.

In Routis they have acquired a creative midfielder with an ability to sniff out goalscoring opportunities and he did so for the third time in two games to draw his side level.

And sensing Killie's nerves beginning to jangle, they quickly struck again through Schalk.

Playing on the counter-attack they threatened to put the game beyond Lee Clark's side, who slowly edged their way back into the game.

Killie revival

Clark had expressed optimism that his new-look squad could push for a place in the Premiership top six rather than be forced to fight a relegation battle.

And as the game wore on, his new signings - Cal Roberts, Longstaff and Kristoffer Ajer - grew in influence, although Karleigh Osbourne was subbed early on, having looked vulnerable.

Their equaliser was thoroughly deserved and hinted at better things to come.

Longstaff's winner provided further proof of that and if Clark can secure some of the Coulibaly cash to bolster his striking options, the top six may well be a realistic goal.

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Interviews: Lee McCulloch and Jim McIntyre

Kilmarnock assistant manager Lee McCulloch: "After scoring the early goal, the next 10 minutes, we were all over the place. We got it back together, got the ball down, and passed it.

"The young lads (new signings) have come in and made a difference, we're looking more energetic, and we've got a good shape to us. It's all about picking up points and it's brilliant to get those three today."

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre: "The second goal was a big goal. It's a corner kick, we drop the runner and he scores, and that gave Kilmarnock impetus.

"And again, for the third, we've got a throw-in, easy possession, it's a misplaced pass, indecision, and we're punished again.

"It's really disappointing, because after the early goal, our response was fantastic. We looked as if we could go on and score more.

"We were very, very guilty of making poor decisions in the second half. You've got to credit Kilmarnock for putting us under a lot of pressure, but it was coming from us being slack in possession."

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 17Woodman
  • 27Hendrie
  • 20Ajer
  • 5OsborneBooked at 6minsSubstituted forWilsonat 33'minutes
  • 24Taylor
  • 7McKenzieBooked at 75mins
  • 8Dicker
  • 3Smith
  • 18Longstaff
  • 9BoydSubstituted forTysonat 82'minutes
  • 25RobertsSubstituted forJonesat 54'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1MacDonald
  • 11Jones
  • 12Tyson
  • 21Frizzell
  • 33Hawkshaw
  • 36Wilson
  • 44Cameron

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 2Fraser
  • 43Quinn
  • 28van der Weg
  • 5McEveleyBooked at 87mins
  • 12Chow
  • 8Woods
  • 4RoutisSubstituted forCurranat 62'minutes
  • 9DowSubstituted forGardyneat 65'minutes
  • 10BoyceBooked at 45mins
  • 23SchalkSubstituted forO'Brienat 53'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Naismith
  • 6O'Brien
  • 7Gardyne
  • 11Curran
  • 19Gobern
  • 27Lalkovic
  • 31McCarey
Referee:
Barry Cook
Attendance:
3,207

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home10
Away6
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away1
Fouls
Home5
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Kilmarnock 3, Ross County 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 3, Ross County 2.

Iain Wilson (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Craig Curran (Ross County).

Goal!

Goal! Kilmarnock 3, Ross County 2. Sean Longstaff (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Jones.

Attempt saved. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Booking

Jay McEveley (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jay McEveley (Ross County).

Attempt missed. Liam Boyce (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Nathan Tyson replaces Kris Boyd.

Foul by Steven Smith (Kilmarnock).

Martin Woods (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

Craig Curran (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Michael Gardyne replaces Ryan Dow.

Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kenny van der Weg (Ross County).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Craig Curran replaces Christopher Routis.

Goal!

Goal! Kilmarnock 2, Ross County 2. Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kris Boyd.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Kenny van der Weg.

Attempt blocked. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Paul Quinn.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Scott Fox.

Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jay McEveley.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Jordan Jones replaces Callum Roberts.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Jim O'Brien replaces Alex Schalk.

Attempt missed. Callum Roberts (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Attempt missed. Christopher Routis (Ross County) right footed shot from long range on the right is too high.

Second Half

Second Half begins Kilmarnock 1, Ross County 2.

Half Time

First Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Ross County 2.

Booking

Liam Boyce (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jay McEveley.

Attempt saved. Sean Longstaff (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic21201055144161
2Rangers2212643021942
3Aberdeen21124538191940
4Hearts2187638261231
5St Johnstone228772825331
6Partick Thistle225892429-523
7Ross County225892539-1423
8Kilmarnock225891937-1823
9Dundee2264122131-1022
10Motherwell2156102535-1021
11Hamilton2221192134-1317
12Inverness CT2238112640-1417
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