Scottish Premiership
Kilmarnock0Ross County2

Kilmarnock 0-2 Ross County

Owen Coyle started his reign as Ross County manager with a comfortable win against struggling Kilmarnock.

Craig Curran headed his sixth goal of the season from an excellent Davis Keillor-Dunn cross.

Dutchman Kenny van der Weg notched his first ever County goal to extend the visitors' lead with a nice, dinked finish before the break.

Killie brought Kris Boyd on for the second half and he squandered two good chances when well placed.

Ross County have now won on six of their last seven visits to Rugby Park.

Back in the nineties, Killie manager Lee McCulloch used to clean the boots of new Staggies boss Coyle when they were players at Motherwell.

Kenny van der Weg scores
Kenny van der Weg scored his first goal for Ross County to make it 2-0

They were reunited at Rugby Park today after former Burnley, Blackburn and Bolton boss Coyle was brought in to replace the sacked Jim McIntyre this week.

This was the Staggies' first Premiership victory since the opening day of the season at Dundee, and it was another bad home result for winless Killie, as the pressure mounts on manager Lee McCulloch.

Coyle commented in his pre-match interview that he really liked what he had seen from youngster Keillor-Dunn in the couple of days he had conducted training this week.

The 19-year-old lived up to the billing as he created the opening goal, waiting patiently for the perfect time to curl in a cross for Curran to clinically nod the ball past Jamie MacDonald and into the corner of the net.

Booing ensued from the home fans, but worse was to follow.

Only Jordan Jones and Adam Frizzell had seriously threatened for Killie, and the hosts fell further behind before the break.

Owen Coyle
Owen Coyle oversaw a convincing win for Ross County in his first match in charge

Van der Weg picked up the ball just inside the Killie half, broke forward and released Curran whose attempted shot broke back to the Dutchman. He showed good composure to clip a shot over the onrushing MacDonald and into the net.

More booing followed and McCulloch responded by bringing striker Boyd off the bench for the second half.

The former Rangers man put a header well over the crossbar from a great position and spurned another close-range chance as the hosts tried to rally.

Jamie Lindsay and Curran had opportunities to make County's win even sweeter, going close with efforts from distance, and captain Andrew Davies was brave to throw his body on the line to block Dom Thomas's low drive.

Post-match reaction

Kilmarnock manager Lee McCulloch: "That was pretty bad. I feel we weren't at it in the first half. I've told the players I feel really let down by their application in the first half.

"In the second half we gave it a go but the game was won and lost in a 30-minute period in the first half when we didn't get close to anybody. At 2-0 it didn't look as if we had that spark to get it back.

"No, I don't [feel under pressure]. I am feeling all right just now. I have just told the players my honest opinion. Of course we are [going to bounce back].

"The truth has been told in the dressing room. The fans are entitled [to boo]. With that first-half performance, the fans were pretty kind, to be honest."

Ross County manager Owen Coyle: "We were well worth the points and could maybe have added to the tally. When we did have to defend, we were brave and stood up. So I'm delighted with how they went about it.

"We're trying to encourage them to pass the ball and move at the right times and there were spells when we looked very pleasing on the eye. But that counts for nothing if you don't get the finish. We had the penetration to go with the quality of passing. It's the first clean sheet in the Premiership this season, which is so important, it gives you the platform to win football matches.

"Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds are good friends and good football people. They did very well at Ross County. Unfortunately the season didn't start well for them. I know that feeling, it happened to me at Wigan. I feel for the lads, but we know the nature of football, sometimes it can be a difficult business. We've all experienced that, but they'll bounce back. There's a good job out there for them."

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 4Greer
  • 17Findlay
  • 12Taylor
  • 18WatersSubstituted forBoydat 45'minutes
  • 33Hawkshaw
  • 15Thomas
  • 21Frizzell
  • 11Jones
  • 22ErwinSubstituted forBrophyat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Broadfoot
  • 6Power
  • 9Boyd
  • 25Brophy
  • 26Bell
  • 28Spencer
  • 29Burke

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 3Naismith
  • 2Fraser
  • 15Davies
  • 28van der Weg
  • 7Gardyne
  • 18Lindsay
  • 17DraperSubstituted forChowat 64'minutes
  • 25O'BrienSubstituted forKellyat 90+1'minutes
  • 40Keillor-DunnSubstituted forDowat 71'minutes
  • 11Curran

Substitutes

  • 6Kelly
  • 8Chow
  • 9Dow
  • 10Schalk
  • 19Mikkelsen
  • 22Mckay
  • 51Munro
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
3,337

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home1
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away10
Fouls
Home10
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Kilmarnock 0, Ross County 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 0, Ross County 2.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Sean Kelly replaces Jim O'Brien.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Stuart Findlay.

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

Foul by Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock).

Attempt missed. Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Foul by Jamie Lindsay (Ross County).

Adam Frizzell (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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

Foul by Adam Frizzell (Kilmarnock).

Attempt saved. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Dom Thomas (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Jim O'Brien (Ross County) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Gordon Greer.

Foul by Tim Chow (Ross County).

Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Michael Gardyne.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Eamonn Brophy replaces Lee Erwin.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Ryan Dow replaces Davis Keillor-Dunn.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Tim Chow replaces Ross Draper.

Attempt saved. Stephen O'Donnell (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

Attempt saved. Jamie Lindsay (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Craig Curran (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Jordan Jones.

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

Foul by Gordon Greer (Kilmarnock).

Attempt blocked. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

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

Foul by Gordon Greer (Kilmarnock).

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from the right side of the six yard box is high and wide to the right.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

Foul by Jamie Lindsay (Ross County).

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

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Stuart Findlay.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic86202051520
2Aberdeen8620156920
3Rangers84221711614
4St Johnstone84221311214
5Motherwell84131310313
6Hibernian83411412213
7Hearts8233710-39
8Dundee82241016-68
9Hamilton82151217-57
10Ross County8215714-77
11Partick Thistle8035816-83
12Kilmarnock8035513-83
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