Kilmarnock 2-0 Motherwell

Kilmarnock handed Celtic the opportunity to clinch the league title at Ibrox with a comfortable win over Motherwell at Rugby Park.

Shortly after the half-time break, Paul Heffernan fired in after going one-on-one with Darren Randolph.

Tom Hateley handled in his own penalty area in the 62nd minute and Heffernan converted from the spot for the second.

Motherwell failed to mount a second-half challenge and Kilmarnock claimed a well-earned three points.

Killie's win keeps their top-six hopes alive, although the Ayrshire side remain five points behind sixth-placed Hearts with an inferior goal difference.

The Steelmen hang on to second place, level on points with Rangers, who host Celtic in Sunday's all-important title decider.

At the final whistle, the players took the opportuity to display the League Cup to their fans in a modest display which included a training jersey tribute to Liam Kelly, who was unavailable following the death of his father on Sunday at Hampden.

Killie were without four of their League Cup winning side, with Mo Sissoko and Dean Shiels suspended and Danny Buijs was out with the hamstring injury.

Motherwell brought in centre-backs Shaun Hutchinson and Tim Clancy following suspension, with Jonathan Page dropping to the bench and teenager Adam Cummins out of the squad.

The first proper attempt on goal in the match didn't arrive until the 25th minute, when Tom Hateley delivered an outswinging corner that Henrik Ojamaa sent goal-bound, but Ben Gordon made the clearance.

Shaun Hutchinson had a header blocked by team-mate Henrik Ojamaa and Gary Harkins opened up the visiting defence to set Dieter van Tornhout free, but Randolph was quickly off his line to make the second touch his.

Moments later, Van Tornhout fired in a shot at the other end that was blocked by Stevie Hammell.

Heffernan powered down on goal and sent in a powerful shot towards the Motherwell goal, but it edged wide.

Immediately after the restart, Heffernan found the opener, taking two attempts to get the ball past Randolph.

Randolph initially made the save from the first attempt, but the ball bounced kindly to Heffernan on the rebound and he knocked it into the back of the net.

The Irish goalkeeper had to work hard to keep out a solid effort from Gary Harkins as the Ayrshire side sought to extend their lead.

With just over an hour played, Hateley handled the ball in his own penalty area and referee Crawford Allan pointed to the spot.

Heffernan stepped up and made no mistake to double his tally for the day.

Moments later, Allan waved away Kilmarnock claims that Hutchinson had handled inside the area again.

Chris Johnston sent in a shot in the 77th minute that was blocked by Hateley as Kilmarnock continued to press ahead with confidence.

Motherwell could not muster a reply and all eyes now look towards Ibrox on Sunday as Celtic aim to take this season's title prize against Rangers.

Live text commentaryexternal-link

Top Stories