Kilmarnock 1-2 Motherwell

By John BarnesBBC Scotland

Motherwell picked up their first win in seven matches against Kilmarnock to give them an ideal boost ahead of their Europa League tie against Levante.

The visitors opened the scoring when Jamie Murphy dribbled his way to goal, shooting from 14 yards.

Killie equalised on the half-hour when Gary Harkins met a Liam Kelly pass, his first-time strike hitting home.

Jamie Murphy met a Michael Higdon pass and rounded Kilmarnock keeper Cammy Bell to regain the advantage.

Killie's first real chance fell the way of Rory Boulding. Neat play from Gary Harkins on the edge of the box created the opening and, as the ball broke to the striker, his shot was deflected over the bar.

Motherwell's best early opportunity fell to Michael Higdon after nine minutes when he fired a volley from 22 yards just wide of Cammy Bell's goal.

Three minutes later the visitors made the breakthrough.

Lee Johnson was caught in possession and Jamie Murphy took full advantage, eluding two defenders and slotting a right-foot shot from 16 yards into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Another Killie mistake, this time by skipper Manuel Pascali, almost allowed Motherwell to increase their lead as his miscued header landed at the feet of Michael Higdon, however the 'Well striker pulled his left-foot effort wide.

After Rory Boulding also shot wide, Kilmarnock found the equaliser on the half-hour mark.

Harkins, who was at the heart of most of their attacks, finished off a neat move, shooting past Randolph.

In the 36th minute Motherwell went back in front as the game flowed from end to end. A quick break from the visitors caught the Killie defence flat footed on the half-way line.

Higdon slipped a neat pass through to release Murphy a couple of yards inside the Killie half, and the former Scotland Under-21 striker ran straight towards Bell's goal, rounded the keeper and knocked it into the empty net to claim his and Motherwell's second.

Killie made a double substitution nine minutes after the interval.

Lee Johnson was replaced by Danny Raachi in the midfield while new Spanish signing Borja Perez came on for Matthew Kennedy.

Murphy, having scored twice in the first half, came close to adding a third in the 55th minute. Slack defending by Killie allowed Henrik Ojamaa the chance to set up Murphy but his right-foot effort flew over.

A few minutes later the roles were reversed. This time Murphy found Ojamaa inside the box and the Estonian international sent a curling effort inches wide of Bell's left hand post.

Raachi almost pulled Killie level in the 62nd minute but he found Randolph in top form . The big 'keeper diving to his right to parry Raachi's 25-yard strike.

Killie pushed for the equaliser but they were being hit on the break by Motherwell.

The speedy Ojamaa was at the heart of most of those counters and came close on a few occasions.

Higdon met a Murphy cross full on the volley from 15 yards but his effort flew over the bar.

With two minutes left to play substitute Fraser Kerr almost added a third for the visitors.

Kerr showed neat skills to get past two defenders before firing in a shot from 12 yards which Bell somehow managed to superbly turn over the top.

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