Scottish Premiership
Kilmarnock0Motherwell2

Kilmarnock 0-2 Motherwell

Superior finishing by Motherwell lifted them into third place in the Scottish Premiership as Kilmarnock continued their league struggle.

Home striker Kris Boyd spurned a decent chance in either half as he waited too long to shoot then headed over from close range.

His team-mate in goal, Craig Samson, tipped over a header by John Sutton.

But he was powerless to stop Sutton's diving header in 55 minutes or Henri Anier's composed finish late on.

Seven places and 13 points separated the lowly hosts and Motherwell, but Killie knew if they could better Ross County's result at Hearts, they would at least move up a place.

That would surely have gone down as progress for manager Allan Johnston, who is searching for a consistent, pleasing level of performance.

In Manuel Pascali and Stephen McManus both teams had straight-backed, resolute central defenders but it was the former who threatened in the opposition half early on.

The popular Italian aimed a firm header from 14 yards that Gunnar Nielsen in the 'Well goal had to be lively to catch.

John Sutton celebrates after scoring for Motherwell against Kilmarnock
Striker Sutton broke the deadlock with a header 10 minutes in the second half

But the visitors were gifted a chance when Northern Irish midfielder Sammy Clingan dithered on the ball and allowed Craig Moore to nip in on the edge of the box only to fire wide.

And Moore wasted two further chances as Kilmarnock struggled to clear their lines.

Clingan was involved in the play far more than his fellow midfielder Barry Nicholson and had the home fans applauding his effort from a free-kick that floated a fraction over.

Killie's attacking midfielder Chris Johnston set up the best chance of the first half for Boyd with an incisive pass down the inside-left channel. The striker shrugged off one challenge but tried to set himself too perfectly instead of shooting and the opportunity was gone.

That preceded a superb save by Samson. Fraser Kerr swung a perfect cross into the box and Sutton powered a goalbound header from 10 yards, which the Killie number one managed to tip over.

But parity lasted only 10 minutes after the restart. Iain Vigurs crossed low and Sutton seemed the only player with the desire to go for it as he dived headlong to nod home.

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Interview - Motherwell boss Stuart McCall

Kilmarnock come close to levelling immediately as Johnston snaked through the Motherwell defence and passed to Boyd, who set up Michael Gardyne.

His firm shot was parried by Gunnar Nielsen and there were no takers as Jeroen Tesselaar blasted a low ball across the face of goal on the rebound.

Clingan twice tried his luck from range with either foot before Gardyne lofted a beautiful cross for Boyd who, to Gardyne's disbelief, headed over from six yards.

Pascali's close-range header was gratefully grasped by the well-positioned Nielsen and it was clear by that stage that the next goal would be decisive.

That it should come for Motherwell upset the home fans who booed their team at the final whistle.

Anier, a replacement for Moore, took possession of the ball on the edge of the box, surged forward and made sure of the points with a cool, left-foot finish.

Consistency remains elusive for an increasingly embattled Johnston in the Killie dugout.

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 1Samson
  • 16Clohessy
  • 2Tesselaar
  • 8ClinganSubstituted forWinchesterat 86'minutes
  • 29PascaliBooked at 69mins
  • 26O'Hara
  • 7NicholsonSubstituted forMcKenzieat 72'minutes
  • 10Johnston
  • 25GardyneBooked at 80minsSubstituted forGrosat 82'minutes
  • 9Boyd
  • 28Slater

Substitutes

  • 11Gros
  • 12Reguero
  • 18McKenzie
  • 19Ibrahim
  • 20Jacobs
  • 21Winchester
  • 30Ashcroft

Motherwell

  • 12Nielsen
  • 20Kerr
  • 17Francis-Angol
  • 14Lasley
  • 5Hutchinson
  • 6McManus
  • 7McFaddenSubstituted forAinsworthat 45'minutes
  • 8LawsonBooked at 79mins
  • 9Sutton
  • 22MooreSubstituted forAnierat 79'minutes
  • 11VigursBooked at 4mins

Substitutes

  • 3Hammell
  • 15Cummins
  • 16McHugh
  • 18Carswell
  • 21Stewart
  • 24Anier
  • 25Ainsworth
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
3,704

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home14
Away11
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home12
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Kilmarnock 0, Motherwell 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 0, Motherwell 2.

Attempt missed. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Goal!

Goal! Kilmarnock 0, Motherwell 2. Henri Anier (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Iain Vigurs.

Foul by William Gros (Kilmarnock).

Fraser Kerr (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Mark O'Hara (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Henri Anier (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Jude Winchester replaces Sammy Clingan.

Henri Anier (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. William Gros replaces Michael Gardyne.

Attempt missed. John Sutton (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Booking

Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock).

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Henri Anier replaces Craig Moore.

Booking

Paul Lawson (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Paul Lawson (Motherwell).

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

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Zaine Francis-Angol.

Mark O'Hara (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Craig Moore (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock).

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Rory McKenzie replaces Barry Nicholson.

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Craig Slater.

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell).

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

Attempt missed. Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic13103030121833
2Inverness CT1391321111028
3Motherwell148151618-225
4Dundee Utd1465325101523
5Aberdeen147252014623
6St Johnstone146352215721
7Hibernian14446914-516
8St Mirren134361421-715
9Partick Thistle143471224-1213
10Ross County133281527-1211
11Kilmarnock142391423-99
12Hearts143381221-9-3
View full Scottish Premiership table

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