Scottish Premiership
KilmarnockKilmarnock1Partick ThistlePartick Thistle2

A last-gasp goal clinched a crucial win for Partick Thistle after a thrilling encounter at Rugby Park.

As both teams went for the jugular, the home side got themselves in front through a neat Vitalijs Maksimenko finish from a corner.

But they were pegged back as a Kallum Higginbotham free-kick evaded the impressive Craig Samson.

And, with the game in the balance, an Aaron Taylor-Sinclair header gave Thistle the points.

They now jump two points clear of Ross County in the table and out of the relegation play-off spot.

In a match that was gripping from the start, it was the visitors who got out of the traps quicker, coming close with a strike that rattled Samson's woodwork.

Kallum Higginbotham (left) scored for Partick Thistle
Kallum Higginbotham (left) equalised for Partick Thistle

With Allan Johnston's Kilmarnock charges firmly on the back-foot, their opponents continued to press and Kris Doolan could have easily got his name on the scoresheet after firing in a shot that looked destined for the net, only for Samson to tip the ball over the bar.

The hosts picked up the pace and could have netted against the run of play when front-man Kris Boyd broke through, having shown Lee Mair a clean pair of heels.

He pulled the trigger, but goalkeeper Paul Gallacher rushed from his goal to dive at the feet of the prolific striker.

As the half progressed, an ill-tempered feud developed between Killie's Alexei Eremenko and Kallum Higginbotham.

Things came to a head when, after the Russian playmaker was accused of a dive following a Higginbotham challenge that earned the defender a yellow card, Gallacher stormed up the pitch to vent his frustration to referee Brian Colvin.

As protests continued over Higginbotham's booking, Kilmarnock launched an attack and should have taken the lead from their best chance of the first 45.

Boyd had the target in his sights after he was teed up nicely, only to scuff his effort.

After the break, with both teams giving their all in an end-to-end contest, the deadlock was finally broken through Maksimenko.

Eremenko, who had been a thorn in the side of Alan Archibald's side, turned provider as he floated in a corner to the far post for Maksimenko, who was on-hand to drill a shot into the net.

The Rugby Park support didn't have a lead to cheer for long, though, as the busy Higginbotham brought the Jags level.

His perfectly weighted free-kick on the edge of the box nestled just inside the left-hand post of Samson, who was beaten from the moment the ball was struck.

As the chances came thick and fast at both ends, Kilmarnock looked odds-on to snatch all three points when Michael Gardyne skilfully chipped Gallacher.

However, the goalkeeper managed to clear at the second attempt - much to the dismay of Kilmarnock players adamant the ball had crossed the line after hitting the bar.

With the clock ticking towards 90, it was Aaron Taylor-Sinclair who was the hero as he guided Thistle to a vital victory.

With only his second goal of the season, he sent the away support wild with a header from two yards that left Samson stranded.

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 1Samson
  • 15Barbour
  • 2Tesselaar
  • 29PascaliBooked at 65minsSubstituted forClinganat 86'minutes
  • 30Ashcroft
  • 22Maksimenko
  • 20EremenkoBooked at 45mins
  • 5Irvine
  • 9Boyd
  • 18McKenzieSubstituted forMuirheadat 86'minutes
  • 25Gardyne

Substitutes

  • 8Clingan
  • 10Johnston
  • 11Gros
  • 12Reguero Chapinal
  • 16Clohessy
  • 28Slater
  • 33Muirhead

Partick Thistle

  • 12GallacherBooked at 44mins
  • 16McMillan
  • 3Taylor-Sinclair
  • 7Craigen
  • 6Balatoni
  • 15Mair
  • 23HigginbothamBooked at 44minsSubstituted forElliottat 86'minutes
  • 10Buaben
  • 9DoolanSubstituted forTaylorat 70'minutes
  • 28ErskineSubstituted forLawlessat 90+2'minutes
  • 8Bannigan

Substitutes

  • 1Fox
  • 11Lawless
  • 13Rojo de la Vega Piccolo
  • 14Elliott
  • 17Moncur
  • 21Taylor
  • 22Fraser
Referee:
Brian Colvin
Attendance:
4,980

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamPartick Thistle
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away8
Fouls
Home11
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, Partick Thistle 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Partick Thistle 2.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Steven Lawless replaces Chris Erskine.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Paul Gallacher.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Christie Elliott replaces Kallum Higginbotham.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Sammy Clingan replaces Manuel Pascali.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Robbie Muirhead replaces Rory McKenzie.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Kilmarnock 1, Partick Thistle 2. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kallum Higginbotham with a cross.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Chris Erskine.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Ross Barbour.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Lee Mair (Partick Thistle).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lyle Taylor (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Partick Thistle. Lyle Taylor replaces Kris Doolan.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is too high.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Gardyne (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  20. Booking

    Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

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