Scottish Premiership
KilmarnockKilmarnock2MotherwellMotherwell0

Kilmarnock 2-0 Motherwell

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland at Rugby Park

A stunning early strike by Robbie Muirhead was the highlight of an assured Kilmarnock victory over Motherwell at Rugby Park.

The 18-year-old fired into the top left-hand corner from 25 yards to give the hosts a brilliant start.

And Motherwell goalkeeper Dan Twardzik twice denied Josh Magennis excellently as Killie sought to go further ahead.

The visitors' day got worse when Fraser Kerr was dismissed, with Sammy Clingan netting the resulting free-kick.

A first competitive win, then, for Allan Johnston's men on their new artificial surface, something Motherwell boss Stuart McCall will not be able to point to as the only reason for a poor performance.

Despite the sunshine, there was an air of gloom in East Ayrshire as home fans realised they were without Craig Slater and Michael Ngoo due to injury.

However, the latter's replacement quickly made them forget.

Having just sliced a wild effort out for a throw-in, the ball broke to Muirhead from the ensuing set-piece and he unleashed a out-swinging left-foot shot, which seemed to catch Twardzik off guard.

It was an incredible way for the Irvine-born forward to score only his third senior goal.

Motherwell's John Sutton
Motherwell's John Sutton is brought down inside the box but is denied a penalty

Almost immediately, Magennis, who was a live-wire all afternoon, had two glorious chances to extend Killie's lead but Twardzik showed quality to keep them out.

The Czech goalkeeper - whose brother Filip played in Celtic's defeat in Inverness - smothered Magennis's first effort from close range before palming away another right-foot shot by the Northern Irishman two minutes later.

Rory McKenzie was next to test Twardzik, zipping in a low shot that was tipped around a post.

Motherwell gradually imposed themselves and appealed, in vain, to referee Willie Collum when John Sutton went down under a challenge from Manuel Pascali when looking to go through on goal.

Iain Vigurs' 30-yard free-kick soon after the break suggested The Steelmen would make the second-half a more even affair and, though Killie were not looking quite as potent as the opening 45 minutes, the hosts still had an attacking edge that escaped McCall's side.

Henrik Ojamaa did get the chance to dispossess Kilmarnock defender Mark Connolly and bear down on goal, but failed to get his shot away before other defenders tidied up Connolly's mistake.

The next error was Kerr's. His high-footed challenge on Jamie Hamill was deemed worthy of a straight red card by referee Collum.

And, up stepped Clingan to confidently dispatch the set-piece low past Twardzik.

Magennis deserved a goal of his own but was denied that again in injury time, Twardzik beating away his low angled drive.

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Samson
  • 2Barbour
  • 23Chantler
  • 8Clingan
  • 6Connolly
  • 29Pascali
  • 7McKenzie
  • 4HamillBooked at 49minsSubstituted forO'Haraat 81'minutes
  • 33MuirheadSubstituted forEremenkoat 81'minutes
  • 28Magennis
  • 16ObadeyiSubstituted forCairneyat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Miller
  • 10Johnston
  • 11Cairney
  • 13Brennan
  • 18Ashcroft
  • 20Eremenko
  • 26O'Hara

Motherwell

Formation 4-4-2

  • 12Twardzik
  • 2Reid
  • 21LeitchBooked at 90mins
  • 4Carswell
  • 20KerrBooked at 76mins
  • 6McManus
  • 11Vigurs
  • 14Lasley
  • 24OjamaaSubstituted forAinsworthat 81'minutes
  • 9Sutton
  • 18Law

Substitutes

  • 7Ainsworth
  • 8Lawson
  • 13Nielsen
  • 15O'Brien
  • 16McHugh
  • 26Thomas
  • 29Cadden
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
4,146

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home17
Away7
Shots on Target
Home11
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home14
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Kilmarnock 2, Motherwell 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 2, Motherwell 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  6. Booking

    Jack Leitch (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Jack Leitch (Motherwell).

  8. Post update

    Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Chris Chantler.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Chris Chantler.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Paul Cairney replaces Tope Obadeyi.

  12. Post update

    Jack Leitch (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mark O'Hara (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Lionel Ainsworth replaces Henrik Ojamaa.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Alexei Eremenko replaces Robbie Muirhead.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Mark O'Hara replaces Jamie Hamill.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Craig Reid.