Scottish Premiership
KilmarnockKilmarnock2HeartsHeart of Midlothian2
By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland at Rugby Park

Kilmarnock showed heartening resolve and spirit to earn a valuable point against a typically formidable Hearts side at Rugby Park.

The hosts' composed start was rewarded when Conrad Balatoni scrambled in, but Gavin Reilly tapped in to equalise almost immediately.

After the break, Hearts took the lead through a Callum Paterson volley.

But Josh Magennis headed in his ninth goal of the season to ensure Kilmarnock started 2016 in positive fashion.

Interviews - Locke and Neilson

Despite having only one victory from their previous nine games and just four at home last year, 11th placed Kilmarnock did not start like a side short of confidence.

Gary Locke's men zipped the ball about with energy and their deep-lying midfielder for the day - Stevie Smith - was at the heart of that promising play.

Former Hearts defender Kevin McHattie slid in to deny Hearts striker Reilly early on and visiting goalkeeper Neil Alexander repeated that competency with a vital save with his leg from a low Magennis shot.

Tope Obadeyi was productive down the right for the hosts so was expected to be missed when he limped off, but Smith continued to drive Killie on.

He dispossessed Juwon Oshaniwa before Magennis took over and sent a low ball whizzing across goal for Balatoni. The defender, who was still up from a corner kick, almost made a hash of converting but managed to do so from a yard after his initial flick had been blocked.

Josh Magennis
Josh Magennis (third from left) heads Kilmarnock level

Hearts, still venting their frustration that referee Alan Muir had not deemed McHattie and Lee Ashcroft's combined challenge on Juanma as worthy of a penalty, did not have to wait long to start cheering.

Kilmarnock goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald, who spent seven years at Tynecastle, turned Billy King's whipped low effort on to a post, but Reilly pounced to slot in his third goal for Hearts since joining from Queen of the South.

Things took another turn for the worse for the hosts 10 minutes after the break.

MacDonald made a terrific point-blank save from Prince Buaben but the ensuing looped clearance was chested down and volleyed into the bottom right-hand corner of the net by Paterson.

Kilmarnock sent a few wayward shots goal-ward but Hearts' Brazilian defender Igor Rossi came closer when his looping header bounced off the crossbar.

Digging deep into their reserves of spirit and character was what was required of Killie in order to give 2016 a positive beginning, and that's exactly what they did.

Smith's contribution, fittingly, proving crucial once again as his in-swinging corner was headed into the top left-hand corner by Magennis.

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 21MacDonald
  • 24SymeBooked at 36mins
  • 18Ashcroft
  • 26Balatoni
  • 22McHattie
  • 19SlaterSubstituted forBoydat 74'minutes
  • 3SmithBooked at 45mins
  • 23Kiltie
  • 39Frizzell
  • 16ObadeyiSubstituted forMcKenzieat 32'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 28Magennis

Substitutes

  • 1Ridgers
  • 2Barbour
  • 5Findlay
  • 7McKenzie
  • 9Boyd
  • 17Splaine
  • 20Carrick

Hearts

  • 1Alexander
  • 2PatersonBooked at 42mins
  • 4AugustynBooked at 85mins
  • 18Rossi
  • 17Oshaniwa
  • 12KingSubstituted forSowat 57'minutes
  • 16Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 8BuabenBooked at 90mins
  • 11Nicholson
  • 19Delgado Lloria
  • 20ReillySubstituted forZanattaat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Ozturk
  • 6Gomis
  • 10Sow
  • 13Hamilton
  • 14Pallardo Gonzalez
  • 22McGhee
  • 44Zanatta
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
5,388

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home8
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home19
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Kilmarnock 2, Heart of Midlothian 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 2, Heart of Midlothian 2.

  3. Booking

    Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Adam Frizzell (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian).

  6. Booking

    Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

  8. Post update

    Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  10. Post update

    Adam Frizzell (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Blazej Augustyn (Heart of Midlothian).

  12. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Juwon Oshaniwa.

  13. Post update

    Conrad Balatoni (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Osman Sow (Heart of Midlothian).

  15. Booking

    Blazej Augustyn (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  16. Post update

    Steven Smith (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Blazej Augustyn (Heart of Midlothian).

  18. Post update

    David Syme (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian).

  20. Post update

    Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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