Scottish Premiership - Play-offs - 2nd Leg
Kilmarnock4Falkirk0

Scottish Premiership play-off final: Kilmarnock 4-0 Falkirk (4-1)

Lee Clark celebrates Kilmarnock's third goal by running down the touchline and grabbing a scarf
Lee Clark celebrated Kilmarnock's third goal by running down the touchline and grabbing a fan's scarf

Kilmarnock preserved their 23-year stay in the Scottish Premiership in the most emphatic fashion by thumping Falkirk in the second leg of the play-off final.

Lee Clark's reborn team scored two goals inside the first eight minutes from Greg Kiltie and Miles Addison to wipe out their 1-0 first-leg deficit.

Kiltie added his second and Killie's third just after the hour.

Amid joyous scenes at a sun-kissed Rugby Park, Kris Boyd rolled in the fourth, laid on by Josh Magennis.

At the end, a few hundred Killie fans invaded the pitch. One laid a flare on the artificial surface and ran away. The celebrating supporters quickly exited the field and resumed their survival party in the stand.

The visitors applauded their wonderful support. They have earned a reputation for their feats of footballing escapology this season, but this was a challenge that proved way beyond them.

Such a miserable season ended in relief for Killie. Finally, after so many awful performances and so much vulnerability, they got their act together.

Their attitude was top class, their ruthlessness a marked contrast to their performance in the first leg when they missed a number of decent chances.

Greg Kiltie fires Kilmarnock in front
Greg Kiltie's early goal gave Kilmarnock impetus

For them, the challenge is to make sure that they don't put their supporters through this torment again for quite some time.

Killie found the answers, but they still have many questions to ponder in the summer.

Peter Houston had opted to play the defensive-minded Tom Taiwo instead of the more attacking Blair Alston, but the Falkirk manager's attempt at keeping it tight and stifling Killie was blown to smithereens within minutes.

The opening goal came after just three minutes when the returning, and heavily influential, Magennis went by a spooked Luke Leahy and squared for Kiltie, who controlled it with his first touch and fired past Danny Rogers with his second.

Falkirk's weakness down their left side was exposed again within five minutes.

This time it was Lee Hodson supplying the ammunition and Craig Sibbald standing still and allowing him to do it. Hodson's cross to the back post came off Aaron Muirhead's head, when under pressure from Boyd, and fell to Addison, who smashed home from close range.

Miles Addison forces the ball over the line for Kilmarnock's second goal
Miles Addison forced the ball over the line for Kilmarnock's second goal

The huge visiting support were as stunned as their team. At 2-1 on aggregate the tie was far from over, but Falkirk could not find a rhythm, and could not apply enough pressure to a Killie defence that had a newly-found concentration and discipline.

Falkirk needed to take risks in pursuit of a goal, but risk-taking came at a big price.

As Falkirk piled forward, Killie picked them off at the back. The third came after 62 minutes when Tope Abadeyi went down the left and found a bit of accuracy with his pass to Kiltie, who did the rest.

The Killie fans were in raptures now, their season saved. There was one more flourish when Magennis was left to do damage up that right-hand side again.

The Northern Ireland international combined with Boyd and the striker had a simple job of putting away the goal that sparked further joy laced with huge relief.

Killie had survived a hapless season. Falkirk, on the other hand, could not finish off a thrilling one.

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 21MacDonald
  • 27Hodson
  • 4Addison
  • 18Ashcroft
  • 32Taylor
  • 19Slater
  • 29Dicker
  • 28MagennisSubstituted forO'Haraat 75'minutes
  • 16Obadeyi
  • 23KiltieBooked at 63minsSubstituted forMcKenzieat 90+1'minutes
  • 9BoydBooked at 78mins

Substitutes

  • 5Findlay
  • 7McKenzie
  • 11Higginbotham
  • 13Brennan
  • 14O'Hara
  • 34Whittaker
  • 39Frizzell

Falkirk

  • 1Rogers
  • 4Muirhead
  • 44Watson
  • 5McCrackenBooked at 56mins
  • 3Leahy
  • 7TaiwoSubstituted forAlstonat 53'minutes
  • 11KerrBooked at 80mins
  • 6Vaulks
  • 10SibbaldSubstituted forHippolyteat 64'minutes
  • 9BairdSubstituted forMillerat 58'minutes
  • 19McHugh

Substitutes

  • 8Alston
  • 18Miller
  • 22Hippolyte
  • 23Shepherd
  • 28Mehmet
  • 30O'Hara
  • 33Gallacher
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
11,013

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamFalkirk
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home13
Away13
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home17
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Kilmarnock 4, Falkirk 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 4, Falkirk 0.

Attempt blocked. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Rory McKenzie replaces Greg Kiltie.

Attempt missed. Aaron Muirhead (Falkirk) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Greg Taylor.

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Lee Miller (Falkirk).

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

Lee Miller (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock).

Attempt blocked. Mark O'Hara (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

Robert McHugh (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Greg Kiltie (Kilmarnock).

Foul by Lee Miller (Falkirk).

Miles Addison (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Mark Kerr (Falkirk) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Greg Kiltie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mark Kerr (Falkirk).

Attempt blocked. Blair Alston (Falkirk) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Myles Hippolyte (Falkirk) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

David McCracken (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Paul Watson (Falkirk) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Mark O'Hara (Kilmarnock).

Luke Leahy (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Mark O'Hara replaces Josh Magennis because of an injury.

Delay in match Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Lee Hodson (Kilmarnock) because of an injury.

Foul by Blair Alston (Falkirk).

Lee Hodson (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Blair Alston (Falkirk) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Gary Dicker.

Delay in match Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) because of an injury.

Will Vaulks (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock).

goal

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