Scottish Premiership
Kilmarnock3Ross County2

Kilmarnock 3-2 Ross County

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Highlights: Kilmarnock 3-2 Ross County

Kilmarnock extended their unbeaten run to nine matches, despite a late comeback from Premiership bottom side Ross County.

Lee Erwin fired Killie in front before the break and Kris Boyd and Eamonn Brophy struck in the second half.

County, co-managed by Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson following boss Owen Coyle's resignation replied through Billy Mckay.

Alex Schalk also netted but the Highlanders slip four points adrift.

Killie, who are fifth, move four points clear of Hearts, who have played a game more.

The visitors had an early claim for a penalty turned down when Davis Keillor-Dunn went down in the box after a collision with Kirk Broadfoot, referee John Beaton waving aside the appeals.

Eamonn Brophy scores
Brophy's goal proved to be the winner

Kilmarnock, looking to extend their impressive unbeaten home form to 10 games, had the first real effort when Erwin's shot from a Stephen O'Donnell cut-back took a deflection off Ross Draper before being parried away by Aaron McCarey.

Killie took the lead with the same combination of O'Donnell crossing and Erwin pouncing six yards out to volley past McCarey for his fifth goal of the season.

County's Michael Gardyne also looked for a penalty when Greg Kiltie seemed to barge into him on the edge of the box but referee Beaton was close to the incident and saw nothing untoward.

The first half ended with Rory McKenzie's 25-yard effort tipped over by McCarey.

Within two minutes of the second half starting Killie increased their lead. Substitute Aaron Simpson, who had replaced Greg Taylor in the first half, provided the cross and Boyd took a touch before blasting in his 19th goal of the season and his 13th in his past 15 appearances.

Boyd went close again a few minutes later with a left-foot strike which McCarey did well to save.

Alex Schalk scores
Schalk was one of two substitutes to get on target for County

County brought on Schalk and Mckay for David N'Gog and Keillor-Dunn to see if they could provide a better attacking option. However, the tenacious and creative Killie midfield ensured the service to the County frontmen was sparse until the last few minutes of the match.

Brophy came on to replace Boyd in attack and within two minutes of entering the field got on the scoresheet for Killie's third. It was the ideal present for the Killie striker on the day he celebrated his 22nd birthday.

County did though provide a late rally, prompted by Mckay scoring his first goal for the Dingwall club after taking advantage of a mistake by Tshibola.

Schalk further reduced Killie's lead in the final minute with a close-range volley but County's late push could not detract from another confident and productive performance from Steve Clarke's side.

Post-match reaction

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke: "Excellent performance I thought we were very good almost from start to finish. We switched off a little bit in the last five minutes and if you switch off at any level in football you tend to get punished and that's what happened.

"Maybe a little bit of mental tiredness as we've played a lot of games recently, we had good control of the game from start to finish and we should ignore the last five minutes and look at the positives - I thought we were really good.

"That's what they get paid all the money for - I keep saying the strikers have to score the goals. It's good I managed to get all three on the pitch at various stages today.

On whether Kris Boyd should get a Scotland recall: "That's for [national head coach] Alex [McLeish] to decide.

"I'm just delighted that Kris is playing the way that he is for us. We've found a system and a way to play around him that allows him to do what he's good at which is get the ball in the box and score goals and long may it continue."

Ross County interim co-manager Stuart Kettlewell: "We're obviously disappointed possibly more so in the manner of defeat.

"I know we had the late rally and we managed to score two late goals. I just felt we didn't have a big enough goal threat, certainly in the first half. That was a little message at half-time that we had to be a little bit more expansive to try and work their goalkeeper and make ourselves look like a threat - we didn't do that.

"Certainly the second goal early in the second half has a massive effect on the game and from that point of view when you find yourself in the position we're in just now there has to be that bit of a rally, a little bit more energy.

"We have to go and maybe take a leaf out of Kilmarnock's book because obviously we see the transition there and how they've managed to effect games now and the run that they're on.

"We can take heart from the attitude the two substitutes gave us coming on that was the one positive, but we gave ourselves a mountain climb."

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 5BroadfootBooked at 33mins
  • 17Findlay
  • 12TaylorSubstituted forSimpsonat 42'minutes
  • 7McKenzie
  • 8Dicker
  • 27Tshibola
  • 10KiltieSubstituted forMulumbuat 64'minutes
  • 9BoydSubstituted forBrophyat 72'minutes
  • 22Erwin

Substitutes

  • 6Power
  • 16Boyd
  • 24Mulumbu
  • 25Brophy
  • 26Simpson
  • 29Burke
  • 32Fasan

Ross County

  • 31McCarey
  • 3NaismithBooked at 53minsSubstituted forRoutisat 55'minutes
  • 2Fraser
  • 32Fontaine
  • 35Melbourne
  • 7Gardyne
  • 17Draper
  • 25O'BrienBooked at 72mins
  • 40Keillor-DunnSubstituted forMckayat 64'minutes
  • 9Dow
  • 14N'GogSubstituted forSchalkat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Fox
  • 4Routis
  • 8Chow
  • 10Schalk
  • 18Lindsay
  • 22Mckay
  • 24Dingwall
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
4,001

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home12
Away2
Shots on Target
Home7
Away2
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home16
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Kilmarnock 3, Ross County 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 3, Ross County 2.

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

Foul by Christopher Routis (Ross County).

Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ryan Dow (Ross County).

Goal!

Goal! Kilmarnock 3, Ross County 2. Alex Schalk (Ross County) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Michael Gardyne.

Attempt missed. Youssouf Mulumbu (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Foul by Youssouf Mulumbu (Kilmarnock).

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Kilmarnock 3, Ross County 1. Billy McKay (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ross Draper.

Attempt missed. Lee Erwin (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

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

Foul by Christopher Routis (Ross County).

Stephen O'Donnell (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Michael Gardyne (Ross County).

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Aaron Tshibola.

Attempt saved. Kirk Broadfoot (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Aaron Simpson (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ryan Dow (Ross County).

Youssouf Mulumbu (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ross Draper (Ross County).

Foul by Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock).

Marcus Fraser (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Christopher Routis.

Foul by Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock).

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Goal!

Goal! Kilmarnock 3, Ross County 0. Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the high centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Eamonn Brophy replaces Kris Boyd.

Booking

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Jim O'Brien (Ross County).

Foul by Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock).

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Max Melbourne (Ross County).

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Kirk Broadfoot.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Youssouf Mulumbu replaces Greg Kiltie.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Billy McKay replaces Davis Keillor-Dunn.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Alex Schalk replaces David N'Gog.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic28197256183864
2Rangers29184759322758
3Aberdeen29165843331053
4Hibernian29149642321051
5Kilmarnock29111083938143
6Hearts3091292929039
7Motherwell29105143439-535
8St Johnstone2996142942-1333
9Hamilton2785143848-1029
10Dundee2984173047-1728
11Partick Thistle2967162647-2125
12Ross County2956183151-2021
View full Scottish Premiership table

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