Our Martin McConnell was at Rugby Park on Saturday…

SPFL Premiership

Rugby Park, Kilmarnock

Saturday 19th September 2020, kick off 3pm.

Kilmarnock 2 Hamilton Academical 1

Ten men Kilmarnock climbed up to seventh whilst we fell to tenth after the hosts put in a strong performance despite the sending off of Eamonn Brophy in the first half.

Killie went ahead early on courtesy of a Greg Kiltie strike, but Accies managed to bounce back soon enough when Hakeem Odoffin forced the ball over after a goal line scramble that followed a corner kick. Killie found a winner with seventeen minutes of the second half played, thanks to Nicke Kabamba.

Accies boss Brian Rice thought Accies were poor, saying, “We never got out the blocks and Kilmarnock started really well. Once we got the goal, they went down to ten men. I felt as if we were in control of the game. We had good possession and able to get the ball into wide areas. But the quality of the ball and the final pass weren’t good enough today.”

On Killie going down to ten men, he said, “You can get galvanised and when you go down to ten men you seem to put that wee bit effort in for some reason. Getting that second goal is massive. If we get the second goal, but we didn’t, Kilmarnock got it and gave themselves something to hold on to then defended really well. We just weren’t good enough in the final third today.”

Accies made just two changes to the line-up that started against Livingston, with Scott McMann and Jamie Hamilton replacing Kyle Munro and Ross Callachan. Kilmarnock named the same starting XI that lost 1-0 away to Aberdeen.

Kilmarnock had the best of a quiet opening before breaking the deadlock on ten minutes. Chris Burke was able to make a strong run through the centre, then touched on towards Kiltie just as he was up ended in a dangerous position just outside the box. Advantage was played, Kiltie gathered and struck low beyond Fulton and in at the corner.

Hamilton hadn’t shown any previous  signs of troubling the Killie defence but despite this won themselves a corner on eighteen minutes. Templeton swung the ball inside the six yard box, Odoffin ran in and headed on goal from close range, Rogers saved before Odoffin reflectively  struck home second time around.

Another great chance followed a couple of minutes later when Templeton cut the ball inside for Moyo, just within the penalty area. Unfortunately the striker couldn’t get his foot completely behind the ball and his effort, lacking power, was comfortably saved by Rogers.

The only other incident of note came when former Hamilton player Eamonn Brophy was shown a straight red card. Just as McMann cleared from the back, Brophy connected late with the defenders shin with studs showing. It didn’t leave Nick Walsh with  much of an option other than to show him red.

Kilmarnock were able to make a decent start to the second half even though they were down to ten men. They were able to work the Hamilton  defence hard before taking the lead again.

Burke managed to make another decisive run, this time cutting inside from wide. His shot was well saved by Fulton then hoisted clear of the box. Tshibola set up for Dicker to strike from 20 yards, the shot was saved but the rebound fell for Kabamba to slot home from seven yards out.

Hamilton did see more of the ball with a bit of a concerted effort from the players but they simply couldn’t create anything that really troubled the Kilmarnock defence. Truth being told, Killie were always on top and always looked the side more likely score.

Killie: Rogers, Millen, Broadfoot, Findlay, Waters, Tshibola, Dicker, Kiltie (Kinnock 90+4), Burke (McKenzie 82), Brophy, Kabamba. Subs Unused: Doyle, McGowan, Haunstrap, Dikamona, Rossi, Whitehall, Cameron.

Goals: Kiltie 10, Kabamba 57.

Cautions: Tshibola
Sent off: Brophy

Accies: Fulton, Odoffin, McMann (c), Hamilton (Johnson 61), Collar (Trafford 69),  Martin (C Smith 56), Ogkmpoe (Winter 69),  Templeton, Want, Mimnaugh, Moyo. Subs Unused: Gourlay, Fjortoft, Hughes, Stanger, Owolabi.

Goals: Odoffin 18.

Cautions: Want, Ogkmpoe, Mimnaugh.

Referee: Nick Walsh. Assistants: David Roome & Gordon Crawford. 4th Official: Greg Aitken.