Kilmarnock 1 - 1 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, April 9th, 2011, 3:00 PM at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Attendance: 4,518
Referee: John McKendrick
Kilmarnock Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Liam Kelly (13) Johnny Hayes (10)

Team Managers
Kenny Shiels Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Anssi Jaakkola
Tim Clancy
James Fowler
Garry Hay
Ryan O'Leary
Craig Bryson
Jamie Hamill
Liam Kelly
Alexei Eremenko
William Gros
Rui Miguel
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Kenny Gillet
Chris Hogg
Lee Cox
Johnny Hayes
Nick Ross
Stuart Duff
Aaron Doran
Adam Rooney
Richie Foran

Bench
Kyle Letheren
David Silva
James Dayton
Scott Evans
Alex Pursehouse
Rory McKenzie
Willy Aubameyang
Jonny Tuffey
Grant Munro
Chris Innes
Russell Duncan
Gavin Morrison
Shane Sutherland
Alex MacDonald

Substitutions
Rory McKenzie -> William Gros (57)
James Dayton -> Rui Miguel (70)

David Silva -> James Fowler (88)
Gavin Morrison for Adam Rooney (46)
Alex MacDonald for Lee Cox (86)

Bookings
None. Stuart Duff (77)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 104 apps -
Kenny Gillet 7 apps -
Chris Hogg 9 apps1 goal
Ross Tokely 551 apps35 goals
Stuart Duff 34 apps1 goal
Lee Cox 69 apps4 goals
Aaron Doran 9 apps1 goal
Nick Ross 44 apps1 goal
Johnny Hayes 70 apps16 goals
Adam Rooney 118 apps52 goals
Richie Foran 88 apps25 goals
Gavin Morrison (sub) 12 apps1 goal
Alex MacDonald (sub) 7 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (19 years 336 days)
Oldest Player:Adam Rooney (2012 years 253 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 9 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Aaron Doran (19 years 336 days)
Oldest Player:Alex MacDonald (2012 years 253 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 77 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Killie stalemate not enough to keep the dream alive:

Despite a hard earned point at Rugby Park, Inverness failed to keep alive their top-six aspirations as Motherwell drew with Hearts at Tynecastle to ensure they would remain in the top half.

An excellent Jonny Hayes solo goal in the tenth minute of the first half was cancelled out by Liam Kelly three minutes later and despite Kilmarnock having the lions share of the chances, Ryan Esson ensured the visitors left Ayrshire with a point.  William Gros missed a great chance to wrap up the points for Killie but a miss of Rooney like proportions meant the game finished all square.  That was his last involvement in the game as his boss had seen enough and replaced the errant Frenchman with immediate effect.

Terry Butcher tried to liven up his side and brought in Kenny Gillet, Nick Ross and Aaron Doran, with Russell Duncan, Eric Odhiambo and surprisingly Grant Munro dropping to the bench. Killie caretaker boss Kenny Shiels had no recognised central defender and also made three changes, Rui Miguel, Liam Kelly and Scotland U21 cap Ryan O'Leary for the injured Frazer Wright and Mohamadou Sissoko, with David Silva finding himself on the bench.

Here is Alternative to tell us how it went..............................

Bang goes the top six then; and while we might have looked like a team capable of finishing in the top half four or five months ago, on the basis of yesterday’s performance, big on endeavour but short on creativity, we aren’t quite there yet.

It was a beautiful day for football in Ayrshire yesterday, but there was a definite end-of-season feeling about the game, with only four and a half thousand inside Rugby Park, including what was probably ICT’s smallest travelling support of the season. Four and a half thousand inside a stadium with a capacity of eighteen thousand. That’s thirteen and a half thousand empty seats. And yet, four simple-minded Kilmarnock supporters, with unfortunate children in tow, still managed to sit themselves in the middle of the away section. If that wasn’t daft enough, when Killie equalised, they all jumped up and made vigorous Nescafé gestures towards us, promptly getting themselves moved. I mean, really.

Our happy few arrived at the ground via the Hunting Lodge to discover that Terry Butcher had made a few changes to the team that had performed pretty dismally against Dundee Utd three weeks previously. Eric Odhiambo, Russell Duncan and Grant Munro were dropped; Aaron Doran, Nick Ross and Kenny Gillet came in. Terry Butcher’s willingness to change his team when things aren’t working is generally a strength, but arguably yesterday’s changes didn’t really make the difference between a loss and a draw. Once again, Jonny Hayes and Richie Foran were our most dangerous and creative players: the central midfield still failed to impose itself on the game and, to me at least, Doran again looked far too reluctant to get involved, staying stranded on the touchline, not shouting for the ball and failing to make overlapping runs. Some might argue that he ‘wasn’t given the service’: but players have to be looking for the service in order to get it. Gillet, by contrast, was assured defensively and made some promising moves forward, but the preferment of Chris Hogg to Grant Munro, who has rarely let us down in central defence, seems a little harsh.

Just as they had against Dundee Utd, Caley Thistle began the game fairly brightly, with Jonny Hayes’ willingness to drop deep to try to engineer attacking moves evident from the start. Shortly after the team had forced a couple of corners, it was a move like this that brought the opening goal. Hayes pounced on some slack possession to nick the ball off Garry Hay’s toes, slalom his way between Hay and Liam Kelly and home in on goal, dragging Tim Clancy across the box before firing the ball through Anssi Jaakkola in the Kilmarnock goal. 1-0 ICT, and in the away section, the supporters began to dream tentatively again of a top six finish...

...For all of three minutes. Almost immediately, Kilmarnock’s players upped their game and began taking control of the midfield. Their equalising goal, although originating from a slack ICT header forward, was a thing of beauty; a series of quick passes in the midfield ended with an elegant chipped pass  forward from Alexei Eremenko to the unmarked Liam Kelly, and he lobbed Ryan Esson from the edge of the box.

1-1, then, and just a few minutes later Kilmarnock thought they had had gone ahead when William Gros fired the ball past Esson after another attractive passing move in which Eremenko found Gros with another perfectly weighted chipped pass. Fortunately for Caley, the offside flag had gone up against Gros. Shortly after that, Gros was again through on goals, but this time he was denied by a brave block from Esson, right at the edge of the area. As the French striker would find out in the second half, it wasn’t destined to be his day.

Killie continued to hold the upper hand, with Liam Kelly’s low shot from a Killie corner being scooped off the line by Adam Rooney, then Rui Miguel heading narrowly wide as the Ayrshire team continued to press. The closest Caley Thistle came during this period was a shot from Lee Cox that flew wide, but on thirty five minutes ICT came close to taking the lead in comical circumstances when Anssi Jaakkola fumbled a bouncing but fairly innocuous-looking Aaron Doran free kick, allowing it to spill under his body so that he had to spin and seize the ball just before it crossed the line. For the rest of the game, the Finnish keeper had to endure unfavourable comparisons with Scotland’s – and Killie’s – number three, Cammy Bell, from the away support.

Half Time 1-1

The big news at the start of the second half from an ICT point of view was the replacement of Adam Rooney with Gavin Morrison. There was no evidence of Rooney being injured, and the system did switch to a 4-51, with Richie Foran being asked to play the lone striker role. Certainly, Rooney had had one of his least effective games in an ICT shirt, and the manager is entitled to try out potential combinations for next season given the likelihood of Rooney having moved on by then, but it seemed a little perplexing to remove the team’s most prolific striker with the game poised at 1-1 and an outside chance of making the top six still remaining. Morrison, to his credit, worked hard and looked neat and tidy in possession, although the bolstered midfield was able to dictate play no more than it had in the first half.

Although ICT’s players chased the game throughout the second half and worked hard to close down possession, they rarely looked like creating much and ultimately, can feel a little fortunate to have gained a point from the game. They limited Kilmarnock to just a few chances, but one, in fifty six minutes would surely have gone in on any other day. Bryson, Miguel and Eremenko combined neatly and the latter lobbed a neat cross over the heads of the ICT central defenders to where William Gros, was standing, unmarked and just two yards out. Somehow, he contrived to steer his header wide. Before he had reached the eighteen yard line on his way back from this spectacular cock-up, his number was up on the substitutes’ boards and he was replaced by Rory McKenzie.

After that, the game continued to follow much the same pattern: Killie dominated possession and played some nice football, but ICT continued to work hard and restrict their chances. There were a couple of momentarily concerning incidents, when Ryan Esson spilled a shot from second substitute James Dayton and had to scamper across his area to collect the ball ahead of the lurking Eremenko, and again when Esson had to flick a dangerous cross from Garry Hay over the crossbar at the last second. Then, just a minute from full time, Esson again showed why he is widely considered to have been ICT’s best player this season, when he beat away a fierce drive from David Silva, ensuring that Terry Butcher’s team would leave with a point.

Full Time 1-1

Among the away supporters, there seemed to be a certain amount of disappointment that the possibility of top six football had ended relatively tamely and a slight frustration at the continuing inability to create clear chances which has affected the team since December, but also some recognition of the effort the team had put in against a home side that is well clear of them in the league and whose players showed again that they are capable of playing passing football of genuine quality.

And that was about it from Kilmarnock; unless you consider the return fixture at the Hunting Lodge, the abandonment of Red Card Reilly in a toilet, the recriminations in Fanny by Gaslight, the songs on the train, the wee sleep in the Horseshoe and I assume (although I was long gone by that point) the Immortal karaoke at Brechin’s. Just another Saturday: where will the post-split fixtures take us ?

Match report written by Alternative Maryhill



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 30 23 4 3 65 18 47 73
2. Rangers 29 22 2 5 64 27 37 68
3. Hearts 32 18 6 8 46 30 16 60
4. Dundee Utd 32 14 10 8 44 37 7 52
5. Kilmarnock 32 13 8 11 47 37 10 47
6. Motherwell 33 13 5 15 36 43 -7 44
7. Inverness CT 31 9 10 12 40 39 1 37
8. Hibernian 32 10 6 16 35 50 -15 36
9. St. Johnstone 32 8 10 14 18 38 -20 34
10. Aberdeen 32 9 4 19 34 53 -19 31
11. St. Mirren 32 7 7 18 30 52 -22 28
12. Hamilton Academical 31 2 10 19 18 53 -35 16