Kilmarnock 2 - 1 Inverness CT: Killie push ICT towards drop

Kilmarnock's Sean Longstaff celebrates his goal with Greg Kiltie. Pic: SNS/Roddy Scott

Kilmarnock's Sean Longstaff celebrates his goal with Greg Kiltie. Pic: SNS/Roddy Scott

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Kilmarnock pushed Inverness to the brink of relegation with an anxious 2-1 win at Rugby Park - a win which confirmed their top-flight status.

Richie Foran is relying on Highland rivals Ross County to keep their survival hopes alive after his Inverness side took another massive plunge towards relegation.

Kilmarnock's Kristoffer Ajer is tackled by Alex Fisher. Pic: SNS/Roddy Scott

Kilmarnock's Kristoffer Ajer is tackled by Alex Fisher. Pic: SNS/Roddy Scott

Foran needs County to take at least a point from Hamilton on Tuesday night or Caley Thistle will be down after seven years in the top flight and two years after lifting the Scottish Cup.

Even then they will need to beat Dundee the following night to ensure the relegation battle goes to the last day.

He said: “I’m sure County will go out and do everything they can to win that football game.

“So we need a bit of luck, we need a couple of results to go our way but then we need to take care of our business.

“We’ve still got a small chance, we’ll still keep believing and tell the lads to get their heads up and be proud of their performance.

“If Ross County do us that favour I believe we can get out of this. So we need that result to go our way and if we can get three points against Dundee then you never know.”

Killie seemed on easy street when Sean Longstaff and Jordan Jones had them two up but after Alex Fisher levelled it was a nervy finish.

Aside from a lofted Billy Mckay effort that drifted over the top, the main talking point of the first 15 minutes came when Iain Wilson was booked for a wild lunge on Ross Draper. The Killie man may have got a touch on the ball but the challenge sent Draper sprawling and saw three booked for the ensuing melee.

The hosts went ahead in 17 minutes when Inverness goalkeeper Ryan Esson flapped at Luke Hendrie’s cross allowing Longstaff to score off Brad McKay.

Although dominant, Killie could not find a killer pass to give them the second goal they craved and it took a superb solo effort from Jones in 57 minutes to give them the cushion they needed.

He took a pass from Longstaff on halfway and burst towards the visitors’ box then sold Gary Warren a dummy before slotting a

left-foot shot past Esson.

But the Rugby Park men were stopped in their tracks when Caley Thistle scored in 71 minutes. It was substitute Iain Vigurs who set it up with a great pass through to Fisher, who had missed a decent chance in two minutes, and shot home from 16 yards.

They couldn’t find an equaliser although David Raven forced a decent save out of Jamie MacDonald three minutes later.

The win makes Killie officially safe and on course to finish best of the rest in seventh place. Now Lee McCulloch is set to meet with the board to discuss his own future having been in interim charge since 15 February.

He said: “I’d imagine a meeting or conversation will happen but I don’t know when it will be, whether it will be this week or we get the games out the way.

“The win gives me lots of satisfaction. Wee bit nervy last ten, 15 minutes but compared to last week [the 1-0 defeat by Dundee] it is massive that the dressing room shows how together they are.

“Now we want to go on and finish seventh to be best of the rest.”

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