Kilmarnock seize initiative in scrap for top six

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Kris Boyd is hoping Kilmarnock can build on Saturday’s 1-0 win at Ross County and enhance their top-six prospects with another victory at home to St Mirren on Wednesday night.

Ross County 0-1 Kilmarnock

Scorer: Fowler (2)

Former Scotland striker Boyd played a part in Killie’s winner, scored by James Fowler after two minutes, to move Kenny Shiels’ men up to sixth on 41 points, level with seventh-placed Aberdeen but with a game in hand over the Dons.

That game in hand comes in midweek and Boyd is optimistic they can extend their winning run against Danny Lennon’s Saints.

He said: “We move on to St Mirren and it’s going to be another tough game but we know we’ve given ourselves a chance now and we must take the same determination into Wednesday as we have a great chance of winning that as well.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of games but it doesn’t matter how we get the three points – the most important thing is we got them.”

Boyd reserved special praise for match-winner Fowler, who swept home Rory McKenzie’s lay-off for the only goal.

He added: “It was a great finish, a great start for us and I was delighted for him to get the goal.

“He is a consistent performer every week and to get the winning goal... he doesn’t get to taste that a lot.

“He does the other side of the game so well, that’s what he gets the credit for – but it was a great finish.”

Fourth-place County piled on the pressure after the early setback but could not find a way past Killie goalkeeper Cammy Bell.

Boyd said: “Once we scored we dropped back but when you look at the whole scale of the game, Ross County were unlucky not to get anything.

“Since I came here we’ve not had much luck. Perhaps this was the day that changed.”

Fowler was also impressed with County but delighted the visitors were able to cling on for the three points.

He said: “When you score so early it can work against you but Ross are a good team, we’ve seen that - they were 2-0 down to Celtic here and came back to win 3-2.”

On the St Mirren clash, he added: “It’s another massive game - we’ve not been too good at home so that’s something we have to look at.

“It’s in our own hands for the top six with us having the game in hand.

“It’s a massive week for us in terms of whether we want to be in that top six or not.”

County boss Derek Adams attempted to remain upbeat despite the setback. He said: “Kilmarnock defended well in the box with large numbers – maybe too many at times – and there wasn’t a real clear-cut opportunity.

“We could have been here until tomorrow and not scored. But in the end, we’re a step closer to top-six football after the other results.”