Kilmarnock 1- 2 Ross County: Staggies secure 9th spot

ROSS County encapsulated the story of their season as they fought back to claim the points as these two one-time drop candidates played out a better than average curtain call encounter.

Kilmarnock's Mark O'Hara (left) and Ross County's Craig Curran battle for the header. Picture: SNS
Kilmarnock's Mark O'Hara (left) and Ross County's Craig Curran battle for the header. Picture: SNS

Kilmarnock had flirted with relegation throughout a campaign during which Gary Locke stepped up to steady the ship amongst the usual Kilmarnock financial rigmarole and in-fighting.

Locke can be pleased with his work, and confident in what the future brings, such is the crop of good youngsters breaking through.

If Killie had flirted, then County had at one stage in the darkest throes of winter seemed to be finishing off their drink and suggesting a taxi be summoned, such was the dire situation they found themselves in. So for Jim McIntyre to not only avoid automatic relegation, but the issue completely, speaks volumes of a remarkable turnaround.

The better of the chances in a decent opening half had gone the way of County with Michael Gardyne firing weakly in to the arms of Connor Brennan when clean through, and Martin Woods seeing his speculative strike haphazardly pushed on to the post by the rookie Kilmarnock keeper.


Hide Ad

However, even on afternoons with so little at stake, missed chances can still come back to haunt you and Killie took the lead ten-minutes before the interval when Greg Kiltie profited from some truly shambolic defending.

It was so nearly 2-0 seconds later when only a flying stop from Antonio Reguero kept out a tremendous effort from Aaron Splaine, who throughout an assured performance full of endeavour and eye-catching passes belied his tender years.

The second period was more of the same as both teams continued to play on the front foot, and it was County who struck next through the recently prolific Liam Boyce, pictured, who stole across at the near post to level matters with a glancing finish.

A winner always looked on the cards, and it was the visitors who completed the comeback to nab the points courtesy of a composed strike from sub Rocco Quinn, who picked his spot behind Brennan having ran clear of the home defence.


Hide Ad

Kilmarnock: Brennan, O’Hara, Connolly (Syme 60), Ashcroft, Barbour, Kiltie, Slater, Eremenko, Splaine, Obadeyi (McKenzie 69), Magennis. Subs not used: Samson, Eccleston, Hodge.

Ross County: Reguero, Fraser, P Quinn, Boyd, Reckford, Gardyne, Irvine, Woods (R Quinn 46), De Vita (Brittain 78), Dingwall (Curran 56), Woods. Subs not used: Brown, MacLeod, Sernas, Kiss.

Referee: Euan Anderson.

Attendance: 4,226.