Lee Clark’s first trip away from Rugby Park ended with no points gained, but he will be able to take some positives from the game. He will be encouraged by the fight and desire of his team who battled with a relatively below par Hearts side until the bitter end.
The away side had the opportunity to go a goal to the good inside the first couple of minutes, when Magennis teed up Slater inside the box. However, to the disbelief of the Killie fans at the other end of the ground, the youngster somehow managed to skew his shot wide from all of ten yards. This proved to be costly as just a couple of minutes later, the home side were ahead.
For the third time this season, Stuart Findlay ended up on the wrong side of his man at a long ball and had no option but to pull him down. Most of the fans inside the ground expected to see the red brandished at the tall centre half, however referee Don Robertson decided that a yellow was enough so early in the game. When Jamie Walker stepped up and struck the penalty,the Killie fans behind the goal were celebrating as MacDonald tipped the ball onto the post. However, it was the fans in maroon who were on their feet seconds later as Walker got to the rebound first and lifted the ball over the keeper and into the net.
The first half continued at a frantic pace, with chances for both teams. Conrad Balatoni came closest to equalising for the away side, with Callum Paterson in the right place at the right time to stop his goal-bound header crossing the line. Hearts went equally as close at the other end, with Nicholson, Reilly and Ozturk all testing MacDonald.
After half-time, Hearts almost doubled their lead instantly as Nicholson rose highest inside the Killie box but could only watch as his header came back off the post and away to safety. The home side were then presented with a perfect chance to wrap the game up as referee Robertson pointed to the penalty spot after the ball hit Magennis on the arm. However, MacDonald got down well, saved from Dauda and this time the Kilmarnock defence were able to clear the ball.
From this moment on Killie pressed the home side for an equaliser, however time eventually ran out for the Ayrshire side. Many Killie fans will see this game as points dropped, however, it can be seen as a step in the right direction in terms of the performance.