Some football philosophers say that you can really see the character of a team on a cold Friday December night in Scotland. Okay, nobody has ever said that, but the analogy works for the purpose of this review.
If the performance tonight does show the character of this Killie team, then it is not looking promising. Most of the players in blue and white looked like they’d rather be at home eating mince pies, and it led to a very frustrating night for the home support.
As expected, the game was pretty scrappy, with very few clear cut chances on goals. In the first 40 minutes, neither keeper was really tested, with the clearest chance falling the way of the away side. A ball into the box was not dealt with and the St. Johnstone player was left with a free header from around six yards, but somehow couldn’t turn the ball home.
The only goal of the game was scored two minutes before half time. This time, a low corner into the box evaded our defence and Murray Davidson had the freedom of Rugby Park to casually slot the ball into the net.
This made the travelling support, pictured, the happier of the two sets of fans going into the break.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, very scrappy with little quality on show. There was also a discernible lack of effort from a worrying number of the home players, Dicker, Smith and Jones being chief among them. Dicker had possibly one of his worst games in a Killie shirt, he was five yards off the pace all game and he had a frustrating habit of trying to play first time passes as if he was Steven Gerrard.
Killie pressed for an equaliser, but due to a lack of quality in the final third coupled with some serious time wasting from the Saints, it was not forthcoming. As if the night wasn’t bad enough for Killie, Luke Hendire was given a second yellow card for badmouthing the referee. And so concluded a cold December night that Killie fans will do well to forget in a hurry.
MacDonald: Kept us in the game with some outstanding saves, was helplessly exposed at the goal – 8
Hendrie: Played very well throughout, stupidly sent off at the end – 7
Boyle: Had some nervy moments but was solid enough – 7
Wilson: Had another impressive game at the back – 8
Taylor: Did a great job defensively, one of very few players who put in 100% – 9
Dicker: Very poor performance, was not up to his usual standards – 5
Smith: Much like Dicker, very poor game and almost non-existent at times – 5
McKenzie: Didn’t really show much, went off injured in first half – 4
Hawkshaw: Came on early doors for McKenzie, showed good effort and attacking flair going forward – 7
Jones: Very unimpressive, very little effort and poor crosses and corners very frustrating for the home support – 4
Coulibaly: Had a very quiet night, was left frustrated by a lack of space to play – 6
Tyson: Lots of running as usual but just no service from the rest of the team – 6
MAN OF THE MATCH: Greg Taylor