By Stephen Bark
KRIS Boyd’s 200th Scottish league goal was not enough to earn Kilmarnock what would have been a deserved victory against Motherwell.
Two scrappy second half goals saw the Steelmen turn things around at Rugby Park despite the home side’s dominance.
Killie started the game slowly and Motherwell controlled possession for the opening 10 minutes without threatening Freddie Woodman’s goal.
Kilmarnock’s first chance came on 18 minutes. Kris Boyd competed well against Carl McHugh and Zak Jules to win the ball in the air and Sean Longstaff’s header was cleared off the line.
The home side should have been on front after an unusual corner routine in 22 minutes. The cross found Boyd free 10 yards from goal and his shot thundered off the crossbar before Kristoffer Ajer’s attempt was cleared off the line.
Killie did break the deadlock on 31 minutes when Gary Dicker’s pinpoint pass found Boyd in the box and he easily held off the challenge of McHugh to slot the ball past Craig Samson to bag his 200th league goal.
Motherwell were back on terms shortly after half time when Jordan Jones conceded a corner. Killie couldn’t clear the ball properly and a stramash ensued before McHugh was able to prod the ball home.
Gary Dicker picked up the ball 20 yards out and thumped it towards goal only for former Killie goalie Craig Samson to tip the strike onto the crossbar. From the resulting corner, Killie were nearly in front again as Ajer’s header was cleared off the line.
The away side took the lead with 15 minutes to go after Scott McDonald fell over under no pressure to win a free-kick. The ball was played in deep and flicked on before Jules managed to find the back of the net despite the best efforts of Woodman.
Killie continued to press and create chances and had appeals for a penalty were waived away by referee Bobby Madden when Jones was tripped inside the box
Madden did award Killie a spot-kick when Elliot Frear brought down Callum Roberts minutes later. There aren’t many players who would be chosen ahead of Kris Boyd to take a 91st minute penalty.
Samson, McHugh and Chris Cadden all did their best to mess with the penalty spot, the ball and Boyd’s mind, earning the latter two a booking before the striker thump the ball as hard as he could off the right-hand post.
After the match, interim manager Lee McCulloch said: “It happens. If there was a penalty in the next five minutes you want Kris Boyd taking it. The first 15 minutes of the first half we didn’t start, for the next 30 minutes we were probably the dominant team. It was the same again second half.
“The biggest disappointment is the set plays. Having watched them again, people are switching off and not doing their jobs. Individual errors have cost us two goals.
“We’ve got to take the positives from it and there were loads and loads of positives. Everybody has to agree with how far we’ve come on from the start of the season."