Ladbrokes Premiership



by Stewart McConnell

KILMARNOCK manager Gary Locke demanded a reaction from his players for this match following an "embarrassing" performance in the 5-2 hammering against Partick Thistle a week earlier.

And he certainly got the response he was looking for after the 10-man Rugby Park side clung on for a spirited 1-1 draw against the basement team.

That point was certainly not lost on man-of-the-match Josh Magennis who said: "It was important we showed we could come back especially after the disgrace of last week losing 5-2 and convincingly getting beaten. It was important that we showed resilience ad a good work ethic and until the sending off we showed that. Dundee United didn't know how to handle us. We then had to adapt and although we went down to 10 men we created chances as did they when they had an extra man. The gaffer needed a response and it was just about having resilience."

Killie went ahead with the first action of the game in three minutes as Josh Magennis swung a precision cross into the box and Kris Boyd, making his first start in four months, knocked the ball home from six yards.

The hosts had another great chance in nine minutes when the ball broke to Tope Obadeyi eight yards out but his shot was cleared off the line a minute later. Then in 10 minutes an Obadeyi effort produced a point-blank save from Michal Szromnik.

Magennis swung another cross into the box in 14 minutes but the outstretched leg of Boyd just failed to reach the ball.

In 24 minutes Killie were reduced to 10 men when Stuart Findlay was sent off for a foul on Ryan McGowan inside the box and Billy McKay drilled home from the spot-kick.

Defender Jamie Hamill played it coy over the penalty award and said: "I have not seen it yet. It's one of these ones that the referee. It's one of these ones where I don't think Stuart has made too much contact with him but the referee sees that there was a play and I don't know if it was the right decision or the wrong decision but we just had to get on with it. Hopefully this will be a turning point for us."

A minute later McKay was through on goal but home keeper Jamie MacDonald made a superb block. Boyd then sent a shot inches wide from six yards in 32 minutes.

Another sweeping move Almost brought United another goal in 59 minutes when Spittal and McKay combined with Paul Dixon to shoot across the face of goal from six yards

Killie came so agonisingly close to regaining the lead seven minutes later when a rasping Craig Slater effort from 25 yards crashed off the post.

MacDonald made a stunning save to foil Dixon from 25 yards in 72 minutes.

Magennis swung another cross into the box from 25 yards eight minutes from time but it just evaded Boyd as Killie held on for a point.

Locke was heartened with the display and said: "We deserved to be in front although we could have had two or three other goals. Then the penalty incident changed the game. I don't think the ref had a great view of it but at the end of the day if he gives the penalty he has to send Stuart off although he is adamant he did nothing wrong. Even after the penalty incident we created a lot of chances and the boys deserve enormous credit for the way they went about the game. We got the right response from the lads. Josh Magennis was outstanding, it shows you how versatile he is, he did great down the middle."

KILMARNOCK: MacDonald. Smith (McHattie 59); Hamill, Findlay, Connolly, Boyd, O'Hara, Slater, Obadeyi (Kiltie 65); Balatoni, Magennis. Subs not used: Ridgers, Barbour, Robinson, Ashcroft, Carrick.

STARMAN: Josh Magennis 3

Tope Obadeyi 2

Kris Boyd 1.