Betfred Cup


ST MIRREN 0 (St Mirren win 3-2 on penalties

FOR the second successive year Killie tasted defeat in their opening Betfred Cup clash.

Now angry boss Steve Clarke has set his players the target of maximum points from their remaining Betfred Cup group fixtures following our penalty loss to St Mirren.

Killie picked up a point at home but saw Saints leave Ayrshire with a bonus point after their 3-2 shootout success.

It was a disappointing start to competitive action but the hosts were up against a strong St Mirren side still on a high following their Championship title success last season.

New signings oss Millen and Mikael Ndjoli made their Killie debuts while Calum Waters came in at left back following his loan spell with Sligo Rovers.

In the shootout. Lee Erwin and Kirk Broadfoot saw their efforts saved by Craig Samson while Gary Dicker was unable to hit the target with his effort.

Just as last year, Killie face a challenge to reach the second round of the season-opening event, with Clarke setting a target of nine points out of nine against Dumbarton, Spartans and Queen's Park.

"We are still a long way away from the start of the Scottish Premiership, which is our main target to be physically ready for," Clarke said.,

"We lost the penalty shoot-out and made the group a little bit more difficult. W3e need to make sure we win the next three games to get ourselves 10 points which should be enough to take us through to the next round. That's the immediate objective."

Despite the demoralising outcome, Clarke, who took charge last October, believes the players will have gained plenty from the test against Alan Stubbs' top flight new boys.

He said: "For the ones who played 90 minutes it was a great workout. We'll give them a couple of days off now, which they deserve because they haven't had any time off in the last three weeks so that's a long shift.

"I thought we finished the game strongly so that's pleasing to see. We were fortunate there were no big injuries and I look forward to another hard week's training next week. We go to Dumbarton knowing we need to make sure we win the next three games."