Accies media Martin McConnell reports from the match at Rugby Park…
at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Saturday, 9th January 2021, kick off 3pm.
Kilmarnock 2 Hamilton Academical 0
A goal in each half from Greg Kiltie ensured that the points stayed at Rugby Park today. Moving Killie up a place into seventh and Accies down a place to eleventh, equal on points with Motherwell in tenth.
Head Coach Brian Rice said afterwards, “I don’t think that there was very much in the game but Kilmarnock were probably a bit better in the first half possession wise. We had a couple of good chances where Hakeem struck the crossbar and the boy Findlay used his pace to make a couple of last ditch challenges that stopped us scoring. I think that a little bit of inexperience cost us the game.”
With Easton (injured) and Aaron Martin (late Covid isolation) missing at the back, Brian felt they were clearly missed, saying, “Their defending has been pivotal to us keeping the clean sheets that we have. To lose the two of them and Aaron at half eleven this morning through a track and trace app makes it very difficult to come here and play three young kids at the centre of defence when that’s all we’ve got.”
Accies were forced into two changes at the back with George Stanger and Charlie Trafford replacing Aaron Martin and Brian Easton. Killie kept the same starting line-up that were unlucky in the 1-1 draw with St. Mirren at Rugby Park.
Killie made a sprightly start, making good use of the flanks to test Accies defence. Early blocks on Burke and Findlay efforts were answered by Hodson and Moyo through balls that were called offside.
Kilmarnock continued to annoy the Accies back line throughout the half but performed well enough to block the more dangerous attempts and watch as others went wide.
We then countered and almost took the lead when Hakeem Odoffin headed onto the crossbar from a Scott McMann cross following a corner kick.
Unfortunately, Killie answered that with a goal nine minutes from half time after Mulumbu’s scuffed shot was turned in by Kiltie at close range.
Charlie Trafford fired an early second half shot just high of the Killie goal before they had the chance to establish a dominant position once again.
Kilmarnock made sure of the vital points a few minutes after the hour when McKenzie’s run allowed Kiltie the space to turn and curl a shot into the back of the Hamilton net.
Kilmarnock: Rogers, McGowan, Broadfoot, Findlay, Haunstrup, Power (Tshibola 86), Mulumbu (Dabo 79),McKenzie, Burke (Pinnock 78), Kiltie, Whitehall (Kabamba 79). Subs Unused:Broun, Dikamona, Waters, Brindley, Taylor.
Goals: Kiltie 36,62.
Accies: Gourlay, Odoffin, McMann (c), Stirling, Hamilton, Trafford, Stanger, Winter, Moyo (C Smith 45), Hodson, Callachan. Subs Unused: Fulton, Scully, Hughes, Mimnaugh, Munro, Slaven, Owolabi, Johnson.
Referee: Grant Irvine. Assistants:David Roome & David McGeachie. 4th Official: William Collum.