Kilmarnock 2-0 Hibs: Hibees put to the sword
Killie picked up their second win of the league campaign, after seeing off a stuffy Hibs team 2-0 at Rugby Park.
Second half strikes from Liam Millar and Mo El Makrini was enough to send the visitors back to Edinburgh empty-handed, and handed Angelo Alessio’s men a massive boost ahead of next Sunday’s trip to Celtic Park.
Stuart Findlay was restored to the heart of the central defence in place of Alex Bruce, whilst returning Scotland international, and St. Johnstone match-winner Stephen O’Donnell was in at right-back.
Darryl Horgan was predictably electric down the right, forcing a fingertips save from Branescu with just 12 minutes on the clock.
Birthday boy Stuart Findlay battered away a thunderous strike from Josh Vela, after Lary denied another Hibs chance – this time a laser-sharp free-kick from Stevie Mallan.
Truthfully, moments of quality were few and far between the two teams with Killie’s best chance of the first-half coming five minutes from time after a McKenzie effort was deflected for a corner.
Early movements suggested that the second 45 was going to be another drab affair. Such fears were soon put to rest thanks to Liam Millar after 56 minutes.
With his trademark turn of pace, the Canada international latched onto a fine cross-field SOD pass and broke for goal – coolly turning the ball past Ofir Marciano to hand himself his first goal since his return, and securing Killie an important lead.
Injecting some much needed life into things, Killie threw themselves forward with renewed steel: Brophy rampaged down the left, showing good strength to hold off his marker before blasting the side netting.
78 minutes in, after a fair old battle in the midfield, Killie had their second goal of the day – with Mo El Makrini finishing from close-range after a quality passing move involving Alan Power and O’Donnell.
With things looking fairly secure, Alessio threw new recruit Osman Sow into the mix, along with Hamilton goal-hero Dom Thomas.
There wasn’t to be a magnificent third though, and the full-time whistle was greeted by a huge roar from three stands.
Kilmarnock: Branescu, O’Donnell, Del Fabro, Findlay, Hamalainen, Dicker, Power, El Makrini, Millar (Thomas), Brophy (Sow), McKenzie
Subs: Koprivec, Bruce, Hendrie, St. Clair, Sow, Thomas, Wilson