Match Report | Kilmarnock v Hibs
Kilmarnock 1 – 0 Hibernian
Armstrong (53’ pen)
Danny Armstrong celebrated his contract extension by converting a second half penalty as Derek McInnes’ side picked up a valuable three points which were enough to lift them off the summit of the cinch Premiership table ahead of the World Cup shutdown.
It was a very cagey affair in the early stages as both sides fiercely contested possession in the middle of the park, with no real clear-cut chances to get the crowd out of their seats.
A couple of Killie free-kicks were swung into the box from out wide, but it took until just after the quarter-hour mark to see the first proper glimpse of goalmouth activity. David Marshall in the Hibs goal was called into action following neat play between Rory McKenzie and latterly Fraser Murray as he threaded a ball through to Innes Cameron who forced a save, before play was brought back for offside.
To the relief of the home support, the flag was raised at the opposite end minutes later after a Hibs breakaway resulted in Kuharevych knocking the ball home from an offside position. VAR was called into play, with the linesman’s original decision upheld.
Despite having the best of the chances in the lead up to half-time, Hibs failed to truly test Sam Walker who had secured the Killie goalkeeper jersey for the day. Much of the contest was played in the midfield in the final minutes of the opening 45. In characteristic style, Alan Power was involved in the thick of the action, stopping a Hibs counter and drawing the first Killie booking of the afternoon.
Killie kicked-off the second half, playing towards the faithful home support in the Moffat Stand. The opening five minutes were a stark contrast to the first half, with both sides looking galvanised from the half-time team talks.
Link up play between Fraser Murray and Innes Cameron resulted in a return ball narrowly evading the striding Killie striker as he attempted to latch onto a cross. Hibs made strides of their own and forced Joe Wright to make an excellent block as he stopped a goalbound shot at the other end of the park almost immediately.
The biggest talking point of the match came after 50 minutes when a lengthy VAR check ruled that Liam Polworth had been brought down just inside the penalty box. Up stepped the ever-confident Danny Armstrong who calmly sent the former Scotland No.1 the wrong way to put Killie ahead.
Six minutes of added time came and went to the relief of most of the 6,391 in attendance as the Rugby Park side held on for an important three points.
OFF Dorsett – ON Stokes 80’
OFF Polworth – ON Wales 90’
OFF Cameron – ON Alston 90’
OFF Kenneh – ON McKirdy 60’
OFF Cabraja – ON Henderson 60’