Matchzone: Hibernian (A)
Kilmarnock suffered defeat at Easter Road in the final match before the international break, falling to Hibernian in a narrow 1-0 loss on Saturday 11th November.
Derek McInnes made two changes to the side that defeated Motherwell the previous week, with Liam Polworth and Liam Donnelly introduced to the starting XI.
The visitors started confidently in the opening quarter of an hour, but it was the home fans who were first on their feet. Martin Boyle burst through on goal and slotted under Will Dennis five minutes after kick-off, but premature celebrations were quickly waved away by an offside flag.
Killie went on to enjoy a positive 10-minute spell, largely played inside the Hibs half. Back-to-back corners concluded with a half-chance for Liam Donnelly after the midfielder brought Danny Armstrong’s cross under control, but could only send his volley high of the target while on the spin.
David Watson was next to strike at goal, striding into the right side of the box before sending a shot wide from a tight angle.
While the Ayrshire side dictated play, the hosts threatened on the counter-attack. Stuart Findlay made an outstanding interception to deny Martin Boyle after the forward broke through one-on-one.
Hibs found a route through the Killie defence on 35 minutes via Josh Campbell, whose well-struck effort placed the capital side in front.
Killie were limited to half-glimpses of goal in the second period. Danny Armstrong was quickest to find the penalty area, seeing his looping cross parried away by David Marshall within minutes of the restart.
A neat exchange with Matty Kennedy saw Danny Armstrong’s next dangerous cross swiped away by the defence. At the opposite end, Will Dennis was forced into a very smart full-stretch stop, turning Jair Tavares’ strike around the post.
Approaching the final 15, the visiting side pressed forward. David Watson’s long-throw caused havoc in the box before being knocked out for a corner. Joe Wright came close to finding a decisive header from the resulting cross.
A Marley Watkins cross moments later also relied on a vital block, this time from David Marshall. The former Scotland No.1 diverted the ball away from substitute Andy Dallas who had an open goal in his midst.
The best chance of the dying minutes fell to Killie No.7 Rory McKenzie, who met a cross and turned the ball goalward, only to be denied by a point-blank near post save from David Marshall, which earned his side the points.
Hibernian lineup: Marshall, Miller, Fish, Levitt (Jeggo 68), Vente (Youan 56), Boyle, Newell, Obita, Tavares (Stevenson 90+3), Campbell, Bushiri.
Kilmarnock lineup: Dennis, Mayo, Wright, Findlay, Deas (Davies 87), Armstrong (McKenzie 87), Watson (Murray 87), Lyons, Donnelly (Kennedy 45), Polworth (Dallas 75), Watkins
Speaking at full-time, Derek McInnes felt that the result was harsh on his side, emphasising that an individual moment separated the teams. You can listen to the interview – HERE.