Post-match zone | Livingston (H)
Derek McInnes says “more of the same is required” after a solid second half performance secured a vital win against Livingston on Saturday 13th May 2023.
Speaking at full-time, the manager said: “We know it’s not going to be enough today, so more of the same is required. We’re now playing against teams that we’ve beaten here this season, so it’s important that we try and deal with the St Johnstone game. We recognise that their situation is different to Livingston’s, and they’ll be fighting tooth and nail as well.”
You can listen to the full interview – HERE.
The sun turned up alongside a 5,000 strong support as Kilmarnock clashed against Livingston in the first of the club’s three crucial post-split home fixtures.
Starting the game in 11th place, there was a sense of nervousness around Rugby Park in the opening 45’. The visitors were quickest to get a foothold on the game, but it was Killie who carved the first of the clear-cut opportunities.
Kyle Vassell shook off an injury to return to the starting eleven, and it wasn’t long before he was shaking off the Livi defence. A neat flick from Christian Doidge put his strike partner through on goal, before a fine point-blank save kept the score level.
The remainder of the first period progressed with only half-chances created by either side. Kyle Vassell’s powerful 25-yard strike was well-held by the Livingston ‘keeper, who later scooped up a David Watson header nodded towards the top corner, as Killie pressed for the opener. The visitors’ best opportunity came via Sean Kelly’s dead-ball attempt from the edge of the box, but the Killie wall stood strong to preserve a first half shutout.
It was a different story in the second period, which burst into life just two minutes after David Munro’s whistle restarted the action.
A two-man attack paid dividends for the home side. Another fine touch from Christian Doidge unleashed Kyle Vassell who broke through on goal and drove his shot into the far bottom corner (1-0).
Killie doubled their lead after an hour when a long-awaited VAR decision went in the Ayrshire side’s favour. Christian Doidge showed great control as he swivelled and struck towards goal, before seeing his effort blocked by an arm on the edge of the six-yard box. After being directed towards the VAR monitor, the referee awarded a spot kick. Killie’s ever-reliable penalty taker, Danny Armstrong, stepped up and slotted home from 12 yards (2-0).
Sam Walker earned his clean sheet by making a couple of fine stops in the final 25 minutes: most notably keeping out a Sean Kelly free-kick arrowed towards the top corner. A late corner was met by Luiyi De Lucas whose header was deflected onto the crossbar as any hopes of a comeback faded.
Result: Kilmarnock 2-0 Livingston
Scorers: Kyle Vassell (47), Danny Armstrong (63)
Kilmarnock lineup: Walker, Mayo, Wright, Dorsett (Sanders 80), Chambers, Armstrong (Jones 80), Donnelly, Watson, McKenzie, Vassell (Wales 87), Doidge (Lyons 90)
Man of the Match: Kyle Vassell
Check out the image gallery below, thanks to club photographers Jeff Holmes and Ross MacKenzie: