Wednesday, 29 June 2016

My Favourite XI - Craig Benson

We asked the members of the forums to tell us their all-time favourite Killie XI. If you'd like to tell us about your favourite XI, simply send it to us with a wee paragraph about each of your choices, a photo of you and your Twitter handle (if you use it):

Here's Craig Benson to take us through his world-beaters...

GK: Bobby Geddes
First choice when I started going to Killie games regularly. When he was good, he was very, very good. Still the holder of our shut out record. 22 in the promotion season. When he was bad, he was still streets ahead of the haddies we had between the sticks in the 2000s.

RB: Gus MacPherson
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's Super Gus! Or 'Former rangers player Gus MacPherson' to give him his proper newspaper name. It speaks volumes for the man that when we got Hodson on loan this past season, he was proclaimed as our best RB since Super Gus.

You can always tell the vintage of a supporter if they remember Super Gus with hair. Always worth at least 1 40/50/60 yarder a season. He didn't do tap-ins. Also holder of a unique goalkeeping record. Back in the days before sub goalies, Super Gus was our go to guy. Playing in goals a total of something like 5 times, he let in only 2 goals in that time. Both against the animals from Hibs, who had kicked Melly, studs first in the face during a league cup tie.

LB: Dylan Kerr
The first player I ever had on the back of my shirt. And the only one I've held on to. A god among men. Tough tackling, no-nonsense full back, with a penchant for fireman's lift celebrations.
Mr Legend, was just as comfortable bombing down the left wing to support the attack, as he was giving opposing right wingers the chance to inspect the turf at close range.
Noted for having a wicked free kick on him, though sadly always found himself down the pecking order for taking them (see the final game at Ibrox for euro qualification where he missed by the width of a bee's reproductive organ).

His only goal for us came in the Ayrshire Cup against the wee team in the county and boy oh boy did he enjoy it.

CB: Kevin McGowne
You could tell it was a proper game of football when Big Kev strolled out on to the pitch with his head swathed in bandages The rock on which attackers floundered at the heart of our defence for many years. McGowne exemplified everything you could possibly want in a centre back.
Tall, composed, fearless and the ability to chip in the odd goal or two. He scored the first in our run to the cup in '97.

CB: Paul Flexney
Again the number one choice when I 1st started going to games. And another strong, no nonsense CB with goals in his make up.

Pretty much an unsung hero when it comes to all time Killie teams. One should never forget his contribution to our first promotion and our consolidation in the 1st division.

RM: Ally Mitchell
You can't not have Bully. Signed from East Fife for around 100 grand and we easily got ten times our investment back.

An absolute bull of a man. He never quit from 1st whistle to last. Never seemed to tire. Always willing to do the donkey work so that our strikers could have something to feed off. A member of the exclusive 300 club. He played a pivotal role in every memorable Killie moment from his debut in 1991 'til he moved on in 2003.

LM: Shaun McSkimming
Though he played at LB for quite some time for us, Shaun really shone for us when he played in the more advanced LM position. With him bombing down the left & Bully bombing down the right, we were immense. If only he stayed a bit longer.
Has a special place in the hearts of Killie fans for his 'get it up ye' celebration against the wee team in the county in the cup in '94.

CM: Mark Reilly
If you look up under appreciated in the dictionary. A. It'll probably be spelled correctly. And 2, it will have a picture of Mavis next to it. Did the thankless, dirty work that no one else would do. But without him doing it, we wouldn't have been half as good as we were in the 90s
Two hugely successful spells with us, giving him membership of the 400 club. Mavis was the kind of player that we've been crying out for these past few seasons. Broke up play like a world beater. The first line of defence in front of the defence, not much got by him. And if they did, big Kev would eat them for dinner.
Had he played in Germany in the middle of his Killie career, we'd be sitting here talking about his 75 caps for Scotland & his 3 European cup winners' medals.

CM: Mark Skilling
The term, just back from injury & Mark Skilling sadly go together like mini sausage rolls & chocolate sauce. Hey! Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.
Almost half his Killie career was lost due to injury. But when he was fit & healthy, he was an absolute star. The parts he played in our promotion season go largely unheralded. But without his willingness to drop back & help out our floundering defence midway through the season, we'd probably never have come up.

Famously infuriatingly shot shy to player/manager Tommy Burns, when he did have a pop, they usually went in. Four years with us & just about 100 games played. But he made every one of them count.

Here comes the hard bit... whoever you pick to fill these slots will result in internet flame wars a plenty but it is my favourite XI

ST: Calum Campbell
Our last ever part time player. His unwillingness to go full time hampered his Killie career. But whenever he got the nod, he gave it everything & was considerably better than some of the full timers ahead of him in the pecking order...
An in where it hurt type of striker, the sort of guy you want in a promototion scrap.
Joint top scorer in 91/92. Scorer of vitaly important goals in 92/93. Full time football's loss is the NHS's gain.

Another run through brick walls, in where it hurts type of striker, Broono was the best five grand anyone ever spent on anything ever. Against big, glaikit opposing defenders, he appeared to be three feet tall but when he leapt for a header, he'd make Peter Mayhew look like Kenny Baker.

Scorer of our first premier goal for nearly a decade. The former Ayrshire juniors player more than held his own against his supposedly more illustrious opponents... and Peter Grant.

So there you have it. My team of teams. And, it would comfortably finish in the upper reaches of our league, and would even bother the European places.

What do you think? Let him know on Twitter: @benson76

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

My Favourite XI - Ryan Aird

We asked the members of the forums to tell us their all-time favourite Killie XI. If you'd like to tell us about your favourite XI, simply send it to us with a wee paragraph about each of your choices, a photo of you and your Twitter handle (if you use it):

Here's Ryan Aird to take us through his world-beaters...

My team would be a 4-2-3-1 with the line up as follows:

GK: Gordon Marshall
My all time favourite Killie keeper. He was our number one just as I started to properly follow football and Killie. I don’t think I really remember him having a bad game, and he always looked solid. I was an aspiring goalkeeper growing up, so used to love watching his warm-ups with Colin Meldrum. I even remember pestering my mum to take me to JJB to buy a Nike baseball cap as I’d seen him wear one in a game the week before!

RB: Peter Canero
One of the first players that I was aware of that came through the Killie ranks and was an established first team player. I was gutted to see him go and even more gutted that his career didn’t live up to the expectation.

CB: Frederic Dindeleux
Arguably one of the greatest servants to our club, and always our ‘star man’ for the Panini sticker collection with his prize attribute ‘the long ball’. Canny beat that.

CB: Ray Montgomerie
The games in which I’ve seen Monty have mostly been on youtube or from the Scottish cup winning year and surrounding. The guy was a proper blood and snot type defender that we haven’t really replaced since. Great to see him as still part of the club. Proper Killie legend!

LB: Garry Hay
Killie legend and a total gent. The guy was loyal to his home team and was one of those players you’d rarely notice during a game, but was effective in his role at left back.

CM: Gary Holt
Another guy I was gutted to see go when he went to Norwich. Always loved the fact he has a Killie tattoo as well. I bugged him once during a warm up for a signature for my program, he obliged. Solid player who would compliment someone like Eremenko very well.

CM: Alexei Eremenko
One of the most gifted players I’ve ever seen in the stripes. The guy could find a pass anywhere on the pitch. With Holt as ball winner, I’d see Eremenko picking passes out from deep to the front 4.

RM: Ian Durrant
Signed for us after being released from Rangers after his injuries, I feel we got an awful lot out of Durrant and he served us well. I’d play him wide right to use his crossing and passing ability.

CAM: Tommy Burns
No words needed. Killie legend. Playing him in behind Paul Wright for me would be an amazing attack.

LM: Steven Naismith
Our highest ever transfer fee, and even though he may have left under not-so-nice circumstances, you cannot question his ability. I expect him to be one of the best players in the English championship next season. I’d have him bombing down the left and cutting inside to support Wright

ST: Paul Wright
The guy scored a hattrick at my first ever live game and the guy has been a legend since. I feel that he would be better as a lone striker than Boyd, and as my formation only allows for one striker, Bunion gets the nod.

What do you think? Let him know on Twitter: @killiepie1990

Monday, 27 June 2016

Ladies Match Report

Motherwell 7-1 Kilmarnock

"Killie mauled at Motherwell" should be the headline on this match.

Kilmarnock started the match going ahead in the 2nd minute with a terrific free-kick taken by Sara Patterson from 10 yards inside the Motherwell half, almost Beckham-esk and not unlike her strike last weekend. However, the lead was short-lived with a seventh minute equaliser from Stacy Cook with her first of 5 goals when she latched onto a through ball and hooked past Hunter in the Killie goal. For the next 20 or so minutes Killie pressed and harried their opponents, creating plenty of chances, just not capitalising. Motherwell began to dominate using their strengths in set plays, corners and free-kicks and Cook added another 2 goals from free kicks around the 25 yard mark in the 30th and 37th minutes of the game. 3-1 Motherwell. They then added to their tally in the final minutes of the half after a succession of corner kicks, the ball whipped in deep and headed in at the back post from Suzanne Grant under pressure from the Killie defenders and keeper to make it 4-1 HT.

Stern words from coaches Ritchie and Hall at halftime were required to get Killie back in the game, although the scoreline might not reflect it was a much closer game.
55 mins played and another free kick from deep nodded in at the back post by Cook.
Kilmarnock tried desperately to restore a bit of pride and kept going at their opponents, hurting them down the flanks but with no final ball and no end result. Motherwell finished the game with another 2 goals in the final 10 mins to compound Killie's miserable day, the sixth being the only goal from open play a thunderous strike from the striker. FT 7-1.

Our thoughts turn to those involved in the shocking accident at M&D's. The match was being played at Strathclyde park as the tragic events were unfolding. On behalf of everyone here at Kilmarnock Ladies, we would like to wish them a very speedy recovery.

Statement on the KFCSA AGM

The KFCSA Committee would like to thank all Kilmarnock supporters who attended Saturday's AGM of the Association.

At the conclusion of our AGM, following the request from Club Secretary Michael Johnston to attend the meeting, a lengthy 'Question and Answer' session took place dealing with both football matters and also Mr Johnston's position at the club.

Mr Johnston answered numerous questions regarding the playing side of the club, contracts, season ticket sales and player movements this summer and then took questions regarding his own position and the possibility of a future EGM regarding a vote of no confidence in him continuing at the club.

He expressed his surprise at the reception he had received at the club's AGM in April this year and could not understand why the instigators of the proposed EGM were seeking such a meeting as it would not succeed in having him removed from the Board.

He gave a long protracted answer stating his achievements at the club during his tenure, both as Chairman and Director of the Club.

In a show of hands, only two supporters from those in attendance indicated their support of him, with the vast majority of the view that Mr. Johnston's continued presence at the club is a hindrance to Kilmarnock Football Club moving forward in a united, positive and progressive fashion.

Mr Johnston stated that, due to the Bank deal for debt reduction, even if he was offered £1 for every share he owns, he could not sell the shares and leave the club. He categorically stated he could not sell his shareholding until 2019 without significant tax consequences for the Club and he planned to continue as a Board member.

He stated that the Board were totally united in opposing any call for an EGM and confirmed that he was speaking on behalf of the other board members as the matter had been discussed at a Board meeting on Tuesday 21st June.

It is the fervent hope of the KFCSA Committee that an amicable solution can be found to this long running situation and that a potentially embarrassing EGM is not required, although this looks increasingly unlikely.

The Association will actively lobby the Board in this regard in the hope that the manager, players and supporters of our great Club can concentrate on the team winning football matches rather than being concerned about off-field activities.

Iain Sherry

KFCSA Secretary

My Favourite XI - Michael Evans

We asked the members of the forums to tell us their all-time favourite Killie XI. If you'd like to tell us about your favourite XI, simply send it to us with a wee paragraph about each of your choices, a photo of you and your Twitter handle (if you use it):

Here's Michael Evans to take us through his world-beaters...

This was a very hard choice. GK, DF and ST probably the easiest decisions but MF was so hard as there are 3 or 4 players I wanted in there but couldn't fit in due to the others who demanded their place.

Here is my Favourite Killie XI...

GK: Gordon Marshall
Hard to pick this one. Would probably have been Bell if he hadn't left as thought he was a great keeper. But it has to be Gordon, top all-round goalkeeper. Excellent shot-stopper and good in the air, not seen one of them in between the sticks for a while now. In good hands at the moment with Jamie MacDonald though, might possibly take Gordon's place if he continues his incredible form next season.

LB: Dylan Kerr
Could and probably should be Garry Hay but Dylan gets the nod as he was my favourite player growing up. Scottish Cup Winner, great player and all round nice guy. Stayed round corner from my gran and always happy to talk when approached or when you saw him on a night out. Legend in my eyes.

RB: James Fowler
No-one else can have the right back position for me. Mr Dependable (SPL record appearance holder), always gave 100%. Not the most talented footballer but determination and drive to do his best for the team set him out above the rest. Liked the odd, and I mean very odd, goal too. Would have been a one club man, but was treated appallingly along with other great servants to the club.

CB: Ray Montgomerie
Scottish Cup winning captain. That's all you need to say really. His passion for the club was second to none and that shows in the fact that he still has a role behind the scenes. A rock solid defender. Could have done with him the last couple of seasons to steady a defence which bled goals.

CB: Manuel Pascali
Another tough one, between him and Freddie Dindeleux for me. Dylan Kerr was a favourite growing up, Paska was a favourite as an adult. Not the best tackler and not the fastest, resulting in an awful number of yellow cards. But the passion he showed, the intensity of that passion, and his love for the club was amazing. Lovely guy off the park too. Would have him back at the club anytime.

LM: Andy McLaren
Not one a lot of people will choose I am sure, but I for one was a big fan. Thought he was brilliant. Came to Killie to try and rebuild his career after his issues and was consistently one of the best performers in the three years he spent at Rugby Park. Even merited a Scotland cap in his time here. Has gone on to do amazing work with his A & M foundation in recent years.

CM: Craig Bryson
What a talent. A box to box midfielder. Was evident early on in his four years that he was going to be a star. Scored some brilliant goals and hard work and drive earned him a move to the Championship where he has excelled. Could make it in the Premiership if someone was to give him the chance.

RM: Ally Mitchell
Scored that goal against Rangers. Was a loyal servant to the club and is in the same mould for me as James Fowler. A lot more talent and just as dependable and was probably why he was such a hit at the club.

AM: Alexei Eremenko
Best player I have ever seen wearing the Blue and White Stripes. Will probably never see his likes again. Composure, touch, passing, he had it all. Only possible let down was an apparent lack of fitness, but didn't really need it as he controlled games so often. There are very few words to describe him.

ST: Kris Boyd
Could you really have anyone else up front? 5 goals against Dundee Utd is where it all really started. The goals flowed after that. Had a couple of dodgy years which we can forgive but returned and scored another shed load of goals. A less forgivable second exodus. But the prodigal son returned and under Lee Clark seemed to find some sort of return to form. Would be one of my first names on the team sheet next season as his leadership and experience will be required.

ST: Steven Naismith
One that was always going to go far. Plenty of goals and plenty of great goals. A hat trick against Falkirk and the goal against Hibs will always be remembered. Went on to do very well for Everton and another who does a lot for charity.

What do you think? Let him know on Twitter: @michaele1869

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Weekend Preview

With the mid season break upon us, only the Seniors and U17's are in competitive action this weekend and it's cracking fixtures.
The Seniors go head to head with table toppers Motherwell at Strathclyde Park in arguably a season shaping match. If they win, they cut the gap at the top to 3 points with promotion to the SWPL2 a real possibility. Lose and the gap becomes a mammoth 9 points which could be just too much to claw back. However regardless of the result, it shows good progress is being made this season against higher level opposition.
Our U17s are in Scottish Cup action against Celtic 17s, hoping to continue their recent good fortunes and gain passage into the next round with a win against the visitors from Glasgow. Kick off is at the Grange Academy at 12.30pm, please try get along and give the girls your support.
With the new Killie Community trust open day on tomorrow the U13s will be showcasing their skills at Rugby Park during the festivities between 11am-12pm
Finally it is with great sadness today we lost a great supporter of the club, Frankie Rock who passed away early this morning. Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife Anne and U17s goalkeeper Zara at this extremely difficult time. Rest in peace Frankie, a true gentleman.

Thursday, 23 June 2016


Earlier this week the KFCSA Committee was advised by the Club’s Supporters Liason Officer, Andrew Miller, that the Company Secretary of Kilmarnock FC Ltd, Michael Johnston, who remains a Director, would like to attend the AGM this Saturday and speak to the fans.

Club Directors, including Mr Johnston, have attended recent AGM’s.

On this occasion, the Committee felt that if Michael Johnston attended then, in turn, a representative of the group seeking to call an EGM should also be present in the interests of fairness and balance.

That group indicated that they felt that the appropriate forum for any discussion and debate would be the anticipated EGM and would not be sending any representative on Saturday. However, they specifically stated that they would have no objection to Michael Johnston attending on Saturday and taking part in a Question and Answer session which was being considered by the Committee.

After detailed consideration, the Committee have decided to agree to Mr Johnston’s request but on the strict understanding that his attendance is only for a Question and Answer session.

The Committee appreciated that there would be criticism however this sensitive matter was dealt with; on balance, it was felt that fans, who may not be shareholders, will now have the opportunity of asking their own questions of Mr Johnston.

It is hoped, and expected, that the Question and Answer session can be conducted in a civil and courteous manner regardless of differing views and opinions.

The AGM is scheduled to start at 1pm on Saturday 25th June in the Park Suite at Rugby Park and all supporters are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

My Favourite XI - Scott McCue

We asked the members of the forums to tell us their all-time favourite Killie XI. If you'd like to tell us about your favourite XI, simply send it to us with a wee paragraph about each of your choices, a photo of you and your Twitter handle (if you use it):

Here's Scott McCue to take us through his world-beaters...

Rather than trying to pick the best all time XI, I've chosen the XI that I've enjoyed watching the most since my auld da started taking me to Rugby Park after Tommy Burns guided us to promotion in 1993 (glory-hunter).

To try and shoe-horn in as many of my favourites as possible I'm going for a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond midfield. They may not be the greatest team collectively, but individually they're a great bunch o' lads... essentially, I'm copying the Gary Locke blueprint - what can go wrong?

GK: Alan CombeIn goal, I've went for Alan Combe. Probably the toughest decision of my XI, he's pipped Dragoje Lekovic and Gordon Marshall to the number 1 jersey. For me, a great keeper and can feel aggrieved not to have received more international recognition.

RB: Gus MacPhersonRight back. Probably the easiest choice of my XI: Gus MacPherson. We've struggled badly to replace him since he left 15 years ago. Magnificent servant, cup winner and could do us a shift in goals if necessary - a simple choice.

LB: Garry HayGarry Hay claims the left back spot for me. Another who gave the club loyal service, he got his just rewards with the league cup win in 2012. Again, a player who pretty much picked himself every week. Being a local boy, he'll always be looked on slightly more favourably and it's the case here as he pips Tam "the tache" Black and Dylan Kerr to the number 3 jersey. Also, special mention to Ben Gordon for his first loan spell at Killie - such a pity he hasn't kicked on more.

CB: Ray MontgomerieNo surprise for the first selection, the legendary Ray Montgomerie. I really don't think I need to add anything in here to justify the inclusion of the 1997 cup winner skipper. In my team, he will be partnered by another hero...

CB: Momo Sissoko
Aye, he was a bombscare at times, a clueless galoot, a brainfart from a calamity at any given moment. But there has never been a better sight on a football pitch than watching the big man decide he was going to go on the rampage.

CDM: Manuel PascaliSitting in front of the defence, providing protection - the Italian stallion Manuel Pascali. From the first moment I clapped eyes on him, I knew that he would indeed "dae". Although to be fair, he'd just clattered Hibs' David van Zanten mere minutes into his Killie debut. It didn't take long for the Killie fans to fall in love with Pasca, and he loved us every bit as much in return. Granted, he may have accrued a more impressive card collection than Clintons but he's another who gave the club great service and was always great with the fans.

CMs: Liam Kelly & Craig Bryson
The 2010-11 season was the most enjoyable season I've ever had being a Killie fan. I didn't miss a game and aside from the odd snider (0-5 at Aberdeen & 1-5 v Rangers, ouch!) I absolutely loved it and watched some great football. And these two were, literally, at the centre of it. Worked tirelessly for the team and allowed others to flourish. Kelly's inclusion is also supported by his goal against Caley Thistle at Rugby Park - a lovely lobbed finish after a great passing move.

CAM: Alexei EremenkoAt the top of my diamond, the greatest player I've ever seen in the blue and white: Alexei Eremenko. Under Mixu, we had a manager who knew how to set a team up to get the best out of him and bloody hell, was he not just fantastic? It was his vision and execution of passing that transformed Conor Sammon from a forward who would run all day with not much to show for it into an absolute goal machine. And not just that, he also transformed Jamie Hamill from, well, Jamie Hamill into a marauding right back. I don't think it's a co-incidence that either player has performed to such a level as they did that season alongside Losa. And another thing, how Emilio Izaguirre won Scottish Player of the Year over Alexei that year was bloody silly nonsense.

ST: Kris BoydIt's a testament to the work of Alan Robertson that I have two products of his youth set up leading the line of my favourite XI. It may be blindingly obvious but Kris Boyd is straight in there. Simply put, the most prolific striker I've seen in the stripes. His abilities perfectly showcased in Alan Johnston's only full season in charge as he bagged 22 goals in a pretty honking Killie side. 

ST: Steven Naismith
Partnering Boydy is Stevie Naismith. The best player to have came through our youths under AR's watch. My favourite memories of the wee man are his hat-trick against Falkirk in the league cup semi, his magnificent solo effort against Hibs (always worth a watch on YouTube) and a screamer against Motherwell - he cut in from the left wing and launched a rocket from about 25-30 yards past a keeper who may as well have stayed in the dressing room.

So, that's my Killie XI. My subs bench, since you asked, comprises of Gordon Marshall, Dylan Kerr, Frederic Dindeleux, Gary Holt, Alan Johnston, Paul Wright and Jerome Vareille. Like I say, there may be better XIs but this is mine - thanks for the memories!!

What do you think? Let him know on Twitter: @smccue83

Monday, 20 June 2016

Ladies Match Report

Cumbernauld Colts 2 Kilmarnock 3 
Scorers - Clare Docherty (2) Sara Paterson 

Kilmarnock travelled to Broadwood stadium hoping to continue their fine run of league form against the team directly above them in the league. Killie started brightly in the game and looked to be in determined mood to come away with three points and got what they thought was the perfect start when they were awarded what looked to be a soft penalty kick for a foul on striker Docherty.

Kirsten Rolph stepping up and her spot kick crashing off the bar and over to safety, a let off for Colts. Killie weren't put off by this and were the team on top for the opening twenty minutes of the half, Docherty almost opened the scoring when she slipped past her marker on the left side and made her way into the box. Her first shot blocked by the keeper but she reacted well and seemed destined to score only to watch her header strike the bar, once again going over for a goal kick. Kilmarnock were frustrated at not taking their chances and even more so when they were hit with a sucker punch. After dominating In the first half they were left to rue missed opportunities when Colts got their first corner of the game and put it to good use. A fine delivery caught the Killie defence out and was powerfully headed home at the back post. Kilmarnock could have allowed this set back to knock them off stride but that wasn't the case. 

They were immediately back on the front foot looking for the equaliser. This was almost delivered from a corner of their own. The ball was only half cleared from a Paterson delivery and it fell to Abby Robinson eighteen yards from goal. She sidestepped two challenges and unleashed a right-footed shot that looked destined to even the score from the moment it left her boot. To the travelling away supports horror this also crashed off the underside of the crossbar and away to safety and left Kilmarnock wondering if this was going to be their day at the half time whistle. 

Seemingly undeterred by their misfortune in the first half Kilmarnock started the brightest in the second half and it took seven minutes for them to be back level. Law picking up the ball and driving towards goal before slipping a pass into the run of Docherty, who coolly slipped the ball past the keeper to level the score. The game now was a far more even one with both sides looking for what they thought would be the winner. 

Colts looked dangerous from set pieces but hadn't created any clear-cut chances to speak of. They did with about twenty-five minutes to go and as clinical as they were in the first half, they also were in the second. A loose ball was picked up in midfield and an excellent first-time pass behind the Kilmarnock back line found its player and was toe-poked into the corner of the net to put the home side 2-1 in the lead. 

Another mountain for the away side to climb but they responded brilliantly. Carol McLuskey almost levelled the game when she found space twenty yards from goal and her right foot shot had the keeper beaten all ends up but agonisingly saw her shot come off the post and the rebound cleared to safety. 

Kilmarnock weren't to be beaten though and it fell to Clare Docherty to score her eleventh goal in four games, and draw the game level, after out-muscling the colts defender and lifting the ball over the keeper 2-2 game on. Both sides pushed for what would most certainly be the winner but it took something extra special to eventually separate the sides. A free kick awarded thirty yards from goal saw Sara Paterson put the ball down and eye up a shot at goal from the centre of the pitch. A wonderfully struck right-footed curling shot swerved round the wall and high into the net to put Kilmarnock ahead with seven minutes to play. 

Colts tried their hard for the equaliser but the Killie defence remained solid and gave nothing away in the final minutes to register their fourth league win in a row and also with that win leapfrog the home side into third place in the league.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

My Favourite XI - Jamie Hume

We asked the members of the forums to tell us their all-time favourite Killie XI. If you'd like to tell us about your favourite XI, simply send it to us with a wee paragraph about each of your choices, a photo of you and your Twitter handle (if you use it):

Here's Jamie Hume to take us through his world-beaters...

I'll go for a 4-4-1-1 formation for my Favourite XI.

GK: Alan Combe
For me the best all round goalkeeper we have had in my time watching Killie. Had the odd howler like every keeper but good performances far outweighed the bad.

RB: Greg Shields
Solid and reliable defender, very undervalued by some when he was here. Equally as solid when moved into centre back too.

CB: Freddie Dindeleux
The best centre back we have had in my opinion. Solid, comfortable on the ball and a real fans' favourite. Great servant for the club after arriving on a Bosman.

CB: Ray Montgomerie
Captain, leader and organiser at the back. Left everything on the pitch, if only we had more like him today.

LB: Garry Hay
Up there as my favourite Killie player ever. Hooky was small but had the heart of a lion, had his faults, but his commitment and passion were second to none. One of us!!!

RM: Steven Naismith
Naisy has probably gone on to have the best career out of Killie as anyone in recent times, pace, trickery and finishing, he had it all. Highest transfer fee received, says it all.

CM: Ian Durrant
Said to be past it when he signed for us - what a load of bollocks that was. Ran games and had a great influence on the younger players around him. Still think we would have won that cup final against Celtic if he hadn't been injured.

CM: James Fowler
You don't know what you got til it's gone. Very apt statement for the Fow, tireless midfielder who did a vast amount of the "donkey work" that let others flourish. In my team to do the same.

LM: Allan Johnston
Good manager? Not for us. Good player? Very much so. "Magic" was just that for us, very intelligent footballer who created so much for us going forward. Will remember him for his performances on the park and not in the dugout.

CAM: Alexei Eremenko
What can iI say about Losa? Hands down the best player I have seen in a Killie shirt, the season under Mixu he ran the show, pinpoint passing silky touches and a few goals. Think it will be a long time before we see class like him again at Rugby Park.

ST: Kris Boyd
Out and out goalscorer, last season he struggled but can't keep him out of my team. Best finisher i have seen in the stripes, give him the service and he generally scores.

Subs: Cammy Bell, Gordon Greer, Gary Holt, Peter Canero, Andy Mclaren, Paul Wright, Craig Dargo

What do you think? Let him know on Twitter: @hume_jamie

Thursday, 16 June 2016

My Favourite XI - Craig Livingstone

We asked the members of the forums to tell us their all-time favourite Killie XI. If you'd like to tell us about your favourite XI, simply send it to us with a wee paragraph about each of your choices, a photo of you and your Twitter handle (if you use it):

Here's Craig Livingstone to take us through his world-beaters...

I'm sticking very closely to the theme of My Favourite XI as opposed to our best XI, just to keep things clear!

GK: Cammy Bell
Was a close call between Cammy and big Dragoje Leckovic. One one hand there was a gigantic nutter who pulled off strings of wonder saves, helped win us a Scottish Cup and made a World Cup squad only a few months after departing Rugby Park, on the other was one of our own... a quality shot-stopper whose contribution to our League Cup win was immeasurable. Cammy edges it despite ruining his career by joining Sevco.

RB: Gus MacPherson
Gus gave us a good number of years service and was an absolute mainstay down our right-hand side. It took some getting used to when he left as I'd never seen Killie with anyone else at right back... only thing that changed over the years was his ever decreasing hairline. Amazing to think that we've never really had an SPL quality right back since he left with nothing but out of position midfielders and short term stop gaps ever since. Wee mention for Peter Canero who had a cracking spell in that role before moving to Leicester.

LB: Garry Hay
No brainer. Only possible contender was Dylan Kerr for that celebration against Ayr and his part in the Scottish Cup win, doesn't come close to Hooky when all things are weighed up. Years of service. Absolute consistency. Not too shabby in the middle of the park for a season or so after his legs had gone. Continues my theme of Killie cup winners.

CB: Ray Montgomerie
Cup winning captains are hard to leave out. Another who gave us his best years and his speech in the days leading up to the play-off final shows how committed he's been to us, still kicking about the club to this day. King of the last ditch tackle and lead the backline well for a number of years.

CB: Freddie Dindeleux
First player on my list so far not to be involved in either of the cup wins I've witnessed as a Killie fan but deserves to be here as much as anyone. Consistent, excellent last ditch tackles. Not bad in the air. Decent moving the ball around the back and a Jennifer Aniston hair cut to boot. What a guy. Honorable mentions to the no-nonsense duo I considered having in Frazer Wright and Kevin McGowne.

DM: Mark Reilly
This was a tough one. Every ounce of me wanted to put James Fowler here. As I said, it's hard to leave out a cup winning captain. In truth Mavis had some real quality, winning the ball and finding a teammate time and time again. Only realised just how good he was when he went down to Reading for six months. We were a much better team when he returned! The epitome of the unsung hero.

CM: Iain Durrant
Never wasted a ball and was the absolute heartbeat of our team when he was at his best. Picked passes for fun and controlled the tempo of each and every game he played in. Also managed to pick up a good few Scotland caps while in the stripes at a time when our national side was certainly stronger than it is today.

CM: Alexei Eremenko
His first season with us was the most enjoyable I've ever witnessed as a Killie fan. He picked passes no-one in the stand could see, never mind those on the pitch and made most of the SPL look utterly clueless week in week out. Special mentions to a good few real quality players who just missed out. Craig Bryson was probably one more season away from being first pick on this list. Tommy Burns, Liam Kelly and John Henry were all names that came to mind too.

AML: Steven Naismith
His performance against Falkirk in the League Cup semi final remains to this day one of the best individual performances I've ever seen from a Killie player. And all against an English Premier League winning goalkeeper! There wasn't anyone who came close to Naisy in this role but a special mention goes to Alex Burke for his breakthrough season and Stevie Murray for the entertainment factor.

AMR: Ally Mitchell
Another of those long serving players who had made their position their own and showed great loyalty to the club. A cracking all round wide player who did the dirty defensive work well while being dangerous coming forwards. Another cup winner although he was hidden behind David Bagan's limelight on the day. Bagan is joined on the honorable mention list by Pat Nevin who was always fun to watch in the brief spell we had him.

ST: Kris Boyd
Scored more goals for Killie than anyone else in my lifetime and banged five in one match against Dundee United. Deserves some credit for his role in keeping us up during his second visit and certainly lead by example for the younger players during this seasons run-in popping up with the final nail in Falkirk's coffin. This wasn't easy. DVT scored a cup winning goal. Paul Wright not only won us a cup, but was a stand out for us for a number of years and the first Killie forward I saw hit double figures in a season.

What do you think? Let him know on Twitter: @thelivvyeffect

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

U17s Match Report

Kilmarnock U17s 2 v 3 Hamilton Accies U17s
A disappointing result today from the 17s against a decent Hamilton side. Although Killie created plenty of chances in the first half, their work in the final third of the park left a lot to be desired and it was Hamilton that went in at halftime 1-0 up.
The 2nd half and it was Accies who created much more,their front line was causing Killie's defence plenty of problems with their constant runs, and they increased their lead with a further 2 goals mainly coming in from set pieces, corner's being particularly difficult to defend well by Killie.
3-0 Hamilton
This sort of kickstarted Kilmarnock into action and they came back at accies, with a couple of late goals from Ruby Sloss and a freekick from Morgan Emslie. Thus it was all too late to salvage any points from this game, disapointing from the coaches point of view as the girl's have been much better in recent games.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

My Favourite XI - Gaby McKay

We asked the members of the forums to tell us their all-time favourite Killie XI. If you'd like to tell us about your favourite XI, simply send it to us with a wee paragraph about each of your choices, a photo of you and your Twitter handle (if you use it):
Here's Gaby McKay to take us through his world-beaters...

I'm too young to remember the '65 team, and only just remember the '97 side, so here it goes - my all time favourite Killie XI. I admit some players may be slightly out of position, but I feel they could adapt to my 4-2-3-1 shape...

GK: Dragoje Lekovic
A rather hazy memory for me, but I remember enjoying his very colourful kit and thinking he was a bit mental. What more could you want from a goalkeeper?

RB: Gus MacPherson
 My first Killie right back, and there hasn't been a better once since. I still remember finding it odd when he returned to Rugby Park with Dunfermline. I didn't see the majority of his 350+ games, but there's no other choice at right back.

CB: Frédéric Dindeleux
 My first Killie hero. Good on the ball, brilliant in the air and with glorious flowing locks. When my mum and dad got married, I insisted on wearing my "Dindeleux 17" shirt. I don't think the grandparents were too impressed...

CB: Manuel Pascali
 Signed as a midfielder, in his debut friendly I said "that guy is a centre-back". That wasn't just because he was Italian either, Paska wasn't the quickest but he was great in the air and had the heart of a lion. A lovely guy off the pitch, he's a true Killie legend.

LB: Garry Hay
 Much of my Killie-supporting life coincided with Garry Hay's career. Broke through soon after I started my fandom in earnest, played until 2013. Nothing confirmed the inexorable passage of time like the day Hooky retired.

CM: Craig Bryson
 A rare combination of hard work and skill, I actually saw him play for Clyde prior to us signing him. Our most underrated player for several seasons, once he reached his prime it became clear he was too good for Rugby Park.

CM: Alexei Eremenko
Probably the most talented player I've seen in a Killie shirt, I'm going to put him in the regista role. In his first spell with us, he was arguably the best player in the entire league. Some questioned his fitness in his second spell, but if he was an athlete he'd never have come near Rugby Park. Saw passes no others could, and made everyone around him a better player.

RM: Steven Naismith
I may be doing Naisy a disservice by putting him out on the right wing, but he's the kind of player who did a job in any position. Like Craig Bryson, it quickly became apparent he was far too good for us.

AM: David Fernandez
Perhaps my all-time favourite Killie player, he'd have played at a much higher level if he had any pace. Without Gary Caldwell's assault at Rugby Park he could have been a true legend, but even still his performance at Easter Road in a 4-2 win in 2008 was the best individual performance I've ever seen from a Kilmarnock player.

LM: Eric Skora
Magical during a six-month loan spell, he made just one brief substitute appearance on his return. His goal long-range chip at Celtic Park, a late consolation, was celebrated as if it had been the winner. Perhaps the best goal I've seen from a Killie player.

ST: Kris Boyd
Who else? Quite simply the best goalscorer I've seen in a Kilmarnock shirt, his five goals against Dundee United will live long in the memory, as will his winner which condemned Hibs to the play-off in 2014.

What do you think? Let him know on Twitter: @GabyMcKay

Monday, 13 June 2016

Killie In Europe - Part I


A Personal Recollection by Skydog

1962. That’s when football began, as far as I am concerned. I had maybe been taken along to Rugby Park before then but I doubt it and, if I was, it would have been under sufferance!

In April, Scotland beat England at Hampden for the first time in 25 years and that hugely captured my imagination. I bought Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly and devoured each issue. In September of that year, Killie played Rangers at the same Hampden Park in the League Cup semi-final. I went with my dad and another father and son, both Rangers supporters – no segregation in those days – and can remember how awestruck I was by the size of the crowd, the noise, the scale of the stadium, the height and brightness of the floodlights …. and that Killie actually beat the mighty Rangers! I wasn’t at the final against Hearts – the Frank Beattie/Tiny Wharton match – which we lost. The only explanation I have after all these years is that it was a dreich October day with lashing rain and Hampden had very little cover in those days.

In December, Killie hosted Moscow Torpedo in friendly match. The Russians had played Rangers and beat them 6-0 a couple of days before and were to play Hearts after Killie.

Rugby Park was busy that night and here was the fabulous team of Moscow Torpedo, clad in all-white with a large blue “T” on the left breast. This was the time of the Cold War; in fact, I see that the League Cup final was played a day before the end of the Cuban missile crisis (perhaps the imminent threat of nuclear destruction rendered the match trivial in my old man’s eyes)! The Russians could have been from another planet to me in my feverish excitement!

Killie won what I remember as a fantastic match 4-2. My taste for the exotic dish which is European football was firmly established.

It would be two more years before Killie made their first entry into European club competition, in the clumsily-titled Inter Cities Fairs Cup (ICFC). This was a competition started to promote clubs whose cities hosted trade fairs (honestly!) but qualification by merit into what was UEFA’s third-tier competition behind the European Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup had crept in. Killie qualified by having finished runners-up in the Scottish League in 1963-64.

The First Round draw was unkind, pairing Killie with Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany. Eintracht were a legendary name in Scotland, not only for their part in the European Cup final of 1960 at Hampden when they were defeated 3-7 by the peerless Real Madrid but because they had defeated Rangers 6-1 and 6-3 (no – they didn’t play at tennis!) in the semi-final.

By 1964, they were not the same force, however, and had qualified for the ICFC because they had finished third in the previous season’s (inaugural) Bundesliga. They were also German Cup runners-up.

Four players remained from the 1960 final – Loy, Stinka, Lindner and Stein.

Yet Killie were no novices, having competed in New York against top sides from Europe and the Americas in 1960, 1961 and 1963.

At this point, I will confess that I have not lived in Kilmarnock in all my time as a supporter. In those days, the family lived in Glasgow and I was dependent on my father taking me to matches. So, dear reader, I have to report that I was not present as Killie won 5-1 to overturn a 0-3 first leg deficit at Rugby Park and topple Eintracht Frankfurt!

The match is part of Killie folklore and the match highlights are easily accessible online. For the record, Huberts put Eintracht four goals ahead before Ronnie Hamilton, destined to be a club chairman, and Brian McIlroy gave Killie a 2-1 half-time lead.

Jim McFadzean, a highly versatile player deputising for Matt Watson at left-back, made the score 3-1 early in the second half before Jackie McInally, father of Sky TV pundit Alan, scored a fourth Killie goal. The match was held up by the first crowd invasion of the night and, on the resumption, Hamilton scored his second goal with a deflected shot from the edge of the penalty area.

My main recollection of the match is doing my paper-round the next morning with Killie all over the papers, not least the lead story on the front page of the Scottish Daily Express which featured a picture of a seventeen year-old Tommy McLean being chaired off by his team-mates. Great stuff!

In the next round, Killie were drawn against Everton with the first leg on 11 November 1964 at Rugby Park. The Toffees had finished third in the English League the previous season, four points behind the champions, their city rivals. They had not started the 1964/65 season in such stellar form and lay in tenth place when they came north.

At the time, Everton were known alternatively as the “Bank of England Club”, because of the generous investment of their chairman and Littlewoods Pools owner, Sir John Moores, or “The School of Science” due to the classy football favoured by their manager, Harry Catterick.But Killie could take heart from having lost by only the single goal when the two sides met in New York in 1961.

The Everton side contained a sprinkling of Scots – Sandy Brown, Jimmy Gabriel and Alex “Golden Vision” Young – and they were too strong for Killie, winning 2-0.

Despite an Early goal by Brien McIlroy, it was a similar story in the return match at Goodison Park where Everton won 4-1 with two goals from Fred Pickering and one each for Colin Harvey and Young.

Pickering later recalled the games:

“I have clear memories of the games against Kilmarnock. Killie had a central defender called Jackie McGrory, who I had played against a few weeks earlier. I had played for England Under-23s against Scotland at St James’s Park. Jimmy Gabriel and Billy Bremner were also in the Scottish team that day but we won 3-0 and I scored a hat-trick.

“So I remember being quite confident about playing against this lad again and I managed to score twice.”

So Killie’s first venture into Europe ended after a brief but glorious run, but I had still to experience my first competitive European match! That was soon to change as the club’s fortunes in domestic competition ended even more gloriously on 25 April 1965 at Tynecastle when the club was crowned Scottish champions for the first time in their history!

1st Round
02/09/64 Eintracht Frankfurt 3(0) Kilmanock 0(0) (Att. 35,000)
22/09/64 Kilmarnock 5 (2) Eintracht Frankfurt 1 (1) (Att. 14,930)
Scorers: Hamilton 2, McIlroy, McFadzean, McInally

2nd Round
11/11/64 Kilmarnock 0 (0) Everton 2(0) (Att. 23,561)
23/11/64 Everton 4 (2) Kilmarnock 1 (1) (Att. 30,730)
Scorer: McIlroy

Saturday, 11 June 2016

The weekend preview

This weekend only has two teams on league duty.
17s are at home to Hamilton Accies  hoping to get back to winning ways after last week's defeat at the hands of Ranger's, kick off is 2.30pm at the Grange Academy.

The U13s are away to Rutherglen, last time the two met was in the league cup final with Killie being victorious in that encounter, a fantastic advert for girls football and it was end to end action with plenty of goals that day,hopefully more of the same today.

Plenty of other going ons around the club this weekend, with our younger 13s going to the Erskine tournament today, and the killie mum's attacking the SAC assault course early on Saturday morning ....oooft they could be sore for the next few days.

Good luck to all this weekend updates and pictures to follow.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Non Fiducia

Following a stormy Kilmarnock Football Club Annual General Meeting in April, where director and former Chairman Michael Johnston was a target for the wrath of the fans, many of the angry shareholders are now petitioning the club to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to have Johnston removed; which in their view will encourage fresh investment and afford the rest of the board a clean slate and a better foundation to build from. The dramatic decline in attendances at Rugby Park is officially the worst in the SPFL with many long standing sponsors also feeling ostracised, there now appears to be a consensus in the Killie community that for Lee Clark and his squad to have the best chance possible of turning things around next season then the time for change is now.

A representative of the concerned group, Michael Higgins, stated: "We have secured a written mandate from over 15% of the club shareholders and have verbal confirmation of support from more than 5% of the company shareholding. This is above the threshold required to force the board to call an EGM to discuss any matters that we request. We are currently in discussion with our solicitors to ensure that all mandates are recorded in writing and that the agenda for the EGM is correctly defined. We expect the primary matter to be a shareholder vote of no confidence in Michael Johnston continuing in any capacity at the club: as Company Secretary; Director or Club Solicitor. We are unable to make any further comment at this time."

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Notice of 2016 KFCSA Annual General Meeting

The Committee of KFCSA advise that this year's AGM will be held in the Park Suite at Rugby Park at 1pm on Saturday 25th June.

The minutes from last year's AGM can be viewed here.

Anyone who is willing to help and join the Committee please contact the Association Secretary Iain Sherry

Monday, 6 June 2016

Killie go through the wars against Gers

Kilmarnock 17s 1-5 Rangers 17s

An eventful game at Grange Academy saw the U17s lose to Gers with a scoreline that flatters Rangers. Killie started well and missed a couple of chances to go in front before Rangers took the lead after 20 mins. The game was then held up for over half an hour as Killie midfielder Toni Coyle collapsed in the centre circle. An ambulance had to be called and she was taken to Crosshouse hospital.

HT 0-1 Rangers

Killie started the 2nd half much better, showing technical flair in the game with some neat play in the midfield and wide areas before a nasty head knock to midfielder Lauren McCulloch resulted in her also being whisked off to hospital. Killie tried to regroup but fell behind to a breakaway goal. Cobi Welsh then pulled one back for the home side with a header, 1-2 Rangers. The young Kilmarnock side rallied and were starting to dominate the game, but Rangers came back and started to pick Kilmarnock off on the break scoring a further three goals without reply. Rangers probably shaded possession and chances created but Killie battled on, unfortunately they couldn't match their recent form of their previous 3-4 matches.

The U17's will need to pick themselves up and prepare for next weekends home game against Hamilton Accies, hopefully learning from the mistakes as most of the goals conceded could have been prevented.

Good news is that both Toni and Lauren are making full recoveries after their visits to hospital. Thanks to the referee for helping the girls out with water breaks during the game.

Ladies Match Report

Hearts 3 Kilmarnock 10
Scorers -
Clare Docherty (3)
Nicole Telford (2)
Sara Paterson (2)
Kirsty Munro
Sarah Bissland
Alana Black

Kilmarnock extended their winning run in their visit to Tranent to face Hearts in glorious sunshine. Kilmarnock started the game well and were in front early in the game when Alana Black scored direct from a corner kick with a wonderfully delivered in swinging cross. Kilmarnock scored a second soon after but this was ruled out by the referee who seemed to be the only person in the ground who thought there was a suspicion of offside. Eagle eyed officiating from the referee considering she was 40 yards behind play and the cross ball wasn't even played forward. Well done ref. 

Hearts capitalised on this by taking advantage of some indecision in the away rearguard and rounded the keeper to equalise. The scores weren't level for long though. Clare Docherty got between defender and keeper from a through ball and slipped the ball past the keeper toward goal. Kirsty Munro followed this in and finished the move off to put the visitors ahead. 

Kilmarnock scored again before half time when Sara Paterson delivered from a corner for Sara Bissland to head home from close range.

Half time
Hearts 1 Kilmarnock 3

Killie knew more was expected of them in the second half but failed to deliver immediately as Hearts scored again. A ball played towards the Killie box was flicked on then met with a thunderous volley that flew into the top right corner. An unstoppable shot and at that point likely to be the goal of the game but there was more to come. 

Kilmarnock responded quickly though and Clare Docherty continued her fine goal scoring form with a neat finish and just after this linked up well with Sara Paterson who also finished well from close range after ghosting past a few defenders.  

Hearts reduced the deficit again to 5-3 when slack defending gave them an opportunity from close range. 

Kilmarnock were in control of the game though despite their attempts to shoot themselves in the foot and it was Clare Docherty once again who scored to make the score 6-3 to the away team. 

Nicole Telford, introduced as a second half substitute, then made her mark on the game and it was quite an introduction. For me, it was goal of the game. Receiving the ball 25yds from goal, her first touch took her towards the defender but then deftly slipped the ball past her and ran round the other side to collect and steadied herself before firing the ball home. 

Sara Paterson made the score 8-3 and this time she was the one to fire a vicious in swinging corner straight into the net for her second of the game. 

Nicole Telford, now full of confidence, made the score 9-3 with a wonderful 20yd strike across the keeper and into the corner. 

The scoring, perhaps fittingly, was ended by Clare Docherty for her third hat-trick in three games. She picked up a pass 40yds from goal and skipped past her marker and was clean through on goal. As the keeper advanced from goal Docherty calmly went round her and rolled the ball into the net to complete the scoring and give Kilmarnock a convincing 10-3 victory.

Not Kilmarnocks best performance of the season by any manner of means but a welcome victory all the same and plenty of positives to take from the game with also a few points to be brushed up on before their next league game away to Cumbernauld Colts at Broadwood Stadium.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Ladies Weekend Preview

This weekend gets off to a flyer with a young U11s team heading to the Galston tournament on Friday night where some of the Senior squad will be presenting medals to all the girls teams taking part. This is the first time a girls section has been added to this hugely successful local youth tournament! Not forgetting to mention our U17s are the referee's in the girls section ....ooooft...!!
Both U13s Blues and Whites are in action again on Saturday against Hamilton and East Kilbride respectively at the Grange Academy with both games kicking off at 12.30pm.

There is no game for our our U15s this weekend as Rugby Park is out of action.

The U17s are at Home to Rangers in the League on Sunday afternoon at the Grange Academy with a 12.30pm k.o. Hopefully they will build on their recent good form.

The Senior ladies are away in Edinburgh on league duty against Hearts Development  on Sunday, hoping to climb up the league table with another win.

Good luck to all the teams in action this weekend!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Season Review - Alan Walker

Charles Dicken’s once wrote “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” but if you’ve been a Killie fan this year it could be described as “the worst of times, the even more worse of times, the worsest of times and then the wee bit better of times”.

Gary Locke was given funds to spend and he spent the summer creating his own team. He brought in ex-Rangers Kris Boyd (ex-Kilmarnock, surely?), Stevie Smith and Lee McCulloch, ex-Hearts Scott Robinson and Dale Carrick, ex-Thistle Kallum Higginbotham and ex-Falkirk Jamie MacDonald. Locke also brought in Celtic's Stuart Findlay on loan. Some fans were pleased with the signings and looking forward to a good campaign after a tough previous year. However, the preseason games weren’t too inspiring and gave a glimpse of things to come. McKenzie got a last minute winner in a dreadful game in Berwick and he got a further two in a 2-2 against squad-raided Queen of the South. Fans were already questioning the midfield pairing of Hamill and Robinson, which looked slow and, well, useless. Nevertheless, Killie smashed Crusaders 4-0, Fleetwood 3-1 and lost narrowly to Barnsley.

So Saturday 1st August was the first match of the season and Killie welcomed Dundee to the Theatre of Pies (more on that later). Killie were perhaps a little too welcoming as Dundee smashed Killie 0-4, with ex-Killie (naturally) Rory Loy bagging a brace. It was quite clear that Locke had no idea about his settled team yet, making three substitutions at half time, which did little to stem the flow of attack towards MacDonald’s goal. This game followed with a tough trip to Aberdeen where Killie excelled in keeping the score down to a 2-0 Aberdeen win. Next up was Celtic and Killie fans already feared the worse. However a gallus 88th minute Panenka from new signing Higginbotham secured Killie their first point of the season in front of a paltry 6090 supporters.

Killie followed this 2-2 draw up with another at Firhill. Locke was still messing about with his preferred team and with next game against Ross County saw Westlake (replaced after 25 minutes), Connolly (replaced after 11 minutes) and McCulloch (replaced after 41 minutes). Oh, and by the time McCulloch had sleeked off, Killie were 4-0 down. Ex-Killie Gardyne and Jackson doing most of the damage. A comfortable 4-1 win against Berwick at home in the league cup was followed by a 1-0 loss to Motherwell at Fir Park and August was done. Recap – six games in the league, zero wins, two draws, four goals scored, 15 conceded.

Locke had to do something to stop the flood of goals and signed ex-Thistle Conrad Balatoni and ex-Hearts Kevin McHattie. The latter got off to a great start with a winner in a 2-1 win against fellow strugglers Dundee Utd. Killie then followed that up with a 2-1 win against St Johnstone. Next game was the league cup and Killie had drawn recently promoted Hearts. Killie were looking to see out a win when Magennis scored his second in the 80th minute, but after a couple of curious substitutions, Killie lost their shape and Hearts scored the equaliser in the 90th minute, and then the winner four minutes into injury time. Mark Ridgers in goal for Killie after a royal cock-up with Killie’s other three goalkeepers. September ended with a 2-1 home defeat to Hamilton. Killie had yet to keep a clean sheet in league or cup, but MacDonald was already walking away with the POTY trophy.

October treated Killie a little nicer with Balatoni scoring his first for Killie in a 1-1 draw at Tynecastle, a 2-0 thrashing of Inverness at home (finally, a clean sheet!) and a Stevie Smith goal securing all three points at Dens. Hallowe’en wasn’t far off though and a horror show at home gave struggling Motherwell a 1-0 win. The three games in November saw a loss in Perth, another draw against champions Celtic and a 5-2 thrashing at home to the hands of Thistle. Ex-Killie Robbie Muirhead, on loan from Dundee United, scoring two. December wasn’t exactly full of Christmas cheer for Killie. A home draw against doomed Dundee Utd, losses away in the highlands (twice), another 4-0 thrashing (this time at home to Aberdeen) and a narrow 1-0 win in Hamilton which was in no way deserved.

So into the new year and a new transfer period. What delights would the man in charge furnish the despairing supporters with this time? Well, no signings to speak of at first and another poor set of results. The New Year’s game (on the second) secured another point against Hearts, which were then followed by another win in Perth and another win at home to Inverness, thanks lads. Of course, a thrashing was never far away and this time it was provided by Dundee United at Tannadice. They managed to rack-up another 4 goal difference in their 5-1 win which allowed new manager Mixu a little ray of hope in catching up with the pack. Still, Locke hung on. That was until a home defeat against Hamilton. Locke walked (because the board were to spineless to sack him), two new signings were on their way and Killie needed a new manager, fast.

February was another busy month for Killie and new manager Lee Clark. First up was an away Scottish Cup tie to three year-old Rangers. Lee McCulloch was in charge of the team at it showed. Killie defended astutely and left Ibrox with a home-tie replay the following week. Before that, Killie had an away win at Motherwell and a glimmer of hope was hitting some of the fan base. Cue another disaster. Rangers hit an early goal with a second minute penalty, but Rory McKenzie scored a screamer just five minutes later to level the match. Killie looked to be holding out for extra time when another injury-time goal downed us. Nicky Clark this time getting the late goal. February was concluded with a no-score draw at home to Dundee and an away defeat to Hearts.

March saw three losses on the bounce, once of which was a last minute screamer from Celtic’s Rogic and Lee Clark was yet to find a win, although the team was starting to play better and the dross in the squad (McHattie, Westlake, Barbour, Hamill, Robinson, Carrick) were nowhere to be seen. Instead, Dicker and Hodson were performing well, Magennis was managing the odd goal and Boyd was being re-introduced to football. Clark brought in some out of contract signings in the form of Miles Addison, Julien Faubert and Alex Henshall. Addison made an instant impression, Faubert less so and Henshall wasn’t to be seen in April. Nevertheless, April was decent to Killie with a hard fought draw at Firhill, good wins against St. Johnstone and Hamilton and a 3-1 loss in Inverness. Dundee United were well out of it by this point. Hamilton and Thistle were still catchable, as long as Killie played like they had done against St. Johnstone and Hamilton where Boyd and Higginbotham were chipping in with some goals.

So along came May, three games to go, and Killie’s first target was to beat Thistle at home which would mean pulling them further into the relegation struggle and keeping close to Hamilton. However, as with much of the season, Killie didn’t turn up and were easily beaten 2-0, securing both Thistle and Hamilton’s safety. Then followed a pointless away draw at Dundee, who were on a high after relegating their derby rivals the previous Monday. Said rivals then thrashed Killie 4-2 at Rugby Park to end a thoroughly disappointing season for both clubs. Meanwhile, Killie’s chairman Jim Mann had decided to step-down, citing ill health. Killie director Michael Johnston was in the middle of a personal dispute with Killie Pie maker John Gall, which had escalated to legal proceedings involving the copyright of The Killie Pie. had received a refurbishment and Killie had managed to drop the association with the chancers in the BBC hit show The Scheme, only for the association to be replaced by another chancer who liked to record himself shouting at his phone.

Regardless, Killie had a couple of games to win in order to maintain survival in the SPL. Fans were somewhat divided on the matter. Staying up meant a little more financial security, but with another boring year of Hamilton, St. Johnstone, Inverness, Ross County… and with the added ‘bonus’ of having to host rampant, un-educated, bigoted, monarchy-loving, unionist, sectarian, knuckle dragging huns. Going down meant a return to Ayrshire derbies, trips to Dumfries, Greenock, Paisley, Kirkcaldy and Edinburgh. However, it also meant financial instability as it can be certain that the TV companies will drop the Championship like a hot potato.

Killie’s opponents in the play-off final were Falkirk, who dispatched Hibernian with a late goal and left them a wee bit of time to prepare for their Scottish Cup win against Rangers. Killie fans of a certain vintage (yes, it’s getting that long ago) will remember the 1997 Scottish Cup win against Alex Totten’s Falkirk, the 2007 Naismith hat-trick when sent Killie to the CIS Insurance Cup final instead of John Hughes’ Falkirk, and, more recently, the last game of the 2009/10 season which sent Steven Pressley’s Falkirk team to the (then) First Division. So Falkirk were firmly placed on Killie’s mantelpiece, but the pundits had Killie to go down and Houston’s Falkirk to come up. What do pundits know though?

Falkirk were poor in the first leg at the Falkirk Stadium, with their keeper having a good game and an excellent clearing header off the line from a beautiful Boyd shot. Naturally, though, Falkirk did score against Killie and did so in injury time, as has been the case so many times this season. The entire Killie team lost concentration in the very last seconds of the game and Falkirk were set-up to come to Rugby Park with a 1-0 advantage. That advantage lasted two minutes as Josh Magennis (in his natural position) beat the full back and squared for Kiltie to score. Killie then took the advantage just minutes later as the solid Miles Addison pounced on a loose ball in the box. Falkirk fans were stunned, Falkirk players were stunned, pundits were stunned and Killie fans were gobsmacked.

Killie went on to smash Falkirk 4-1 over the two legs to keep their Premiership status intact since 1993. Back on the mantelpiece with Falkirk. Lee Clark spoke to the fans after the game, asking them to show solidarity and to stick with him as he attempts to place Killie in their rightful place higher up the league. In the week since, Killie have released Lee Ashcroft, Conor Brennan , Julien Faubert, Alex Henshall, Chris Johnston, Mark Connolly and Aaron Splaine. These players join Ross Barbour, Darryl Westlake, Jamie Hamill and Scott Robinson who were released previously. Furthermore, Conrad Balatoni, Kallum Higginbotham, Dale Carrick, Kevin McHattie, Mark O’Hara, Tope Obadeyi and David Syme have all been transfer listed. Offers have been made to Rory McKenzie and Craig Slater, the latter of which has made his opinions, that he is rejecting the offer, clear.

Finally, a couple of good lucks go out to both Hodson and Killie’s top-goalscorer Josh Magennis, who both are in the squad for the Northern Ireland Euro 2016 campaign. Fingers crossed for a great tournament from both these players.

Alan Walker

Season Review - James Morrison


A season that started with hope back in August quickly became the proverbial roller-coaster - with more downs than ups and gave Killie fans despair, frustration, false hopes, and eventually relief and some genuine belief. For many die-hards it actually started with a couple of pre-season games at RP against Fleetwood and Barnsley. Little did we realise that all three clubs would change managers during the season with two ending up in play-offs and one of those for the wrong reasons!

Dundee were the first opponents in the league and the performance and result were to be a glimpse at what was to follow in numerous home games under Gary Locke. Frankly, we were a disorganised shambles with one half chance for Boyd being our only effort on target. We were lucky to lose 0-4 and it's interesting to look back at that starting eleven as a number were to be released by the club before the season even finished! MacDonald, Westlake, Findlay, Connolly, Smith, Johnston, Hamill, Robinson, Higginbotham, Boyd & Magennis.

Looking back at the home form: It was unpredictable and generally awful unless we were playing St Johnstone or ICT. One positive was the draw against Celtic and the memorable penalty from Higgy - if that had not come off I doubt Killie fans would have ever forgiven him. There were three particular shockers. The 0-4 against Ross County where we were losing by that score line in under 40 minutes; the 2-5 reverse to Partick and then the 0-4 loss to a rampant Aberdeen just before Christmas. In among those games there were two home wins against the Saints and Inverness.

The League Cup brought some respite from the league and after beating Berwick 4-1 the team were unlucky to go down 2-3 to Hearts at Rugby Park losing two late goals. It did seem that every time beleaguered boss Locke needed a result to avoid the sack from an overly patient board (who had supported him with signings) he got it. Away from home the team looked better organised and played with more confidence. There were no heavy defeats (until 23rd January!) and wins were recorded at Tannadice and Dens and a creditable draw at Parkhead. We had only lost once by more than the odd goal (until mid January) with that being in the first away trip at Pittodrie.

Having been thrashed by those Dons at Rugby Park I was convinced Locke's contract would be terminated if we didn't get a result at Accies. A fortunate effort from enigmatic Obadeyi scraped a 1-0 win which was then followed by a 2-3 loss in Dingwall. A New Year dawned with some hope that we may be able to start to show some of our away form on the plastic pitch in Kilmarnock especially after a fine 2-2 draw against a physical, bruising Hearts side. The Cup gave some more false hope when, despite an awful pitch in Perth, we secured a 1-0 win thanks to a sublime early free kick from Slater and a truly amazing TRIPLE save from PoTY MacDonald in the final minutes.

We then entered a sequence of games which seemed "winnable" with Inverness being first up at a snow swept (former) Theatre of Pies. A terrific volley from Slater and some common sense refereeing from Mr Robertson meant a 2-1 win. Next up were Dundee United and a home game against Accies - there was talk that two wins would see us "kick start our season" and "push on towards the top six". Little did we realise what would happen on 23rd January. Having been generally organised and solid defensively away from home the team leaked four goals in a truly dreadful first half at Tannadice. Just as frustratingly Locke kept Boyd on the bench when we needed goals to get back into a game we eventually lost 1-5. Surely the manager could not continue after that result but especially the horrific performance?

Changes were made for the Accies match at Rugby Park  but only in team selection: McHattie McKenzie and Robinson returned for what was an awful game with Accies scoring the winner from a corner. Fans made their feelings known again about the manager during the game and Gary Locke duly "resigned" after the match. It was 30th January and a new manager would not be able to make any significant signings as the transfer "window" was about to close. It seemed that Locke had already lined up the signings of midfielder Gary Dicker from Carlisle and also full back Lee Hodson on loan from MK Dons - ironically they were to prove two of Locke's better signings!

Speculation mounted about who the next boss would be with Billy Davies the early favourite. The usual "suspects" were mentioned but eventually the board selected former Newcastle stalwart Lee Clark to try and save the season - by keeping the club in the top division in Scotland. Lee McCulloch was put in charge whilst the selection process was going on and he immediately had the team organised and harder to beat. Two cup games against a team from Govan saw Killie lose narrowly to a last minute goal in the replay at Rugby Park. In between those games there was a comfortable 2-0 victory at Fir Park which saw Killie move up above 'Well who dropped into the play off spot. Sadly that spot would belong again to Killie only a few days later and Lee Clark's team had a  tough run of games coming up.

A home draw with Dundee seemed commendable as was a 0-1 loss away to high flying Hearts. The 1st of March had Ross County easing past Killie 0-2 at Rugby Park when yet again fans were asked to make the longest trip in top flight football - midweek. Aberdeen were up next and I thought Killie unlucky to lose again at Pittodrie - this time by 1-2. A televised game at home against a mediocre Celtic side was sealed by a Rogic wonder-strike in the dying seconds - another single goal loss. The last two games before the split saw Killie facing Partick in Glasgow and then at home to our favourite Perth Saints. 4 points out of 6 were secured but the media continued to hype up Dundee United's chances of avoiding relegation.

Five games were now left following the "split" with survival the objective. Fifty two minutes in to the next game in Inverness saw Killie leading - probably undeservedly - by a Higgy goal. Then Balatoni played a crazy back pass, Mr Beaton red carded Jamie Mac, awarded a penalty and we lost 1-3. Our backs were now against the wall and games running out. The following Saturday saw the team and over 1,300 fans turn up at Hamilton where one of the best performances of the season ( I know there weren't many really good ones) saw the black shirted away side win 4-0. It was great singing "Hamilton Accies we're coming for you!" and actually believing it...for a week!

Could a miracle really happen with Thistle the next visitors to Ruggers Plastic? hapless Killie performance saw the Jags secure their top league status with a comfortable 2-0 win which condemned Lee Clark's side to the dreaded play off as Dundee United had been relegated by losing to their near neighbours. Two meaningless games followed against the Dundee sides with Killie and their fans focusing on the play offs and who would win through from the Championship to play the side who had been in the top league for 23 successive seasons? Raith Rovers were duly dispatched by Hibs so it was to be either Hibs or Falkirk in what has become known as the "play off final".

After a game changing decision by ref Alan Muir (who seems incapable of seeing a player handling the ball) in the first leg Falkirk scraped a 2-2 draw before scoring an injury time winner to win a thrilling second leg 3-2. So Falkirk it would be - the side who had lost to Killie in a cup final, a League Cup semi and then been relegated at Kilmarnock in 2010 when a Bairns win would have relegated Killie. Could history repeat itself...again? The first leg was a fairly dire game with Killie creating chances but not taking any. Typical of the current Falkirk side they played to the last whistle and created one chance in the last minute as the Killie players went to sleep. Goal - advantage to the Bairns.

Simply put Kilmarnock FC now had to beat Falkirk FC by two clear goals to retain their Premiership status. What was there to fear for a Killie side unbeaten at home when playing either Inverness or St Johnstone? Perhaps the shocking results at home to some of the other sides? The media pundits seemed to realise the tie was not over - which was understandable since the Bairns had created very little in the first game. Nineteen years may have passed since the Scottish Cup Final at Ibrox but Falkirk had still been using the long  throw as one of their main attacking tactics - would we see it in the second leg?

Killie fans were pleased to learn that Euro bound Josh Magennis was back in the starting line up but the Killie boss surprised most of us by giving youngster Greg Taylor the left back slot - benching O'Hara with Lee Hodson moving over to his favoured right back position. Eight minutes into the game and the tie was almost over as excellent wing work from the Northern Irish duo of Josh and Lee had created goals for the on fire Kiltie and man mountain Addison. Despite persevering with the long throw tactic Falkirk lacked creativity and rarely troubled the yellow shirted MacDonald. The Bairns were then "picked off" and condemned to at least another season in the Championship when surging runs from Tope and Josh set up Young Player of the Year Kiltie and then goal machine Boydie to add two more goals.

What a performance...and a terrific result when it really really mattered...but mainly a sense of relief! The season may have ended happily but the re-building started the following day when Lee Clark announced players to be freed and those who could move on even though they were still under contract. Who knows what next season will bring but like most Killie fans I'm actually already looking forward to being part of Lee Clark's Blue and White Army in the Premiership. By the way, Falkirk did use the long throw a lot and Barnsley won their play off to secure promotion!

James Morrison