No way through as Killie hold Well

Kilmarnock and Motherwell failed to get an early advantage on their Scottish League rivals as they fought out a 0-0 draw at Rugby Park.

Last Updated: 21/03/09 at 15:00 Post Comment

Clarkson: Missed a good late chance for Well

Clarkson: Missed a good late chance for Well

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The home side dominated the first half but failed to trouble Graeme Smith, and the unmarked Kevin Kyle headed wide from 12 yards after the break.

Motherwell improved, and substitute David Clarkson missed a good chance in injury-time not long after Smith had pushed away Manuel Pascali's header.

The result did not suit either team, with Killie still looking over their shoulder as they continue to chase their first SPL win of 2009.

Motherwell also failed to use the lunchtime kick-off to put maximum pressure on their rivals in the race for a top-six and European place.

Kilmarnock quickly imposed themselves on the game, and Garry Hay shot wide from 20 yards after forcing back Motherwell striker John Sutton back and dispossessing him.

Sutton's partner Cillian Sheridan headed Stevie Hammell's free-kick wide of the near post, but Kilmarnock continued to edge play.

Smith was fully behind Craig Bryson's left-foot volley, before David Fernandez was off target from a difficult diving header following good wing play from Hay.

Recalled pair Mehdi Taouil and Fernandez were at the heart of Kilmarnock's promising build-up play as they stretched Motherwell inside the visitors' half, but they failed to carve out a clear-cut first-half chance.

Smith gratefully clutched the ball after his team-mates desperately defended Tim Clancy's throw-in, and Kyle saw a shot blocked in a crowded goalmouth. Motherwell manager Mark McGhee complained to a policeman after exchanging words with some home fans as he disputed Dougie McDonald's harsh decision to penalise Stephen Craigan's shoulder charge on Fernandez.

Sheridan almost snatched an opener but headed just wide as he stretched to meet a Stephen Hughes cross.

Motherwell showed more urgency to get forward after the restart, and Jim O'Brien fired just over on the half-volley after Sutton had headed on Paul Quinn's cross.

Killie were still dangerous, though, and Mark Reynolds was booked for hauling back Fernandez as he ran on to Taouil's through ball just outside the box on the right channel. The unmarked Taouil shot well over, after Hay's free-kick was blocked.

Kyle missed a clear chance in the 63rd minute when his free header from Hay's cross just cleared the top corner from 12 yards.

Clarkson and Steven McGarry came on to liven up Motherwell's attack. But they were soon grateful for Hammell's brilliant headed clearance as Jamie Hamill attacked Hay's cross.

Maros Klimpl's deflected strike fizzed just over from 20 yards, after McGarry had left Fernandez in a heap to start a counter-attack.

The game was finely-balanced, and Alan Combe just reached Clarkson's diagonal ball before McGarry.

Smith pulled off the save of the match with nine minutes left as he pushed out Manuel Pascali's header from Taouil's near-post corner.

Klimpl then burst past two opponents to reach Clarkson's through ball but he never looked confident as he entered the box, and his weak left-footed shot was straight at Combe.

The ball then fell for the unmarked Clarkson 12 yards out after Hammell's injury-time corner, but the Scotland striker volleyed just over.

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