Kelly brace earns Killie victory

Liam Kelly celebrated his new contract with a first-half brace as Kilmarnock went fifth in the SPL following a 2-1 win over Hibs at Rugby Park.

Last Updated: 18/12/10 at 18:22

Kelly: At the double for Kilmarnock

Kelly: At the double for Kilmarnock

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The midfielder, who signed a two-and-a-half year deal on Friday, finished off assists from Ben Gordon with either foot to continue Kilmarnock's impressive form.

Derek Riordan's magnificent long-range strike brought Hibs back into the game early in the second half.

But Edwin de Graaf wasted their best opportunity to level and their chances were further diminished when Liam Miller was sent off following some sustained indecision from referee Craig Thomson.

Much of the Rugby Park pitch was covered in a light sprinkling of snow after a fresh outbreak within two hours of kick-off, but Kilmarnock were still largely successful in playing the attractive brand of passing football that has now earned them five wins in seven SPL games.

The home side started well and almost benefited from several early through balls to Conor Sammon, who saw a diving header saved by Mark Brown in the opening stages.

Hibernian also had an early chance when a slip by James Fowler let in Miller, but the midfielder could not adjust his body properly and stabbed wide from six yards.

Killie took the lead in the ninth minute when Kelly finished off a wonderful flowing move.

Mehdi Taouil opened up Hibs by playing a reverse pass inside Michael Hart for Ben Gordon, who squared for Kelly to stroke the ball into the corner from 15 yards with his right foot.

Kilmarnock took a firm grip of possession and threatened again from Alexei Eremenko's corner, but neither Manuel Pascali or Craig Bryson could get a decisive touch.

Hibs were playing a fluid formation with Miller and David Wotherspoon supporting Riordan from midfield and they were getting enough men forward to trouble Killie on occasion.

The closest they came in the first half was when the ball broke for John Rankin 18 yards out, but Cammy Bell got down to block his 18-yard strike with his foot.

But the home side moved further ahead in the 43rd minute when Kelly produced another first-time finish inside the penalty box. Jamie Hamill's diagonal ball eventually fell for Gordon and his inside pass was swept home by Kelly from 10 yards with his left foot.

The second half started in uneventful fashion until Riordan produced a piece of magic 10 minutes in. The forward instantly took advantage of a few yards of room almost 25 yards out to unleash an unstoppable swerving strike into the top corner.

Hibs quickly brought on Colin Nish for Rankin and pushed more men forward. But they still struggled to cut open the Kilmarnock defence and the hosts began to find some rhythm previously missing in the second half to exploit gaps in the visiting defence.

Kelly saw a powerful long-range strike held by Brown, who then stretched to tip away Gordon's rising strike.

Hibs centre-back Sol Bamba went off with 15 minutes left with Jonathan Grounds moving inside and Daniel Galbraith coming on at left-back.

The visitors had the chance to level in the 78th minute when a brilliant piece of skill from Wotherspoon finally opened up the home defence.

He laid the ball to de Graaf in the inside right channel but the Dutchman took a heavy touch and blasted the ball into the side net to the disgust of three team-mates inside the box.

Hibernian's chances were soon undone when Miller was sent off after several minutes of controversy and confusion. The Irishman clipped the legs of Sammon as the striker ran into the diagonal edge of box following a slip by Grounds. Thomson gave a free-kick and maintained his decision following talks with assistant Brian McGarry as the home side claimed the offence had taken place inside the area.

Killie looked set to take the free-kick before another delay ensued as Thomson consulted fourth official Thomas Robertson, with the outcome being a straight red card.

The free-kick was taken short before eventually falling for Fowler, whose powerful volley was tipped over by Brown and Kelly almost claimed his hat-trick only for Hamill to over-hit his cutback.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Sunday, 24 May 2015
12:30
Aberdeen 0-1 St J'stone  
Celtic 5-0 Inverness Report
Dundee U 3-0 Dundee  
Saturday, 23 May 2015
15:00
Hamilton 1-0 St Mirren Report
Kilmarnock 1-2 Ross Co Report
Motherwell 0-0 Partick Report
Saturday, 16 May 2015
Dundee 1-1 Aberdeen Report
Inverness 3-0 Dundee U Report
Partick 1-4 Kilmarnock  
Ross Co 2-1 Hamilton  

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter: Tiny minority to blame for FIFA crisis

Sepp Blatter has told FIFA's annual congress he had no way of monitoring "a tiny minority" of officials accused of corruption.

Sepp Blatter lies low as David Cameron joins opposition to FIFA president's re-election

Sepp Blatter held an emergency meeting in Zurich on Thursday morning as David Cameron joined those calling for his head.

CONCACAF have 'provisionally dismissed' president Jeffrey Webb

CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb has been 'provisionally dismissed' by the governing body for football in North and Central America.

Mail Box

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company