KIL­MARNOCK 3 DUNDEE 2 Never say pie as 10-man Kil­lie fight to the fin­ish

LAD­BROKES PREMIER­SHIP

Evening Times - - SPORT - By NICK RODGER

THIS re­ally was a mag­nif­i­cent seven. Kil­marnock’s sev­enth home win on the spin would have had Steve McQueen, Yul Bryn­ner and the boys roar­ing on joy­ously from the side­lines.

The 10 men of Kil­marnock, with great spirit and un­wa­ver­ing re­solve, man­aged to win­kle out an ex­tra­or­di­nary tri­umph dur­ing a 90 min­utes packed with in­ci­dent, ac­tion and some ropey ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions.

A goal-scor­ing de­but for Steven Caulker, Dundee’s for­mer Eng­land in­ter­na­tional, would have been a de­cent enough tale in it­self but de­fi­ant Kil­marnock re­mained de­ter­mined to be the story and, de­spite play­ing most of the sec­ond pe­riod with re­duced num­bers after Gary Dicker’s red card, late goals from Kris Boyd and Iain Wil­son dur­ing a barn­storm­ing fi­nale saw a 2-1 deficit with 15 min­utes left be­come a 3-2 victory.

“I never thought it was dead and buried,” said Steve Clarke, the Kil­marnock man­ager. “It’s al­ways dif­fi­cult with 10 men but this group have great char­ac­ter and they showed it here. I al­ways thought we could get some­thing out of it.”

The vis­i­tors were seek­ing re­demp­tion fol­low­ing a dread­ful 4-1 maul­ing by bot­tom of the ta­ble Ross County. Kil­marnock, mean­while, were with­out the in­flu­en­tial and in­dus­tri­ous pair­ing of Yous­souf Mu­lumbu and Jor­dan Jones.

It didn’t seem to hin­der them in the early stages. After a cou­ple of ini­tial Dundee thrusts, the hosts de­liv­ered a telling blow and forged an ad­van­tage in the sixth minute. From a cor­ner on the right, Ea­monn Bro­phy found him­self in space at the back post and he an­gled a low drive into the net.

It was an early dunt to the morale as far as Dundee were con­cerned but their re­sponse was ro­bust. The lively Si­mon Mur­ray made a surg­ing as­sault into the dan­ger zone and his lay off was smacked into the clutches of Jamie Mac­Don­ald by the on-rush­ing Mark O’Hara.

Kil­marnock may have held the lead but it was Dundee who con­tin­ued to grow in stature with pa­tient prob­ings. A con­sid­ered ap­proach on the half hour ended with Paul McGowan swiv­el­ling on the edge of the area and un­leash­ing a loop­ing effort which Mac­Don­ald gath­ered safely.

Mac­Don­ald beat away a pow­er­ful Jon Aurtenetxe strike as the vis­i­tors upped the ante be­fore an equaliser ar­rived on 32 min­utes from the spot. Mac­Don­ald bril­liantly palmed away a Caulker header but in the en­su­ing scram­ble, Dicker was pe­nalised for a hand­ball. Moussa calmly com­pleted the nec­es­saries to re­store par­ity.

It had been a spir­ited resur­gence from Dundee and the hosts were left with plenty to pon­der as they headed for the tea urn.

THINGS didn’t im­prove for Kil­marnock after the re­sump­tion as Bro­phy hob­bled away from the front line with an in­jury and was re­placed by Lee Er­win on 49 min­utes.

Things did change but for the worse as Dundee went ahead on 56 min­utes when Caulker rose el­e­gantly to nod in Roarie Dea­con’s cor­ner. Two min­utes later, Dundee were given an­other nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage when Dicker was sent off.

Kil­marnock are made of stern stuff these days, of course, and they ral­lied ad­mirably.

Rory McKen­zie had a shot blocked be­fore a ter­rific move spawned a crack­ing equaliser. Er­win’s fine re­verse pass was met by Boyd who fin­ished with clin­i­cal aplomb.

Gal­vanised by that, Kil­marnock ploughed on and were re­warded with a win­ner in 86 min­utes. Wil­son, who emerged from the bench on the hour, seemed to stum­ble through the Dundee de­fence like a mon­ster in a B-movie but he kept go­ing and go­ing and man­aged to trun­dle a low fin­ish into the net via the post.

Kil­marnock striker Kris Boyd (left) wheels away in cel­e­bra­tion after net­ting the Ayr­shire side’s sec­ond of the night en route to a win

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