The Sunday Post (Dundee)
Double trouble for Killie after Boyce bags brace
ROSS COUNTY 2 Boyce (29, 74) KILMARNOCK 0
LIAM BOYCE is back to doing what he does best – sticking the ball in the back of the net.
Hot on the heels of scoring a hat-trick in the Highland derby last weekend the striker scored in either half against Kilmarnock to earn County all three points in a scrappy encounter at Global Energy Stadium.
The match wasn’t pretty on the eye but County were well worth all three points, in fact, it could have been more had Boyce not missed a sitter shortly after he scored his second.
Boyce received the sponsors’ man-of-thematch award, but any one of them could have picked up the accolade – that’s how far County were in command.
County boss Jim McIntyre praised waxed lyrical about his goal scorer, he said: “Liam has a fantastic picture of the game in his brain. When he does things really sharply he is a handful to play against.
“His goals were scrappy today but I love these goals because he is in the right area and that’s what we have been concentrating on in training with the forwards.”
But McIntyre admitted it wasn’t pretty to watch, he added: “We ground out a result today. We didn’t play our best free-flowing football. At times we played some nice stuff but at other times we had to defend a lot of high ball and free kicks.”
Both teams were given a lift with their first premiership wins last Saturday, and while County shipped out Brian Graham to Hibernian and Richard Foster to St Johnstone this week, Killie added a couple of new faces with onloan players, Charlee Adams, from Birmingham and Luke Hendrie, from Burnley making the starting line-up.
After an uneventful opening spell County took the lead just before the half hour mark.
Boyce started the move when he slipped the ball
out to Michael Gardyne, whose cut back fell nicely for the striker who lashed the ball high into the net from eight yards.
Killie’s cause was not helped five minutes later when he suffered a knock and had to be replaced by Jonathan Burn.
The home side should have gone 2-0 up early in the second half when Gardyne got on the end of a deep cross from Jonathan Franks, but the midfielder scuffed his shot wide of target.
But County got a decisive second in the 74th minute and it was that man Boyce who did the damage again. Alex Schalk, who had just come off the bench, raced on to a long clearance from Scott Fox, dinked inside and passed to Boyce, who found the back of the net at the second attempt.
Killie boss Lee Clark put the defeat down to poor defending. He said: “The two goals we lost were without a shadow of a doubt preventable – they were disappointing goals to say the least.
He added: “On a positive note, I thought we started the game brightly. I thought we were more than a match for Ross County. We got down the outsides quite well.”