The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

Hitting the net is the Wright stuff for Killie

KILMARNOCK 2 Burke (3), Pinnock (16) ROSS COUNTY 2 Gardyne (5), Iacovitti (54)


Tommy Wright believes the ability to score goals can save Kilmarnock from relegation.

The Rugby Park boss admitted his players turned in one of their poorer performanc­es as they settled for a draw against fellowstru­gglers Ross County.

But Wright took consolatio­n from earning a point that moves them further away from the automatic relegation spot.

He said: “I think it is encouragin­g that we’re scoring goals.

“If you’re talking about performanc­e overall, how I like the team to play and how they have been playing, it’s probably been one our poorer ones – and the players know that.

“They were in the dressingro­om afterwards discussing that. But we still scored two goals.

“You have to give the opposition credit as well, they made it difficult for us, physical and won a lot of second balls.”

Killie got off to a flying start when Chris Burke smacked the ball home from just inside the penalty area.

There had been some halfhearte­d claims for a penalty kick when Kyle Lafferty went down while challengin­g for a corner-kick.

That didn’t distract the veteran attacker when the ball fell at his feet.

It was a good strike from Burke, but it set the tone for the game.

There was an immediate feeling there would be more goals and they were likely to be down to slack defending rather than sparkling attacking play.

County’s quickfire equaliser was an example of that, with Kilmarnock unable to get close enough to Michael Gardyne as he fired home inside the box.

The game swung from end to end as both sides were guilty of resting on their laurels after hitting the net.

Mitch Pinnock spun on the ball and fired Kilmarnock ahead with his right foot.

Could the Ayrshire side find it within themselves to hold on to the lead? That was the question their supporters must have been asking.

They made it to half-time with the lead intact, but only just.

Tremarco headed an chance just wide and that had Tommy Wright bellowing, “You’ve got to stop the cross – it’s too easy”.

You couldn’t disagree with the Killie boss and his words could have been repeated several times early in the second half.

Jordan White headed against the post and Ross Draper nodded just past before County scored again.

Alex Iacovitti jumped in a busy penalty area and headed home a Vigurs’ corner.

There had been a lot of talk about refereeing in the build-up to this game, but Tommy Wright wasn’t tempted to criticise Willie Collum.

One issue was Ross County’s equaliser, with some suggestion­s of a push, and a possible penalty for a Power shot being handled.

Wright said: There looked to be a push on Zach Medley, but they probably deserved to be level with us.

“Was it a handball with Power’s shot? I don’t know what the handball rule is, but I’d be disappoint­ed if my team conceded a penalty for that.

“You’ve probably seen them given somewhere.

“But it’s just strange the handball rule at times, different interpreta­tions of it.

“I think, overall, we could have no complaints.

“We didn’t play as well as we could, but we got a point.”

It looks like this relegation fight could go all the way to last day of the season. Tommy Wright might not be so calm then.

 ??  ?? County’s Alex Iacovitti (16) rises highest to head home their equaliser and make it 2-2
County’s Alex Iacovitti (16) rises highest to head home their equaliser and make it 2-2
 ??  ?? Killie’s Kyle Lafferty and Keith Watson (County) tussle for the ball
Killie’s Kyle Lafferty and Keith Watson (County) tussle for the ball

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