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<-Page <-Team Sat 17 Jan 2009 Kilmarnock 0 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Barry Johnston auth-> Charlie Richmond
22 of 027 Bruno Aguiar 61 ;Hristos Karipidis 80 L SPL A

Kilmarnock fail to turn dominance into points

Kilmarnock 0 Heart of Midlothian 2
Barry Johnston at Rugby Park

Chance after chance created in the first half... A dominant display from back to front... Another painful defeat. It is becoming a recurring theme at Rugby Park, where the home side have not recorded a victory since mid-November. The latest and, perhaps, most telling example of this phenomenon occurred on Saturday against Heart of Midlothian.

To say that Kilmarnock controlled the match, virtually from first minute until last – minus the two brief, but crucial interludes that resulted in the visitors’ goals – is not hyperbole.

Christos Karipidis, Hearts’ midfield anchor and scorer of the second goal, admitted as much after the match. “It’s not always the better team that wins, you must also have a little bit of luck,” he said. “It wasn’t a very good game for us, but we have a good spirit and we kept working. We scored our goals at very good times and that made it hard for Kilmarnock to find their way back into the game.”

In truth, Kilmarnock should have sealed the victory long before Bruno Aguiar’s sweetly-struck drive from the fringe of the 18-yard box edged Hearts in front on 61 minutes. Danny Invincibile, David Fernandez and Allan Russell all failed to convert odds-on scoring opportunities in the opening half. Exactly why, for instance, the normally composed Fernandez blasted over the crossbar when through one-on-one with Jamie McDonald remains a mystery.

Invincibile, the first Kilmarnock player to fluff a decent chance in the match when bearing down on goal on 16 minutes, suggested the answer might be some kind of mental block. But the winger is adamant his side’s problems on home soil must be rectified before the visit of Ayr United in their Homecoming Scottish Cup fourth-round replay on Thursday.

“I can’t believe we’ve lost the last couple of games, never mind just this one,” he said. “We played well and created plenty of chances, but, as the gaffer and the coaching staff said to us in midweek, we’re not focused for the full 90 minutes, we’re not finishing games off. We have dominated in the last two games, against Aberdeen and Hearts, but, on both occasions, we’ve lost our momentum and been punished.

“Away from Rugby Park, we’ve beaten a number of teams in the top six, but I don’t know why can’t do it at home. Perhaps it’s a mental thing, that we think, ‘Here we go again’ if we haven’t scored by half-time. Next up, obviously, is Ayr United and that’s one that we simply cannot lose. It’s not an option.”

Kilmarnock (4-4-2): A Combe 6 – J Fowler 7, S Ford 6, F Wright 6, G Hay 7 – D Invincibile 6 (sub: W Gibson, 74 6), M Pascali 6, M Taouil 5, C Bryson 7 – A Russell (sub: S Simmonds, 71 3), D Fernandez 7. Substitutes Not Used: D Rascle, G Murray, G Skelton, I Flannigan, P Nolan. Booked: Bryson.

Heart of Midlothian(451): J MacDonald 8 – R Neilson 6, C Berra 7, J Thomson 6, E Jonsson 6 – D Obua 6, C Karipidis 7, B Aguiar 8 (sub: G Glen, 79 6), M Stewart 7, A Driver 6 (sub: D Cesnauskis, 73 4) – C Nade 6. Substitutes Not Used: J Kello, P Mrowiec, D Templeton, M Rapnik, S Brown. Booked: Aguiar, Jonsson, Obua.

Referee C Richmond. Attendance 5,469

Taken from

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