Paul Heffernan scored twice as Kilmarnock got the better of Dunfermline in a five-goal thriller.

Jason Thomson opened for the visitors to Rugby Park but Heffernan converted a penalty and added a cool finish before the interval.

Dunfermline substitute Ryan Thomson glanced in an equaliser from Joe Cardle's cross after the break.

But Zdenek Kroca curled in a composed strike on 62 minutes to lift Killie up to fourth in the table.

The Czech defender's winning goal was a fine way to cap an entertaining match, packed full of goalmouth action.

Dunfermline midfielder Paul Burns struck the base of post from the edge of the box a minute before the visitors grabbed the opening goal.

Andy Kirk's header crashed off the underside of the bar and Thomson was on hand to bundle the ball over the line.

Dunfermline could have doubled their lead minutes later when Kirk got on the end of David Graham's cross but Killie goalkeeper Cammy Bell tipped the ball wide.

Kilmarnock were off the early pace but were handed a route back into the game after Alex Keddie clearly felled James Dayton inside the penalty area.

Heffernan sent Paul Gallacher the wrong way from the spot.

As the first half drew to a close Kilmarnock took the lead when Dean Shiels threaded a clever through ball to Heffernan who calmly slotted beyond Gallagher.

Ryan Thomson was introduced at half-time and the change paid off within five minutes as he knocked in Cardle's inch perfect delivery.

Thomson came close to doubling his tally just before the hour when he drilled an effort just wide from David Graham's knockdown.

Kilmarnock grabbed the winner when Kroca showed great awareness to pick his spot and beat Gallacher with a low, curling strike from the edge of the box.

The home side almost doubled their lead minutes later when Shiels weaved his way into the area and unleashed a stinging effort only to be denied by Gallacher.

The travelling supporters thought their side had drawn level with 10 minutes remaining when Kirk nipped in front of Cammy Bell to knock the ball into the net but the striker had strayed offside.

Gallacher made another fine stop to stop a powerful strike from Rory McKeown, who had shown great determination to drive into the penalty area.

The impressive Shiels received a standing ovation from the home fans when he limped off with minutes remaining and Kilmarnock comfortably held out for the three points.

Match Stats

Shots

7 6

On target

4 2

Corners

3 5

Fouls

1 4

Live Text Commentary

92:47 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +2:10

Ryan Thomson concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Racchi. Paul Heffernan takes the direct free kick.

89:28 Substitution

Substitution Jorge Galan on for James Dayton.

83:41 Booking

Booking Austin McCann goes into the referee's book.

79:30 Substitution

Substitution Danny Racchi on for Gary Harkins.

79:30 Substitution

Substitution Gary Fisher is brought on as a substitute for Liam Kelly.

76:34 Substitution

Substitution John Potter joins the action as a substitute, replacing Alex Keddie.

75:24 Booking

Booking Andy Kirk is cautioned.

71:54 Substitution

Substitution Paul Willis comes on in place of Gary Mason.

66:27

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Dean Shiels.

64:34

Corner taken right-footed by James Dayton to the near post, clearance by Joe Cardle.

64:22

Dean Shiels takes a shot. Paul Gallacher gets a block in.

61:33

Liam Kelly provided the assist for the goal.

61:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Zdenek Kroca - Kilmarnock 3 - 2 Dunf'mline Zdenek Kroca scores a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 3-2 Dunfermline.

60:26

Corner from the left by-line taken by Dean Shiels, Paul Gallacher manages to make a clearance.

58:34

Effort from the edge of the area by Liam Kelly goes wide of the left-hand post.

57:46

Shot from just outside the box by Jason Thomson misses to the left of the target.

56:10 Booking

Booking Joe Cardle goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.

56:06 Booking

Booking James Fowler is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

48:14

The assist for the goal came from Joe Cardle.

48:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Ryan Thomson - Kilmarnock 2 - 2 Dunf'mline Ryan Thomson grabs a headed goal from close in. Kilmarnock 2-2 Dunfermline.

48:11

Joe Cardle crosses the ball,

47:24

James Dayton produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Ryan Thomson replaces Craig Easton.

45:00 +1:00 Half time

Half Time It is the end of the first-half.

44:33

The assist for the goal came from Dean Shiels.

44:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Paul Heffernan - Kilmarnock 2 - 1 Dunf'mline A goal is scored by Paul Heffernan from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 2-1 Dunfermline.

41:22

Inswinging corner taken by Joe Cardle, save made by Cameron Bell.

40:31

Free kick awarded for a foul by James Fowler on Joe Cardle. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Joe Cardle, Gary Harkins manages to make a clearance.

38:40

Joe Cardle takes a shot. Comfortable save by Cameron Bell.

31:59 Goal scored

Goal! - Paul Heffernan - Kilmarnock 1 - 1 Dunf'mline Placed penalty scored by Paul Heffernan. Kilmarnock 1-1 Dunfermline.

31:18

Alex Keddie challenges James Dayton unfairly and gives away a Penalty.

27:03

Free kick awarded for a foul by Austin McCann on James Dayton. Free kick taken by James Dayton.

25:24

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Joe Cardle.

22:59

Liam Kelly takes a shot. Paul Gallacher makes a save.

16:19

Corner taken by Joe Cardle, Effort on goal by Jason Thomson from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

13:56

Andy Kirk provided the assist for the goal.

13:56 Goal scored

Goal! - Jason Thomson - Kilmarnock 0 - 1 Dunf'mline Jason Thomson gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 0-1 Dunfermline.

13:25

Inswinging corner taken by Joe Cardle from the left by-line,

13:12

The ball is sent over by Jason Thomson, Manuel Pascali makes a clearance.

11:02

Dean Shiels has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.

5:51

Liam Kelly fouled by Craig Easton, the ref awards a free kick. Manuel Pascali restarts play with the free kick.

4:41

Outswinging corner taken by Austin McCann from the right by-line.

3:59

The ball is crossed by Jason Thomson, Paul Burns takes a shot.

0:00

The match gets underway.

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