Celtic fought back from a three-goal deficit to snatch a share of the points in a dramatic match at Rugby Park.

First-half goals from Dean Shiels, Paul Heffernan and James Fowler had given the home side an emphatic half-time lead.

But Celtic fought back through two goals within three minutes from Anthony Stokes and a Charlie Mulgrew header with 10 minutes remaining.

Heffernan squandered a late chance for Kilmarnock to steal the points.

Neil Lennon had spoken of the need to make personnel changes after their loss to Hearts and dropped Badr El-Kaddouri, Victor Wanyama and Mohamed Bangura, with Cha Du-ri, Joe Ledley, Beram Kayal and Anthony Stokes coming in.

The home side also made four changes, with goalkeeper Cammy Bell not included in the squad because of an elbow injury and replaced with Anssi Jaakkola.

Kilmarnock celebrate James Fowler's goal

Fowler (right) had put Kilmarnock three goals ahead at half time

It was the home side who started more brightly, Celtic struggling to break down their impressive passing display.

But it was the visitors who had the first real chance of the match in the 12th minute.

James Forrest delivered the ball to Cha, who picked out the Irishman at the back post, Stokes unable to make any meaningful contact with the ball from just a yard out and sending the ball over the crossbar.

Kilmarnock continued to look the livelier side and their effort was rewarded in the 26th minute, Shiels' goal coming with the first shot on target by either side.

Right-back Alex Pursehouse sent an ambitious long ball that located Heffernan on the left wing, and his chip found the run of Shiels, who took a deft touch before driving the ball diagonally across goal and past Fraser Forster in the Celtic net from 12 yards out.

With Celtic clearly rattled, Kilmarnock continued to dominate, Liam Kelly almost increasing the lead in the 37th minute with a long-range shot from 40 yards out that forced Forster to tip the ball over the bar.

Paul Heffernan extended their lead just two minutes later, with Shiels the creator.

The Kilmarnock manager's son burst into space to evade Cha before slotting the ball through to Heffernan, who looked a touch offside as he drove home from inside the box.

Celtic then appeared to self-destruct as they lost a third goal. Mulgrew was at fault with a hapless pass-back to Forster that was pounced on by Fowler, who lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper.

That scoreline meant changes for Celtic in the second half, with Gary Hooper and Beram Kayal replaced by Wanyama and Bangura.

Their resurgence was signalled 10 minutes after the restart, with Forrest waltzing through the Kilmarnock defence. He was eventually dispossessed by Kelly, Pursehouse blocking a second attempt on goal.

With 69 minutes on the clock, Forrest again attempted to set up Stokes at the back post, the striker unable to match the pace of the ball and sending it behind for a goal kick.

However, he was given the opportunity to make amends when Kilmarnock conceded a free-kick 26 yards from goal, delivering a superb strike that gave Jaakola no chance.

Within three minutes, the game was reignited when Stokes grabbed a second. A right-footed strike from 22 yards out evaded the Kilmarnock keeper, who perhaps should have done better.

Kilmarnock's undoing was completed when Mulgrew headed home from close range with 10 minutes remaining to complete an incredible comeback that saw three goals in seven minutes.

The Rugby Park side had the chance to snatch victory when Heffernan contrived to head over the crossbar from four yards out with two minutes remaining of regulation time.

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (3)

Kilmarnock

  • 53 Jaakkola
  • 04 Fowler
  • 23 McKeown
  • 26 Pursehouse
  • 88 Sissoko Booked
  • 08 Kelly Booked
  • 09 Buijs
  • 11 Harkins
  • 20 Shiels Booked
  • 29 Pascali
  • 14 Heffernan

Substitutes

  • 17 Letheren
  • 03 Hay
  • 13 Kroca
  • 28 Fisher
  • 07 Silva
  • 10 Dayton
  • 33 Kennedy

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 05 Majstorovic
  • 11 Cha Du-Ri (El Kaddouri - 68' )
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 02 Matthews
  • 16 Ledley
  • 18 Ki Sung-Yeung
  • 33 Kayal Booked (Wanyama - 46' Booked )
  • 10 Stokes
  • 49 Forrest Booked
  • 88 Hooper (Bangura - 46' )

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska
  • 04 El Kaddouri
  • 12 Wilson
  • 22 Loovens
  • 25 Rogne
  • 67 Wanyama
  • 14 Bangura
Ref: Conroy
Att: 8,011

Match Stats

Shots

11 14

On target

7 8

Corners

3 2

Fouls

14 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:37 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +2:59

Dean Shiels challenges Victor Wanyama unfairly and gives away a free kick. The ball is delivered by Sung-Yeung Ki, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Daniel Majstorovic misses to the right of the target.

89:40

Strike on goal comes in from Charlie Mulgrew from the free kick, save made by Anssi Jaakkola.

89:40 Booking

Booking The referee shows Dean Shiels a yellow card.

89:34

Foul by Dean Shiels on James Forrest, free kick awarded.

87:45

Close range headed effort by Paul Heffernan clears the crossbar.

87:07

The ball is crossed by Adam Matthews, Alex Pursehouse manages to make a clearance.

86:01

Corner taken right-footed by Dean Shiels to the near post, clearance made by Daniel Majstorovic.

84:40

Foul by Mohamadou Sissoko on Sung-Yeung Ki, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sung-Yeung Ki from left wing, Mohamadou Sissoko manages to make a clearance.

82:47

The ball is crossed by Badr El Kaddouri, save by Anssi Jaakkola.

81:37

Daniel Majstorovic challenges Danny Buijs unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Anssi Jaakkola.

79:03

Assist by Daniel Majstorovic.

79:03 Goal scored

Goal! - Charlie Mulgrew - Kilmarnock 3 - 3 Celtic Charlie Mulgrew scores a headed goal from close range. Kilmarnock 3-3 Celtic.

78:29

Sung-Yeung Ki delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel.

78:29 Booking

Booking Liam Kelly receives a yellow card.

78:21

James Forrest fouled by Liam Kelly, the ref awards a free kick.

75:33

Assist by Sung-Yeung Ki.

75:33 Goal scored

Goal! - Anthony Stokes - Kilmarnock 3 - 2 Celtic Anthony Stokes gets on the score sheet with a goal from a long way out to the bottom left corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 3-2 Celtic.

74:31

Effort on goal by Paul Heffernan from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.

73:56

Badr El Kaddouri gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Fowler. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Dean Shiels.

72:57

James Forrest provided the assist for the goal.

72:57 Goal scored

Goal! - Anthony Stokes - Kilmarnock 3 - 1 Celtic Anthony Stokes scores a goal direct from the free kick from outside the area to the top left corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 3-1 Celtic.

71:47 Booking

Booking Mohamadou Sissoko goes into the book.

71:41

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mohamadou Sissoko on James Forrest.

70:31

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Victor Wanyama by Gary Harkins. Free kick taken by Badr El Kaddouri.

69:46

Paul Heffernan takes a shot. Fraser Forster makes a save.

68:36

Close range effort by Anthony Stokes goes wide of the left-hand post.

67:13 Substitution

Substitution Badr El Kaddouri on for Du-Ri Cha.

66:10

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul Heffernan by Daniel Majstorovic. Free kick taken by Danny Buijs.

65:53

A cross is delivered by Du-Ri Cha, James Fowler manages to make a clearance.

65:33

Du-Ri Cha takes a shot. Anssi Jaakkola makes a save.

64:09

Anthony Stokes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anssi Jaakkola. Direct free kick taken by Anssi Jaakkola.

64:03

Du-Ri Cha sends in a cross, clearance made by Rory McKeown.

58:26

Mohamed Bangura is adjudged to have handled the ball. Anssi Jaakkola takes the free kick.

58:10

Dean Shiels gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Forrest. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Majstorovic.

57:06

Sung-Yeung Ki takes a shot. Manuel Pascali gets a block in.

56:06

Sung-Yeung Ki takes a shot from long distance which goes wide of the right-hand post.

54:25

Sung-Yeung Ki takes the outswinging corner, save made by Anssi Jaakkola.

53:03

Direct free kick taken by Danny Buijs.

53:03 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Victor Wanyama for unsporting behaviour.

52:59

Victor Wanyama concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Harkins.

52:31

Foul by Manuel Pascali on Mohamed Bangura, free kick awarded. Daniel Majstorovic takes the free kick.

51:28

Anthony Stokes takes a shot. Blocked by Mohamadou Sissoko.

49:54

Anthony Stokes is ruled offside. Danny Buijs restarts play with the free kick.

49:28

Danny Buijs takes the free kick.

49:28 Booking

Booking James Forrest goes into the referee's book.

49:15

Free kick awarded for a foul by James Forrest on Danny Buijs.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Mohamed Bangura on for Gary Hooper.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Victor Wanyama on for Beram Kayal.

45:00 +1:38 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

44:58 Goal scored

Goal! - James Fowler - Kilmarnock 3 - 0 Celtic James Fowler finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 3-0 Celtic.

44:04

Effort from outside the area by Anthony Stokes goes wide right of the goal.

43:54

The ball is delivered by Du-Ri Cha.

41:20

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Hooper by Mohamadou Sissoko. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sung-Yeung Ki from left wing, save by Anssi Jaakkola.

39:22

Assist on the goal came from Dean Shiels.

39:22 Goal scored

Goal! - Paul Heffernan - Kilmarnock 2 - 0 Celtic Paul Heffernan finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 2-0 Celtic.

39:19

The ball is swung over by Dean Shiels,

38:30 Booking

Booking Beram Kayal goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

36:32

Corner taken left-footed by Dean Shiels from the left by-line, Rory McKeown has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

36:14

Liam Kelly takes a shot. Save made by Fraser Forster.

33:37

The ball is delivered by James Forrest, clearance by James Fowler.

32:54

Paul Heffernan is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Daniel Majstorovic takes the indirect free kick.

32:01

The official flags Paul Heffernan offside. Du-Ri Cha takes the free kick.

30:57

Du-Ri Cha fouled by Liam Kelly, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Du-Ri Cha.

28:34

James Fowler takes a shot. Save by Fraser Forster.

25:03

Paul Heffernan provided the assist for the goal.

25:03 Goal scored

Goal! - Dean Shiels - Kilmarnock 1 - 0 Celtic Goal scored by Dean Shiels from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Kilmarnock 1-0 Celtic.

23:20

Shot on goal by Manuel Pascali from just inside the area goes over the target.

22:23

Unfair challenge on Mohamadou Sissoko by Daniel Majstorovic results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Dean Shiels, Du-Ri Cha makes a clearance.

21:45

Centre by Gary Harkins.

20:54

Joe Ledley delivers the ball, Anthony Stokes has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

18:58

Inswinging corner taken by Sung-Yeung Ki from the left by-line, Manuel Pascali manages to make a clearance.

18:50

Adam Matthews takes a shot. Blocked by James Fowler.

18:21

Foul by Alex Pursehouse on Anthony Stokes, free kick awarded. Sung-Yeung Ki takes the direct free kick.

17:14

Foul by Charlie Mulgrew on Dean Shiels, free kick awarded. Strike on goal comes in from Gary Harkins from the free kick, Anthony Stokes gets a block in.

15:16

James Forrest delivers the ball, save by Anssi Jaakkola.

14:15

Adam Matthews fouled by Dean Shiels, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

11:45

Anthony Stokes takes a shot from close in clearing the crossbar.

10:41

Alex Pursehouse concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Ledley. Direct free kick taken by Adam Matthews.

9:13

Dean Shiels takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Anthony Stokes manages to make a clearance.

8:40

Gary Harkins fouled by Beram Kayal, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Buijs restarts play with the free kick.

5:53

The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Danny Buijs.

5:23

Foul by Alex Pursehouse on Joe Ledley, free kick awarded. Adam Matthews takes the free kick.

1:44

Gary Hooper challenges Danny Buijs unfairly and gives away a free kick. Liam Kelly takes the direct free kick.

0:00

The game begins.

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