Goals from Lee Ashcroft and Kris Boyd secured Kilmarnock's victory over Inverness and their seventh league win of the season.

Ashcroft's glancing header was added to by Boyd's 13th goal of the season, dashing Caley Thistle's comeback hopes.

It was not the result the visitors were looking for as they prepare for the League Cup semi-final against Hearts next weekend.

For Killie it is their fifth win in their last nine matches.

And it allows them to leapfrog St Mirren into eighth place in the Premiership table, while Inverness slip seven points behind third place Motherwell.

Killie target and former player Alexei Eremenko was an interested spectator in director's box and he watched the Ayrshire side come close early on.

Within two minutes Robbie Muirhead fired in a terrific left-foot strike from 35 yards which looked destined for the left-hand corner of the net until Brill stretched to palm away his effort.

Boyd was next to test Brill. After exchanging passes with Rory McKenzie, Boyd turned the ball onto his left foot just inside the penalty area before firing a low shot which was blocked by the Caley Thistle keeper.

But Brill was left helpless just after the 15-minute mark when Ashcroft's glancing header from Sammy Clingan's free kick gave Killie the lead.

The visitors almost equalised within a minute when Graeme Shinnie's 30-yard strike flew inches wide of the target.

Liam Polworth then created another opening for Caley Thistle with a neat run, but his cross was headed wide by Billy McKay.

Boyd and McKenzie combined again as Killie looked to add to their lead, but as the ball took a bobble just as the Scotland striker was about to connect, his effort had more chance of doing damage to the empty seats in the stand than the visitors net.

But Muirhead was much closer when another Clingan free-kick caused more problems for the visitors defence. Ashcroft flicked it on and Muirhead's left footer crashed back off the 'keeper's right hand post.

Within three minutes of the second half getting underway Samson produced an excellent reaction save to prevent Inverness pulling level.

McKay was clean through but his attempted lob was superbly stopped by the Killie 'keeper. At the other end Boyd headed a McKenzie cross wide.

Midway through the second half a clash of heads between Muirhead and Josh Meekings saw both players leave the field for further treatment.

While Muirhead returned to the action, Meekings was replaced by Danny Devine.

Inverness had gone five away matches without conceding a goal prior to their visit to Ayrshire.

In the 74th minute Boyd scored Killie's second goal of the afternoon. Muirhead was the man who set up the chance with a disguised reverse pass into the path of Boyd, who feinted to shoot before blasting past Brill.

It was Boyd's 13th goal of the season and his 180th in Scottish league football.

Boyd should have added to that tally by adding a third for Killie when McKenzie played the ball into his path 10 yards out, but he contrived to sky it wide with his left foot.

Caley Thistle's top scorer McKay also went close with an effort which was cleared off the line by Ashcroft.

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (3)

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 05 Irvine
  • 02 Tesselaar
  • 28 Slater
  • 29 Pascali
  • 30 Ashcroft
  • 36 Kiltie
  • 08 Clingan
  • 09 Boyd
  • 33 Muirhead
  • 18 McKenzie

Substitutes

  • 07 Nicholson
  • 10 Johnston
  • 11 Gros
  • 12 Reguero Chapinal
  • 16 Clohessy
  • 22 Maksimenko
  • 25 Gardyne

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

  • 12 Brill
  • 02 Raven (Draper - 77' )
  • 18 Tremarco
  • 03 Shinnie
  • 06 Meekings (Devine - 68' )
  • 05 Warren
  • 10 Doran
  • 19 Williams
  • 07 McKay
  • 11 Ross (Watkins - 70' )
  • 20 Polworth

Substitutes

  • 01 Esson
  • 04 Vincent
  • 08 Draper
  • 14 Devine
  • 15 Watkins
  • 16 Tansey
  • 36 Christie
Ref: William Collum
Att: 3,035

Match Stats

Shots

9 8

On target

4 2

Corners

3 2

Fouls

14 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Kilmarnock 2, Inverness CT 0.

90:00 +4:02 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 2, Inverness CT 0.

90:00 +2:51

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

90:00 +2:51

Danny Williams (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:25

Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:25

Foul by Carl Tremarco (Inverness CT).

88:44

Attempt missed. Danny Williams (Inverness CT) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

85:50

Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

85:50

Marley Watkins (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

84:44

Attempt blocked. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) header from very close range is blocked.

83:47

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

83:47

Danny Williams (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

83:02

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

82:09

Attempt missed. Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

81:57

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Sammy Clingan.

80:25

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Gary Warren.

79:51

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Carl Tremarco.

76:52 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Ross Draper replaces David Raven.

73:37 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 2, Inverness CT 0. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Robbie Muirhead.

69:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Marley Watkins replaces Nick Ross.

68:56

Attempt missed. Liam Polworth (Inverness CT) right footed shot from long range on the right misses to the right.

68:03

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

68:03

David Raven (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

67:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Inverness CT. Danny Devine replaces Josh Meekings because of an injury.

66:47

Foul by Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock).

66:47

Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

64:44

Delay in match Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) because of an injury.

62:36

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

61:52

Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

61:52

Foul by David Raven (Inverness CT).

60:54

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

60:54

Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

58:14

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

58:14

Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

56:53

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jackson Irvine.

52:18

Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

52:18

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:52

Attempt missed. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

48:27

Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

48:27

Nick Ross (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:08

Attempt saved. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

45:00

Second Half begins Kilmarnock 1, Inverness CT 0.

45:00 +0:01 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Inverness CT 0.

36:16

Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the right side of the box.

35:43

Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:43

Foul by Nick Ross (Inverness CT).

33:32

Foul by Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock).

33:32

Billy McKay (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:12

Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

30:12

Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:14

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

26:32

Attempt missed. Billy McKay (Inverness CT) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

25:31

Foul by Jeroen Tesselaar (Kilmarnock).

25:31

Nick Ross (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the right wing.

21:47

Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

21:47

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT).

17:55

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

17:55

Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

16:38

Attempt missed. Graeme Shinnie (Inverness CT) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

15:30 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Kilmarnock 1, Inverness CT 0. Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Sammy Clingan with a cross.

14:32

Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

14:32

Foul by David Raven (Inverness CT).

13:23

Attempt saved. Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

12:56

Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:56

Foul by Liam Polworth (Inverness CT).

11:16

Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

11:16

Foul by Danny Williams (Inverness CT).

6:13

Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

5:09

Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

5:09

Foul by Nick Ross (Inverness CT).

4:08

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

4:08

(Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

2:33

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Graeme Shinnie.

2:07

Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) hits the right post with a left footed shot from outside the box.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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