Patience delivered the decisive moment for Kilmarnock as Craig Slater slammed in the winning goal at Fir Park in the last of five minutes of stoppage time.

Motherwell took the lead through Iain Vigurs' first-half strike.

But Kilmarnock were worthy of the leveller Rory McKenzie provided with a composed finish on 66 minutes.

Alexei Eremenko struck the crossbar with a lovely lofted effort as the clock ticked down but the visitors were soon celebrating Slater's strike.

These sides were already separated by their circumstances. Motherwell are in pursuit of a second-place finish, while Kilmarnock are trying to prevent themselves falling into the relegation play-off place. Kilmarnock, though, refused to be inhibited.

Individuals were capable of technical aplomb - Eremenko sprayed passes around the field with both feet - but there were few constructive passages of play from either side. Effort was widespread, though, and the industry brought rewards of a sort.

Robbie Muirhead found himself central to the occasional moments of intrepidness. The Kilmarnock striker shot from the edge of the area only for Motherwell goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen to block.

Muirhead then guarded the post at a corner, and kicked the ball off the line from Craig Reid's header.

There was a contrast in the centre of Kilmarnock's midfield. Eremenko was capable of refined artistry, while Jackson Irvine scurried around the field with a busy intensity. He often seemed untidy, given his urgent style, and the lack of composure was galling for Kilmarnock when the Australian failed to connect properly from Eremenko's cross.

Kilmarnock celebrate Craig Slater's last-gasp winning goal

Kilmarnock celebrate Slater's last-gasp winning goal

As if to chastise the visitors, Motherwell took further advantage just before half-time when Vigurs hit a firm left-foot shot on target from the edge of the area. Kilmarnock goalkeeper Craig Samson reached the ball with his left hand but he could not prevent it from running into the back of the net.

Suddenly liberated from the toil of the game, Vigurs then produced a delightful piece of skill. On the 18-yard line, he stood on the ball, spun round dragged it back and then surged towards goal. His finish was less accomplished, though, and he struck the ball into the side netting.

Kilmarnock had no cause to be subdued after the interval. John Sutton should have extended Motherwell's lead, only to waste a close-range header, but the contest remained evenly balanced.

The scoreline soon reflected this, after Irvine slipped a pass inside the Motherwell defence, and McKenzie kept a cool head as he shot past Nielsen.

There could be no slacking, since resourcefulness alone was still capable of delivering a goal. When Vigurs' free-kick was parried by Samson, the Kilmarnock centre-back Vitalijs Maksimenko had to move quickly to clear as Sutton slid in to try to convert the rebound.

Even the artisan could not deliver, since Eremenko chipped Nielsen only to see the ball bounce off the top of the bar.

However, Kilmarnock had time to fashion one more chance and Slater's shot lifts Allan Johnston's side to within one point of Hibs in seventh place.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Motherwell

  • 12 Nielsen
  • 02 Reid
  • 03 Hammell
  • 14 Lasley Booked
  • 05 Hutchinson
  • 06 McManus
  • 25 Ainsworth (Leitch - 69' )
  • 11 Vigurs
  • 22 Moore (Anier - 68' )
  • 09 Sutton
  • 17 Francis-Angol (Kerr - 89' )

Substitutes

  • 19 Erwin
  • 20 Kerr
  • 21 Stewart
  • 23 Murray
  • 24 Anier
  • 26 Leitch
  • 30 Thomas

Kilmarnock

  • 01 Samson
  • 16 Clohessy Booked (Barbour - 55' )
  • 02 Tesselaar
  • 28 Slater
  • 30 Ashcroft
  • 22 Maksimenko
  • 33 Muirhead
  • 18 McKenzie (Nicholson - 84' )
  • 20 Eremenko
  • 09 Boyd
  • 05 Irvine

Substitutes

  • 04 Fowler
  • 07 Nicholson
  • 11 Gros
  • 12 Reguero Chapinal
  • 15 Barbour
  • 25 Gardyne
  • 83 Bouzid
Ref: Bobby Madden
Att: 4,467

Match Stats

Shots

14 13

On target

7 5

Corners

7 6

Fouls

11 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Motherwell 1, Kilmarnock 2.

90:00 +5:58 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, Kilmarnock 2.

90:00 +5:27 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 1, Kilmarnock 2. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.

90:00 +4:19

Attempt missed. Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

90:00 +1:52

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +1:52

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

90:00 +1:38

Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

90:00 +1:38

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +0:10 Booking

Booking Keith Lasley (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

90:00 +0:06

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

90:00 +0:06

Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:33

Foul by Jack Leitch (Motherwell).

89:33

Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:53

Attempt saved. Craig Reid (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

88:39

Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

88:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Fraser Kerr replaces Zaine Francis-Angol.

87:51

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

87:43

Attempt blocked. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

86:39

Foul by Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell).

86:39

Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:45

Attempt missed. Craig Reid (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

84:16

Craig Reid (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:16

Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

83:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Barry Nicholson replaces Rory McKenzie because of an injury.

80:23

Foul by Steven Hammell (Motherwell).

80:23

Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:31

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

77:08

Attempt saved. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the top left corner.

76:23

Henri Anier (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:23

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

74:53

Attempt saved. Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

74:06

Steven Hammell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

74:06

Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

72:38

Foul by Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell).

72:38

Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

70:58

Attempt missed. Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

70:27

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Zaine Francis-Angol.

68:16

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is too high.

68:09 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Jack Leitch replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

67:54 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Henri Anier replaces Craig Moore.

65:52 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 1, Kilmarnock 1. Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jackson Irvine.

61:03

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Gunnar Nielsen.

60:56

Attempt saved. Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the top centre of the goal.

60:27

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Lionel Ainsworth.

59:59

Attempt blocked. Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

55:06

Foul by Craig Reid (Motherwell).

55:06

Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

54:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Kilmarnock. Ross Barbour replaces Sean Clohessy.

52:16

Attempt missed. Keith Lasley (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

51:43

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Vitalijs Maksimenko.

51:01

Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

51:01

Foul by Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock).

49:54

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

49:25

Attempt saved. Craig Moore (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

49:00

Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:57

Foul by Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock).

47:42

Foul by Stephen McManus (Motherwell).

47:42

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

45:00

Second Half begins Motherwell 1, Kilmarnock 0.

45:00 +0:36 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Motherwell 1, Kilmarnock 0.

44:23

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

44:23

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

44:05

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

43:02

Craig Reid (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

43:02

Foul by Craig Slater (Kilmarnock).

40:51 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 1, Kilmarnock 0. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.

39:57

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Steven Hammell.

39:23

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

39:23

Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

38:49

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

38:22

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Iain Vigurs.

37:28

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Motherwell).

37:28

Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

36:31

Attempt blocked. Craig Reid (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

35:53

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Sean Clohessy.

35:11

Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

35:11

Foul by Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock).

31:06

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Sean Clohessy.

29:12

Attempt missed. Craig Moore (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

28:48 Booking

Booking Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

28:44

Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:44

Foul by Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock).

26:58

Attempt missed. Craig Reid (Motherwell) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the left.

26:46

Attempt saved. John Sutton (Motherwell) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the bottom left corner.

26:00

Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:56

Foul by Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock).

22:11

Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

22:11

Foul by Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock).

20:38

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Sean Clohessy.

15:48

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Jackson Irvine.

13:49

Attempt saved. Robbie Muirhead (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

13:10

Attempt saved. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

12:19

Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:19

Foul by Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock).

11:00

Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:57

Foul by Vitalijs Maksimenko (Kilmarnock).

9:26

Attempt missed. Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

7:11

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Jackson Irvine.

6:29

John Sutton (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:29

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock).

6:02

Attempt missed. Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

1:55

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

1:55

Foul by Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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