Kilmarnock 2-0 Motherwell
Kilmarnock handed Celtic the opportunity to clinch the league title at Ibrox with a comfortable win over Motherwell at Rugby Park.
Shortly after the half-time break, Paul Heffernan fired in after going one-on-one with Darren Randolph.
Tom Hateley handled in his own penalty area in the 62nd minute and Heffernan converted from the spot for the second.
Motherwell failed to mount a second-half challenge and Kilmarnock claimed a well-earned three points.
Killie's win keeps their top-six hopes alive, although the Ayrshire side remain five points behind sixth-placed Hearts with an inferior goal difference.
The Steelmen hang on to second place, level on points with Rangers, who host Celtic in Sunday's all-important title decider.
At the final whistle, the players took the opportuity to display the League Cup to their fans in a modest display which included a training jersey tribute to Liam Kelly, who was unavailable following the death of his father on Sunday at Hampden.
Killie were without four of their League Cup winning side, with Mo Sissoko and Dean Shiels suspended and Danny Buijs was out with the hamstring injury.
Motherwell brought in centre-backs Shaun Hutchinson and Tim Clancy following suspension, with Jonathan Page dropping to the bench and teenager Adam Cummins out of the squad.
The first proper attempt on goal in the match didn't arrive until the 25th minute, when Tom Hateley delivered an outswinging corner that Henrik Ojamaa sent goal-bound, but Ben Gordon made the clearance.
Shaun Hutchinson had a header blocked by team-mate Henrik Ojamaa and Gary Harkins opened up the visiting defence to set Dieter van Tornhout free, but Randolph was quickly off his line to make the second touch his.
Moments later, Van Tornhout fired in a shot at the other end that was blocked by Stevie Hammell.
Heffernan powered down on goal and sent in a powerful shot towards the Motherwell goal, but it edged wide.
Immediately after the restart, Heffernan found the opener, taking two attempts to get the ball past Randolph.
Randolph initially made the save from the first attempt, but the ball bounced kindly to Heffernan on the rebound and he knocked it into the back of the net.
The Irish goalkeeper had to work hard to keep out a solid effort from Gary Harkins as the Ayrshire side sought to extend their lead.
With just over an hour played, Hateley handled the ball in his own penalty area and referee Crawford Allan pointed to the spot.
Heffernan stepped up and made no mistake to double his tally for the day.
Moments later, Allan waved away Kilmarnock claims that Hutchinson had handled inside the area again.
Chris Johnston sent in a shot in the 77th minute that was blocked by Hateley as Kilmarnock continued to press ahead with confidence.
Motherwell could not muster a reply and all eyes now look towards Ibrox on Sunday as Celtic aim to take this season's title prize against Rangers.
- 01 Bell (Letheren - 46' )
- 02 Toshney
- 03 Hay Booked
- 04 Fowler Booked
- 06 Nelson
- 13 Kroca
- 19 Gordon
- 11 Harkins
- 18 Johnson
- 14 Heffernan (Johnston - 73' )
- 27 Van Tornhout (Gross - 85' )
- 17 Letheren
- 26 Pursehouse
- 10 Dayton
- 22 Racchi
- 33 Kennedy
- 21 Gross
- 45 Johnston
- 01 Randolph
- 03 Hammell
- 15 Hutchinson Booked
- 22 Clancy
- 04 Law (McHugh - 67' )
- 06 Hateley
- 07 Humphrey
- 08 Jennings Booked
- 26 Carswell Booked
- 09 Higdon (Daley - 68' )
- 24 Ojamaa (Murphy - 68' )
- 12 Hollis
- 20 Page
- 23 Halsman
- 17 Daley
- 11 Murphy
- 16 McHugh
- 18 Forbes
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.90:00 +2:02
Gary Harkins challenges Steve Jennings unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Steve Jennings.89:35
Tom Hateley takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Nelson.88:20
The referee gives a free kick against Shaun Hutchinson for handball. Lee Johnson restarts play with the free kick.86:55
Lee Johnson takes the free kick.86:55 Booking
Booking The referee books Shaun Hutchinson for unsporting behaviour.86:47
Free kick awarded for a foul by Shaun Hutchinson on Chris Johnston.86:22
Tim Clancy concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Johnston. Lee Johnson takes the free kick.84:40
Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.84:40 Substitution
Substitution William Gros on for Dieter Van Tornhout.84:40
The assistant referee flags for offside against Chris Johnston.82:22
A cross is delivered by Chris Humphrey.80:39
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tim Clancy by James Fowler. Stevie Hammell takes the indirect free kick.80:05
The referee blows for offside against Omar Daley. Direct free kick taken by Lee Johnson.79:12
The referee blows for offside against Omar Daley. Free kick taken by Kyle Letheren.78:36
Effort on goal by Gary Harkins from outside the box goes harmlessly over the bar.77:51
Gary Harkins takes the indirect free kick.77:51 Booking
Booking Stewart Carswell receives a caution.77:45
Gary Harkins fouled by Stewart Carswell, the ref awards a free kick.76:19
Chris Johnston takes a shot. Blocked by Tom Hateley. Steve Jennings concedes a free kick for a foul on Ben Gordon. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Harkins.
Chris Johnston takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.75:16
The ball is crossed by Chris Humphrey, save by Kyle Letheren.74:21
Outswinging corner taken by Lee Johnson. Michael Nelson takes a shot. Tom Hateley gets a block in.74:15
Gary Harkins crosses the ball, clearance made by Stevie Hammell.72:46 Substitution
Substitution Chris Johnston on for Paul Heffernan.72:11
Stevie Hammell produces a cross, save by Kyle Letheren.70:46
Effort on goal by Tom Hateley from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.70:09 Booking
Booking James Fowler goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.69:42 Booking
Booking The referee shows Steve Jennings a yellow card.69:22
Shaun Hutchinson fouled by James Fowler, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.66:59 Substitution
Substitution Omar Daley comes on in place of Michael Higdon.66:59 Substitution
Substitution Jamie Murphy is brought on as a substitute for Henrik Ojamaa.66:59 Substitution
Substitution Robert McHugh on for Nicky Law.65:58
Gary Harkins takes a shot. Blocked by Shaun Hutchinson.64:41 Booking
Booking Booking for Garry Hay for unsporting behaviour.64:25
Free kick taken by Darren Randolph. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Humphrey by Garry Hay.63:09
Henrik Ojamaa takes a shot. Lewis Toshney makes a save.61:54
Unfair challenge on Stewart Carswell by James Fowler results in a free kick. Steve Jennings takes the free kick.61:03 Goal scored
Goal! - Paul Heffernan - Kilmarnock 2 - 0 Motherwell Penalty taken right-footed by Paul Heffernan and scored. Kilmarnock 2-0 Motherwell.60:01
Garry Hay takes a shot. Tom Hateley is penalised for handball and concedes a .59:14
The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Tim Clancy.57:38
Steve Jennings challenges Gary Harkins unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gary Harkins fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.57:32
The ball is crossed by James Fowler, clearance made by Chris Humphrey.56:49
The offside flag is raised against Dieter Van Tornhout. Steve Jennings restarts play with the free kick.55:29
Gary Harkins takes a shot. Save made by Darren Randolph.55:16
A cross is delivered by Tom Hateley, Zdenek Kroca makes a clearance.55:01
Foul by Gary Harkins on Steve Jennings, free kick awarded. Steve Jennings takes the direct free kick.51:34
The ball is crossed by Shaun Hutchinson, clearance made by Kyle Letheren.50:54
Dieter Van Tornhout concedes a free kick for a foul on Tim Clancy. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.49:40
The assist for the goal came from Garry Hay.49:40 Goal scored
Goal! - Paul Heffernan - Kilmarnock 1 - 0 Motherwell Paul Heffernan gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the area high into the middle of the goal. Kilmarnock 1-0 Motherwell.49:07
Paul Heffernan takes a shot. Stevie Hammell makes a save.48:42
A cross is delivered by Gary Harkins, save by Darren Randolph.47:08
Inswinging corner taken by Lee Johnson from the left by-line, clearance made by Michael Higdon.46:41
Inswinging corner taken by Garry Hay, Tom Hateley makes a clearance.45:49
Foul by Steve Jennings on Garry Hay, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Gary Harkins from left wing, clearance by Stewart Carswell.45:01
The second half begins.45:01 Substitution
Substitution (Kilmarnock) makes a substitution, with Kyle Letheren coming on for Cameron Bell.45:00 +1:10 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.45:00 +0:14
Effort from inside the area by Paul Heffernan misses to the right of the target.43:55
Inswinging corner taken by Lee Johnson.43:48
Dieter Van Tornhout sends in a cross, blocked by Tim Clancy.40:47
Gary Harkins takes a shot. Blocked by Nicky Law.40:26
A cross is delivered by Lewis Toshney.39:24
Tom Hateley sends in a cross, clearance made by Zdenek Kroca.38:32
James Fowler has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.37:54
Corner taken left-footed by Garry Hay, Michael Higdon manages to make a clearance.37:43
The ball is delivered by Garry Hay, Stewart Carswell gets a block in.36:08
Dieter Van Tornhout takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.34:26
Dieter Van Tornhout is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Tim Clancy.34:02
The official flags Paul Heffernan offside. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.29:45
James Fowler delivers the ball.29:24
Henrik Ojamaa handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Lee Johnson takes the direct free kick.28:55
Garry Hay takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Darren Randolph.28:42
Dieter Van Tornhout takes a shot. Blocked by Stevie Hammell.27:29
Nicky Law takes the inswinging corner, Foul by Michael Higdon on Cameron Bell, free kick awarded. Cameron Bell restarts play with the free kick.27:05
Tim Clancy produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.26:11
Michael Nelson challenges Michael Higdon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the indirect free kick.25:35
Chris Humphrey concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Heffernan. Garry Hay takes the indirect free kick.24:39
Tom Hateley takes the outswinging corner, Henrik Ojamaa takes a shot. Ben Gordon makes a clearance.24:05
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stevie Hammell by Paul Heffernan. Indirect free kick taken by Tim Clancy.23:02
The referee blows for offside against Henrik Ojamaa. Indirect free kick taken by Cameron Bell.18:13
Chris Humphrey decides to take the corner short.18:05
Tom Hateley produces a cross, clearance made by Lewis Toshney.17:02
Chris Humphrey sends in a cross.13:58
Centre by Chris Humphrey, clearance made by Michael Nelson.13:23
Tim Clancy fouled by Dieter Van Tornhout, the ref awards a free kick. Tim Clancy takes the direct free kick.13:02
Unfair challenge on Garry Hay by Michael Higdon results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Garry Hay.11:46
Henrik Ojamaa is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Garry Hay.11:26
Lewis Toshney delivers the ball.7:53
Henrik Ojamaa is caught offside. Direct free kick taken by Cameron Bell.7:22
The referee blows for offside against Michael Higdon. Lee Johnson takes the direct free kick.7:09
The ball is sent over by Stevie Hammell, Lee Johnson makes a clearance.7:00
The ball is crossed by Chris Humphrey.3:48
Foul by Chris Humphrey on Ben Gordon, free kick awarded. Cameron Bell takes the free kick.3:35
Chris Humphrey crosses the ball, clearance by Garry Hay.2:09
Stevie Hammell crosses the ball, clearance made by Ben Gordon.1:02
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Garry Hay from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Steve Jennings.0:29
Michael Higdon challenges Lee Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Lee Johnson takes the free kick.0:00
The referee starts the match.
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