Kilmarnock 4-1 Hibernian

Kilmarnock 4 - 1 Hibernian

Kilmarnock ended their long wait for a win under manager Kenny Shiels thanks to a vibrant performance and some calamitous defending from Hibernian.

Paul Heffernan knocked the home side into an early lead but Garry O'Connor levelled with a smart strike.

Killie were back in front when Paul Hanlon diverted a James Dayton cross into his own net before the interval.

Dayton curled in an excellent free kick and Heffernan volleyed in his second from close range on 71 minutes.

And the striker later missed an incredible chance for his hat-trick when he somehow shot against the crossbar when faced with an open goal.

Shiels had been without a victory since he took over from Mixu Paatelainen in late March but, on this evidence, he will not have to wait so long for another.

Heffernan and Dayton were outstanding, although they will seldom come up against such shoddy opponents.

Kilmarnock scored with their first attacking venture, Heffernan gathering a long pass from left-back Rory McKeown and coolly slotting past the advancing Graham Stack, with the visiting defence posted missing.

Buoyed by the early breakthrough, Killie were moving the ball around nicely only to be undone by some magic from O'Connor on 13 minutes.

A slack pass out of defence from Ryan O'Leary went straight to Lewis Stevenson, who fed David Wotherspoon to slip a pass through to the lone striker.

O'Connor jinked past a defender at the right edge of the penalty area and lofted a wonderful, angled finish into the far corner of the net.

James Dayton curled in a great free kick
Dayton curled in a great second-half free kick

Hibs were in trouble again when David Stephens mis-kicked Dayton's low cross straight to the feet of David Silva, but the Portuguese midfielder's strike was blocked by Stack.

A Hibs break fizzled out when the dithering Stevenson was robbed, allowing Killie to counter and a great Gary Harkins pass saw Heffernan race into the penalty box and take the ball round Stack.

However, the Irish striker was thwarted as the goalkeeper quickly recovered to make a sprawling save from his shot on the angle.

Stack then palmed away a stinging shot from Silva, who was getting the better of Hibs full-back Victor Palsson every time.

Killie were back in front four minutes before the break and it was down to more hapless defending from the visitors.

Dayton tricked his way past Callum Booth to flash in a low cross and Hanlon, attempting to cut the ball off near the front post, only succeeded in diverting it into his own net.

With the home side well on top, the first half ended with Harkins testing Stack from distance and Heffernan turning in a neat finish from an offside position.

Hibs introduced recent signings Junior Agogo and Isaiah Osbourne after the break and briefly threatened to draw level.

But defensive uncertainty continued to dog Colin Calderwood's men with Stephens and Hanlon comically leaving the ball for each other, allowing Heffernan to dip a shot over the crossbar.

On 65 minutes, Dayton capped a good day's work with a fantastic, curling free kick from 20 yards after Wotherspoon had clumsily clattered into Danny Buijs.

And Heffernan volleyed in his second goal from close range as he drifted in between Hanlon and Stephens to connect with Buijs's delivery.

The Hibs defence was ripped open once again when Killie substitute Dean Shiels slid the ball to Heffernan right in front of an unguarded goal but the striker was left clutching his head rather than the match ball as he cannoned his shot against the crossbar.

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