Scottish Premiership
Kilmarnock2Livingston0

Kilmarnock 2-0 Livingston: Greg Stewart double puts Ayrshire side top

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Highlights: Kilmarnock 2-0 Livingston

Kilmarnock moved to the top Scottish Premiership after Greg Stewart's double earned a comfortable win over Livingston.

Steve Clarke's side are a point clear of both Rangers and Celtic, both of whom dropped points, and now visit Celtic Park on Saturday.

The Rugby Park side have lost just once in 11, and have not conceded in four.

Livingston spurned several chances as they continued their run of not scoring on the road since October.

Dolly Menga made a menace of himself on occasions after returning from a two-match ban but his attempts were unsuccessful.

The only negative for Kilmarnock was the head injury suffered by Kirk Broadfoot, who was carried off on a stretcher having collided with his goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann and been put into the recovery position.

Stewart happy at his work again

His two goals aside, an indication of Stewart's confidence at the moment came in the 30th minute.

A raking ball was sent forward by Greg Taylor and, without a second thought, Stewart killed it in the Livingston box amid a gaggle of defenders. He elected to pass, having already scored a brace.

Stewart is 28 and has previously proved himself at Premiership level with Dundee. It didn't work out at Birmingham or Aberdeen, but this is a striker who is happy at his work again.

The Stirling-born forward is on loan at Rugby Park for the rest of the season from the English Championship side, with his three-year contact expiring in the summer. If Kilmarnock do not try to make his move permanent, there will surely be a long list of interested clubs north of the border.

Stewart's sixth and seventh goals of the season were markedly different, the first a glancing header and the second a deadly shot to the far corner after waiting for the correct moment.

Kilmarnock had Livingston rattled in the first half, but Menga's effort - well saved by Bachmann - was all they had to show for it.

Declan Gallagher's header from an Alan Lithgow long throw in the second half, and Steven Lawless' effort from distance, nearly brought Livingston back into it, but before long it was back to the Stewart show.

He hassled defenders to set up Burke to curl over, then another of Stewart's snaking runs drew a piggy-back attempt from Scott Pittman, who was booked for his troubles.

Kirk Broadfoot was taken off on a stretcher after suffering a head knock
Kirk Broadfoot was taken off on a stretcher after suffering a head knock

'Unlikely but deserved leaders' - analysis

One league defeat in their last 11 matches. Four clean-sheets in a row. Five goals in their last two games. Top of the league by a point. All the statistics point to one thing - Kilmarnock are absolutely flying.

It seemed very unlikely that Clarke's men would end the night at the summit of the Premiership, needing both Rangers and Celtic to slip up, yet it happened.

Livingston were not particularly bad, and boss Gary Holt's main encouragement will be the sight of Ryan Hardie on the pitch again. The on-loan Rangers striker came on as a substitute after a long spell out.

'Stewart took a gamble' - reaction

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke: "Greg has been really good for us. He probably took a gamble coming back to Scotland but if works out well for Greg and for Kilmarnock then everyone can be happy."

Livingston manager Gary Holt: "I picked the team to give boys a chance and I'll take it on the chin. We never got going and lost a really poor goal from a set play and the second comes from our free kick."

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 26Bachmann
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 5BroadfootSubstituted forTshibolaat 51'minutes
  • 16Boyd
  • 3Taylor
  • 29Burke
  • 6Power
  • 8Dicker
  • 11Jones
  • 25BrophySubstituted forWilsonat 67'minutes
  • 19StewartSubstituted forNdjoliat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1MacDonald
  • 7McKenzie
  • 9Boyd
  • 12Ndjoli
  • 18Waters
  • 20Wilson
  • 27Tshibola

Livingston

  • 1Kelly
  • 31Gallagher
  • 26Halkett
  • 4Lithgow
  • 11CaddenSubstituted forHardieat 63'minutes
  • 8PittmanBooked at 71mins
  • 6ByrneBooked at 39mins
  • 15Lawless
  • 3Lamie
  • 33LawsonSubstituted forSibbaldat 38'minutes
  • 45MengaSubstituted forBurnsat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McMillan
  • 7Jacobs
  • 9Hardie
  • 10Sibbald
  • 19Burns
  • 21Stewart
  • 30Hamilton
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
4,143

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamLivingston
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home10
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home9
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Kilmarnock 2, Livingston 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 2, Livingston 0.

Chris Burke (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Bobby Burns (Livingston).

Scott Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Pittman (Livingston).

Attempt missed. Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Steven Lawless (Livingston).

Attempt missed. Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right following a fast break.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Mikael Ndjoli replaces Greg Stewart.

Attempt missed. Ryan Hardie (Livingston) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Alan Power (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Sibbald (Livingston).

Chris Burke (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ricki Lamie (Livingston).

Craig Halkett (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Greg Stewart (Kilmarnock).

Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Declan Gallagher (Livingston).

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

Attempt saved. Ricki Lamie (Livingston) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Livingston) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Bobby Burns replaces Dolly Menga.

Attempt missed. Greg Stewart (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Scott Pittman (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Greg Stewart (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Pittman (Livingston).

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Greg Taylor.

Attempt missed. Chris Burke (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Declan Gallagher (Livingston) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Iain Wilson replaces Eamonn Brophy.

Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Declan Gallagher (Livingston).

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Ryan Hardie replaces Nicky Cadden.

Attempt missed. Declan Gallagher (Livingston) header from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right following a set piece situation.

Foul by Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock).

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dolly Menga (Livingston).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Kilmarnock1694324121231
2Rangers1593337132430
3Celtic149323172430
4Hearts168352219327
5St Johnstone157441820-225
6Aberdeen147341713424
7Livingston156451412222
8Hibernian155552519620
9Motherwell154381625-915
10Hamilton1641111236-2413
11St Mirren1623111131-209
12Dundee1522111232-208
View full Scottish Premiership table

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