Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell0KilmarnockKilmarnock2

Motherwell 0-2 Kilmarnock: Robinson says side needs 'fresh blood' as winless run continues

By Thomas DuncanBBC Scotland

Motherwell need "fresh blood" who will "die for the football club", said manager Stephen Robinson after defeat by Kilmarnock extended their winless run to nine matches.

Greg Kiltie's clever strike from the edge of the box put the visitors ahead.

Mark O'Hara was then dismissed for pulling Danny Whitehall, and the striker scored the resulting penalty.

"Players that we've signed or brought back to the football club haven't turned up yet," Robinson said.

"I'm looking at a squad of seven or eight players who are fighting and scrapping for the football club.

"But ultimately it's my fault, I take the blame. It's my team, my signings and it's me that has to look myself in the mirror and it's not been good enough.

"We need to bring fresh blood in, people that really want to die for this football club. I care for this football club, it means a lot to me.

"If I'm not doing my job right I'll be the first to hold my hands up for it - I hope players do the same."

Motherwell sit tenth and end 2020 with just six Premiership victories, two points clear of Hamilton, who prop up the table.

Kilmarnock, meanwhile, moved up to eighth after ending a run of five straight defeats.

It was both sides' miserable form which cranked up the pressure on this match, with Kilmarnock manager Alex Dyer stating pre-match that it would be a "big blow" for the loser.

The Englishman brought in Whitehall, Kiltie, and Mitch Pinnock in a bid to end a barren spell in front of goal, having netted just once in their last five matches.

All three had the desired impact and combined for the first goal. Whitehall held up Stuart Findlay's hoof forward, shifted the ball to Pinnock, whose flick allowed Kiltie to get the ball out of his feet and fire low past Trevor Carson.

The goal came just four minutes before the break, and was against the run of play given Motherwell's relatively strong start. But it was the visitors who effectively put the game beyond doubt just four minutes after the break.

O'Hara clearly laid hands on Whitehall when he was about to take a close-range shot, and referee Nick Walsh felt the Motherwell defender had made no attempt to play the ball in preventing the scoring chance.

The former Maidenhead striker composed himself, and rattled the penalty home to double Kilmarnock's lead, which both Kirk Broadfoot and Aaron Tshibola came close to adding to.

After a bright start in which Tony Watt and Allan Campbell both went close twice, everything that could have gone wrong for Motherwell, did.

The red card and second goal left them toiling, and then goalkeeper Trevor Carson had to be substituted after landing awkwardly when collecting a cross, having only just returned from a lengthy period on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Their third place finish from last season seems a distant, and fast-fading memory.

Man of the match - Danny Whitehall

Danny Whitehall's penalty doubles Kilmarnock's lead
Whitehall looked like a man desperate to prove his worth on his first league start, and was everywhere for Kilmarnock, helping to set up the opener and scoring the second from the spot

What did we learn?

In a week in which Dyer - the only black manager in Scotland's top flight - was racially abused in a letter sent to Kilmarnock on the back of a poor recent run, this was a personal triumph.

The three changes he made to his team by brining in Whitehall, Pinnock, and Kiltie for Chris Burke, Youssuf Mulumbu, and Nicke Kabamba added great energy after a tentative start, and proved a brilliant decision.

Motherwell, meanwhile, will be losing striker Callum Lang to his parent club Wigan and hope to bring in a couple of players in the January window, and boy does it seem like they need it just now.

Robinson's side lack a clear identity, and while they do create decent opportunities, they do not take them. Some fresh faces might reinvigorate the squad.

What they said

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "We look like we've lost confidence completely. We had chances, don't take them. But as soon as we went 1-0 down we didn't look as though we were going to get back into the game."

Kilmarnock manager Alex Dyer: "I believe in the players. We have been through a tough time. It's only one win, we're not through it yet. But it's nice that they can go home today and feel they've got some just rewards."

Dyer relieved as Kilmarnock end poor run with Motherwell win

What's next?

Motherwell have to pick themselves up for a huge Lanarkshire derby away to Hamilton on Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Kilmarnock host St Mirren at the same time.

Line-ups

Motherwell

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1CarsonSubstituted forChapmanat 64'minutes
  • 7O'HaraBooked at 52mins
  • 31Gallagher
  • 4Lamie
  • 33O'Donnell
  • 19Polworth
  • 8CrawfordBooked at 56minsSubstituted forLangat 64'minutes
  • 6CampbellBooked at 63mins
  • 2GrimshawSubstituted forCarrollat 64'minutes
  • 44ColeSubstituted forWhiteat 71'minutes
  • 32Watt

Substitutes

  • 3Carroll
  • 9White
  • 11Hastie
  • 15Maguire
  • 16Mugabi
  • 17Seedorf
  • 26Cornelius
  • 29Lang
  • 34Chapman

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Rogers
  • 2McGowan
  • 5Broadfoot
  • 17Findlay
  • 18WatersSubstituted forHaunstrupat 60'minutes
  • 6Power
  • 27TshibolaBooked at 32minsSubstituted forMulumbuat 76'minutes
  • 19Pinnock
  • 10Kiltie
  • 7McKenzieSubstituted forBurkeat 89'minutes
  • 12WhitehallSubstituted forKabambaat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Haunstrup
  • 4Dikamona
  • 9Brophy
  • 11Kabamba
  • 16Doyle
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 29Burke
  • 33Taylor
Referee:
John Beaton

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home7
Away15
Shots on Target
Home1
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home11
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 0, Kilmarnock 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 0, Kilmarnock 2.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Motherwell. Jordan White tries a through ball, but Callum Lang is caught offside.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Chris Burke replaces Rory McKenzie.

  5. Post update

    Jake Carroll (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Mitchell Pinnock (Kilmarnock).

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alan Power (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Greg Kiltie with a headed pass.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Liam Polworth (Motherwell).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Liam Polworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Callum Lang.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kirk Broadfoot (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mitchell Pinnock with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Nicke Kabamba (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mitchell Pinnock.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mitchell Pinnock (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Greg Kiltie.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Declan Gallagher (Motherwell).

  16. Post update

    Nicke Kabamba (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Nicke Kabamba replaces Daniel Whitehall.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Youssouf Mulumbu replaces Aaron Tshibola.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Daniel Whitehall (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Greg Kiltie.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Callum Lang (Motherwell).

Player of the match

KiltieGreg Kiltie

with an average of 7.93

Motherwell

  1. Squad number32Player nameWatt
    Average rating

    4.40

  2. Squad number1Player nameCarson
    Average rating

    4.34

  3. Squad number6Player nameCampbell
    Average rating

    4.14

  4. Squad number31Player nameGallagher
    Average rating

    4.13

  5. Squad number3Player nameCarroll
    Average rating

    3.95

  6. Squad number34Player nameChapman
    Average rating

    3.87

  7. Squad number33Player nameO'Donnell
    Average rating

    3.80

  8. Squad number2Player nameGrimshaw
    Average rating

    3.78

  9. Squad number8Player nameCrawford
    Average rating

    3.67

  10. Squad number44Player nameCole
    Average rating

    3.59

  11. Squad number4Player nameLamie
    Average rating

    3.46

  12. Squad number7Player nameO'Hara
    Average rating

    3.44

  13. Squad number19Player namePolworth
    Average rating

    3.41

  14. Squad number29Player nameLang
    Average rating

    3.14

  15. Squad number9Player nameWhite
    Average rating

    3.02

Kilmarnock

  1. Squad number10Player nameKiltie
    Average rating

    7.93

  2. Squad number19Player namePinnock
    Average rating

    7.78

  3. Squad number12Player nameWhitehall
    Average rating

    7.51

  4. Squad number3Player nameHaunstrup
    Average rating

    7.34

  5. Squad number2Player nameMcGowan
    Average rating

    7.26

  6. Squad number6Player namePower
    Average rating

    7.21

  7. Squad number5Player nameBroadfoot
    Average rating

    7.09

  8. Squad number17Player nameFindlay
    Average rating

    7.05

  9. Squad number21Player nameMulumbu
    Average rating

    6.96

  10. Squad number18Player nameWaters
    Average rating

    6.80

  11. Squad number27Player nameTshibola
    Average rating

    6.77

  12. Squad number11Player nameKabamba
    Average rating

    6.67

  13. Squad number29Player nameBurke
    Average rating

    6.65

  14. Squad number7Player nameMcKenzie
    Average rating

    6.51

  15. Squad number23Player nameRogers
    Average rating

    6.29

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