Kilmarnock 3 Hibernian 1

Last updated : 30 October 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Kilie's first half performance against hapless Hibs was enough to see the Ayrshire side leapfrog their visitors in the SPL table.

Both sides made one change from their successful midweek matches. Hibs' Steve Fletcher replaced Garry O'Connor against Livingston and kept his place when O'Connor's injury failed to clear. Injury also ruled out Killie's Allan Johnston, allowing Stevie Murray to start on the left wing.

Killie opened the scoring after a quiet start thanks to a howler from Hibs skipper Ian Murray. Killie had clearly been listening to Craig Levein's advice for facing Hibs as Craig Dargo harried Stephen Glass, who was forced into a hurried pass back to Murray. There seemed no danger as the central defender moved to sweep the ball across his back-line but miscued straight to Colin Nish, who had no one between himself and goalkeeper Simon Brown. The Edinburgh-born striker drove forward confidently and kept his composure to lift the ball home.

The Killie midfield continued to dominate and force their opponents into expensive errors. Hibs boss Tony Mowbray took decisive action in the 38th minute, making a double substitution replacing the experienced midfield pair of Glass and Alen Orman with strkers Stephen Dobbie and Dean Shiels. The change did not produce the desired effect however, and Killie scored two well-crafted killer goals before the interval.

Craig Dargo notched a deserved first of the season in the 41st minute following Danny Invincibile's brilliant flick which took three defenders out of the picture leaving the little striker to pick his spot in the corner.

The third goal came little more than a minute later and it was the best of the bunch. Gary MacDonald grafted hard to retain possession in midfield before sending the ball wide to Invincibile. The Australian delivered the type of cross strikers dream about and Nish rose and bulleted a header past the helpless Brown.

While all the goalmouth action was occurring at the other end of the field, Simon Ford was making an impressive home debut in the heart of defence. Dominant in the air, calm and composed in the tightest of spots, Ford snuffed out much of Hibs attacking intent at the source.

Ironically it was Ford's first piece of uncertainty which allowed Hibs a glimmer of hope. Substitute Sephen Dobbie muscled into the box, Ford's stumble gave him a clear sight of goal, but Alan Combe produced a great block with his foot, but the ball broke kindly to Dean Shiels who made no mistake from three yards.