Feel free to leave comments and feedback on the story and any ideas to make it better or easier to read or just general thoughts on the story itself, possible transfers etc or any queries about transfers that other clubs make in-game.
It would all be muchly appreciated as it would show that I am actually doing well or kind of well, which is something I wouldn't quite like to think I am doing.
Denmark v.s. Scotland = 0-3
Wales v.s Australia = 1-0
England v.s Holland = 2-1
Moldova v.s Ireland = 0-2
Also Mahamadou Sissoko earned his first Mali cap.
Home to Hibernian
Subs Used: Hutchinson (Gros), Panikvar (Hay), Kelly (Harkins)
Kroca would make his first start of the season in place of the suspended Sissoko. Other than that there was no changes to the line-up that beat Motherwell last week.
The beginning of the match was dominated by us. We kept possession well and the ball stayed in the opposing half of the pitch. The first chance didnt come until a ball from Buijs out wide to Dayton allowed the winger to run at the defence, getting through into the box and forcing a save from the keeper for a corner. The resulting corner was nearly turned in by Kroca at the front post but another good save prevented a goal in the Czech's first start of the season. Another corner was gained after some very good passing play ended with a shot from Heffernan being blocked by a defender, however Pascali couldn't convert the chance and his header skimmed off the top of the bar. Then, finally, we took one of our chances. Again it was our midfield with some good passing play and Gros used some good skill to hold the ball up, and round his marker before releasing Shiels down the left in space, who ran the ball into the box and slotted the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner. His first goal for Killie. Heffernan nearly double the lead minutes after but his shot from outside the box was saved brilliantly by Stack.
After a short period of pressure from Hibs, we were back on the attack. Another corner came our way and this time Kroca didn't pass up his chance, nodding the ball down and into the back of the net at the front post.
The second half started off a bit slower than the first, with both teams having fair share of possession. After some more shared possession the first real chance of the second half came as sub Ben Hutchinson colected the ball at the half way line and steam rolled down the right, before playing a lofted cross into the box which was met by the head of Paul Heffernan who put the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-0. That seemed to re-vitalise the Hibs squad as they went on the offensive, and it paid off in the 83rd minute, when Griffiths ran down the left and cut the ball back to Ivan Sproule who knocked the ball into the net to take away our clean sheet, 3-1. 2 minutes later it was 3-2. Booth played a long ball forward which Sproule out-paced the defenders to and managed to get the ball past Bell and into the net, setting up a nail-biting finish. Injury time, and with 2 late goals Hibs looked to be playing with confidence that they could get the equaliser, and it came. 93 minutes played and they sliced open the defence slotting the ball into the path of Agogo who knocked the ball past Bell into the back of the net. We had thrown away a 3-0 lead and now it was 3-3.
This game really annoyed me. We had played so well for most of the match, but as soon as they got the first goal back everything went out the window. With 55% of the possession to their 45% we really should have finished them off especially since we had 11 shots at goal when they only had 5! But with only 4 shots on target we really didnt take our chances and they did in the end. Even although its still a point and we are still on target for my expectations of 2/3 wins or a win and a draw, this really feels like a loss.
Pascali has started tutoring Gary Fisher and Zdenek Kroca has started tutoring Lee Ashcroft. Hopefully this will help the pair of them develope into a central defensive pair that can lead the defensive line in the future.
James Fowler has started tutoring Jude Winchester to help him become more of a talent in midfield an area that may need strengthened in a season or two.
And finally, Heffernan has taken William Gros under his wing to teach him some things. Hopefully this will go well and the pair of them will learn how to work off each other to create an attack force for the team going forward.
Home to Hearts
Subs Used: Ada (Kroca), Hay (Panikvar), Kennedy (Silva)
Silva and Panikvar are brought into the squad in place of Dayton and Hay respectively due to their average ratings being low. No other changes from squad last week as Sissoko is still out suspended and Kroca keeps his place after making it into the Team of the Week after the Hibs game.
The game started off pretty even with both sides having share of possession, and the first chance didnt come till the 18th minute when Stewart fired a long shot just wide of the Hearts goal. Hearts then went on the counter as a clearance from a poor corner by Buijs found Templeton out wide who stormed into a 2-on-1 situation before cutting the ball back to John Sutton who managed to push off a back tracking Pascali and slide the ball into the bottom corner away from Bell. Sutton nearly doubled the lead 5 minutes later but his shot rebounded off the crossbar and onto the line before it was picked up by the keeper. The last attack of the first half was another poor corner by Buijs that went over everyone in the box and out for a throw-in. Bell's 6th concession in 4 games gives Hearts the lead in this one.
The second half started off like the first, both teams getting a shot with the ball. 10 minutes in however Panikvar gets injured after a challenge by Templeton and has to be taken off and replaced by Hay. Just after the hour mark we are agrieved. A cross in from the right looks to be going straight to Gros before he hits the deck...no whistle. The ref waves play on so Stewart plays a ball to Shiels who fires over the bar. Another attack down the right as Silva takes the ball past his marker and releases the Heff down the middle, who looks like he could score...before his shot hits Gros and goes out for a goal kick. Things ain't going our way in this game. Finally it looks like we have the ball under control as Harkins wins it in the final third before Gros forces Kello to make a good save and push the ball out for another corner. Kennedy, who came on for Silva, gets his first touches and unfortunately fires another shot wide. We are just unable to hit the target today. Finally our pressure pays off. After Ada returns the ball from a Kello goal kick Stewart and Gros link-up but the final pass through to Heff is cut out, or at least thought to have been as it cannons off a Hearts player to the feet of Heffernan who doesn't take a touch and hits it first time into the back of the net! 1-1 10 minutes to play! Straight from the kick off we gain the ball back and Kennedy is released down the right. He takes it all the way to the by-line and gets in a good cross but the ball is headed away, chance gone...or not. The ref blows th whistle and awards a penalty for pushing. Shiels steps up, takes his time, and slots the ball into the bottom corner, out of reach of the keeper, 2-1. The team do a good job of running down the clock and this one ends 2-1.
Oh this felt good. After last weeks dismal finish to the game our late comeback in this one, with a lot of luck of course, just felt so sweet. The match itself wasn't the greatest and Hearts probably deserved a point if not all 3 but like us they couldn't see the game out and it cost them. This is a good result against one of the better teams in the league and hopefully will provide a kickstart to the season.
Matthew Kennedy becomes Kilmarnock's youngest @ 16years and 293 days.
League Cup 2nd Round
Home to Montrose
Subs Used: Hay (pursehouse), Harkins (Kelly), Gros (Hutchinson)
This being 3 days after the Hearts match some of the team were still recovering so I decided to rest most of the first team and give some youngsters and back-ups a start to see how they get on, even if it is a 3rd division side we are playing.
Straight from the start we asserted our dominance, not allowing any time on the ball or allowing much possession getting the ball and keeping it early on. After a couple of dangerous looking corners, our first real chance came when a cross from Dayton was knocked down by Heffernan to the feet of Kelly who's shot troubled the keeper and trickled out for another corner. The corner was taken by Dayton who's ball into the box went into a mass of players before rolling out and first to react, Heffenan, didnt need to think, as he blasted the ball into the net for 1-0. Not 5 minutes later and we were on the attack again. A throw in from McKeown fell to the feet of Hutchinson who passed through to Dayton who just slid the ball into the 6-yard box where Heff was standing waiting to knock it in for his 4th goal in 3 games. Yet another attack just after the 40 minute mark, as once again Dayton got free on the left side and slotted the ball to Hutchinson. Unfortunately he scuffed his shot and the keeper collected easily.
After half time it was more of the same. Hutchinson gathered the ball in the middle of the oppositions half and got into the box just to see his shot cannon off the post and out of play. After some more keep ball, Kennedy got free on the right and turned provider as his cross met the head of Dayton. He couldn't direct it into the net again finding the hands of Andrews between the sticks. Then out of no where Montrose get a corner which is sent into the back post and headed towards goal. Jaakola is unable to hold it and the ball ends up in the back of the net, and gets marked down as an own goal, 2-1. Back to playing keep ball as we try and squeeze the time out of the game. A chance again for Kelly as some good play from Dayton on the wing cuts the ball back to the edge of the box and Kelly smakcs it off the bar and out for a goal kick. Montrose win the ball back and head up our end of the park finaly getting off a shot that hits the cross bar and lands in the arms of a greatful Jaakola. Montrose pile on as much pressure as they can to get the ball back and get the equaliser. Another good save by Andrews keep the game tight at 2-1 going into the last 5 minutes. We start dominating again as we go into injury time and from a corner another penalty is given for pushing. A chance to finish off a much closer than expected game. Heffernan steps up and composes himself before slotting the ball away for his hat-trick and kilmarnock's third. And the final whistle goes, 3-1 final score.
I was actually surprised by Montrose in this game as they did give us a problem or two in defence and fully deserved their goal at the end of the day. I am also pleased at some of the youngsters in the squad as they showed me that they definitely have some skill, hopefully they can play just as well at a higher level and later on in the cups.
After our win over Montrose, the League Cup 3rd round draw has paired us up with fellow SPL team Dunfermline Athletic. The match will be played @ East End Park on the 21st of September.
Champions League Update
The draw for the champions league has just taken place and I'd thought I'd just relay it for extra information.
Manchester United, Lyon, Bayern Leverkusen, Dinamo
Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow, Litex, Manchester City
Inter Milan, Valencia, Basel, HJK
Porto, Rangers, Shaktar, Napoli
Arsenal, Marseille, Trazbonspor, Zenit
Chelsea, Galati, Lille, Villareal
Bayern Munich, Slovan Bratislava, Olympiakos, Benfica
AC Milan, Barcelona, Ajax, Dortmund
Away to Inverness.
Subs Used: McKeown (Hay), Kroca (Buijs), Silva (Dayton)
Sorry there was a report on the match but as I went to post it my page shut down and it never sent...so this is all that I can say just now.
Scorers: Heffernan x3, Kroca x1
Possession: Killie 62% Inverness 38%
Shots At Goal: Killie 15 Inverness 6
Shots On Target: Killie 8 Inverness 3
We really dominated most of this match which really pleased me as it was a game I thought we should definitely win and my players proved me right. If we can play like that against all "lower" level opposition in the league we will safely accomplish our target of mid-table.
Monthly Review - August
August was a good month for the club. We played 3 league games and a cup game winning 3 out of the 4 matches. We definitely had some good performances against Hearts and Motherwell as well as the first half of the Hibernian game. However, we also had some dissapointing performances in the Dundee United match and the second half of the Hibernian game.
The team currently lie in 3rd place in the league with 10 points, 3 wins, a draw and a loss. We have scored 10 goals and conceded 6 giving us a goal difference of +4. Currently our top scorer is Heffernan with 8 goals in all competitions, whilst Buijs and Shiels share top assists with 3-a-piece.
The three most improved players in training so far are:
James Dayton - Aerobic
Lee Ashcroft - Strength
Charlie Telfer - Aerobic
And only two players have disappointed this month:
Zdenek Kroca and Matthew Kennedy, both on Tactics.
Finacially the club didn't do as well this month as our performances in the league. The club lost a total of £285,000 with our biggest expenditure being loan repayments, though even without these we still would have made a loss. Our gate reciepts did look promising however at £240,000 which definitely helped out.
I would really like some feedback on the story so far from all the readers that view it. I know it's not very far in yet but that may be down to the style of writing which I am considering changing to just monthly updates and other updates from the game instead of game reports etc. So please give me your thoughts on the story and how its been written so far so I can continue on with it, if that is what people wish.
Dean Shiels has taken Matthew Kennedy under his wing to help him develope. The decision was made after Kennedy failed to impress during last months training sessions.
Home to Dunfermline.
Subs Used: Ada (Buijs), McKeown (Hay), Kennedy (Dayton)
Kroca was the only change in the side that beat Inverness the previous week. We took the lead early on thanks to William Gros scoring his first goal of the season. The lead didn't last long as we were pegged back almost immediately. After half an hour the score was still level before Kroca rose above everyone and put the ball in the net to make it 2-1. Harkins then made it a 2 goal margin scoring his first ever goal for Kilmarnock just before half time. Kroca went off injured in the second half but by that point all subs had been used so we were down to 10 men for the last 15 minutes. In which time Dunfermline pulled one back to make it a nervy ending to the game. We held on though and took the 3 points to move up into tied 2nd with Dundee United.
Away to Aberdeen.
Subs Used: Ada (Buijs), Galan (Gros), Kelly (Harkins)
Only one change from the squad that played the previous week, Stewart in for Fowler. The game was pretty close in the first half with neither side really getting the upper hand. Both teams had a couple of chances but neither able to provide that clinical finish to take the lead. In the second half I decided to switch tactics and go on the offensive with a more controlling style of play instead of the counter-attacking style used in the first half. Early in the second half both teams forced save from the opposing keepers and the game looked a lot more open. Again though, neither team could take the chances they made and were given. As the game came to a close it looked like both sets of players would be happy to go in with a point, and that's exactly what happened. A bore 0-0 draw.
League Cup 3rd Round
Away to Dunfermline.
Subs Used: Dayton (Shiels), Harkins (Galan), Pursehouse (Kroca)
Lost 1-0 after extra time
With this game coming just days after the Aberdeen game, changes ad to be made to allow players to recover from the game at the weekend before the next league match. The changes visibly changed the flow of the team as Dunfermline took charge early on in the game creating a few chances. However they were unable to capatalise and the game stayed even. Our first real chance came when Galan managed to worm his way through the defence but he fired his shot wide and the chance disappeared. A fantastic double save from Bell kept the game level just before half time as Dunfermline looked a different team than the one we played a fortnight ago...pressing more and getting more attacking chances in the game. Just as the half time whistle was about to go, Micheal Stewart went in for a two-footed lunge and unfortunately deserved the red card he recieved leaving us with 10 men to play in the second half.
Within 30 seconds of the restart, Kennedy collected the ball on the edge of the opposition box but scuffed his scot and it ended up wide of the mark. The second half seemed alot more even than the first as we managed to get possession of the ball and keep it for a lot longer, creating some chances in the process. Going into the last 15 minutes of the game, Dunfermline were caught on the break as Dayton was released down the left before playing in Heffernan who's shot cannoned off the post back to Dayton who couldn't control the ball and fired it over the bar. The second half ended and still the score was 0-0. This one was going to extra time.
By now the players of both teams were running on steam and adrenaline as the match had taken its toll on each of them. With nothing but words to spur the players on I sent them back out in as best a mood possible. Within minutes, that mood had disappeared. Pursehouse was caught out of position and Dunfermline made him, and us, pay as they sliced open the rest of defence and Thomson simply tapped the ball into the net. That meant we had to go all out for it. Everything we could possible do was set to attack, all out attack. All the pressure nearly came off as a counter attack from a long clearance by Pursehouse left Heffernan 1-on-1 with the keeper, who pulled off a great save to keep us behind. Heffernan had another chance to pull back the equaliser but he fired his shot over the bar. Not long after, it was all over. We were out of the cup. One round short of our expectation, to reach the Quarter Finals.
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