By Craig Turnbull at New Douglas Park
Kilmarnock gave their hopes of survival a real boost with an emphatic 4-0 win over Hamilton Accies.
Greg Kiltie scored a double inside the first half before Kris Boyd added a third from the penalty spot.
Accies’ misery was complete when Josh Magennis converted Kiltie’s cutback to make it four.
It leaves Lee Clark’s men still in the relegation play-off spot but only four points behind Accies in 10th and the Killie boss believes if they can perform like that in the final three games of the season, they will give themselves a real chance.
“We still have it all to do. We’re not getting excited, we’re four points behind Hamilton so they’re still in charge,” he said.
“But if we continue to perform like that and we get three from three – which is a big ask – we’ll give ourselves a great opportunity to get out of where we are.”
The result also gives Dundee the chance to relegate rivals Dundee Utd on Monday.
Killie fans unfurled a flag before the game which said ‘back the team, change the regime’ as they vented their frustration at events behind the scenes at the club.
But they were fully behind their side and wasn’t long before the tremendous travelling support were rewarded when Kiltie fired them ahead on 11 minutes.
There were question marks over whether the ball went over the byeline in the build up, but Kiltie took full advantage, cutting in from left and firing a right foot shot into the top corner as the Accies defence stood and watched.
Accies boss Martin Canning was in no doubt as to whether the ball had gone out or not.
“I know for the first goal the ball is out,” he said. “In these games it’s so important, we’ve seen it back and it’s a yard out which is really frustrating.
“It was such a tight game with very little in it at that point. Both teams were fighting and the first goal was always going to be important.
“But I thought overall in the game we didn’t win enough second balls and individual battles and that is disappointing.”
Kiltie doubled Killie’s lead as he beat the offside trap and slotted past McGovern after Boyd’s through-ball.
Boyd then got on the scoresheet from the penalty spot after Lucas was adjudged to have handled the ball before Magennis rounded off a thoroughly satisfying win for the Ayrshire outfit.