02 Jan Kilmarnock 2-2 Hearts: Magennis salvages draw
By Derek Clark at Rugby Park
A Josh Magennis header earned a point for Kilmarnock in an engrossing game at Rugby Park.
Killie opened the scoring two minutes before the break through ex-Jambo Conrad Balatoni.
Juwon Oshaniwa was dispossessed by Stevie Smith, the ball broke to Magennis who squared the ball to Balatoni who’s back-heel struck Neil Alexander but managed to convert at the second attempt.
But the host’s lead was short lived when Gavin Reilly fired home from close range in first half stoppage time after Jamie MacDonald had initially tipped a Billy King strike off the post.
The Jam Tarts got their noses in front ten minutes after the restart when Callum Paterson scored a sensational goal from just outside the area.
He controlled the ball with his chest and right knee before unleashing a left-footed volley into the corner of the net.
Gary Locke’s men kept plugging away though and drew level ten minutes from time when Magennis headed home a Stevie Smith corner.
The under-fire Killie boss said afterwards.
“I thought we played well today, the young lads who came in did great.
“Even at 2-1 I always felt we’d create chances and we did through set pieces and I’m delighted to score from one.”
Meanwhile Hearts manager Robbie Nielson felt it was two points dropped.
“We get in a really good position 2-1 up, theres a period where we could’ve killed the game off and we just didn’t do it.
“Our quality wasn’t quite good enough and then we lose a really poor goal from a set play.”
Elsewhere, ten-man Celtic left it late to beat Partick Thistle 1-0 with Leigh Griffiths extending the Hoops’ lead at the top to three points and second-placed Aberdeen playing St Johnstone on Sunday.
Dundee piled more misery on Dundee United, beating their city rivals 2-1 in the Dundee derby to leave United 11 points adrift at the bottom.
And Inverness CT secured a 2-0 win in the Highland derby against Ross County.