Motherwell 0-2 Kilmarnock

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Greg Kiltie put Kilmarnock ahead

Kilmarnock leapfrogged Motherwell with an impressive victory to leave the Fir Park side stuck in the relegation play-off spot.

Outstanding second-half goals from Greg Kiltie and Craig Slater, both their fourth of the season, secured the win for the managerless Ayrshiremen.

Josh Magennis came close to adding a third for Killie while the hosts’ Louis Moult hit the crossbar in added time.

Motherwell have now gone six league games without a win.

Lee McCulloch is unbeaten in his two games in temporary charge of the Rugby Park club since Gary Locke resigned last month.

They are now tenth, a point ahead of Well and 13 clear of bottom side Dundee United, with Motherwell seeking to avoid a second successive relegation play-off.

Slater (far right) doubled the visitors’ advantage

The match began amidst a slight snow shower but the players were not affected as the opening exchanges provided sufficient excitement, with Killie having the better first-half chances.

There was an early scare for the home side as Kiltie’s shot from just inside the area took a wicked deflection off a defender and flew just wide.

Tope Obadeyi then dispossessed Morgaro Gomis, cut in from the right and fired a left-foot shot that Motherwell goalkeeper Connor Ripley managed to parry clear.

Ripley, celebrating his 23rd birthday, was in good form as he made two outstanding saves from Killie free-kicks.

He firstly palmed a Slater strike over the top and later superbly turned away Stevie Smith’s left-foot curler from 25 yards.

Marvin Johnson came close for the home side when his cross from the left deflected off Conrad Balatoni and looped on to the roof of the net.

Killie made the breakthrough after the break with a terrific team goal from a sweeping move.

Gary Dicker and Slater exchanged passes in midfield before the latter spotted Smith advancing down the left. Smith steadied himself before whipping a pin-point cross for Kiltie to make the perfect connection six yards out with a volley that gave Ripley no chance.

The visitors doubled their lead when Slater showed his class with a driving run from midfield before shooting low past Ripley for a terrific solo goal.

Johnson came close to pulling a goal back for the home side but could only send his shot from close range into the side netting.

At the other end, Magennis stretched to touch a Kiltie cross just wide.

And, when Moult’s effort hit the crossbar, it summed up Motherwell’s afternoon.

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