The Clown and the Puppet: But who had the last laugh at Rugby Park?


The antics kicked off before the game even started when Hearts manager Paulo Sergio refused to shake the hand of Kenny Shiels and this was repeated at the end of the match when the Portuguese manager refused the hand of Shiels, who he dubbed ‘a clown’ a few days ago.

With the game only a minute old, the referee was busy booking Dieter van Tornhout for a reckless tackle on Hamill, who was booked also for reacting aggressively.

Hearts enjoyed much of the early possession, but failed to threaten Cammy Bell in the Killie goal. Their first chance of the game arrived on 15 minutes when a poor clearance from Fowler looped just over his own bar following a cross from Ian Black.

Killie had a number of chances, with Garry Hay going close from distance but it sailed over the bar. Hearts, through Rudi Skacel then forced Bell into making a save from the edge of the box.

The referee was once again in his pocket when he booked Lewis Toshney for a reckless lunge on Danny Grainger after the half hour mark.

Both sides started the second half looking hungry for a goal and it was Hearts who had the first chance on goal through former Killie player Taouil whose long-range effort was saved by Bell, while MacDonald at the other end denied a Dean Shiels’ free kick.

Kilmarnock were then reduced to ten men just before the hour mark when van Tornhout was shown a second yellow card for a poor tackle on Hamill. The Killie players weren’t happy with the decision and Euan Norris saw the brunt of their fury, with Irish striker Heffernan booked for dissent.

But it was ten man Kilmarnock who took the lead, Toshney rose above the Hearts defence to latch onto a cross from Shiels, his header was blocked on the line but Heffernan was on hand to bundle home the ball.

The second red card of the game arrived soon after when Hamill was sent off for a second bookable offence. The former Killie defender lunged at Hay and Norris duly delivered the yellow and then the red card.

In the final minute of the game, Garry Hay fired wide of the Hearts goal as the Rugby Park side looked to secure all three points, but Hearts had other ideas as Suso Santana met a cross from McGowan to fire home and secure a share of the spoils.

At the final whistle tempers rose once again following a handshake between Kilmarnock striker Dean Shiels and Hearts manager Paulo Sergio, resulting in handbags between players from both sides.

Kilmarnock: Bell, Toshney, Hay, Fowler, Nelson, Kelly, Heffernan, Gordon, Shiels, Van Tornhout, Sissoko.

Hearts: MacDonald, Hamill, Grainger (McGowan), Webster, Black, Elliot, Driver (Santana), Skacel, Taouil, Zaliukas, Mrowiec (Smith).


About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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