KILMARNOCK boss Steve Clarke thought his team should have been at least two goals at half-time against Celtic yesterday.

The Rugby Park side went down 1-0 in astonishing circumstances when Jozo Simunovic headed in the only goal in exactly 67 minutes and seven seconds in honour of club legend Billy McNeill who passed away on Monday at the age of 79.

It was a headed goal the Lisbon Lion would have been proud to claim as one of his own.

But the Ayrshire club’s gaffer was unhappy with a refereeing decision from match official Willie Collum which he claimed denied his side a penalty-kick.

Hoops skipper Scott Brown appeared to shove Killie defender Stephen O’Donnell as he raced into the box.

Clarke, speaking to the Mail on Sunday, said: “The players were terrific, great effort, good application, we just missed that little bit of quality on the finishes.

“We had the best chance of the first-half. A penalty. Soft, but a penalty. As he goes to play the ball, he gets pushed in the back, so it’s a penalty.

“It’s a performance that makes me feel good about my team and players, but we haven’t any points to show for it.”

Clarke also saw veteran attacker Chris Burke fluff a chance in the 18th minute as he got through on a one-on-one with exposed keeper Scott Bain.

The former Rangers winger attempted to place the ball wide of the Scotland international No.1, but the custodian read the situation and managed to beat the effort to safety.

The Rugby Park chief added: “Given that chance again, he would have stuck it away.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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