LATE-GOAL specialist Stuart Findlay struck again in stoppage-time to give Kilmarnock a 2-1 comeback triumph over Welsh minnows Connah’s Quay Nomads in their opening Europa League qualifier.
New boss Angelo Alessio watched his side concede an own goal from Greg Taylor in a dramatic encounter in Rhyl before hitting back to level the tie with an Eamonn Brophy penalty-kick.
The game was heading for stalemate before former Celtic and Newcastle central defender Findlay nodded in a corner-kick for the clincher in the Rugby Park side’s first European encounter in 17 years.
The youngster also claimed crucial last-gasp counters against the Hoops and Hearts in the previous campaign as the club set a record points total and sealed third spot.
Findlay, speaking to Killie TV, said: “It would have been very easy for us at 1-0 to say: ‘It is a bad night at the office’ and take it back, but I think we’ve taken what he had last season into this one, which is unbelievable resilience.
“We’ll be the first to admit we didn’t play our best football, but it is our first European tie, the first one for nearly 20 years so it’s a victory and it’s all we could have asked for.
“The goal they got was probably a picture-perfect representation of the way the game went. The amount of late goals we scored last season, this team never knows when it is beaten.”
SCOTTISH clubs are in line for a European cash bonanza – if they can progress in the continental competitions.
Celtic can bank £13million by reaching the group stages of the Champions League and there would be a further £2.4 million on offer for each win and every draw being rewarded with £800,000.
UEFA have announced that clubs will be given £8.5 million for reaching the last 16 of the two European competitions, while reaching the quarter-finals will result in a further £9.5 million.
Even if the Hoops do not reach the group stages of the elite competition, they will pick up £4.5 million if they can reach the final play-off round before the group stages.
Rangers, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock – who are all competing in this season’s Europa League – will be rewarded with £2.6 million, should they reach the group stages.
Once there, clubs are given £512,000 for each win and £170,000 per draw.
Additionally, each group winner will be awarded £900,000, with the runners-up getting £450,000.
Teams competing in the last 32 of the Europa League will be given £450,000 and should a team reach the last 16, they can expect a further £989,000.