’Well unable to breach Killie in stalemate

Lionel Ainsworth was restored to the Motherwell line-up against Kilmarnock on Saturday (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
Lionel Ainsworth was restored to the Motherwell line-up against Kilmarnock on Saturday (Pic by Ian McFadyen)
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Motherwell played out a hard fought 0-0 Scottish Premiership home draw against Kilmarnock at Fir Park on Saturday.

Killie started the brighter side and Rory McKenzie had a second minute shot blocked by Stephen McManus.

James McFadden led Motherwell from the dugout for Saturday's draw against Kilmarnock (Pic by Alan Watson)

James McFadden led Motherwell from the dugout for Saturday's draw against Kilmarnock (Pic by Alan Watson)

And the visitors were inches away from taking a bizarre 11th minute lead when ’Well skipper Keith Lasley’s attempted clearance from in front of goal deflected just wide off Killie’s Steven Smith.

‘Well winger Lionel Ainsworth looked in the mood and had a dangerous cross cleared off the Kilmarnock line.

A Steelmen corner seconds later ended with Craig Clay shooting just off target.

McKenzie shot straight at Motherwell keeper Craig Samson before play raged to the other end and impressive youngster Ross MacLean linked superbly with Louis Moult before shooting just wide.

Motherwell had a penalty shout for handball turned down on 28 minutes when McManus’s shot struck Kilmarnock defender Luke Hendrie.

The afternoon of near misses continued when Souleymane Coulibaly’s left footed effort went just over after Jordan Jones’s cross from the left.

At the other end, Ben Heneghan headed an Ainsworth free-kick off target before ‘Well cut the Killie defence open twice in quick succession but MacLean shot weakly at MacDonald and Ainsworth fired a great chance just off target.

‘Well youngster MacLean limped off injured just two minutes into the second half to be replaced by Lee Lucas.

Richard Tait’s long free-kick dropped to Moult, whose 64th minute shot was blocked. And the same player then had another effort blocked by Boyd after Craig Clay’s fine through ball.

At the other end, Nathan Tyson had a low shot comfortably saved by Samson.

The Steelmen came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock on 81 minutes when McDonald shot just past after fine build-up play down the right wing by Tait and substitute Dom Thomas.

A cross by sub Jake Hastie preceded a Moult shot being blocked, before Thomas’s resultant corner saw the ball fall to McManus who shot over.

Although Motherwell would have been hoping to get three points on the board with a win, at least they didn’t lose any ground on the vast majority of sides in the league as three of the other four matches on Saturday also ended in draws.