Motherwell gave their chances of avoiding relegation a boost as Lee Erwin scored his second goal of the season at Rugby Park.
There was one change to the side who demolished Hamilton Accies before the international break with Conor Grant replacing Marvin Johnson as ’Well boss Ian Baraclough now appears to have a found a fairly settled line-up.
It appeared the week off had done nothing to damage ’Well’s momentum as only a timely deflection from Lee Ashcroft prevented Scott McDonald opening the scoring.
However, with the home side started to dominate, David Syme’s shot from the edge of the post whistled past and then George Long had to beat away Josh Magennis’s effort.
However on 18 minutes they did take the lead as Long flapped at Paul Cairney free kick and SYME headed in.
This seemed to jerk ’Well back into life and Erwin showed good skill to get away from Syme but on the half volley blasted well wide.
Then Stephen Pearson laid the ball off to Lionel Ainsworth, but his low drive was gathered by Craig Samson.
Stephen McManus did have the ball in the net from a Grant corner, but it was ruled out by referee Euan Anderson for no obvious reason, although there was little protest from the former Scotland defender.
On 38 minutes the equaliser came as Ainsworth’s low drive appeared off target, but PEARSON was on hand to redirect the ball into the net for his first goal since returning to ’Well.
The second half seemed like an endless procession towards the Killie goal as the away side hunted a winner.
Samson did brilliantly to tip McDonald’s thunderbolt onto the bar and over.
A loose ball enabled Erwin to break, he cut inside Ross Barbour and, despite McDonald and substitute John Sutton screaming for a pass, elected to shoot but could not find the target.
Samson denied Ainsworth and McDonald as it seemed like he wouldn’t be beaten, but on 77 minutes the winner finally came.
ERWIN picked the ball up from McDonald, beat two men and drilled the ball low into the net for his first goal since the opening day of the season.
Kilmarnock: Samson, Barbour, Miller (Eccleston 69), Johnston (Eremenko 80), Cairney (Kiltie 80), Obadeyi, Westlake, O’Hara, Magennis, Ashcroft, Syme. Subs not used: Brennan, McKenzie, Clingan, Smith.
Motherwell: Long, Law, McManus, Laing, Straker, Lasley, Lasley, Pearson, Ainsworth (Carswell 82), Grant (Sutton 57), Erwin (Ramsden 90), McDonald. Subs not used: Twardzik, Kerr, N Thomas, D Thomas.
Referee: Euan Anderson.