Kilmarnock and Rangers battled their way to a hard earned point in the SPFL Development League on Wednesday night at Rugby Park. Kilmarnock fielded two experienced pros in Lee Miller and Paul Cairney, and their influence helped a young Killie side settle early on.
A win would have seen the home side go level with the men from Auchenhowie, and Killie started the game far brighter. Some nice interchange between Lee Miller and Greg Kiltie within the first ten minutes led to the Scotland Under 19's regular clipping the crossbar with a shot from outside the area.
The opener would come soon enough though, and it was the exceptional Kiltie that got it. Cairney slipped a slide-rule pass through the Rangers defence, Kiltie outpaced Greg Pascazio before rounding ‘keeper Liam Kelly and knocking into an empty net.
Kilmarnock could have doubled their lead soon after, but Lee Miller saw his free header nestle on the roof of the net after a delightful cross from Scott McLean on the right wing.
Greg Kiltie had a chance to double his and the home side’s tally on the half hour mark, but after another excellent through ball from Paul Cairney he could only knock his effort wide of the post.
Rangers started to impose their physicality on the home side, and could have soon equalised. Calum Gallagher found Robbie Crawford in space, who then watched as his accurate shot was heroically cleared off the line by Killie defender David Syme.
The best piece of play of the evening came on the 37th minute, with Kilmarnock pressing for a second goal. Lee Miller played a cute through-ball to Greg Taylor, who turned and found Kiltie in space down the left wing. Kiltie’s cross to the back-post was nodded down by Dean Hawkshaw and Miller, who started the move, saw his half volley well saved by Kelly in the Rangers goal.