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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 21:50 GMT
Kilmarnock 3-0 Falkirk
By Clive Lindsay

Steven Naismith (left) celebrates his hat-trick for Kilmarnock
Steven Naismith (left) scored a hat-trick for Kilmarnock
Steven Naismith grabbed a hat-trick as Kilmarnock moved into the final of the CIS Insurance Cup with a comprehensive defeat of SPL rivals Falkirk.

Naismith's finishing was the difference between the sides in a scrappy affair.

The striker gathered a Colin Nish flick before driving home the opener under the body of keeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Keeper Alan Combe denied Alan Gow before Naismith fired his second from 25 yards and added the third from the spot after being felled by Darren Barr.

Falkirk head coach John Hughes had altered his side's shape as he attempted to avoid a fourth straight defeat to Kilmarnock this season.

New signing Carl Finnigan was given his first start up front, while Kenny Milne returned to the defence after Saturday's 2-0 defeat by their rivals at Fir Park in the Scottish Premier League.

Veteran Killie midfielder Allan Johnston returned from injury and was a straight switch for Garry Hay, who failed a late fitness test.

Perhaps it was that late switch, or the 15-minute delay after roadworks forced the delay of a number of fans, that led to Killie's slow start.

Jack Ross met a Russell Latapy free-kick at the back post, but Combe held the defender's firm header.

And Bairns midfielder Vitor Lima was inches away from opening the scoring with a low drive from the edge of the box that slipped just wide of the far post.

Nish sent Naismith clear at the other end, but Schmeichel held on to the Scotland Under-21 striker's fierce strike.

And, as Killie edged into the game, the pair combined again for the opener after 30 minutes.

Nish's head flick from a Frazer Wright clearance allowed Naismith to drive the ball low under the goalkeeper from 14 yards.

Jim Jefferies congratulates Steven Naismith
Jim Jefferies was delighted to beat his former club

Killie lost defender Momo Sylla to injury moments later, with Grant Murray his replacement.

And Jim Jefferies' defence were immediately under pressure but survived strong claims for a free-kick on the edge of the box when Finnigan clashed with Wright.

Gow had a half-hearted drive at Combe as Falkirk pressed after the break.

Ross set up Finnigan, but Combe saved well with from the 12-yard drive.

Combe's save was matched at the other end when another Nish flick set up Naismith, but Schmeichel palmed the ball wide.

However, Schmeichel's slight hesitation in coming out of his box allowed Naismith to gather a long ball out of defence by Simon Ford.

And the striker fired the ball into the far top corner, despite a slight touch by the goalkeeper, for his own and Killie's second goal of the game.

Naismith made sure that Killie would reach the final when he was tugged down by Barr in the penalty box after a mazy run and blasted the ball into the net from the spot.


Kilmarnock: Combe, Syila (Murray 34), Greer, Ford, Frazer Wright, Quinn (Wales 81), Johnston (Locke 84), Fowler, Leven, Nish, Naismith.
Subs Not Used: Smith, Dodds.

Booked: Greer, Johnston, Frazer Wright.

Goals: Naismith 30, 71, 78 pen.

Falkirk: Schmeichel, Ross (Moutinho 74), Barr, Uras, Milne, Lima, Cregg, Latapy, Craig (O'Donnell 68), Finnigan, Gow.
Subs Not Used: Lambers, Holden, Thomson.

Booked: Milne, Cregg.

Att: 10,722

Ref: K Clarke

SEE ALSO
Hero Naismith hails partner Nish
30 Jan 07 |  Kilmarnock
Hughes consoles his beaten side
30 Jan 07 |  Falkirk


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