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Saturday, 21 December, 2002, 16:53 GMT
Killie edge out Hibs
McSwegan hit his third goal of the season
Gary McSwegan fired Kilmarnock in front
Kilmarnock 2-1 Hibernian

Kilmarnock claimed maximum points against Hibernian at Rugby Park with a former Hearts duo doing the damage.

Gary McSwegan and Stevie Fulton were on target for the home side with the latter hitting the winner in the closing stages.

Hibs contributed little to the afternoon's entertainment until they conceded the opening goal midway through the second half but drew level through substitute Paco Luna.

It has been a good December for Kille, with two wins and a draw and both sides are now level on points in the league table with 29 points from 21 games.

Neither goalkeeper was meanigfully involved in the opening half hour with both defences coping comfortably and an obvious lack of creativity among the game's attackers.

Alan Mahood challenges Ian Murray
Alan Mahood challenges Ian Murray
Kilmarnock looked marginally more menacing than the visitors but fell foul of a well-organised offside trap on several occasions.

The home support were out of their seats on the 32nd minute when good work on the left flank from Peter Canero saw the youngster find the head of McSwegan eight yards out.

However, the former Hearts striker crashed his powerful header into the turf and the ball bounced onto the Hibs crossbar and was scrambled away to safety.

Killie finished the first half strongly and Hibs keeper Nick Colgan did well to save a diving header from Andy McLaren.

Hibs seldom threatened and when they did Sean Dillon was on hand to block a close range shot from Tam McManus.

Craig Dargo was not far away from a flashing cross from McLaren after a slip from Hibs defender Yannick Zambernardi had allowed the home side to break.

The second half began with Killie again enjoying the ascendancy, but with little to trouble the goalkeepers.

McLaren went close after a good solo run had left the Hibs defence in his wake.

But the Ayrshire side's greater urgency was rewarded after 63 minutes when McSwegan crashed home a sweet volley from 16 yards after being set up by Dargo.

Paco Luna headed Hibs level after 83 minutes
Paco Luna headed Hibs level
Hibs' response was immediate and skipper John O'Neil turned a shot inches wide of the post following a goalmouth scramble from a corner kick.

O'Neil was then guilty of a glaring miss when he slid a side foot shot the wrong side of the target after the home side's defence had been carved open by a slick attacking move.

With seven minutes remaining, Hibs drew level when Luna rose impressively to power home a header via the underside of the bar, following a deep cross from Craig James.

James Fowler wasted a great chance to put Killie back in front when he was one-on-one with Colgan and shot straight at the Irish keeper.

Kilmarnock hit back in the 88th minute when Fulton controlled the ball on his chest near the penalty spot and scuffed a volley past the diving Colgan.

Kilmarnock: Marshall, Fowler, Innes, Shields, Dillon, Canero, Mahood, Fulton, McLaren (Boyd 83), Dargo (Mitchell 81), McSwegan (Hay 90).
Subs Not Used: Meldrum, Murray.

Booked: Innes, Fulton.

Hibernian: Colgan, Smith, Zambernardi, Fenwick, Orman (Townsley 62), Wiss, Murray, O'Neil (Brebner 81), James, Paatelainen, McManus (Luna 72).
Subs Not Used: Caig, Jack.

Booked: Paatelainen.

Attendance: 5,814
Referee: Hugh Dallas

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's John Barnes
"Kilmarnock unbeaten in four games"
Killie manager Jim Jefferies
"It was deserved"
Hibs manager Bobby Williamson
"It was a poor performance"
The SPL season gets under way

Weekend games

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