Hearts 0-4 Kilmarnock: Match Report
Hearts 0-4 Kilmarnock: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Kris-mas joy for Boyd up Killie
Kris Boyd scored twice as Kilmarnock ran out 4-0 winners at Scottish Premiership basement side Hearts.
The striker's brace sandwiched a superb Chris Johnston effort, although Boyd would have been disappointed that he did not leave with the match ball after missing two second-half chances to collect a hat-trick.
Rory McKenzie added a fourth in the 90th minute with another spectacular effort that flew in off the post.
The win was the visitors' sixth on the bounce at Tynecastle, and it lifted Allan Johnston's side 21 points clear of their Boxing Day opponents.
Players and supporters paid tribute to Jamie Skinner with a minute's applause before kick-off after the 13-year-old former Hearts youth player died on the pitch during a local amateur game on Sunday.
When the action got under way, it was Kilmarnock that made a bright start.
Following a sustained period of pressure inside the opening minute, the ball broke to Michael Gardyne inside the box but the midfielder's left-footed effort was blocked by Brad McKay.
Visiting striker Boyd then got a break of the ball off Danny Wilson and played it to Sean Clohessy. The former Southend right-back turned back on to his left foot but his effort inside the area was brilliantly blocked by the recovering Wilson.
Hearts struggled to get into any rhythm although Jamie Walker had a tame right-footed shot saved by Craig Samson.
It was no surprise that Kilmarnock broke the deadlock in the 13th minute when Boyd notched his 10th of the season. After his corner came back to him, Johnston whipped in an inviting left-footed cross and Boyd headed in at the far post.
Boyd had a chance to double the Ayrshire side's lead three minutes later but Jamie MacDonald pushed his close-range shot behind for a corner after the striker turned on to Jackson Irvine's pass.
Hearts could not get out of their own half and Killie midfielder McKenzie was also denied by MacDonald after the shot-stopper got down to his near post.
There was a brief hold up in play in the 21st minute when assistant referee Andy Tait injured his ankle and was replaced by fourth official Euan Anderson.
Kilmarnock added a second in the 40th minute with a wonderful effort from Johnston. The tricky winger cut in past David Smith and curled a right-footed drive from 25 yards into the MacDonald's top corner.
Hearts manager Gary Locke made a double change at the break with Billy King and Scott Robinson replacing Smith and Adam King. But it had little impact on the way the game was going and Boyd added the visitors' third in the 48th minute.
McKenzie's low pass into the box was left by Johnston and Boyd calmly slotted a left-footed effort into the net.
Boyd wasted a chance to claim his hat-trick in the 52nd minute when he lashed McKenzie's cut back over the bar from 12 yards. And from a similar distance moments later, the marksman lifted another effort over after doing well to create room past McKay.
Hearts, to their credit, did not throw in the towel but a lack of a cutting edge in the final third meant Kilmarnock goalkeeper Samson enjoyed a relatively quiet afternoon.
McKenzie added a fourth for the away team with literally the last kick off the game when his 20-yard effort flew in off the post.
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