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Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Hearts vs Kilmarnock. Scottish Premiership.


Hearts 1

  • K Vargas (10th minute)

Kilmarnock 1

  • M Watkins (67th minute)

Hearts 1-1 Kilmarnock: Marley Watkins late equaliser secures top-six finish for Killie

Match report and free highlights as Kilmarnock draw 1-1 with Hearts at Tynecastle Park; Kenneth Vargas fired the hosts ahead; Marley Watkins scored late to guarantee a place in the top six for Kilmarnock

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Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Hearts and Kilmarnock

Marley Watkins scored a stunning second-half equaliser as Kilmarnock guaranteed their place in the top six of the Premiership with a 1-1 draw away to Hearts.

The hosts seized the initiative early on when Kenneth Vargas nodded home the opener at the end of a week in which it was confirmed that the Costa Rica forward - initially signed on loan - had agreed a five-year contract with the Tynecastle club.

However, Killie hit back for a point in an entertaining match that could have gone either way.

The result ensured the fourth-placed Ayrshire side - who remain 11 points behind third-placed Hearts - cannot be overtaken by seventh-placed Hibernian before the league splits next month.

Killie join Hearts in top-six

The visitors had the first notable attempt in the fifth minute when Watkins headed Matty Kennedy's cross straight at Zander Clark.

Two minutes later the Hearts keeper had to race back to his line and tip over a speculative Liam Polworth effort from close to the half-way line.

From the resulting Killie corner, Vargas burst upfield from the edge of his own box and slipped the ball into the path of Grant, whose stinging strike from 25 yards out was pushed behind by Will Dennis.

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The Jambos took the lead in the 10th minute when Vargas nodded in from a couple of yards out after Lawrence Shankland got on the end of Alex Cochrane's delivery from the left and clipped the ball back into the danger area from the right edge of the six-yard box.

Hearts' Kenneth Vargas opened the scoring
Image: Hearts' Kenneth Vargas opened the scoring

Hearts had a good chance to double their advantage two minutes later but Grant shot tamely at Dennis after being picked out by Shankland cutback.

Killie threatened an equaliser in the 27th minute when Stuart Findlay glanced a header just wide from Kennedy's free-kick into the box.

At the other end, Shankland tested Dennis with a low strike from edge of the box on the half-hour.

Killie finished the half strongly, with Joe Wright powering a header over the bar before Watkins saw a header brilliantly clawed out by Clark.

Kilmarnock's Marley Watkins celebrates after scoring to make it 1-1
Image: Kilmarnock's Marley Watkins celebrates after scoring to make it 1-1

Hearts started the second period on top and Vargas went close to a second in the 50th minute when his shot from 20 yards out was pushed behind by Dennis.

But just as the Jambos were starting to look reasonably comfortable, Killie equalised in the 67th minute as Watkins arced a stunning strike high beyond Clark and into the net from just outside the box.

What the managers said

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes: "I'm very much a happy man, to do it with two games to spare is testament to so much good work within the club, particularly from the players, the staff, the board.

"The club was in a poor place three years ago, we came in just over two years ago as a Championship team and managed to get out at the first attempt.

"This time last year we were still punching, fighting and scrapping to try and make sure we stayed in the league. A lot of changes in the summer and we've managed to deliver a top-six finish, which is terrific."

Hearts boss Steven Naismith: "After the international break, another game has gone by and the teams below us haven't gained any ground on us. That's a positive.

"On the back of a defeat [at Ross County], the biggest thing is that you get some sort of points in the next game and we have done that.

"For me, the hardest games to deal with are the ones after the international breaks. It's really difficult because four or five of our players didn't get back into training until Friday.

"We started the game well, asked the question and got on the front foot, and then we get the goal at a good time. But then in those wee moments when we did break through, we just didn't have that sharpness.

"We knew it was going to be a battle and a fight, Kilmarnock are really good at what they do. They are direct and the one time we don't set up properly they get their goal. It's a brilliant finish from Marley, who is having a really good season."

What's next?

Hearts head to St Mirren next Saturday, while Kilmarnock host Ross County.

Both games kick-off at 3pm.

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