Kilmarnock moved into the top six of the Ladbrokes Premiership with a deserved 2-1 victory over Livingston.
Goals either side of half-time from captain Gary Dicker and Rory McKenzie did the damage as Angelo Alessio’s side withstood a late Lee Miller consolation to record their fourth league win in six matches.
The Ayrshire side move up to fifth with the victory, while Livingston drop down a place to seventh.
There was not much between the teams in a largely dull first-half. Gary Holt’s visitors were full of confidence after a recent 2-0 success over Celtic but they could only fashion one half chance as winger Steven Lawless fired into the side netting.
Kilmarnock were equally wasteful in possession until Dicker led the way with a cool side-footed finish six minutes before the interval.
The ball arrived at the Irishman in acres of space after Chris Burke’s free-kick had evaded everybody in the six-yard box with Dicker finishing confidently – showing no signs that it was his first goal since January 2017.
That goal gave Killie and their vocal support a real boost and they soon doubled their advantage through McKenzie in the 55th minute.
The winger had to wait for the ball to drop inside the Livingston box before his left-footed volley was deflected into the net by Marvin Bartley.
The Livi midfielder had a couple of shots at redemption minutes later. First, his low volley was palmed away by Laurentiu Branescu and then from the resulting throw-in, he glanced a backwards header off the underside of the crossbar.
Eamonn Brophy and Dario Del Fabro had efforts for the hosts, while Lyndon Dykes fired a dipping strike just over Branescu’s goal.
The visitors threw Miller on with a view of salvaging something from the game and he soon played a big part as they halved the deficit.
Nicky Devlin’s neat cross was directed towards goal by the forward before a deflection turned the ball into the net.
Livingston failed to create anything substantial in a nervy last five minutes and were perhaps fortunate not to lose the game by a bigger margin after Liam Millar dragged a precious late chance wide of the post for Kilmarnock.
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