Kyle Lafferty at the double as Kilmarnock stretch lead against Partick

Northern Ireland v USA – International Friendly – Windsor Park
(Image credit: Liam McBurney)

Kyle Lafferty struck twice as Kilmarnock extended their lead at the top of the cinch Championship with a 2-1 win over Partick Thistle at Rugby Park.

Partick, who had lost their last three matches, made a bright start with Juan Alegria’s shot going just wide.

Killie – chasing fourth straight league victory – broke the deadlock in the 21st minute.

Lafferty, who recovered after needing treatment for an earlier injury, was tugged back on the edge of the penalty area.

The Northern Ireland forward then composed himself before curling a fine free-kick past Thistle keeper Jamie Sneddon.

Partick went close to an equaliser just before half-time when Alegria’s header at the back post from a corner was narrowly off target.

Lafferty doubled Kilmarnock’s lead shortly after the second half had kicked off when he latched on to a through ball from Rory McKenzie.

It was almost 3-0 on the hour mark when Killie defender Ash Taylor saw his header come back off the crossbar.

Thistle pulled a goal back with four minutes left through Ross Docherty following a corner, but there was no more late drama.

Killie move four points clear of Arbroath, who were held to a 3-3 draw at home against Raith.

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