HARKINS EYES STRONG FINISH
Kilmarnock's Gary Harkins was pleased to take another step toward securing a seventh-placed finish in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with a dramatic 4-3 win over Inverness.
The hosts took an early lead, but had to come from behind in the second half against 10 men as goals from James Fowler, Michael Nelson and a late Dean Shiels double earned them victory.
The win strengthened Killie's grip on seventh place ahead of Aberdeen.
Harkins said: "It was obviously good for the neutral to watch, and it was a good win for us. I thought we should have made it a bit more comfortable, but we fought well when they went down to 10 men.
"We started well and scored, but then lost a couple of bad goals again which made it hard for us. They went down to 10 men and the game opened up for us.
"I think we're doing what we need to do by getting three points, so hopefully we can do that in every game and finish in seventh.
"We wanted to finish in the top six, but winning a cup and finishing seventh would be not a bad second and would mean it's been a good season."
The midfielder again played up front, alongside Shiels, due to the club's current lack of available forwards.
Harkins said: "I'm not a striker so I'm just doing my best in a position that's not mine. You don't mind playing your part for the team, and if I'm the only one that can play up there, I'm happy to do it and to do my best up there."
Inverness manager Terry Butcher felt Jonny Hayes' sending-off early in the second half for a second yellow card, with his team 2-1 ahead, was a harsh decision.
The visitors led at half-time thanks to a Billy McKay double, his first coming after Greg Tansey had hit the bar, while Steve Williams netted their a third right on full-time to reduce the eventual deficit.
Butcher said: "We don't score an easy goal, we have to hit the post and do all kinds of things before we can score.
"Billy did really well for the two goals, and when we went forward I thought we always looked as though we were going to score, particularly in the second half.
"Losing a player like Jonny is obviously going to be difficult. We were 2-1 up at the time and in conceding territory to a team like Kilmarnock who pass it well and switch the play, they took full advantage of that.
"I think it was never a sending-off. There were a lot of challenges out there that didn't get yellow cards, but Jonny makes two challenges and gets yellow cards for each one.
"Even then, we still came back and wanted to get forward. I can't fault my players as I thought they were tremendous, absolutely brilliant.
"We've scored three goals away from home and come away with nothing in a game where I know for certain that if we'd kept 11 men on, we'd have won."
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