Football: McCoist back in business

Kilmarnock 3 Heart of Midlothian 0
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Kilmarnock 3 Heart of Midlothian 0

THERE'S LIFE in the old dog yet. Ally McCoist proved he still has goals in those golden boots of his and, even as a Kilmarnock player, he is still helping the Rangers cause. His goals deprived Hearts of the chance to move above Rangers at the top of the league though, realistically, Hearts deserved nothing from their poorest performance for some time.

Perhaps the rigours of a European tie on Thursday took a toll, but Jim Jefferies' side were ponderous throughout, while Kilmarnock were fluent and inventive. Their midfield, run by Ian Durrant and Alan Mahood, exerted a stranglehold most of the game and provided the platform from which McCoist scored his hat-trick.

His first goal came in the eighth minute. A through ball to Jerome Vareille resulted in a cross from the right which found McCoist ahead of his marker to shoot the ball into the net. Four minutes later he should have made it two when he dispossessed David Weir, but his final shot was well saved by Gilles Rousset.

With 15 minutes gone McCoist conjured yet another chance when a curling left-foot shot from 20 yards was pushed away by the flying goalkeeper. In the whole of the first half, Hearts failed to make a genuine chance and they fell further behind in the second when Dylan Kerr threaded a fine pass to McCoist, whose left-foot shot went in off Rousset to the delight of the large Kilmarnock support.

Only then did Hearts show some urgency but the closest they came was a shot by Jose Quitongo into the side net. Kilmarnock should have added a third in the 72nd minute when Vareille beat the offside trap, but, as the Frenchman attempted to take the ball round the goalkeeper, Rousset stuck out an arm to save.

The visitors then had their best spell of the game, but failed to make much of an impression on the Kilmarnock defence and, with four minutes to go, the Ibrox double act was in action again as Durrant delayed his pass until McCoist had made ground on the left and the striker's shot was destined for just one place.

Goals: McCoist (8) 1-0; McCoist (61) 2-0; McCoist (86) 3-0.

Kilmarnock: (4-3-3): Marshall; MacPherson, McGeowne, Montgomerie, Kerr; Holt (Mitchell, 81), Durrant, Mahood; Vareille (Burke, 86), McCoist (Bagan, 86), Wright. Substitutes not used: Baker, Meldrum (gk).

Hearts: (4-4-2): Rousset; Pressley, Weir, Ritchie, McKinnon (Makel, h- t); Flogel, Locke, Fulton, McCann; Adam (Holmes, 60), Hamilton (Quitongo, h-t). Substitutes not used: McKenzie, Horn.

Bookings: Kilmarnock: Mahood. Hearts: Fulton, Hamilton.

Referee: W Young (Clarkston).

Man of the match: McCoist.

Attendance: 10,376.