Shiels baffled by early dismissal

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels had a degree of sympathy for Queen of the South after they were reduced to 10 men after only two minutes of their Scottish Cup tie.

Following the dismissal of his own player Pascal Manuel last week under almost identical circumstances, Shiels took no delight in Stephen McKenna's early exit as his side went on to complete a 2-1 win.

The Killie boss said: "The Football Association must have changed the rules on tackling and I am trying to figure out what they are. I couldn't see anything wrong with the tackle and I would be very disappointed if I was with Queen of the South."

He continued: "It made it more difficult for us as it gave us more space and time on the ball, almost a reversal of last week when Pascal Manuel was sent off for a similar kind of challenge. The boys kept the ball well but we had a lack of penetration as we had too many options.

"I am delighted though to get through and thought it was well deserved. We started last season's league cup run with a victory over Queen so who knows where we can go from here."

It was a frustrating return to Rugby Park for former Killie hero Allan Johnston, who understandably felt that the dismissal of McKenna handed his former club a huge advantage.

"It was very frustrating," said Johnston. "It is a hard job for referees but it just looked like a strong tackle to me. I didn't think it was a two-footed tackle and he has won the ball with one foot and maybe caught the player with the other."

The Queen boss was delighted with his players' attitude after that early setback, particularly as they pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages of the game.

Johnston praised his players saying: "To play against a top SPL side like Kilmarnock, we didn't want them to pass the ball through us as they did last season and I thought we stopped them them doing that in the middle of the park.

"The goals we lost were frustrating - the first from a corner, which is not like us, and the second a counter-attack. But I thought the boys gained a lot from the game as it was a challenge to see if we could play against an SPL side and match them."