Dunfermline recorded their third consecutive clean-sheet and found the killer instinct in front of goal to notch an impressive win against Covid-hit Killie
Now a point in their final group match against Clyde will secure top spot in tricky Group E.
After combining for both goals in Friday’s win over Falkirk, Dom Thomas and Euan Murray continued their prolific partnership for the Pars opener.
The impressive Thomas was fouled by Gary McKenzie at the byline before the 24-year old delivered a pinpoint cross for Murray to bullet a header at the back post beyond Colin Doyle.
Pars doubled their advantage on 73 minutes in almost identical fashion to the opener when Declan McManus crossed from the left corner for Fraser Murray to head into the bottom corner for his first goal for Dunfermline.
On-loan Hibs youngster Murray added gloss to the win and an excellent performance with a stunning 25 yard free-kick on 83 minutes.
Boss Stevie Crawford said: “I thought it was an attractive game of football in the first half but Kilmarnock defended well.
“We were patient and after we got the first goal we showed we had goals in the team.
“Some excellent deliveries and finishes proved to be the difference tonight.”
This fixture was in jeopardy after Kilmarnock’s whole squad had to isolate eleven days ago but they fielded a strong side with a mix of youth and experienced players.
Their starting line-up featured three 17 year-old debutants but they produced a resilient performance without ever truly testing Cameron Gill.
Nicke Kabamba spurned their best opportunity on the counter-attack when he ignored a simple pass to Steven Warnock with the youngster clear through on goal on 15 minutes.
Kilmarnock persevered all evening but their only dangerous outlet was DR Congo internationalist Kabamba. He almost got onto the end of Chris Burke’s cross on 40 minutes but Steven Whittaker showed all his experience to clear with a brilliant header.
The first half was an arduous watch as Kilmarnock looked happy to contain the visitors who started well with Kyle Turner sending a powerful effort wide on 8 minutes.
Moments later, the impressive McManus showed great skill to work space before curling a speculative effort wide of the post.
But goalmouth action was scarce and it wasn’t until the second period that Dunfermline’s added guile at the business end paid dividends with those three goals sealing a deserved win against Premiership opponents.
Crawford added: “We’ve got to take something from the Clyde game to go through but our performances have been very pleasing.
“We haven’t used the Betfred games to get minutes in the legs – we aren’t a club to do that.”