MARTIN MCMILLAN at RUGBY PARK Neil Lennon marked his return to Scotland last night with a friendly win at Kilmarnock as Grant Holt scored a hat-trick of penalties.

The former Celtic captain left Parkhead for the two-times European Cup winners in the summer after clinching his fifth Scottish Premier League medal, ironically at Rugby Park.

Lennon was booed from his first touch by the Killie fans and was baited thereafter. It was probably the most fun the home support had on a unique night when their side conceded three penalties.

Lennon, playing in his familiar holding midfield role, was his usual demonstrative self and unsurprisingly found himself in the book in the second half after complaining once too often to the referee.

Three Holt penalties, two conceded by Frazer Wright and one by David Lilley, had given the English side a comfortable 3-0 lead by the 51th minute before Colin Nish pulled a goal back for the Ayrshire side.

The match may have gone in a different direction if Killie striker Nish had scored with a wonderful fifth-minute chance.

Midfielder Allan Johnston's perfectly-weighted through-ball put the lanky striker clean through on goal but he hesi- tated before slamming an unconvincing shot from 12 yards straight at the legs of Forest goalkeeper Paul Smith.

The game refused to splutter out of first gear but in the 15th minute Scott Dobie tried his luck from 25 yards with a powerful right-footed drive which Killie keeper Alan Combe did well to clutch out of the air.

Two minutes later Kilmarnock conceded their first spot-kick of the night when Wright hauled down Holt inside the box, the Forest striker picking himself up to drive his penalty into the roof of the net.

Eight minutes before the break another clumsy chal-lenge by Wright on Holt just on the byline inside the penalty area allowed the Forest man to double his tally, this time sending Combe the wrong way with his spot-kick.

Holt grabbed his hat trick courtesy of yet another penalty six minutes after the break, after Lilley pulled down Forest midfielder Kris Commons.

In the 61st minute, as the game became increasingly niggly, Nish made up for his earlier error when he worked a neat 1-2 with Johnston before slotting the ball past Smith and in to the corner of the net.

As the substitution count mounted, the game petered out with the English side firmly in control and Lennon, in familiar style, snarling all over the pitch.

Scorers: Kilmarnock - Nish (61); Nottingham Forest - Holt (17, 37, 51 all pens)