The Dons' first clean sheet of the domestic campaign saw them to a point at Rugby Park on an afternoon when the conditions, and the impact they had on the pitch, made for a drab 90 minutes.
Following last Sunday's extra-time victory over Dundee in the League Cup, Derek McInnes made two changes to his starting line-up for the trip to Rugby Park and its newly laid artificial surface, the dimensions newly reduced too compared with their early season Europa League qualifier. In came Lewis Ferguson, celebrating his 20th birthday, and James Wilson, replacing Ryan Hedges and Niall McGinn who were both on the bench. Bruce Anderson was also included among the substitutes. For Kilmarnock, Hamalainen, Millar and Dicker replaced Taylor, Cameron and McKenzie from the side that earned a 1-0 extra-time win over Hamilton at Rugby Park in the League Cup last weekend.
Just five minutes in, Shay Logan needed treatment after falling awkwardly onto his left arm but he was able to resume, an early indication that the surface might be less than ideal for football under the hot sun.
Two minutes later, Sam Cogrove darted onto a short pass from Ferguson and with his second touch, tried a snapshot from a couple of yards inside the box that flashed just wide. On the quarter hour, Wilson created space for himself on the left edge of the box before firing in a dangerous looking shot, Branescu across well to his left to collect low down.
The Dons were much the more constructive of the sides in the early exchanges, Killie's first sight of goal coming in the 20th minute, a very speculative effort from Power from some 30 yards out, his first time shot flying high into the stand.
A blistering effort from distance by Jon Gallagher knocked Broadfoot clean off his feet when he got in the way of it in the 22nd minute, the defender taking a real whack, taking a few moments to clear his head before he carried on.
Kilmarnock started to piece things together and in the 27th minute, they created space for Millar to cross, Joe Lewis up to collect. Immediately afterwards, Scott McKenna went down under no pressure and was instantly replaced by Zak Vyner, slotting in at right centre-half, Andy Considine moving over to the left.
El Makrini was the first man into the book, late on Ferguson on the half hour, as the game struggled to get going under the Ayrshire sun. Shortly afterwards, Vyner advanced into Kilmarnock territory before spearing a long ball forward, just a shade too far ahead of Cosgrove.
Great defending from Greg Leigh denied Brophy a real goalscoring chance after Millar was set on his way by Dicker, playing a dangerous ball in that the left-back did well to come across and snuff out in the 33rd minute. Signs though that the hosts were growing into the game a little more and looking to do more than simply frustrate Aberdeen by blocking up the reduced space on the park. Killie were then forced into their first change in the 36th minute, Broadfoot, still suffering from the effects of Gallagher's shot, making way for Bruce.
Funso Ojo had a pot shot at goal in the 39th minute, some 25 yards out, the sting taken out of it by a half block by a defender, meaning Branescu had a comfortable save to make. Two minutes later, Power conceded a free-kick 25 yards from goal, just left of the D. Ferguson stepped up and whipped it over the wall but the ball arced wide.
Shortly afterwards, Wilson was flattened to give the Dons a free-kick from the same distance, but on the other side of the D this time. Wilson tried a low, skidder with the left foot but it went straight at Branescu who handled the ball securely.
Into added time, Burke and O'Donnell played a clever one-two that put Burke into space, his 20 yarder easy meat for Lewis, bringing a pretty tepid first half to a close.
HALF-TIME: Kilmarnock 0 Aberdeen 0
There was a bright start to the second half, a good run down the right from Wilson forcing Bruce to deal well with his cross. In the 50th minute, a slip by Vyner let Brophy play Hamaleinen in but his shot from 16 yards was always swerving wide of goal, a good opportunity for the hosts.
Two minutes later, a half cleared free-kick fell to Millar on the edge of the box, his rasping drive always rising over the bar. Aberdeen swiftly responded, good work by Craig Bryson robbing El Makrini, Ferguson setting Wilson on the run, his right foot effort from a tight angle saved easily at the near post.
A minor scuffle broke out on halfway in the 61st minute after a coming together between Ferguson and Power, Ferguson collecting a yellow card on his birthday, Burke booked for dissent in the aftermath.
Connor McLennan, so influential at Dens last week, joined the action in the 70th minute, replacing Wilson on the right. Kilmarnock should have been in front a minute later, a great ball from Dicker bisecting the defence, Burke making a great run into the box but after rounding Lewis, he screwed his shot wide. Immediately, McKenzie replaced Millar for the home side, Niall McGinn then coming on for Bryson in Derek McInnes' final change.
Kilmarnock, having started the game with quite defensive mindset, were slowly growing in stature at this point, Power firing a 30 yard effort across goal and just wide of the post.
Into the last five minutes of a disappointing game and Kilmarnock made their third change, Brophy making way from Thomas who was their matchwinner in the cup-tie last weekend. The Dons finally fashioned some kind of chance in the 87th minute, McLennan setting McGinn up to cross, just too high for Cosgrove who had to stretch for his header and got no direction on it.
Bruce collected a booking for clipping Cosgrove late in the 89th minute some 35 yards out. McGinn dinked the ball in but again, in an afternoon of poor set plays at either end, it came to nothing.
As we entered the three minutes of time added on, McLennan went gliding past three defenders, his shot deflected behind for a corner which again came to nothing. Late in the game a McGinn free kick appeared to strike the hand of Stuart Findlay but referee Alan Muir waved play on and that was it.
A first point of the season will have pleased Kilmarnock while the Dons will be happy with the clean sheet after losing McKenna so early. But on an afternoon when the sticky surface meant that slicking the ball around was like pushing treacle up hill, it was probably the pitch that won.