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AFC - Match Report
match report 2005-06 fixture list
Aberdeen 1 - 2 Kilmarnock
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Anderson 34.       Johnston (1), Naismith (73)  
Attendance: 13,661 (Visitors: 247)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Dons Pittodrie opener fails to produce first win.
The red army turned out in numbers today but left the stadium wondering what all the hype was about. Aberdeen were very poor, especially in the second half, and with Rangers and Hearts next up they will have to show a big improvement if they are to kick start their campaign in the next two weeks. Sloppy defending contributed to their downfall and when Diamond was short with a pass back inside 30 seconds Johnston was quick to punish. Anderson levelled in 34 minutes and it looked as if the Dons might go on and win, but a poor second half display and ball over the top that Naismith finished, ensured the points went south.

Aberdeen made the worst possible start when they conceded a goal within the opening 30 seconds. Zander Diamond was far too short with a pass back allowing Johnston to nip in and steer the ball past an exposed Ryan Esson. The Dons hit back wining a corner a minute later. From the set play the ball was only half cleared allowing Winter to return the ball back into the danger area where Anderson steered a header inches wide. Despite the early loss Aberdeen were moving the ball about well and Steve Lovell was making some intelligent runs up front although they did look rather nervous at the back.

Naismith was spoken to by referee Fyfe for a late challenge on Diamond in the 13th minute, but the young defender was able to continue after some treatment. Two minutes later Lovell won a free kick on the edge of the box and the ball was rolled into the path of Chris Clark who hit a powerful drive from 30 yards that was beaten away by Alan Combe in the Killie goal. Another free kick on the 20th minute saw Severin firing an effort into the Killie wall as Aberdeen tried to increase the pressure.

Four minutes later Lovell was released through the middle but was outnumbered by defenders before he could pull the trigger. The Dons were now laying siege to the visitor's goal but the Killie defence were holding firm and looking strong at this stage. Kilmarnock were not completely out of it in an attacking sense and they fired a warning shot in the 29th minute when Fowler went close with a long range effort. Play then raged to the other end and Smith fired in a powerful effort just wide after cleverly turning his defender. Naismith then became the first player to be booked as persistent fouling eventually caught up with him.

Aberdeen eventually grabbed the equaliser in the 34th minute after Smith won a corner when another fine effort was blocked. Dempsey swung the corner over and Diamond won the challenge in front of Combe before the loose ball fell to Anderson who wasted no time in firing it into the net. A minute later McNaughton was booked for his first offence of the match before Aberdeen carved out another chance in the 37th minute that should have resulted in goal number two. Nicholson swung over a dangerous cross from the right but somehow Dempsey failed to steer the ball into the net allowing Killie to clear. Two minutes later the impressive Smith hit another great shot that forced Combe into a spectacular one handed save to deny the Dons a half time lead.

The Dons went close again in the 50th minute when McNaughton fired over a cross from the left and Nicholson steered it into the arms of Combe. Seconds later the keeper made another fine save to deny Lovell a debut goal. At this stage Aberdeen appeared to lose all momentum and the visitors eased themselves into the match. In the 64th minute Kilmarnock won their first corner of the match and Johnston fired over with a fierce shot from distance. Aberdeen almost conceded another crazy goal three minutes later when Severin was caught in possession allowing Boyd to break into the box. Fortunately the striker pulled the effort inches wide of the target.

With the match turning stale both managers decided to make changes. Craig and Muirhead replaced Lovell and Winter while Nish replaced Kris Boyd. Within seconds Severin almost redeemed himself for his earlier faux pas when he steered a Dempsey corner wide of the target. Aberdeen then lost a second poor goal when a long ball over the top from Johnston found Naismith in the clear and he ran in on goal and beat Ryan Esson. Aberdeen then introduced Stewart for Dempsey, but the Dons appeared to lack any cutting edge. They went close in the 83rd minute when a Clark cross was fired across goal but was missed by everyone. Seconds later there was a strong penalty claim ignored by the referee.

A Severin free kick was then headed over for a corner then Nicholson failed to convert a Stewart cross as Aberdeen pushed to level. Despite a late bombardment of the Killie goal it was too little too late and the match was summed up in the final minute when McNaughton fired an effort well over the bar. The second half was a complete let down for the Dons fans and in truth the team didn't deserve to take anything from this match. They will need to show a massive improvement in the weeks to come if they are to repeat the form of last season.

Match Stats:

Dons Killie
Goal Attempts 8 7
On Target 4 3
Corners 9 2
Possession 53% 47%

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Esson, Diamond, Severin, Anderson, McNaughton, Dempsey (Stewart 76), Nicholson, Winter (Muirhead 68), Lovell (Craig 68), Smith, Clark.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  McNaughton (35).

Kilmarnock Teamsheet:  Combe, Fowler, Hay, Lilley, Greer, Ford, McDonald, Locke, Boyd, Johnston, Naismith.

Unused Subs: Nish for Boyd (68), Di Giacomo for Naismith (76), Dodds for Lilley (82)

Bookings:  Naismith (31)

Referee: Ian Fyfe, Linlithgow

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