Aberdeen's slim chances of a top six finish finally ended this afternoon as the Dons stumbled to another defeat. A goal in either half gave the home side a deserved win as Jimmy Calderwood responded to the Falkirk result yesterday. With a huge battle taking place to avoid the drop Aberdeen could be in real danger of getting dragged into the dog fight as they will now have to face all of these clubs before the season ends. Mark McGhee must be bitterly disappointed with the lack of fight and now must pick up the pieces as they travel to Ibrox in midweek.
Kilmarnock kicked off in front of a poor crowd, but Aberdeen won the first corner in the opening minute and as Fyvie made a good delivery Grass rose and headed inches wide. Kilmarnock then had to make an enforced change as Wright lasted less than a minute and was replaced by Hamill. In the third minute Aberdeen continued their pressing, but play was halted when Duff was harshly penalised for a challenge on ex-Don Scott Severin. Aberdeen won a second corner kick in the 6th minute following good play from Paton. Bell could only punch the ball clear and as the bell fell to Kerr he hit a decent effort that went inches over.
Aluko then showed good skill in the 8th minute before Taouil halted his progress. At the other end a decent ball across the face of the goal caused a few flutters at the back for the Dons, but McGhee must have been happy with the start his team had made. Paton then had a sniff of goal, but delayed his finish allowing Ford to recover. Kilmarnock won their first corner of the match in the 12th minute, but Duff won the ball and headed clear. A couple of appeals for an Aberdeen corner were awarded to the home side as we awaited the first goal with 15 minutes on the clock.
Great play by Aluko and Paton produced a third corner in the 17th minute and Fyvie found Duff at the back post, but he failed to convert. Aluko went down with a face knock, but was able to continue following treatment. Kyle had half a chance in the 22nd minute when he collected a poor clearance from Foster, but fired well over. Aberdeen almost opened the scoring two minutes later as Paton and Fyvie combined well to set up Aluko, but Bell made a great instinctive save to deny the young Nigerian.
Just as Aberdeen looked to be in control Kilmarnock went ahead in the 25th minute when a poor Severin shot was turned into the net as Grassi took a swing at the ball and turned it past Langfield. Two minutes later Kyle was lucky to escape a caution or worse following a late lunge on Grassi. Incredibly no action was taken. The home side took confidence from their lucky break and Invincible should have done better on the half hour mark, but couldn't convert a Taouil cross at the back post. At the other end Paton got it all wrong as he tried to shoot from distance.
Three minutes later Russell should have done better when he failed to convert a Hamill delivery. The Dons were now starting to look ragged and the home side won a free kick in a dangerous area, but a poor delivery from Severin ended the danger. Seconds later Langfield was forced into action, but managed to claim the ball at the second attempt. Grassi then conceded another free kick in the 39th minute and once again Aberdeen were troubled by the high ball into the box as the home side threatened to double their advantage.
A good move from the Dons two minutes later looked promising, but there was no one available to finish the move. A late Aberdeen corner created another chance then deep into injury time Diamond went close when Clancy and Bell closed him down as he tried to convert a decent ball from Kerr. A final corner followed as Aberdeen finishing strongly, but they couldn't conjure up an equaliser. Kilmarnock were forced into a second substitution as Invincible limped off in the closing stages.
Paton became the first player to be booked in the 47th minute for a pull on Hammell and two minutes later Aluko looked lively as the Dons pushed for an early goal. Seconds later Kerr won a free kick wide right and once again Grassi was on the end of the delivery, but his header was booted clear. A minute later Paton spun and fired inches wide of the target as they put the home defence under pressure. Mulgrew then went into the referee's book for a poor challenge on Kyle in the 54th minute and a minute later Mackie replaced Duff.
A long throw from Severin caused problems in the 57th minute, but Langfield pulled off a good save to keep Aberdeen in the game. Mackie was then booked a minute after coming on the park as he was cautioned for his first infringement. Fyvie became the fourth Don to be booked for a challenge on Kyle and the prospect of Aberdeen finishing with eleven men was diminishing. In the 63rd minute good play from Paton and Foster produced another Dons corner but the ball was cleared off the line and as it was returned there were shouts for hand ball, but there was nothing doing. Mackie then had a chance, but was flagged offside.
Langfield had an easy save from Kyle in the 70th minute and two minutes later Marshall replaced Fraser Fyvie. Almost immediately Kilmarnock doubled their advantage when Russell got between Grassi and Mulgrew and as the defenders watched the ball Russell looped a header over Langfield and into the net as Aberdeen's slim chances of a top six finish finally evaporated. Mackie had a chance to pull one back in the 75th minute, but he failed to convert. The game then burst back into life in the 83rd minute with chances at both ends.
Grassi was beaten on the right and Taouil swung the ball across the goal and a Kyle header was booted clear by Mulgrew. At the other end Aluko released Mackie and a goal bound lob was tipped over the bar by the impressive Cammy Bell. In the final minute a lob from Kyle went wide of the target as Aberdeen looked a beaten side. Seconds later Langfield was forced to tip a Sammon effort over the bar. The corner came to nothing as did a late corner from the Dons as the miserable afternoon ended.