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Aberdeen 2 - 0 Kilmarnock

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Kilmarnock

Aberdeen scorers: Thornley 53, Thornley 97.

08/09/2001 | KO: 15:00

Thornley Double Seals The Points

After an uninspiring first half, the Dons took command of the match in the second period and a Thornley double sealed the three points. This result took the Dons up the SPL and within a point of Kilmarnock. The win came against a side of whom great things were expected this season and was another indicator of how the Dons could now be considered serious challengers for a top six, if not better, position. With slippery underfoot conditions it was a tentative start by both teams, with a first minute Kilmarnock corner being the only action of note. Aberdeen created a half chance in the seventh minute when Dadi won a free kick wide on the left. Thornley swung in the cross, but defender Phil McGuire couldn't quite get himself positioned for a shot. Aberdeen were getting frustrated by a disciplined back four that were using the offside trap to good effect.
Preece had to look sharp in the 13th minute when Fowler swung in a cross for Pizzo. The keeper was quick off his line and punched the ball clear. Mahood picked up the loose ball, but sent his chip well wide of the goals. Both sides were creating chances at this time, but the final ball was never quite good enough. Kilmarnock won their second corner in the 20th minute and almost broke the deadlock. McLaren swung in the corner, which was cushioned back to Mahood. The Killie player hit it first time and Preece did well to block the fierce shot. Four minutes later Thornley sent in a cross, which Winters glanced wide of Marshall's goal. Aberdeen started to increase the pressure on the half hour mark, winning three corners in a row. The final ball still eluded them however. Five minutes later Winters had a shot in target, but in all honesty it was never going to test Marshall. The Dons went close in the 41st minute when Derek Young powered his way into the Kilmarnock box and after a game of pinball, Killie cleared for a corner. The half time whistle came as a bit of a relief for most fans as this was far from a classic first 45 minutes.

The first chance of the second half fell to Aberdeen. Derek Young delivered a cross from the right and with the Kilmarnock defence appealing for offside, Dadi nipped in and headed the ball wide of the target. Four minutes later the Dons took the lead after a great passing move on the right hand side started by Winters. McNaughton then got involved and played a one-two with the striker before crossing for a simple tap in for Thornley.

Zerouali replaced Dadi in the 61st minute. A minute later, Darren Young tried a shot from 30 yards which although hit fiercely, it went a foot over Marshall's crossbar. The Dons were looking confident now and playing good passing football in and around the Kilmarnock penalty area. In the 63rd minute Zerouali set Derek Young free on the right. The striker cut in and drove the ball into the side netting. The Dons doubled their advantage in the 67th minute when Thornley worked his way along the 18 yard box, then looked on in delight has his shot was deflected over Marshall and into the net.

Kilmarnock made two changes as they tried to force their way back into the game. They had a good opportunity in the 75th minute when they won a free kick on the edge of the box. Mahood drove the effort high over the crossbar. Thomas Solberg replaced Kevin McNaughton in the 83rd minute. A minute later Zerouali was put clear and tried to chip the advancing Marshall. The Moroccan failed to get enough height on the ball and the keeper was able to gather. Guntveit replaced Bisconti late in the match as the Dons held out for a comfortable win.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Preece, McNaughton (Solberg 83), McAllister, Young, McGuire, Whyte, Bisconti (Guntveit 87), Young, Dadi (Zerouali 61), Winters, Thornley.

Unused Subs: Esson, Zerouali, Mackie.

Bookings:  Whyte (70).
Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Marshall, Pizzo (Dargo 55), Sanjuan, Hessey (Calderon 71), Mahood, Dindeleux, McLaren (Cocard 68), Innes, Hay, Fowler, Di Giacomo. Unused Subs: Stewart, Canning

Bookings:  Sanjuan 40
Attendance: 10,735
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: K. W. Clark, Paisley
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead