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Kilmarnock 1 - 3 Aberdeen

HT Score: Kilmarnock 0 - 2 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: McLean 1, Broadfoot (OG) 12, May 74.

26/11/2017 | KO: 12:30

Dons Away Run Continues in Ayrshire

The Dons made two changes to the side to face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park with Graeme Shinnie returning to the starting line-up after missing the match with Motherwell through suspension. The skipper replaced Arnason and there was a change up front with May coming into the side for Rooney.

The travelling Red Army did not have too long to wait for something to cheer, just 60 seconds in fact when Shinnie slipped the ball to the edge of the area for McLean, he turned quickly and fired the ball into the net at the keeper?s near post from 18 yards to put The Dons in front. It was the perfect start as they caught the home side cold.

The next chance of the match came in the 10th minute when some slick passing play from Tansey, Mackay-Steven and McLean resulted in a half chance for May on his left side, he got decent contact from a narrow angle but not enough to beat MacDonald on this occasion.

The Dons had certainly started brightly with plenty of pressure being applied in the Kilmarnock half when they had possession of the ball, that pressure got all too much for Broadfoot as he hauled back Mackay-Steven to receive the first yellow card of the match.

Tansey dispatched the free-kick from wide on the left which was flicked on by May, taking two deflections off Kilmarnock players before ending up in the back of the net to put Aberdeen two goals in front with just 12 minutes on the clock. There was an element of fortune about the goal but The Dons had made their own luck with the attitude they had shown in the opening stages.

A lot has been made of the artificial surfaces in the league but it was lending itself to some nice flowing one-touch passing from both sides with McLean looking particularly sharp for The Dons.

Power was dictating much of the play for the hosts and had a hand in creating the first opportunity when O?Donnell played a quick one-two before finding space in the area. The full back attempted an ambitious half volley which flew just wide of the target without troubling Lewis.

In the 29th minute the home side had an opportunity to get the ball in the area from a free-kick. There was a sense of injustice about if for The Dons as it looked like Christie had been fouled to start the move but McKenna was ultimately there to clear. From there Mackay-Steven sped forward on the counter-attack but was eventually crowded out 30 yards from goal and the ball feel kindly for the hosts.

Jordan Jones has drawn plenty of attention this season and had his first real action of the match on the half hour mark when he found space wide before cutting inside and curling an effort over the bar at the far post.

The hosts were trying to get back in the match and The Dons had to do some defending but were able to keep Killie at arm?s length most of the time and were still applying pressure high up the park. The second booking of the match went to Frizzell when he was dispossessed by Logan and clipped the full-back to avoid a counter-attack developing. He was shortly followed into the book by Shinnie who was shown a yellow card in the 38th minute for a late challenge on O?Donnell.

The Dons looked comfortable in the closing stages of the half and went into the half-time break two goals in front thanks to a highly productive start to the match.

HT Kilmarnock 0-2 Aberdeen

It looked like The Dons had replicated their start to the first half when they had the ball in the net within 60 seconds of the restart but it was disallowed for offside. The ball had found Mackay-Steven in a wide area and he squared the ball for May to knock it into the back of the net. After seeing a replay it was clear that Mackay-Steven was onside and that the goal should have stood.

Undeterred by the disallowed goal Aberdeen continued to push forward and McLean was next to try his luck as he forced a good save from MacDonald who turned a low drive from inside the area just wide of the post.

After an initial flurry of activity for The Dons it was Kilmarnock who tried to take the initiative but they were unable to get near Lewis in the Aberdeen goal despite some positive play from Jones.

Just after the hour mark it looked as though Killie had pulled a goal back when Findlay found Taylor just inside the area and his whipped cross was met first time by Boyd, fortunately for The Dons his first time effort went wide of the post.

The home side did have a goal back in the 67th minute when Jones cut in from the left and hit a low shot towards the far corner of the net. It was a goal from nothing and had brought the hosts right back into the game and lifted the home crowd. After the goal The Dons made their first change as Reynolds replaced Mackay-Steven.

Moments later Killie almost had a second when Lewis sliced a kick into the path of Boyd, fortunately McKenna was on hand to get a block in and the ball fell kindly for Aberdeen?s number one.

Up the other end The Dons had a half chance when McLean found Logan at the back post, the full back got contact on the ball but had too much to do with the header and sent the ball wide.

With just under 20 minutes remaining The Dons made their second change when Christie was replaced by Rooney. At this stage there was a change in formation as Rooney joined May up top.

With fifteen minutes remaining the Red Army were back on their feet as The Dons restored their two goal lead. After latching onto a clipped ball over the top from Reynolds, May did well to get the ball under control before driving into the area, after failing to get his initial shot away the ball fell kindly and the number 83 was able to get a low shot on target which gave the keeper no chance.

It was May?s last real action of the match before he was replaced by Maynard with ten minutes to go. The 822 Dons supporters who travelled were clearly delighted to see May back on the scoresheet and on another day he would have another goal to his name if it had not been for an incorrect offside call.

The home side were not finished though and did have another clear sight of goal when Taylor found space in the area after the ball broke into his path but he snatched at the strike and sent the ball wide of the post. Findlay was next up to try and get a shot on target but his strike from the edge of the area ended up over the bar.

With just a couple of minutes of the match remaining Jones picked up his second yellow card of the match for a late challenge on Logan which meant that the hosts would finish the match with ten men. All in all it was a good solid victory for The Dons who now head into a hectic December with a small cushion in second place.

Kilmarnock Teamsheet
01.Jamie MacDonald, 02.Stephen O'Donnell, 04.Gordon Greer, 05.Kirk Broadfoot, 17.Stuart Findlay, 06.Alan Power, 07.Rory McKenzie (08.Gary Dicker 45), 12.Greg Taylor, 21.Adam Frizzell (09.Kris Boyd 46), 11.Jordan Jones, 22.Lee Erwin (25.Eamonn Brophy 63). Unused Subs: 15.Dom Thomas, 16.Scott Boyd, 23.Dean Hawkshaw, 26.Cameron Bell.

Bookings:  05.Kirk Broadfoot (11),   21.Adam Frizzell (37),   11.Jordan Jones (46).   11.Jordan Jones (88)
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, O'Connor, McLean, Mackay-Steven (Reynolds 67), Tansey, McKenna, Christie (Rooney 72), May (Maynard 80).

Unused Subs: Stewart, Arnason, Wright, Rogers.

Bookings:  Shinnie (39),  Tansey (90).
Attendance: 4,198
Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Referee: Steven McLean
Next Match
Queen of the South
13 Jul 2024 / 17:15 / Palmerston Park, Dumfries