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Kilmarnock 0 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Kilmarnock 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: McLean 36, Logan 59.

21/04/2018 | KO: 15:00

Dons Earn Crucial 3 Points in Ayrshire

Derek McInnes made four changes to the side that lost at Hampden last week with Logan, McLean and Shinnie all returning and Reynolds coming in at left back in place of the suspended Andrew Considine.

On a sun-baked Rugby Park, the Dons almost got off to a great start.

They won a free kick which Stevie May delivered. Scott McKenna got above his marker and powered in a fine header which keeper Leo Fasan saved very well. The former Celtic keeper has not played much first team football so he would have been pleased to have made a confident start.

On four minutes Kilmarnock won the first corner of the game when ex Don Stephen O?Donnell made a good forward break, but Stevie May easily cleared the set piece at the near post.

On nine minutes Aberdeen won their first corner. McKenna got a header on Stewart?s ball in but there was not enough power on it and Taylor was able to clear.

A couple of minutes later Greg Stewart, who had made a lively start, took a quick free kick from a central area through to McLean. Kenny tried a dipping shot from 25 yards out that just went over. The keeper certainly looked concerned.

The Dons continued to attack. On 12 minutes a number of red shirts had the ball at their feet in and around the box, but no one could make room for a shot.

A minute later Joe Lewis made a good save. After a bit of hesitation at the back, Alan Power, still looking for his first Kilmarnock goal, was able to nip in. the Irishman cut inside from the right and curled an effort that Lewis had to parry away. Joe got a good strong wrist on the ball to get it to safety. Fine goalkeeping. The home side then wasted a corner by being flagged after taking a short one, much to the frustration of the central defenders who had trudged forward.

On 16 minutes Reynolds had a half chance but instead of shooting effected to try and find a team mate inside the area and the ball went harmlessly behind.

20 minutes in, Kenny McLean had a shot blocked inside the area by Broadfoot?s diving header. Then Greg Stewart produced some great play on the right. He cut inside but his shot was fired over.

It had been a lively opening and Aberdeen had made a very encouraging start against a side who had not lost at home in 2018 in the league.

The game continued to be played a fast and furious pace on the plastic surface.

On 28 minutes good wing play by Kiltie created a chance but McKenna did very well to get to the ball ahead of Kris Boyd. Then McKenna made a good tackle on Brophy before the offside flag went up. A good spell of pressure from the Ayrshire side but McKenna made two vital interceptions. Five minutes later Shay Logan then produced some good defending by making two good tackles as Boyd threatened.

On 33 minutes McLean, who was isolated, did well to win Aberdeen?s second corner. May took it but his right footed in-swinger was punched clear by Fasan, if slightly unconvincingly. It was a nervy moment for the keeper who then conceded shortly after.  

After 36 minutes McLean, who again had little on, took one touch before decided to take a shot, from a good 25 yards out which beat Fasan inside his near post after bouncing in front of him. A great hit from Kenny but the keeper will probably feel he should have done better.

Kenny has now scored in all three games played at Rugby Park this season.

On 39 minutes Brophy produced some good play before dragging a shot just past the post. Fine play but the striker but it was a decent chance.

After 42 minutes Shay Logan tried his lucky from distance, but he could not find the target as his shot went over. Was not that far away though and the keeper might not have got there.

Aberdeen deserved their lead at half time.

HT: Kilmarnock 0 Aberdeen 1

It was all Kilmarnock at the start of the second half as the home side came out strongly.

Four minutes in they forced a corner from which a combination of Lewis and Shinnie on the post kept out a volley from Boyd – he had caught it sweetly. Great defending from the Dons. Then two minutes later Boyd wasted a great chance. O?Donnell put over a good cross which found Scotland?s top scorer completely unmarked at the back post but he headed over.  The only person who was near him was his team mate Broadfoot.

On 53 minutes there was a clash between Christie and O?Donnell. The Kilmarnock right back appeared to catch Christie. Then tempers flared between and a number of players confronted each other. The result of which saw O?Donnell and McLean booked by referee Nick Walsh. Kenny has now reached six bookings and will miss the Hibs game. Power was then fortunate not to get booked for a poor challenge on Christie as the game started to become more of a physical battle.

After 58 minutes Ryan Christie then won a free kick on the right touchline. Stevie May played in a ball which found the unmarked O?Connor who planted a header towards goal. Fasan made a very good reaction save but Shay Logan was first to pounce inside in the six yard box and fired into the net. Get in!

On the hour mark Scott Boyd was replaced by Lee Erwin. A centre half coming off for a centre forward. A short time after Derek McInnes made his first change with Adam Rooney entering the play in place of Ryan Christie.

After a very bad-tempered spell the Dons then did a good job of taking some of the sting out of the game.

Onn 71 minutes Gary Mackay-Steven replaced the hard working Stevie May.

Killie then made their second change as Brophy made way for Innes Cameron. Kilmarnock had plenty of attackers on, but it was Aberdeen who were looking the more likely to score as gaps started to appear.

With fifteen minutes to go a great chance for the Dons to make the game safe as Mackay-Steven had an instant impact. He skipped by a Killie defender and plays in the overlapping Shinnie. The captain on the angle cut in on his right but shoot straight at the keeper.

Then Adam Rooney was not far away from getting on the end of a ball across the box.  

Mark Reynolds had a very good game at the back and with ten minutes to go he did well to knock a cross out for a corner at the back post. Substitute Cameron was behind him and Mark showed good awareness. Then the experienced defender managed to head away the corner at the near post.

On 82 minutes the home side had worked room for Erwin on the right. His ball in found Findlay but his header went over the crossbar. A minute later birthday boy Adam Rooney almost sealed the win but Fasan made a fine stop with his foot. A stramash inside the area then ensued but no one in a red shirt could force the ball home.

With six minutes to go Kari Arnason came on for Greg Stewart.

In the later stages of the game Kilmarnock enjoyed some pressure. Erwin put an acrobatic effort wide of the post. Burke and O?Donnell then combined well but the Dons defence read the move well. Then in the final minute an Erwin cross was met by a Boyd volley which then just missed Burke.

A really good win for the Dons after an excellent defensive display.

FT: Kilmarnock 0 Aberdeen 2

Kilmarnock Teamsheet
32.Leonardo Fasan, 02.Stephen O'Donnell, 05.Kirk Broadfoot, 16.Scott Boyd (22.Lee Erwin 62), 17.Stuart Findlay, 06.Alan Power, 08.Gary Dicker, 12.Greg Taylor, 09.Kris Boyd, 10.Greg Kiltie (29.Chris Burke 84), 25.Eamonn Brophy (31.Innes Cameron 72). Unused Subs: 01.Jamie MacDonald, 04.Gordon Greer, 20.Iain Wilson, 26.Aaron Simpson.

Bookings:  02.Stephen O'Donnell (54).
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Logan, O'Connor, Reynolds, McKenna, Shinnie, McLean, Stewart (Arnason 84), Ball, Christie (Rooney 63), May (Mackay-Steven 71).

Unused Subs: Wright, Harvie, Cosgrove, Woodman.

Bookings:  McLean (54).
Attendance: 5,067
Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Referee: Nick Walsh
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead