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Aberdeen 0 - 0 Kilmarnock

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Kilmarnock

Scottish Premiership

26/01/2019 | KO: 15:00

Stalemate at Pittodrie

After victory on Wednesday night over Hamilton Accies Derek McInnes named the same starting line-up for the visit of high-flying Kilmarnock.

The match was a "six-pointer" with both sides tightly grouped in the top four of the league table, a win for The Dons would see them leapfrog Killie into second position.

Steve Clarke also made no changes to his starting line-up, naming the same side that defeated Rangers in midweek.

The opening ten minutes of the match passed without any goalmouth action with most of the play taking place in the middle of the park. Despite the lack of action, it was a keenly contested start to the match and it was evident that both sides would have to battle to gain the space required to create chances.

The first corner of the match was awarded in the 20th minute when a cross from Stewart was deflected behind. The delivery was partially cleared before Cosgrove volleyed over from just inside the area. It was a difficult one to take but a sign of the striker's confidence to take the shot on.

Just before the half hour mark Graeme Shinnie went into the referee's book for a late challenge on Tshibola which broke up a potential counter-attack for the visitors.

Aberdeen had their second opportunity to deliver from a corner but it was Kilmarnock who ended up on the front foot with O'Donnell breaking on the counter-attack, Logan got across to stop the attack and was harshly penalised. From the free-kick the ball was headed well wide of the goal by Brophy.

In the 39th minute Aberdeen broke through the Kilmarnock midfield for the first time in the match with Lowe beating his man on the left before finding May in space 30 yards from goal. The striker hit a powerful strike which looked set for the top corner, but Bachmann was alert and produced a great save to tip the ball wide.

All eyes appeared to be on Greg Stewart in the build-up to the match and he got his first shot away a couple of minutes before the break but would have been disappointed not to stretch Bachmann a bit more.

As the half-time whistle sounded Lewis Ferguson picked up a yellow card for dissent after Stuart Findlay hit the ground under a challenge. At the break it was all to play for.

The Dons started the second half strongly and it wasn't long before Stewart posed a threat once again. On this occasion he picked the ball up on the right and curled the ball just wide of the far post from 20 yards out.

The hosts were starting to ask a lot more questions of Kilmarnock, knocking the ball around well on the pitch which was playing a lot quicker thanks to the rain which had been coming down for most of the match.

In the 57th minute Cosgrove was bearing down on the back four before being brought down by Dicker. The challenge resulted in a yellow card for the Kilmarnock captain.

Just before the hour mark the visitors made their first change as Brophy was replaced by Kris Boyd. Five minutes later, a second change for Kilmarnock as McKenzie replaced Burke. Despite the change in personnel the game plan looked to remain the same for Steve Clarke's side as they looked to soak up pressure.

Those changes were followed by Aberdeen's first substitution of the match as McGinn replaced May.

With twenty minutes remaining Mackay-Steven clipped a cross into the box which was headed clear by Findlay. Ferguson picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and opened up for a shot which ended up the wrong side of the crossbar with both teams finding shooting opportunities hard to come by.

Tshibola joined Dicker in the referee's book after picking up a yellow card for dissent as the atmosphere in the stadium ramped up with both sets of supporters looking to spur their side on to find a winner.

The game was opening up a bit which offered Kilmarnock an opportunity to break once again, Power played Taylor through and his cut back eluded the blue and white shirts in the area. From there Aberdeen broke up the park and Scott Boyd picked up a yellow card for a cynical foul on Stewart.

In the 77th minute, another yellow card as Power joined his teammates in the book for a late challenge on Ferguson where he never really looked like winning the ball.

With twelve minutes remaining Aberdeen were forced into a change when McKenna picked up a knock and hobbled off the pitch. He was replaced by Tommie Hoban who was making his return to action after a long injury lay-off.

Kilmarnock subsequently made their final change with Jones being replaced by Ndjoli. It was a very stop-start spell in the match as both teams struggled to find their rhythm. 

As the match looked to be drawing to a close The Dons were handed a boost as Kilmarnock were reduced to ten men after Kris Boyd caught Shinnie with a dangerous lunge. The referee took his time to consult with his colleagues before producing the red card and all of a sudden there was a real opportunity for Aberdeen.

In the 86th minute there was a penalty shout for The Dons as Hoban found McGinn on the edge of the area, he rolled Scott Boyd with his first touch and went down as he entered the box, but the referee waved play-on.

With a couple of minutes remaining The Dons took their last roll of the dice as Wilson replaced Mackay-Steven.

McGinn had an opportunity to deliver from a corner in the 90th minute and unfortunately Power was there to clear Stewart's header as it looked to be goal bound. The Dons now had four minutes of added time to get the winner.

Cosgrove burst into the area but was denied by Findlay just as he looked set to pull the trigger and there was a real sense of frustration for Aberdeen as it looked unlikely that a better opportunity would come. There was one more shot as Wilson saw his effort deflected into the path of Bachmann and it was a straightforward save for the keeper.

Ultimately the match ended goalless and the point lifted Aberdeen above Rangers into third place.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Logan, Considine, McKenna (Hoban 78), Lowe, Mackay-Steven (Wilson 87), Ferguson, Shinnie, May (McGinn 68), Stewart, Cosgrove.

Unused Subs: Ball, Gleeson, Wright, Cerny.

Bookings:  Shinnie (29),  Ferguson (45).
Kilmarnock Teamsheet
26.Bachmann, 02.O'Donnell, 16.S.Boyd, 17.Findlay, 03.Taylor, 27.Tshibola, 08.Dicker, 06.Power, 29.Burke (07.McKenzie 66), 25.Brophy (09.K.Boyd 60), 11.Jones (12.Ndjoli 79). Unused Subs: 01.MacDonald, 05.Broadfoot, 10.Kiltie, 18.Waters.

Bookings:  Dicker (57),   Tshibola (73),   S.Boyd (75),   Power (77)  K.Boyd (82)
Attendance: 15,560
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Nick Walsh
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead