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Kilmarnock 3 - 4 Aberdeen

HT Score: Kilmarnock 1 - 2 Aberdeen

Scottish Second XI Cup Group B
Kilmarnock scorers: Taylor 29, McDonald 55, McDonald 74
Aberdeen scorers: Campbell 27, Anderson 31, Anderson 47, Anderson 93 (Pen).

27/01/2020 | KO: 14:00

Bruce Hits Hat-Trick to Send Young Dons Into Semi-Finals

Dean Campbell's twenty five yard strike and a third hat-trick in as many Reserve Cup ties from the prolific Bruce Anderson saw Aberdeen win through to the semi-finals of the tournament after a hard-fought, but hugely entertaining clash with Kilmarnock who battled right to the end.

Aberdeen lined up with Sam Jackson in goal behind a back four of Lloyd Robertson, Luc Bollan, Luke Turner and Jack MacKenzie. Dean Campbell and Seb Ross were in the engine room with Connor McLennan and Ethan Ross in the wide areas while Michael Ruth supported Bruce Anderson up top.

Both sides took time to settle into the game with the Dons creating the first chance after 5 minutes when McLennan headed Robertson's right-wing cross wide.

Anderson passed up a good opportunity on 9 minutes, not making clean contact with Seb Ross's cutback after the skipper had been sent down the right by a fine pass from Campbell.

The home side had to make an early change, Barr replacing Brindley who had taken a knock in midfield. Aberdeen were looking good going forward and enjoyed a greater share of possession in the opening quarter of an hour as they pushed for the opening goal.

Kilmarnock's first effort on goal came on 18 minutes, but Taylor's shot was off target. At the other end Anderson did well to get on to Jackson's long clearance before spinning and firing a powerful shot a yard wide.

Slackness in the home rearguard presented an opening to McLennan on 23 minutes, but Johnstone did well to block his shot to safety. Campbell then saw a volleyed effort from Ethan Ross's corner knocked off the line, swiftly followed by an Ethan Ross shot being deflected just wide.

On twenty five minutes Bollan glanced a header just wide after a fine cross from fellow centre-back Turner as the Dons piled on the pressure.

Two minutes later the goal which Aberdeen's play had merited arrived and a special goal it was. An opening was worked down the left and Seb Ross fed the ball back to Dean Campbell who rocketed the ball past Lyle into the top corner with his left foot from twenty five yards.

On 29 minutes however, parity was restored by Killie as Millen crossed for Ally Taylor to cut in and score with his right foot. The Dons raced back into attack and on the 31st minute Ethan Ross crossed from the right and Bruce Anderson scored from ten yards. The striker just loves getting goals at Rugby Park, having netted a winner for the first team there as well as a Youth Cup semi-final hat-trick.

It could have been three on 42 minutes but Seb Ross couldn't get a shot away after being picked out by his brother, the home defence getting back in numbers to snuff out the threat to their goal. The Dons skipper was denied again moments later as Lyle saved bravely at his feet.

In the final seconds of the half, Lyle was out quickly to thwart Anderson, whose pace was causing the Kilmarnock defence lots of problems.

A fast and furious opening forty five which Aberdeen dominated in terms of chances created, Campbell and Anderson's goals being scant reward for some fine attacking play. Kilmarnock, whose goal came from Taylor, had fewer opportunities but still posed a threat.

Half time - Kilmarnock Reserves 1 Aberdeen Reserves 2

The Dons made the perfect start to the second half as Bollan sent Ethan Ross racing off down the right and Anderson was perfectly positioned to fire his cut back past Lyle to make it 3-1.

Olly McDonald tried his luck from distance for Killie, but the shot was always rising and flew well over. On 55 minutes however, McDonald made it 3-2 as he nodded home Millen's accurate cross from the right.

A terrible defensive mistake from the home team allowed Ethan Ross a shot at goal on 63 minutes, and when it was blocked, the rebound fell to Anderson whose shot was inches wide. Moments later Lyle made a fine save from Anderson to keep Kilmarnock in the game.

Johnstone picked up a booking after a late challenge on Seb Ross before Jackson was forced into a fine save by St Clair. Paul Sheerin made his first change on 72 minutes, bringing on David Dangana in place of Ruth.

A minute later the home side shocked the dominant Dons by making it 3-3 as McDonald netted his second of the match turning a St Clair cross past Jackson.

Connor McLennan saw yellow after a disagreement with McDonald before Anderson fired over following a powerful run from Seb Ross.
Kilmarnock fancied their chances of winning the game as it went into its final stages and Wilson fired wildly over after doing well to create the space for a shot.

Ethan Ross was withdrawn after 86 minutes with Calvin Ramsay coming on, Robertson moving into midfield from right back to accommodate the change.

Dangana thought he'd won the game for the Dons when he fired home Campbell's free kick, but an offside flag cut short the striker's celebrations.

With two minutes of stoppage time gone, Lyle collided with Anderson and the ref pointed to the spot, Bruce stepping forward to slot the ball past the keeper's right hand to complete his third hat-trick in three Reserve Cup ties and see the Dons into the semi-final draw.

A well-merited victory for Paul Sheerin's side but they had to work hard to get the better of a battling Kilmarnock side who showed a never-say-die spirit.

Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Lyle (C), Millen, Hendrie, Barlow, Johnstone, Wilson, McClevy, Taylor, St Clair, McDonald, Brindley

Unused Substitutes:- Walker (GK), Barr, Lynch, Shields, Walker, McCracken
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Jackson, Robertson, MacKenzie, Campbell, Bollan, Turner, McLennan, Ross, Anderson, Ross (Ramsay 86), Ruth (Dangana 72).

Unused Subs: Dangana, Barry, Hanratty, Ritchie.
Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Referee: Jordan Paterson
Next Match
St. Johnstone
28 Feb 2024 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen