Following Aberdeen's comfortable 2-0 win over Ross County last weekend, Derek McInnes welcomed Lewis Ferguson back to the starting line up following his suspension for that game in his only team change, Dean Campbell starting from the bench. It meant Ferguson registering his 100th appearance for the Dons. Among the subs, Gary Woods returned to the bench after missing last weekend's game.
After losing 2-0 at Celtic last Sunday, Kilmarnock made three changes to their side, Brandon Haunstrup, Greg Kiltie and Mitch Pinnock all dropping to the seven man bench to be replaced by Calum Waters, Chris Burke and Eamonn Brophy.
Killie made a strong start, pushing the Dons back in the opening minutes but in the third minute, a long ball forward from Joe Lewis dropped invitingly for Connor McLennan, chasing after it as it dropped over his shoulder. He struck it first time from the edge of the box, pulling his shot just wide across goal.
McLennan nearly created something for Curtis Main three minutes later, sprinting down the left then firing in a good cross on the run, Main's shot on the turn blocked by a defender as it looked as if it might nestle in the net.
Kilmarnock's first look at goal came in the 16th minute, Brophy shooting on the turn from 20 yards, but it was a weak effort and a comfortable save for Lewis. The Dons responded a couple of minutes later, a short free-kick giving Matt Kennedy a crossing chance, Andrew Considine heading it back across goal where it was half cleared to Ryan Hedges on the edge of the box, his volley going over the bar.
Considine was inches away from the opener in the 23rd minute, lurking at the back post as a Kennedy cross took a deflection and ballooned into the air. Considine got in front of his defender and his header bounced agonisingly wide with Rogers beaten.
Killie had to make a change on 29 minutes, McGowan falling awkwardly in a collision with McLennan and suffering a thigh problem, Kiltie taking his place, McKenzie going to right-back. Even then, Killie retained a very disciplined shape, two banks of four barring the way to their goal.
Tommie Hoban had the best chance of the half in the 43rd minute, a Jonny Hayes cross from a free-kick finding him at the back post, but he put his header wide of goal when he should have at least worked Rogers in the Kilmarnock goal.
The hosts were close in the final minute, Burke bending the ball through the six yard box, Kennedy just in front of Kiltie at the back post to deflect it behind, a vital intervention.
HALF-TIME: KILMARNOCK 0 ABERDEEN 0
Dean Campbell came on for Aberdeen at the break, Hoban making way, Ross McCrorie dropping into the back three.
Killie were first to threaten, a 51st minute free-kick from Brophy on the right edge of the box beating the wall but slamming into the side netting, Lewis with it well covered. From there, it was straight up the other end and the Dons were in front. Ryan Hedges it was with the goal, collecting a loose defensive header in midfield before driving forward and firing at goal from 25 yards, the ball getting a thick deflection off Findlay, taking it away from Rogers.
From a free-kick in the 61st minute, Brophy got in behind and played in a dangerous cross from the by-line, Main clearing the ball with a fine header from underneath his own crossbar.
Good passing football from Hedges and Main down the left opened up a shooting chance for McLennan in the 67th minute, his drive at goal well blocked by Power as the Dons looked to play on the counter-attack. McLennan wasn't far away again in the 71st minute after some great possession football culminated in a lovely combination from Kennedy and Main. McLennan came onto it just inside the box but again, brave defending from McKenzie blocked the shot.
Kabamba was replaced by Whitehall in the 72nd minute as the home side looked to find a different way through to the Aberdeen goal, then four minutes later, Tshibola gathered the game's first booking for a rugby tackle on McLennan around halfway. Tshibola and Findlay were involved in a collision at an Aberdeen corner in the 78th minute, both getting treatment before continuing. While that was going on, the Dons introduced Sam Cosgrove and Shay Logan McLennan and Main making way.
Cosgrove should have tied it up in the 84th minute, played in on goal by Hedges, but Rogers did well to save at full stretch with his left foot, then Broadfoot blocked Hedges' shot on the follow up. Haunstrup became Killie's last change in the 87th minute, replacing Findlay.
Kilmarnock finally sparked into action in the 88th minute, Brophy getting half a yard of space to fire off a shot from 25 yards but thankfully, the ball just swerved away from goal at the last moment. Killie kept the Dons penned in from there, winning a string of corners which the Dons defended well, Ash Taylor in particular continuing to win every header that came his way.
Lewis was brave in the 92nd minute, dashing off his line to collect the ball, McKenzie running into him, the goalkeeper taking a real whack but ensuring that he kept his clean sheet.
Aberdeen had one final chance on the break in the 94th minute, Cosgrove clean through, only to be hauled down right on the edge of the box by Haunstrup who collected the inevitable red card. From the free-kick, Cosgrove ran up and bludgeoned the ball through the wall and in to seal victory with the last kick of the game.
Unused Substitutes: Doyle, Taylor, Mulumbu, Pinnock
Bookings: Tshibola 76 Haundstrup 95