There were two changes for Aberdeen?s starting XI following the defeat at St Mirren on Christmas Eve. In came Jack MacKenzie and Ryan Duncan, for his first senior start, replacing the suspended Anthony Stewart and the injured Leighton Clarkson.
Kilmarnock made three changes after their 2-2 draw with Motherwell last week. Liam Polworth, Rory McKenzie and Scott Robinson came into the team in place of the suspended Alan Power and Jordan Jones and Bobby Wales who both dropped to the bench.
In the pouring rain and a swirling wind, Kilmarnock started quickly and three minutes in, Taylor launched a long throw into the box. Doidge flicked it on but there was nobody coming in at the back post as the ball drifted wide.
Killie broke down their right on eight minutes, Armstrong dragging the ball through the box to Robinson who scooped his effort wide of goal at the far post. Five minutes later, Doidge was able to get up to a header in the same area but it was a weak effort that gave Kelle Roos a simple save.
There was a nasty collision between MacKenzie and Armstrong on halfway on the quarter hour, the Aberdeen man, who got to the ball first as both stretched, somehow conceding both a free-kick and collecting a yellow card. From the set piece, Killie were able to launch the ball in and at the back post, Taylor had the goal at his mercy from four yards out, but fortunately, he put his header wide.
Aberdeen?s first real look at goal came on 23 minutes with Duncan?s shot across the face of goal. Walker pushed it out and Hayden Coulson chased onto the rebound, headed it down and then fell as he chased it, getting booked for simulation in the process. Killie were straight back up the other end and from a tight angle, McKenzie forced Roos into a brilliant reflex save at his near post.
The hosts were deservedly in front on 31 minutes. McCrorie tried to control a low cross from McKenzie on the right but as he knocked it down, Robinson was quicker to it and hooked the ball across the six yard box and in.
Vicente Besuijen returned to the action on 39 minutes, Coulson making way for him, but within three minutes, Killie had doubled the lead. A Taylor throw came back out to him on the left and his clipped cross in found Wright unmarked eight yards out to glance a header across goal and in.
Roos and Ylber Ramadani got themselves into all kinds of trouble in the 49th minute, passing between one another in the penalty area and almost conceding possession before they finally cleared their lines.
Better at the other end a minute later though, Besuijen darting down the left and playing a ball into the penalty area, Walker just beating Bojan Miovski in the chase for the ball.
Armstrong had a golden chance for 3-0 on 54 minutes, Chrisene playing a ball into the box from the left by-line, Armstrong coming onto it but stabbing his shot wide of goal from around the penalty spot. Christian Ramirez replaced Duncan on 56 minutes.
The Dons finally began to earn some territorial advantage but couldn?t manufacture a clear opening. On 70, a longball from McCrorie sent Besuijen on the run down the right. His cross found Ramirez but the ball sat up awkwardly and his shot was blocked clear.
Ramirez wasn?t too far away on 76 minutes, a curling shot across goal just drifting wide of the target. Marley Watkins was Aberdeen?s final substitute of the night on 77 minutes, replacing Connor Barron. The home side made their first changes after 87 minutes, Robinson and McKenzie making way for Stokes and Murray.
Miovski tried to find a way through to goal on 88 minutes, collecting a Duk knockdown some 25 yards out, but his effort was blocked. Polworth was then replaced by Alston on 89 minutes.
Duk was away on the run after collecting the ball from Besuijen in the 90th minute, only to be hacked down by Mayo, who was yellow carded. From the free-kick some 30 yards out, Matty Kennedy found an absolute screamer bending the ball over the top of the wall and into the top corner to give the Dons some consolation.
Aberdeen kept pushing, a Kennedy ball into the box finding Miovski, Kilmarnock somehow scrambling it behind for a corner. That was cleared behind, Kennedy?s second effort going right across goal and behind. With only three minutes of added time in this game, there was no more time to salvage the game.
KILMARNOCK: Walker, Mayo, Taylor, Wright, Chrisene, Armstrong, Polworth (Alston 89), Donnelly, McKenzie (Murray 87), Doidge, Robinson (Stokes 87).