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Aberdeen 0 - 1 Kilmarnock

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Kilmarnock

Scottish Premiership
Kilmarnock scorers: Watson 92

06/12/2023 | KO: 19:45

A game that looked destined for a 0-0 stalemate was decided in Kilmarnock’s favour in the second minute of added as Aberdeen drew a blank in front of goal for the second successive game.

Barry Robson made three changes to the starting XI after the 2-0 defeat at Hibs on Sunday, Angus MacDonald, Jonny Hayes and Duk all returning, Slobodan Rube i , Ester Sokler and James McGarry starting from the bench. There was a return to the matchday squad from injury for Shayden Morris, among the substitutes, Pape Guèye missing out.

After losing 1-0 at home to Hearts at the weekend, Derek McInnes named an unchanged Kilmarnock side.

Five seconds into the game, Stefan Gartenmann was on the deck as Watkins barged into him from the kick-off, the referee taking no action despite Gartenmann taking an arm to the back of the head.

Patient play from Aberdeen eventually created a shooting chance from 20 yards for Graeme Shinnie after five minutes, but it was blocked away by a defender. Ten minutes later, MacDonald had to look lively to chase back with Watkins and make an important challenge just as he was about to fire at goal.

The first real chance came on 21 minutes, the Dons building up steadily from back to front before quickening the pace. The cross came in from Jamie McGrath for Duk who threw himself full length at the ball, only to put his header straight at Dennis. Killie responded with a corner, Donnelly getting onto the end of it with a strong header, Kelle Roos having to tip the ball over in acrobatic fashion.

The game was opening up now after a sluggish start, Shinnie surging down the left before slinging in a dangerous cross, Nicky Devlin inches away from getting a crucial touch in the 24th minute.

Duk was the next instigator, twisting and turning into space before feeding Bojan Miovski whose volley flashed wide of the post on 28 minutes. A long ball five minutes later nearly got Miovski away, but Deas did well to shepherd the ball back to his goalkeeper.

Aberdeen had the ball in the net on 39 minutes, a curling free-kick from Leighton Clarkson finding Miovski at the back post. He guided his header beyond Dennis, but up went the offside flag, a decision confirmed by VAR.

The first half was summed up in the final minute when after the Dons half cleared a corner, Watson came onto the loose ball 25 yards out and promptly hoofed it over the roof of the Red Shed, and presumably into some lucky soul behind the ground’s Christmas stocking.

HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 0 KILMARNOCK 0

The hosts tried to inject a bit more urgency into things on the resumption, Clarkson coming onto a volley 25 yards out but firing wide of goal after 51 minutes. Lyons went down injured off the ball on 58 and made way for McKenzie.

In the aftermath, the Dons pushed forward, Miovski and McGrath both having shots blocked as Kilmarnock got bodies behind the ball. Hayes went in the book for a foul on Armstrong on 65 minutes. Donnelly was next to need treatment after 72 minutes and he too had to be replaced, Polworth coming on in his place. Aberdeen made their first changes on 76, MacDonald and Duk replaced by Morris and James McGarry, the Dons going to four at the back.

Morris made an immediate impact, cutting inside from the right only to see his shot blocked. Watkins then went down injured on 79 but was able to carry on after treatment. McGrath was bundled over in the box as we went into the last 10 minutes, but a VAR check ruled no penalty. Kennedy then replaced Watkins for Killie in their final change on 82 minutes. Gartenmann was then booked for an offence that was unclear to all but the referee.

Kennedy picked up a loose pass and slalomed forward 30 yards but his final pass was poor, then as the Dons looked to get on the attack, McKenzie was booked for a foul on Morris.

McGarry had to produce a great bit of defending on 87 minutes as a deep cross looked set to find Armstrong at the back post, the defender able to hook the ball over his own bar. From the corner, Findlay had a free header but thankfully, he put it wide. The Dons were up the other end to win a flag kick of their own, Richard Jensen’s glancing header at the near post pouched by Dennis.

A long ball forward had Miovski on the chase but as he came onto the ball just inside the area, Findlay found a brilliant saving tackle to avert the danger as we went into five added minutes.

It was a crucial intervention for straight up the other end, Killie were in front. Kennedy wriggled free on the left and slung the ball into Watson. He took a great first touch to turn with the ball before producing a ferocious finish across the goal and into the far corner, Roos not having time to move.

1 minute added at end 1st half.
5+1 minutes added at end 2nd half.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Roos, Devlin, Shinnie, Jensen, Gartenmann, McGrath, Miovski, Clarkson, Lopes (Morris 76), Hayes, MacDonald (McGarry 76).

Unused Subs: Doohan, Barron, Sokler, Polvara, Duncan, Milne, Rubezic.

Bookings:  Hayes (64),  Gartenmann (82).
Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Dennis, Mayo, Findlay, Deas, Ndaba, Armstrong, Watson, Donnelly (Polworth 73), Lyons (McKenzie 61), Watkins (Kennedy 82), Vassell Unused Subs: O'Hara, Sanders, Davies, Murray, Mackay-Steven, Dallas

Bookings:  McKenzie 86
Attendance: 13,668
Visitors:121
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Matthew MacDermid
Next Match
St. Johnstone
H
28 Feb 2024 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen