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Kilmarnock 2 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Kilmarnock 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Kilmarnock scorers: Ndaba 50, Kennedy 58

24/02/2024 | KO: 15:00

Dons defeated in Ayrshire

Aberdeen were comfortably beaten at Rugby Park in a game where Kilmarnock were never put under any serious threat throughout the game.

Following the 2-2 draw with Hibs last Saturday, Neil Warnock made just one change to his starting XI with Dante Polvara coming in for Leighton Clarkson, who started on the bench. Fit again James McGarry returned to the bench in place of Ryan Duncan.

Kilmarnock drew 1-1 at Celtic Park last Saturday and Derek McInnes named an unchanged starting side and bench for the game.

In the bright Ayrshire sunshine, Donnelly had the game’s first effort, a hooked volley over the bar from 20 yards out after Stefan Gartenmann headed clear from a long throw into the box. Vassell almost had his team in front two minutes later, a thick deflection off Gartenmann on his shot leaving Kelle Roos flatfooted as the ball whacked against the post and away to safety, all part of a strong start to the game by the home side.

Jamie McGrath had things going in the right direction on 13 minutes, slaloming past three challenges before feeding Polvara, his shot proving to be an easy take for Dennis.

Richard Jensen needed prolonged treatment on the quarter hour following a clash of heads with Watkins, but he resumed after the concussion protocols had been observed. Three minutes later it was Nicky Devlin tangling with Watkins and he too required help from the medics after falling awkwardly.

A Kilmarnock short corner routine almost had them in front on 25 minutes. Kennedy rolled it to Armstrong and his deep ball to the back post was met by Findlay, McGrath positioned perfectly on the line to chest the ball to safety. McGrath had a pop at goal himself four minutes later, a looping volley from the edge of the area just too high to trouble Dennis.

An awkward bounce on a long ball forward unsettled Gartenmann on the half hour giving Watkins chance to fire off a shot, Roos saving acrobatically, but for all that Killie were having the better of possession, real chances were few and far between for them.

Aberdeen won a 44th minute corner on the left, but Bojan Miovski couldn’t turn Connor Barron’s delivery back across goal from the back post. Killie won one of their own in the fifth minute of four minutes of added time, and from another short corner routine, this time Armstrong played it into the near post where Ndaba’s glancing header from four yards out gave the home side the lead.


It was very nearly disaster for the Dons in the second half’s first real action on 54 minutes. Barron’s attacking free-kick was sliced, giving Killie the chance to break, Roos having to rush off his line to block Polworth’s effort when he looked set to double the lead. Two minutes later, Findlay glanced a header just wide from Ndaba’s cross as they tried to take the game away from Aberdeen.

It was 2-0 on 58 minutes, Kennedy capitalising on a series of errors, Vassell finding it too easy to run through the area and poke the ball to Kennedy who had the easiest job to fire in from ten yards.

Aberdeen immediately brought on Ester Sokler and Junior Hoilett for Duk and Polvara, then a nasty collision had both Jensen and Vassell needing treatment on the hour.

Armstrong cased trouble again with a free-kick from deep on the left on 67 minutes. He speared it across goal but at the back post, Findlay could only poke it wide. Five minutes later, Watson replaced Vassell. He should have made it 3-0 on 75, a Kennedy ball bobbling through the area with only Watson reacting to it, but he didn’t get enough on his effort and Roos was able to save. Armstrong was booked for a foul on MacKenzie two minutes later.

Balagizi, van Veen and Stewart were brought on for Watkins, Armstrong and Polworth after 86 minutes. Watson was close again a minute later, a miscued shot from just inside the area arcing wide of the goal. Killie made their final change in the 90th minute, Kennedy making way for Murray.

4+2 minutes added at end of 1st half.
4 minutes added at end 2nd half.
Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Dennis, Mayo, Wright, Findlay, Ndaba, Armstrong (Stewart 86), Polworth (Balagizi 87), Donnelly, Kennedy (Murray 90), Watkins (Van Veen 86), Vassell (Watson 72) Unused Subs: O'Hara, McKenzie, Davies, Mackay-Steven,

Bookings:  Armstrong 77
Attendance: 6,230
Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Referee: Graham Grainger
Next Match
27 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen