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Aberdeen 3 - 1 Kilmarnock

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 0 Kilmarnock

Aberdeen scorers: Diamond 7, Tosh 45, Hinds 59.
Kilmarnock scorers: Nish 82

03/01/2004 | KO: 15:00

Dons off to winning start

Aberdeen made a great start to the New Year with an deserved win over Kilmarnock. Scott Morrison was a contender for man of the match as he contributed to two of the goals and caused the visitors problems all afternoon with his set play deliveries. Diamond opened the scoring in the 7th minute as he headed home a Morrison free kick from close range before Tosh added a second on the stroke of half time. In the second half Samson failed to hold on to a Morrison drive allowing Hinds a simple tap in. Nish grabbed a consolation for Killie late on but it was the Dons who made it six games without defeat.

Aberdeen kicked off and neither keeper was tested in the opening five minutes as both sides took time to settle. The Dons went ahead in the 7th minute with a goal created and executed by the youngsters. The Dons won a free kick on the left and Scott Morrison whipped in a dangerous cross, which Diamond headed into the net to celebrate his return from injury. A similar free kick, leading to the booking of Greer, was won a minute later but this time the ball was cleared to the edge of the box and Tosh fired an effort well wide of the target.

The Kilmarnock back four looked fragile at times and were lucky to scramble the ball clear in the 20th minute as the Dons threatened to add to their tally. Tosh, Hinds and Booth had all tried from distance without testing Samson in the Killie goal. The visitors had only made a couple of trips upfield at this stage, but Anderson and Diamond looked solid at the back. Kilmarnock were forced into a change in the 25th minute when Shields was stretchered off and replaced by Fowler.

Clark was then harshly booked in the 31st minute for his first foul when he genuinely went for a ball he had every right to win. No mistaking it was a trip, but never a yellow card offence. Kilmarnock went close with the resulting free kick before Preece claimed the ball on his six-yard line. Boyd didn't recover from Clark's earlier challenge and was replaced in the 35th minute by Hardy. The game then burst into life as Kilmarnock broke from a Dons attacking free kick and Heikkinen was harshly punished for a collision inside the box with Canero.

Dallas was 20 yards away as he pointed to the spot much to the disgust of the Aberdeen players. Justice was done however as Preece dived low to block Nish's effort. Foster then showed great skill, if not quite the finish, in the 44th minute. He collected the ball on the edge of the box, beat three defenders and hit a clean shot straight at Samson in the Killie goal. The Dons dominance was rewarded in the 45th minute when good build up play released Tosh on the left and he casually passed the ball into the far corner of the net to make it 2-0.

Killie came out fighting, but Aberdeen quickly took control with Morrison causing mayhem with his set play deliveries. A fine cross in the 51st minute caused panic before the visitors cleared for a corner. The corner almost resulted in a third goal when another Morrison delivery was cut back across goal where Booth attempted an audacious overhead kick that wasn't too far off the target. The game was finished as a contest in the 59th minute when Hinds added a third. Morrison was the architect once again as he collected the ball midway inside the Kilmarnock half. He strode forward unchallenged and hit a fierce shot from the edge of the box which the keeper could only parry into the path of Hinds, leaving the striker with a simple tap-in.

Booth had the ball in the net again in the 64th minute, but was offside as he collected the cross from Tosh. A minute later Zdrilic replaced him. Killie had a small flurry in the second half, winning a series of corner kicks, but they were unable to break the Dons defence down. With the game won, Paterson introduced first Muirhead then Sheerin into the proceedings. Hugh Dallas spoke to Duncan Shearer after the Dons' coach disputed a free kick award in the 82nd minute. From the disputed decision, Dindeleux swung in a long free kick and as the Dons defence went to sleep, Nish stole in for the consolation.

For some strange reason Aberdeen endured a nervous final few minutes of a game they had totally dominated. Clark should have sealed it in the closing minute when he ran on to a Muirhead cross with the goal at his mercy. Unfortunately he ballooned the effort over the bar. The red army were happy enough as the Dons extended their unbeaten run to six games.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Preece, Morrison, Rutkiewicz, Clark, Anderson, Diamond, Heikkinen, Tosh (Sheerin), Booth (Zdrilic), Foster (Muirhead 70), Hinds.

Unused Subs: Esson, McGuire.

Bookings:  Clark (31).
Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Samson, Shields (Fowler 25), Locke (Murray 60), Greer, Dindeleux, Fulton, Canero, Boyd (Hardy 35), McDonald, Nish, Hay Unused Subs: Smith, Invincibile

Bookings:  Greer 8
Attendance: 11,698
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Hugh Dallas, Bonkle
Next Match
HJK Helsinki
30 Nov 2023 / 17:45 / Töölö Football Stadium, Helsinki