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Kilmarnock 1 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Kilmarnock 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Kilmarnock scorers: Naismith 86
Aberdeen scorers: Fowler (OG) 59, Anderson 69.

31/03/2007 | KO: 15:00

Vital win take Dons one step nearer Europe

>Aberdeen performed a smash and grab at Rugby Park this afternoon but were left hanging on to the three points at the end. The home side dominated the first half but rued their missed chances when the Dons struck twice in ten minutes after the break. An own goal by Fowler started the scoring then Anderson added a second in the 69th minute and the Dons looked to have secured the points. The assistant linesman then intervened in the 85th minute when he spotted a handball that no one else, including the referee, noticed. Naismith buried the spot kick and as Kilmarnock laid siege on the Dons goal the reds showed great character to hold on to the win. With Rangers dropping points at Ibrox it ended up a great day for the Dons.

Aberdeen started the match in a 3-5-2 formation with Byrne Considine and Anderson at the back and Diamond playing as a right wing back. There was little action in the opening stages as both sides tried to settle on a bright spring afternoon. Brewster was starting to combine well with Mackie while at the other end Naismith was asking questions of the Dons back line. Both sides appeared to cancel each other out before the Dons won the first corner in the 13th minute. The set play was defended easily but two minutes later Aberdeen threatened again without causing to many concerns to the home keeper.

Langfield had to look lively in the 17th minute when he punched a cross half clear before Considine completed the task. Referee Winter then made a controversial free kick award two minutes later when Considine clearly won the ball fairly just outside the Dons penalty area. Justice was done when the free kick was fired straight into the wall. The home side threatened again a minute later before Hay was penalised for a push in the penalty area. Seconds later Naismith went close as he met a fine cross from Hay.

The home fans were looking for a penalty in the 26th minute when Sylla went down easily under a challenge from Dan Smith. Seconds later Lilley went close when Langfield failed to deal with a Leven cross and the ball fell to the Killie man before his effort was blocked. Leven and Hay were causing the Dons real problems with their crosses and Naismith headed another good delivery wide in the 29th minute. The Dons were creaking now and Wales headed inches wide as he got on to the end of a Naismith cross after some good passing play.

The officials were making some baffling decisions and a dangerous high challenge by Greer on Mackie went unpunished in the 33rd minute. Four minutes later the home side were once again screaming for a spot kick when Naismith went down easily but the referee got that one right. Mackie delivered a decent cross in the 38th minute that was well cushioned back to the keeper. Aberdeen then had their first attempt at goal in the 40th minute when Diamond met a Severin corner but headed well wide of the target. Two minutes later Clark made an important last gasp tackle to deny Sylla as the midfield man looked to net. In the final minute Naismith evaded Anderson and forced a great point blank save from Langfield.

Jimmy made a change at the interval with Steve Lovell replacing Dan Smith but it was the home side that once again started on the ascendancy. Richie Byrne earned a yellow card on his return to action when he went in late on Sylla in the 54th minute. The resulting free kick was swung in and Langfield did well to claim the ball. Byrne made a positive contribution two minutes later when his shot on goal was blocked, while at the other end Quinn went close with an effort that went inches wide. Aberdeen then took a sensational lead in the 59th minute.

Dempsey and Brewster played a neat one-two on the edge of the box and as the ball bounced dangerously inside the penalty area Fowler attempted to head the ball back to his keeper. Unfortunately for him Smith had already come off his line and the ball rolled agonisingly into the net. There was a tussle between Sylla and Byrne in the 69th minute when Sylla refused to let go of the Irishman and he shrugged him off. The home support was looking for Byrne to see red but the referee rightly showed a yellow card to the Killie man and awarded the Dons a free kick.

Kilmarnock were then further punished from the subsequent free kick when Mackie hit a shot from the edge of the box and Anderson turned the effort into the net from 6 yards. Miller replaced Brewster after the second goal as Kilmarnock replaced Wales with Nish. Kilmarnock stepped up their effort to get back into the game as they tried to work out how they ended up 2-0 down. Langfield was a bit lucky in the 80th minute when he spilled the ball and watched as the it was steered over the bar. Controversy abounded again in the 85th minute when Kilmarnock were thrown a lifeline by the assistant referee.

The ball was bouncing about the Aberdeen penalty area and appeared to be cleared. As play raged on the assistant referee raised his flag and after consulting with the referee a penalty for handball was awarded. Despite the protests Naismith buried the spot kick behind Langfield. Killie had their tails up now and Nish almost grabbed an equaliser a minute later when he headed wide. In the final minute a long throw was collected by Nish and just as he looked to score Anderson and Diamond combined to block the effort. Deep in injury time Nish fired wide but he had already been flagged offside. Kilmarnock laid siege on the Aberdeen goal in the three minutes of injury time but some brave defending ensured the Dons won all three points.

Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Smith, Fowler, Naismith, Greer, Sylla, Hay, Quinn (Gibson 73), Lilley (Koudou 80), Leven, Wright, Wales (Nish 69). Unused Subs: Harpur, Di Giacomo, Hamill, Ford

Bookings:  Sylla 67,   Wright 71
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Byrne, Diamond, Severin, Anderson, Considine, Smith (Lovell 45), Dempsey, Mackie, Brewster (Miller 69), Clark.

Unused Subs: Soutar, Winter, Donald, Maguire, McVitie.

Bookings:  Byrne (54).
Attendance: 7,236
Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Referee: Brian Winter
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead