Jimmy Calderwood was given a warm reception before Kilmarnock kicked off. A slip from Mulgrew in the fifth minute gave the visitor's half a chance, but an offside flag ended the danger. At the other end Mackie was halted at the edge of the box as both sides probed for an opening. Mackie then put keeper Bell under pressure in the 7th minute and a minute later a McDonald header was comfortably held by the keeper. A well worked move between McDonald and Mackie produced the first corner in the 14th minute.
The ball was cleared by Pascali under no pressure, with neither keeper called into action at this stage. A pass from Mulgrew just eluded McDonald in the 19th minute then a loose ball from Kerr two minutes later almost allowed Killie to break. Bryson had plenty of space in the 22nd minute, but fortunately he fired wide. A minute later Derek Young fired wide after good play from Mackie and McDonald. A poor pass back in the 27th minute gifted Kilmarnock their first corner, but it was easily cleared.
A minute later Aberdeen broke and Bell was forced to turn a decent Mackie drive round the post. A second corner quickly followed and Ifil went close as his header was cleared off the line by Hay. On the half hour Mackie broke with pace, but his midfield was slow to support and the chance was gone. A minute later McDonald headed a Foster cross wide of the target as Aberdeen started to carve out the chances. Play was then stopped for an injury to McDonald who was able to continue after treatment.
A great move in the 34th minute almost produced the opener when a Foster cross was whipped over, flicked on by Young and steered over by Mackie. The striker was unlucky as the ball fell behind him and he had to try and convert it with his back to goal. Foster was causing problems down the right now as the visiting defence came under increasing pressure. Kilmarnock won their second corner five minutes from the break, but Aberdeen easily defended the set play.
Two minutes later Mackie used his pace again on the left as he ran on to Kerr pass, but fired his shot wide of the far post. Gary McDonald then had a low shot blocked as the Dons tried to grab a first half lead. In the final minute Mackie was upended to win a free kick on the left. Mulgrew whipped the ball into the danger area, but McDonald failed to convert as the ball fell behind him. Seconds later the referee blew his whistle to end the first half action.
Aberdeen won a corner in the opening minute of the second period and a Young drive was blocked after the ball was half cleared. In the 49th minute Aberdeen took the lead with a spectacular goal from Derek Young as he bulleted an overhead volley into the net from inside the box as he latched on to a Ford clearance. Two minutes later Fyvie won a free kick and another corner was won. Fyvie whipped the corner across the face of the goal, but there was no one able to convert after Grassi had back heeled the ball into the danger area. Aberdeen had built up a head of steam and were now peppering the Killie goal as they looked for a second.
A McDonald drive was saved by Bell in the 56th minute and a further corner followed three minutes later. Once again Hay saved his team as this time he cleared a McDonald header off the line. Kilmarnock made a double substitution in the 64th minute as Kyle and Old replaced Fernandez and Hamill. Pawlett replaced Marshall in the 69th minute and three minutes later the keeper had an easy save from Grassi. A Kilmarnock free kick was easily defended then Aberdeen won a corner in the 76th minute following good play from Grassi and McDonald.Kilmarnock were pushing forward now as they looked to level, but Pawlett went close in the 84th minute as he was muscled out of the play by Pascali. At the other end Aberdeen were subjected to an ariel bombardment before Langfield made a terrific save from Burchill in the 86th minute. Duff then replaced Fyvie and Aberdeen won a corner as they looked to close the game out. Before the corner could be taken, Paton replaced Mackie then as the ball was whipped across McDonald was found at the back post, but his fierce shot was blocked by Paton with the ball looking net bound.
It was almost disaster for Aberdeen in the final minute when Ifil, who looked injured, missed a cross and the ball fell to Kyle. The striker stuck out a foot and Langfield made an instinctive stop from point blank range. The fourth official indicated three minutes of injury time and in that final minute Young almost capped a great performance with a wonderful strike that crashed off the bar with the keeper well beaten. It was the last action of the game and the game was won with a goal that was fit to grace any match.