Both sides started positively with neither carving out any clear cut chances. In the 8th minute Aluko won a corner and as the ball was half-cleared Grassi had a chance to shoot but took too long and the ball was cleared. At the other end Kyle had an opportunity, but Nelson was off his line quickly to put the striker off. Good play from Aluko set up a half chance in the 15th minute, but the Kilmarnock back four held firm. There were calls for a penalty in the 22nd minute as Kyle went down under a challenge, but the assistants' flag was already raised for an earlier offside decision.
Aberdeen went close in the 25th minute following a great move. Aluko threaded a pass through to Mackie and he laid the ball off to MacLean who forced a great save from Combe before the ball was cleared for a corner. From the corner the ball was half cleared to Kerr 20 yards out and he hit an absolute screamer that gave the keeper no chance. The skipper couldn't hide his delight with the strike that had given him his first goal for the club. Aberdeen were looking a composed this evening and had a better shape about them.
MacLean and Mackie were combining well and a good move in 34 minutes ended with Young going down in the box, but a penalty award would have been harsh on the visitor's. Four minute later Nelson made a good save from Bryson as he dived to his right and held the greasy ball in a safe pair of hands. Kerr looked to double his tally in the 40th minute as he attempted to chip Combe from distance, but it slipped over. Aluko won a corner a minute later when he delayed his cross and had the ball charged down.
The corner came to nothing and as Duff was getting pulled to the ground only inches from the stand side assistant, the referee awarded a free kick to Kilmarnock from 20 yards away. Another great move in the 42nd minute almost produced a second goal when Mackie and MacLean played a neat one-two, but Mackie's shot fizzed inches wide of the post with the keeper scrambling across his line. That was the last action of a very satisfactory first half that was dominated by the strike of Mark Kerr.
Aberdeen won a free kick near the corner flag in the 46th minute, but Combe claimed the ball when it was swung over. Two minute later Kilmarnock won a corner and as the ball was delivered Nelson made a fine block from Wright. Kerr was booked a minute later after a fine tackle and from the subsequent free kick Invincible hit the post with Nelson well beaten. Seconds later Aluko shielded the ball out of play and Kyle directed a volley of abuse towards the assistant that went unpunished.
Paton replaced an injured Aluko in the 54th minute and two minutes later Bryson hauled the substitute to the ground and was given a warning. Four minutes later the Dons won a free kick on the corner of the box, but Mulgrew sent the ball high and wide. Kilmarnock were enjoying more of the play in this half and Young showed good tracking back to deny Killie. The visitor's should have levelled on the hour mark when Nelson initially made a good block from Bryson. Unfortunately the ball fell at the feet of Kyle six yards out but fortunately he somehow ballooned it over the bar with the goal gaping.
In the 67th minute Mulgrew had another chance 25 yards out, but he failed to get the ball beyond the wall. Mackie then tested Combe before Kilmarnock levelled in the 69th minute when Grassi was beaten by Kelly and his shot took a wicked deflection of Mulgrew to beat Nelson. Kilmarnock went ahead five minutes later when substitute Owens beat Grassi and delivered the ball on to the head of Kevin Kyle to make it 2-1. Once again Aberdeen had gone from a team in command to total collapse in the space of five minutes.
In the 83rd minute Mulgrew went on a great run, played a neat one-two then ruined it with a poor finish. In the 85th minute Clark replaced Young and two minutes later the substitute won a free kick 30 yards out. This time Mulgrew guided the ball round the wall and forced Combe into a fine save. The subsequent corner saw Combe deny the Dons again as he saved from an Ifil header. Aberdeen bombarded the Kilmarnock goal in the final minutes, but they couldn't find a way past the visitor's as the Ayrshire men collected three valuable points.