Aberdeen 1-0 Kilmarnock

Niall McGinn's 20th goal of the season earned Aberdeen a narrow but deserved victory over Kilmarnock in new manager Derek McInnes's home debut.

The Northern Irish forward curled a shot beyond visiting goalkeeper Cammy Bell after only four minutes.

In a rare chance for the visitors, Jamie Langfield saved a fierce shot by Chris Johnston.

But Bell was by far the busier, denying McGinn again and again, while Josh Magennis wasted several chances.

With Aberdeen in the bottom six of the Scottish Premier League and in no danger of being relegated, it is an ideal time for McInnes to assess the standard of players in his squad as he prepares for next season.

He gave a first start to 17-year-old midfielder Craig Storie, one of four changes from the side that drew a drab match at Hibernian on Monday.

Skipper Russell Anderson dropped out of the squad altogether while Scott Vernon, Isaac Osbourne and Stephen Hughes joined Storie in the starting 11.

Other than running the rule over his players, the target for McInnes and his opposite number in the Killie dugout, Kenny Shiels, is to be 'the best of the rest' and with this victory Aberdeen are now top of the bottom six.

A poor first half, watched by only 6,334 fans, was limited to one goal and two chances.

McGinn put the Reds ahead when he nutmegged Ross Barbour on the left, cut inside and curled a beautiful shot into the top corner.

Vernon could have added to that when he positioned himself at the front post but could not convert after decent play by Jonny Hayes.

At the other end Langfield was called into action when he managed to beat Johnston's powerful shot from 12 yards high into the air - midfielder Stephen Hughes heading the ball clear.

It was better fare after the break, however, with Aberdeen profligate with several chances.

Bell twice saved smartly from McGinn, the first a shot from close range after the ball had ricocheted fortuitously to him, the second from the Northern Irishman's curling free-kick.

And the impressive Bell was to the rescue again when he saved an 18-yard shot from Hayes and, with him lying on the turf, he managed to collect Magennis's follow-up

Moments later, Vernon flicked on a throw-in and Bell once more denied McGinn, this time from a volley.

As the match followed a familiar pattern, Bell saved from Ryan Jack and was relieved when the luckless Magennis pounced on to the rebound but scuffed his shot wide.

In the closing stages, McGinn collected a pass from Vernon and crossed for Magennis but, despite sliding in, he could not convert from six yards.

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