Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen2KilmarnockKilmarnock1
By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland

Aberdeen built on last weekend's League Cup success with a laboured victory against Kilmarnock in the Premiership.

Over 14,000 fans watched the Dons work hard for a follow-up win they so badly craved, despite an early setback when Kris Boyd struck for Killie.

Adam Rooney's seventh Aberdeen goal brought his team level and Niall McGinn twice failed to add to that soon after.

But Ryan Jack's low, steered finish in the 72nd minute brought the hosts their third win of the season over Killie.

It keeps Aberdeen in second place with a game-in-hand over Motherwell, who sit level on 57 points with Derek McInnes's men.

Kilmarnock's desire to increase the distance between them and the relegation play-off spot will have to wait another week, but Partick Thistle, Ross County and St Mirren all losing on Saturday is consolation for manager Allan Johnston

Aberdeen's Peter Pawlett and Jonny Hayes have to be on their toes to avoid the sprinklers pre-match
Aberdeen's Peter Pawlett and Jonny Hayes have to be on their toes to avoid the sprinklers pre-match

Aberdeen sent out injured duo Peter Pawlett and Jonny Hayes to stroll around the Pittodrie pitch holding the League Cup trophy five minutes before kick-off, but how McInnes and the home crowd wished the midfield pair could have stayed there once referee Craig Thomson blew his starting whistle.

Reliance on the creativity and attacking surges of Pawlett, in particular, has been heavy, while Hayes can also conjure up something out of nothing in the final third.

It was that section of the park that Kilmarnock's Rory McKenzie made a piercing, unchallenged run into to create the opening goal for Boyd.

The visitors' top marksman knew too well how much his low strike on the turn, which rolled painfully past a helpless Jamie Langfield, would deflate the home crowd and celebrated by holding hand over mouth to rub in his 19th of the season.

Cammy Smith immediately whizzed a 20-yard shot a foot wide of Killie goalkeeper Craig Samson's goal to suggest Aberdeen would not let the set-back bother them, and Rooney's subsequent equaliser confirmed it.

At the hub of its creation was Nicky Low, who along with Smith looked to deputise for the likes of Pawlett, Hayes and the benched Barry Robson. Low's exchange of passes with Rooney allowed the latter to spin and direct a low shot - and one not unlike Boyd's finish - into Samson's net.

From there, the hosts found some momentum and both Rooney and Smith took turns to provide McGinn with a couple of opportunities which the Northern Irishman turned over.

Killie's second-half offering amounted to one Boyd shot from distance which Langfield dealt with comfortably. It was in defence where the visitors were winning their stripes.

Vitalijs Maksimenko and Lee Ashcroft repelled what came into the box as a result of Aberdeen's dominant possession and the Dons opted to introduce Robson in search of the telling delivery that would make the difference.

That cross arrived, although from the unlikely boot of Mark Reynolds. His low ball from the bye-line at the left-hand side was completely missed by Smith but rolled on to Jack, who stroked it beyond Samson at the Beach End of Pittodrie.

Jack went on to carve another chance for McGinn, who poked wide to confirm it was not his day in front of goal.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Langfield
  • 29Logan
  • 5Considine
  • 8Flood
  • 4Anderson
  • 6Reynolds
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forMcManusat 86'minutes
  • 22Jack
  • 17Rooney
  • 14Smith
  • 18LowSubstituted forRobsonat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Shaughnessy
  • 7Zola-Makongo
  • 9Vernon
  • 15Robson
  • 20Weaver
  • 24McManus
  • 28Tate

Kilmarnock

  • 1Samson
  • 16Clohessy
  • 2Tesselaar
  • 22Maksimenko
  • 29Pascali
  • 30Ashcroft
  • 18McKenzie
  • 7Nicholson
  • 9Boyd
  • 25GardyneSubstituted forEremenkoat 69'minutes
  • 10JohnstonSubstituted forMoberg-Karlssonat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Irvine
  • 12Reguero Chapinal
  • 14Moberg-Karlsson
  • 20Eremenko
  • 26O'Hara
  • 28Slater
  • 33Muirhead
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
17,029

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home11
Away3
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home7
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 2, Kilmarnock 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 2, Kilmarnock 1.

  3. Post update

    Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Declan McManus (Aberdeen).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Declan McManus replaces Niall McGinn.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

  7. Post update

    Manuel Pascali (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a fast break.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

  10. Post update

    Sean Clohessy (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Aberdeen 2, Kilmarnock 1. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

  12. Post update

    Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock).

  14. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Alexei Eremenko replaces Michael Gardyne.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Cameron Smith (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jeroen Tesselaar.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Barry Robson replaces Nicky Low.

  20. Post update

    Nicky Low (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

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