Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Kilmarnock 0.
Aberdeen 1-0 Kilmarnock
- Peter Pawlett scores Dons winner
- Aberdeen move into second place
- Dons' sixth win in seven league games
- Kilmarnock now eight games without a win
Aberdeen moved into second place in the Scottish Premiership after a hard-fought win over struggling Kilmarnock at Pittodrie.
David Goodwillie had the best of the sparse first-half chances with a driving run and shot that hit the bar.
The Dons stepped up the pressure after the break and Peter Pawlett broke the visitors' resistance when he finished Jonny Hayes' rebounded shot.
Robbie Muirhead and Jamie Hamill both put late efforts over for Kilmarnock.
Derek McInnes may feel his side could have won more comfortably, but it is now six wins in seven league games for his side, with a clean sheet coming with every three points.
It was an eighth game without a win for Kilmarnock, although a number of players can board the team bus knowing they gave a good account of themselves.
The visitors made an encouraging start and appeared to surprise the Dons with their early attacking intent, panicking the home defence.
However, it was the hosts who still looked the more likely to take the lead with Adam Rooney twice firing wide inside the opening 10 minutes.
Robbie Muirhead hit a shot from distance that was deflected, but the Dons responded with Goodwillie latching on to Ryan Jack's ball and driving a shot off the bar.
The Dons were slowly finding their rhythm and Niall McGinn had two half chances before Pawlett went on a mazy run through the Kilmarnock defence but could not find an end product.
Much of Kilmarnock's joy was in their ability to keep Aberdeen's wide men quiet, but they lost Darryl Westlake to injury just before half-time.
Aberdeen were more enterprising right after the restart, with Pawlett flashing an effort just wide of the post before Hayes brushed past Jamie Hamill and went close.
The Dons were knocking the door and Goodwillie put another opportunity over after Hayes clipped a cross to the back post.
Hayes was becoming more and more of a feature in the game as Westlake's injury started to take effect and another jinking run caused problems before a McGinn effort swerved away from goal when he managed to find an inch of space.
It was proving to be a frustrating afternoon for the home crowd and Rory McKenzie shot straight at Scott Brown as Kilmarnock reminded them there were two teams in this game.
However, their hard work was undone when Hamill's misplaced pass was pounced on by Hayes.
After a driving run, he hammered a shot that goalkeeper Craig Samson could only parry into the path of Pawlett, who smashed home to break the deadlock.
Killie needed to respond, but both Hamill and Muirhead wasted chances with wild efforts over the bar before a sweeping move involving Josh Magennis was finished with a badly hooked shot from Ross Barbour.
Aberdeen could have added more with the trio of Jeffrey Monakana, Jack and Hayes continuing to create problems, but in the end they were happy to hear the final whistle.
- 17GoodwillieBooked at 39minsSubstituted forMonakanaat 73'minutes
- 22WestlakeSubstituted forBarbourat 43'minutes
- 19SlaterBooked at 87mins
- 7McKenzieSubstituted forJohnstonat 78'minutes
- 9MillerSubstituted forCairneyat 78'minutesBooked at 90mins
- Andrew Dallas
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Kilmarnock 0.
Paul Cairney (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.
Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Paul Cairney (Kilmarnock).
Foul by Jeffrey Monakana (Aberdeen).
Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt missed. Ross Barbour (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.
Attempt missed. Jamie Hamill (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).
Jamie Hamill (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).
Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Kilmarnock. Paul Cairney replaces Lee Miller.
Substitution, Kilmarnock. Chris Johnston replaces Rory McKenzie.
Hand ball by Ash Taylor (Aberdeen).
Attempt blocked. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Lee Miller (Kilmarnock).