Kilmarnock 1-2 Aberdeen: McInnes not looking at top spot

Craig Slater failed to beat Scott Brown with a stoppage-time penalty kick
Kilmarnock's Craig Slater failed to beat Scott Brown with a stoppage-time penalty kick

Manager Derek McInnes refuses to consider catching Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic despite Aberdeen closing the gap with a win at Kilmarnock.

A 2-1 success at Rugby Park leaves the Dons five points behind, although Celtic have a game in hand.

It takes Aberdeen onto 68 points, equalling last year's tally, with six matches remaining.

"We have gained a couple of points but Celtic are not going to lose the league now," said McInnes.

"We did not even mention the Celtic result before the game.

"They are very strong and have never showed any form that would suggest they will throw it away.

"We have been very good since the back end of October and are just delighted we have got to 68 points, the same tally as we had in last season.

"To have reached that with six games to go is testament to how well and how hard the players have worked.

"We are getting better and stronger as we go along and getting further away from the rest. That pleases me no end."

Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney nodded in his 26th goal of the season and Cammy Smith headed in a second-half winner after Craig Slater had levelled with a fine strike.

However, Slater's day ended on a sour note when his weak stoppage-time penalty was saved by Scott Brown.

Kilmarnock, who saw their faint hopes of reaching the top six extinguished, were unhappy with referee John Beaton.

Cammy Smith headed in the winning goal for Aberdeen in Ayrshire
Cammy Smith headed in the winning goal for Aberdeen in Ayrshire

The hosts were incensed to see Tope Obadeyi penalised for a foul on Willo Flood just as he prepared himself to round the goalkeeper during the first half and thought play should have been halted in the build up to the Dons' winner.

Killie boss Gary Locke said: "I'm not really a manager who tends to moan too much about referees because I think it's unfair but I certainly felt it was a foul on Josh in the build-up to their winner.

"You could tell by the reaction of our supporters that they felt the same way but we didn't get it and we should have defended the cross better.

"Penalising Tope in the first half was another baffling decision. There were one or two like it today and I was obviously disappointed by them but, as a manager, you need to keep your opinions to yourself."

Kilmarnock have dropped to ninth place and they are seven points clear of the relegation play-off place.

"We've got huge games coming up, our season is a long way away from being finished," added Locke.

"We need to win a few games to make sure that gap gets bigger."

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