Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen1KilmarnockKilmarnock1

Aberdeen 1-1 Kilmarnock

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at Pittodrie Stadium
Kilmarnock's Jordan Jones (right) fires the equaliser
Jordan Jones equalised for Kilmarnock at Pittodrie

Aberdeen slipped two points behind leaders Celtic as Kilmarnock deservedly shared the points at Pittodrie.

It looked to be plain sailing for the Dons when Graeme Shinnie set up Stevie May to fire them ahead from close range after only 10 minutes.

Killie boss Lee McCulloch changed from three at the back to four and Jordan Jones' deflected drive off Kari Arnason gave them a deserved equaliser.

It ended the Dons' run of 13 successive league wins over the visitors.

And it denied Derek McInnes' side a fourth straight home win.

Kilmarnock have now gone seven games without a win and are bottom of the Premiership.

But this was much-needed boost going into games against Dundee and Ross County before the international break.

McCulloch went with three central defenders and two wing-backs in an effort to cope with Aberdeen's attacking threat, but their resistance lasted just 10 minutes.

Given the intense pressure the visitors were under from the start, the only surprise was that it took the Dons that long as Kilmarnock struggled to get out of their own half.

Shinnie claimed the assist as they broke the deadlock with a delicious cross from the left and May lashed in his third goal since moving back to Scotland from Preston North End.

Stevie May fires Aberdeen into the lead
Stevie May fired Aberdeen into the lead

There was more bad news for the visitors when Iain Wilson's afternoon came to an end after just 20 minutes when he was forced off with an injury, Dean Hawkshaw coming on as his replacement.

That forced a switch to a flat back four and Kilmarnock did look a bit more comfortable with that formation and even managed to create a couple of half chances on the counter-attack.

However, even when they carved out openings, they came up against Joe Lewis in fine form.

The goalkeeper made a comfortable save to keep out Calum Waters' long-range effort, but he had to work to keep out Rory McKenzie's well struck 20-yard drive as Aberdeen's intensity noticeably dropped as the half progressed.

That meant it was not entirely a surprise when the impressive Jones did equalise three minutes after the interval as he rounded off a slick, passing move with a shot that looped in over the head of Lewis.

It could have got worse for Aberdeen a few minutes later when Jones turned provider with a dangerous ball into a packed penalty area and Stuart Findlay's hooked shot beat Lewis but smacked clear off the crossbar.

May did force Killie goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald into a save with a stoppage-time free-kick, but the Dons' never looked like forcing the win despite being able to bring on the likes on Ryan Christie, Gary Mackay-Steven and Adam Rooney.

Post-match reaction

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "We got exactly what we deserved as Kilmarnock deserved a point as our performances was like last week against Hearts in that we start really well but fall out of it a bit after half an hour.

"The goal we lose at the start of the second half was no more than Kilmarnock earned, even if it took a bit of deflection on the way in.

McInnes rues Dons' second-half display

"I don't think we moved the ball with the same intensity in the second half to look like getting the winning goal.

"We are looking like a good team but were are still looking for the complete performance from the players as we were excellent early on as they produced what we are capable but didn't sustain it.

"But we are unbeaten in domestic football this season and we are still just two points behind Celtic in the league."

Kilmarnock manager Lee McCulloch: "The players were unbelievable to a man and they showed what they can do, which is great because we let the travelling fans down at Motherwell last week and that was a big improvement.

"We were forced into an early change in formation and we started to pass the ball more effectively and we certainly deserved a point by the end of the game.

"That ends the run of 13 straight defeats against Aberdeen, which has been a long time against a bogey team, but when you see the manager they have, the squad they have and the way they play, you know it's going to be hard.

"That makes it a massive point for us and hopefully that will be the turning point of the season because the boys have been under a lot of pressure lately and now we can look forward to showing some people we do have good players."

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 14Arnason
  • 5O'Connor
  • 4Considine
  • 8StewartSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 59'minutes
  • 7McLean
  • 3Shinnie
  • 15WrightBooked at 20minsSubstituted forRooneyat 84'minutes
  • 83May
  • 10MaynardBooked at 45minsSubstituted forChristieat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Reynolds
  • 9Rooney
  • 11Mackay-Steven
  • 16Tansey
  • 18Ball
  • 20Rogers
  • 22Christie

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 4GreerBooked at 90mins
  • 17Findlay
  • 12Taylor
  • 18Waters
  • 20WilsonBooked at 16minsSubstituted forHawkshawat 23'minutes
  • 21Frizzell
  • 11JonesSubstituted forBurkeat 90+3'minutes
  • 7McKenzieBooked at 88mins
  • 22Erwin

Substitutes

  • 5Broadfoot
  • 9Boyd
  • 15Thomas
  • 19Samizadeh
  • 23Hawkshaw
  • 26Bell
  • 29Burke
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
15,037

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Kilmarnock 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Kilmarnock 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

  4. Post update

    Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Chris Burke replaces Jordan Jones because of an injury.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Stevie May (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

  9. Booking

    Gordon Greer (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Ryan Christie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Gordon Greer (Kilmarnock).

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Adam Frizzell (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  13. Booking

    Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Post update

    Gordon Greer (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Adam Rooney replaces Scott Wright because of an injury.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stevie May (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  19. Post update

    Gary Mackay-Steven (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

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