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Kilmarnock 2-0 Aberdeen: Kennedy hurts former club as hosts cruise to victory
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Gavin McCafferty
Press Association
Matty Kennedy netted for the Ayrshire side (Steve Welsh/PA)
Matty Kennedy netted for the Ayrshire side (Steve Welsh/PA)

Matty Kennedy scored against his former club as Kilmarnock comfortably beat Aberdeen 2-0 at Rugby Park.

Kennedy rounded off the scoring after Corrie Ndaba’s header put Killie in front just before the interval.

Killie’s third win over Aberdeen this season put them 10 points clear of seventh-placed Hibernian and left the Dons five points adrift of Dundee in the race for a cinch Premiership top-six place.

Aberdeen have now gone eight league games without a win and their travelling fans reacted angrily after the final whistle.

The game pitted Dons boss Neil Warnock against former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes in a reunion of the ‘Battle of Bramall Lane’ 22 years ago, when the then West Brom captain was headbutted by one of Warnock’s Sheffield United players.

This meeting was more like a no-contest although Warnock received one of the two yellow cards dished out by referee Graham Grainger.

Warnock had called for his side to stand up to the physical challenge after watching footage of the Dons being “bullied” in a 2-0 defeat at Rugby Park in October.

There were early signs that it might be a similar afternoon as Aberdeen struggled to deal with balls into the box in the first quarter.

Vassell saw a shot deflected on the post after Marley Watkins’ headed on, Jamie McGrath cleared Stuart Findlay’s header off the line, then Kelle Roos clawed away Watkins’ effort after the Dons central defence failed to cope with a bouncing ball.

Aberdeen had some attacking moments of their own and Will Dennis held a deflected strike from Dante Polvara.

Some lengthy treatment to Aberdeen defenders disrupted the flow of the game but Killie took advantage to net from a corner in the fifth minute of stoppage-time.

Danny Armstrong whipped in an outswinging cross after Kennedy teed up his fellow winger, and Ndaba brushed off the attention of Bojan Miovski to head home from close range.

Warnock was booked in the aftermath of the goal, presumably for something said to the fourth official. Whatever he said to his players at half-time had little impact as Killie came out looking for a second.

Kennedy saw a free-kick saved and Aberdeen were soon exposed after Connor Barron’s free-kick from inside the Killie half failed to reach the penalty box.

The hosts broke through Armstrong and Roos came out to block from Liam Polworth before Vassell steered the rebound well off target with men in support.

The second goal was coming and it arrived in the 58th minute following a throw into the box. Vassell held off his marker, played a one-two with Watkins and set up Kennedy to wrong-foot Roos.

The home side could have added further to their lead with Kennedy at the heart of most of their chances.

Watkins glanced a header just wide, substitute David Watson got on the end of Kennedy’s cross but could not get enough power in his shot as he stretched, and the winger saw a curling effort held by Roos.

Aberdeen never looked like sparking a comeback and Polvara’s first-half effort proved to be their only shot on target.


Scottish PremiershipAberdeenKilmarnock
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