Dons Back On Course For Europe
Aberdeen gave their European ambitions a massive boost this afternoon with a 3-0 win over Kilmarnock. They have extended their lead over Hearts to seven points and seven goals ahead of the Tynecastle clubs visit to Celtic Park tomorrow. Aberdeen didn’t have to work too hard for their goals with the first being a penalty kick gifted by Momo Sylla. He inexplicably bundled Chris Clark to the ground and Barry Nicholson fired the ball past Alan Combe. Lee Miller added a second early in the second half before Pittodrie witnessed one of the most bizarre goals it will have ever seen. Alan Combe had collected the ball following a Dons attack and he then attempted to throw the ball out and hit Darren Mackie on the back of the head and the keeper looked on in horror as the ball ended up in the back of the net to seal the win.
Kilmarnock kicked off towards the RDS and Nish had a scuffed shot that was easily gathered by Langfield in the opening minute. The Dons then pushed forward and peppered the Killie area with a couple of crosses that were well defended although Combe didn’t look too comfortable in the 3rd minute when he punched half clear from the head of Lee Miller. At the other end Langfield also looked nervous as he struggled to clear the ball from Naismith. Two minutes later Severin had a pot from 30 yards but the ball deflected off Darren Mackie and went wide.
Aberdeen then won a penalty kick in the 7th minute when Sylla made a reckless challenge on Chris Clark and bundled him over to give referee Underhill no option but to award the kick. Barry Nicholson sent Combe the wrong way to give the Dons the perfect start. Clark stormed down the left again a minute later and his cross was half cleared to the edge of the box where Nicholson fired in another effort that was deflected clear. Aberdeen were looking positive now and pushed the visitor’s back. Kilmarnock were infuriated in the 12th minute when Anderson tackled Nish on the edge of the box and the striker went tumbling into the box.
The referee waved play on but play was stopped to give the striker some treatment. At the other end Clark had a snap shot that fizzed wide before the match went through a scrappy stage. Foster then brightened things up when he had a dig from 30 yards that was deflected for a corner. Anderson met the corner but under pressure he was unable to steer the ball towards goal. At the other end Aberdeen struggled to clear their lines as Killie looked to get back into the match. Foster delivered a telling cross in the 27th minute and Jamie Smith was just beaten at the back post but won the corner. Five minutes later there was a real mix up at the back that allowed both Smith and Miller to score. Neither could convert and the assistant’s flag stopped the danger.
A minute later Severin stormed through the middle then inexplicably delivered a tame ball through the middle that was easily gathered by Combe. The midfielder then had a wild effort from distance that went straight to row Z. Langfield easily gathered a snapshot from Colin Nish then Miller looked to have added a second before being denied by a superb save from Combe. Nicholson swung in a cross from the right. Miller out jumped his marker to steer a header towards the corner of the net before Combe dived full length to turn the ball on to the post and cleared for a corner. From the subsequent set play Kilmarnock defenders scrambled the ball off the line when an Anderson header looked goal bound.
Kilmarnock replaced the woeful Momo Sylla with William Gibson at the interval and it was the visitor’s who pushed forward early on and Langfield had to make a save from a Wales turn and shot. At the other end Clark and Nicholson had efforts that failed to worry the keeper before Miller doubled the Dons advantage four minutes into the second half. Foster raced down the wing and Fraser Wright turned his cross back into the danger area before Smith steered it towards Miller and the striker almost burst the net from close range. Kilmarnock had a couple of chances to pull one back when Nish first steered the ball over from 12 yards then Anderson made a great last gasp tackle on the same player as he looked set to pull the trigger.
In between the two chances Aberdeen carved out a couple of half chances but they looked to have taken their foot of the pedal. The Dons were then gifted a third goal in what must go down as one of the most bizarre goals that Pittodrie has witnessed. Alan Combe had collected the ball following a Dons attack and he then attempted to throw the ball out and hit Darren Mackie on the back of the head and the keeper looked on in horror as the ball ended up in the back of the net. Steve Lovell then replaced Jamie Smith in the 65th minute as Kilmarnock also made a double substitution.
The game went flat before Severin made an audacious attempt to beat Combe from distance. The keeper scurried across his goal to pick up the ball before Considine replaced Foster in the 78th minute. Two minutes later Combe made a fine save in from a Diamond header then Langfield showed his concentration with a great instinctive save to deny Naismith. Maguire replaced Miller in the 85th minute after Diamond and Langfield had got themselves into a mix up and been forced to scramble the ball clear. The Dons failed to add to the scoring but can be well pleased with their afternoons work.