in Match Reports September 1, 2018
Killie’s Dons hoodoo came to an end against ten-man Aberdeen at Pittorie thanks to goals from Eamonn Brophy and Greg Stewart.
The 2-0 triumph in the north east brought Derek McInnes’ 20-game unbeaten run against Killie to a halt to the delight of the 305 visiting supporters.
Stewart was handed his Killie debut after arriving at the club on Monday while Aaron Tshibola went straight into the starting line up with Eamonn Brophy replacing Kris Boyd in attack.
Brophy was involved in the game’s main talking point as he was hauled down by Michael Devlin when attempting to run through on goal after just four minutes.
Referee Craig Thomson brandished a red card to the former Hamilton defender to hand Killie a crucial advantage at Pittodrie.
Tshibola and Alan Power began to take control of the match with Stewart and Brophy showing signs of a promising partnership.
Brophy rattled Joe Lewis’ crossbar with a vicious swerving shot while the Dons goalkeeper looked alert to deny Chris Burke after the winger was played in by a beautifully weighted pass from Tshibola.
With their numerical disadvantage, Aberdeen were struggling to create chances but Jamie MacDonald was forced to claw the ball out from the top corner to push the ball over the bar.
The home crowd were incensed with every decision made by the match officials and they made their displeasure known as Killie claimed the lead. Stephen O’Donnell drove down the right before Brophy was brought down 25 yards from goal. The striker dusted himself down and curled his set play over the wall and past the helpless Lewis with a strike which unlocked the game.
In control of the match, Killie could sit and hit the Dons on the counter at pace and they did just that as Jordan Jones made a darting run towards the penalty area only to be brought down by Lewis Ferguson. Brophy again tried his luck with only an Aberdeen deflection stopping the forward from doubling our advantage.
In what sometimes seemed like a one-on-one battle between Lewis and Brophy, the home shot stopper did well to get his fingertips on a snap shot at his near post to the Killie forward’s disbelief.
There was nothing Lewis could do about the second goal which owed everything to Greg Stewart’s individual brilliance. He collected a long pass from Greg Taylor on his chest, he turned Dom Ball before accelerating towards goal and producing a sensational dinked finish past Lewis and into the net.
It capped an excellent debut display from the on-loan Birmingham City attacker, who was replaced by Iain Wilson shortly afterwards.
Clarke’s side showed their fine game management skills as Stuart Findlay and Kirk Broadfoot cleared everything that came their way before counter punching when chances came along.
Jordan Jones was denied by another good Lewis save as the hosts began to tire and despite a smattering of half chances for Aberdeen substitutes Bruce Anderson and Sam Cosgrove, there was never any danger of a comeback.
The latter stages of the match were played out to the soundtrack of singing Killie voices as the day for a victory over the Reds duly arrived.
Kilmarnock: MacDonald; O’Donnell, Broadfoot, Findlay, Taylor; Power, Tshibola (McKenzie); Burke, Jones (Ndjoli), Stewart (Wilson), Brophy
Attendance: 14, 248