Now Playing

Now Playing IconNow Playing:

Evolve Radio

Artist Name

Album Art

Kennedy punishes former side as Killie beat Aberdeen

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 Scottish Premiership top-six place.

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

How Kilmarnock beat Aberdeen

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

Kyle 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.

KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Kilmarnock's Corrie Ndaba celebrates with Stuart Findlay after scoring to make it 1-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Aberdeen at Rugby Park, on February 24, 2024, in Kilmarnock, Scotland. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Image: Kilmarnock’s Corrie Ndaba celebrates with Stuart Findlay after scoring to make it 1-0

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.

KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Kilmarnock's Joe Wright and Aberdeen's Luis Lopes in action during a cinch Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Aberdeen at Rugby Park, on February 24, 2024, in Kilmarnock, Scotland. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Image: Kilmarnock’s Joe Wright and Aberdeen’s Duk Lopes in action

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.

What’s next?

Hibs’ next Scottish Premiership game is away to Hearts in the Edinburgh derby on Wednesday night, while Dundee are away to Celtic.

Both games kick off at 7.45pm.

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source