Kilmarnock 1-2 Aberdeen - report

Last updated : 14 April 2015 By Stand Free Ed

Aberdeen remain in contention for the Scottish Premiership title after closing the gap on leaders Celtic to five points with a 2-1 win at Kilmarnock.

Adam Rooney scored his 26th goal of the season for Aberdeen and although Craig Slater equalised, Cammy Smith scored what turned out to be the winning goal after 69 minutes.

The game might have had an altogether different outcome had Slater not seen his 90th-minute spot-kick saved by Scott Brown.

But Aberdeen also had a stonewall penalty denied at the other end when man-of-the-match Niall McGinn was fouled when bursting into the box.

Both sides wanted to be positive and demonstrated that willingness with an attack each in the game’s early exchanges, Kilmarnock forcing a corner and Aberdeen doing likewise with a puncturing Johnny Hayes run down the left wing, although both came to nothing.

Rooney glanced a header narrowly wide of the target and Smith forced Craig Samson into a reflex save to his left as the Dons started to crank up the pressure.

Rooney gave Aberdeen the lead from no more than a yard out in the 40th minute when he headed in Donervorn Daniels’ knock down from a McGinn free-kick and it was no less than they deserved at that stage of the game.

Kilmarnock, though, equalised through a beautiful Slater goal just two minutes after the restart.

The midfielder was given time and space to curl a dipping right-footed shot into the corner of the goal and put his side back on level terms, although it only seemed to inspire their opponents.

Hayes fired a shot across Samson which he did well to keep out and Smith then restored the Dons’ lead at the end of a swift counter-attack.

The striker met McGinn’s cross at the front post with a firm header which gave Samson no chance.

Chris Johnston attempted to get Kilmarnock back in the game with a long-distance shot and the home side were given a late lifeline when goalkeeper Brown inexplicably clattered Lee Miller when competing for an aerial ball.

With the clock showing 90 minutes played, Slater stepped up to take the spot-kick but his effort was a tame one and was pushed away by Brown, diving to his left.