Kilmarnock 2-1 Aberdeen: Ayrshire side up to ninth after win

Joe Wright headed home Kilmarnock's second
Defender Joe Wright’s header followed up Scott Robinson’s Rugby Park opener.

Kilmarnock moved up to ninth in the Scottish Premiership after surviving a late scare to administer Aberdeen’s fourth consecutive defeat.

Scott Robinson netted before Joe Wright headed in a second to put the Ayrshire side in control at the break.

Matty Kennedy’s sensational injury-time free-kick set up a nervy finish but the damage was already done.

Aberdeen mustered two shots on target as the pressure increases on manager Jim Goodwin, whose side remain fourth.

Kilmarnock, though, have moved above Motherwell and are are now four points clear of bottom spot.

Aberdeen have the midweek hump with fixtures, having not won in their 19 previous league games on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and they started poorly.

Free sightings at goal were gifted to Ash Taylor and Christian Doidge, but their efforts lacked direction, while the vivacious Danny Armstrong and Rory McKenzie called Kelle Roos into action with shots.

Scott Robinson was more clinical, though, 354 days since his last start. Calamitous defending from Aberdeen allowed goalkeeper Sam Walker’s long ball to be scooped up by McKenzie and served to Robinson, and he nudged past Roos in what was his first appearance since Derek McInnes’ first game in charge .

The gifts kept coming for Kilmarnock in this festive fixture, with Taylor combining with his central defence partner Wright to double the lead. Taylor launched throw found his team-mate, who headed in a deserved second goal.

Jim Goodwin said pre-match that “some really good football has been played” by his Aberdeen side in their defeats to St Mirren and Rangers. The same could not be said after this encounter.

Kilmarnock have been reliant on home comforts, with only Celtic and Livingston beating them in Ayrshire. The energy, control and enjoyment they showed throughout was in stark contrast to the frantic, disjointed and disappointing show from their visitors.

With just one shot on target in the 90 minutes, a late cheer in injury-time came through Kennedy’s astonishing free-kick. Nothing more than a consolation, though.

Player of the match – Danny Armstrong

Danny Armstrong was, as ever, at the heart of all things good for Kilmarnock. His pace, confidence and drive was imperative as Killie picked up a well earned win.
Armstrong was, as ever, at the heart of all things good for Kilmarnock. His pace, confidence and drive was imperative as Kilmarnock picked up a well-earned win.

Kilmarnock cruise as Aberdeen delighted to see end of 2022 – analysis

Kilmarnock did all the hard work in the first half, carving out chance after chance – 17 shots, four on target in total – to test the shaky Aberdeen defence.

There was a confidence, almost a swagger, in their ranks, shrugging off their dreadful record of just one win in 29 previous meetings against the Pittodrie team.

Aberdeen were so far off the pace they really were never in the match. Kennedy’s wonder-strike won’t pull the wool over the eyes of many fans, the issues, particularly defensively, were there to see.

Even when they attempted to create, Kilmarnock easily hoovered up the pressure and were more than comfortable defending their lead.

Jim Goodwin threw everything he could in an attacking sense to it, but it was all too little too late.

What’s next?

Kilmarnock kick off 2023 at home against St Mirren on Monday, 2 January (15:00 GMT) while Aberdeen host Ross County at the same time.

Player of the match

ChriseneBen Chrisene


  1. Squad number33Player nameChrisene

  2. Squad number16Player nameRobinson

  3. Squad number5Player nameTaylor

  4. Squad number7Player nameMcKenzie

  5. Squad number31Player namePolworth

  6. Squad number19Player nameWright

  7. Squad number2Player nameMayo

  8. Squad number11Player nameArmstrong

  9. Squad number15Player nameMurray

  10. Squad number22Player nameDonnelly

  11. Squad number26Player nameDoidge

  12. Squad number6Player nameStokes

  13. Squad number8Player nameAlston

  14. Squad number20Player nameWalker


  1. Squad number99Player nameRamírez

  2. Squad number33Player nameKennedy

  3. Squad number11Player nameDuk

  4. Squad number16Player nameRamadani

  5. Squad number23Player nameDuncan

  6. Squad number2Player nameMcCrorie

  7. Squad number3Player nameMacKenzie

  8. Squad number4Player nameScales

  9. Squad number24Player nameRoos

  10. Squad number8Player nameBarron

  11. Squad number22Player nameCoulson

  12. Squad number10Player nameBesuijen

  13. Squad number9Player nameMiovski

  14. Squad number15Player nameWatkins



Formation 3-5-2

  • 20WalkerBooked at 90mins
  • 19Wright
  • 5Taylor
  • 2MayoBooked at 90mins
  • 11Armstrong
  • 7McKenzieSubstituted forStokesat 87′minutes
  • 22Donnelly
  • 31PolworthSubstituted forAlstonat 89′minutes
  • 33Chrisene
  • 26Doidge
  • 16RobinsonSubstituted forMurrayat 86′minutes


  • 1Hemming
  • 6Stokes
  • 8Alston
  • 9Shaw
  • 10Jones
  • 15Murray
  • 17Lyons
  • 21McInroy
  • 29Wales


Formation 3-5-2

  • 24Roos
  • 2McCrorie
  • 4Scales
  • 3MacKenzieBooked at 15mins
  • 33Kennedy
  • 8BarronSubstituted forWatkinsat 77′minutes
  • 16Ramadani
  • 23DuncanSubstituted forRamírezat 56′minutes
  • 22CoulsonBooked at 23minsSubstituted forBesuijenat 39′minutes
  • 9Miovski
  • 11de Barros Lopes


  • 1Lewis
  • 7Morris
  • 10Besuijen
  • 15Watkins
  • 21Polvara
  • 25Richardson
  • 28Milne
  • 46Marshall
  • 99Ramírez

Don Robertson


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