Despite taking the lead in the first half thanks to a Graeme Shinnie goal, The Dons were held to a 1-1 draw in the Scottish Cup Quarter-Final as Kris Boyd?s second half penalty cancelled out Shinnie?s opener and forced a replay between the sides. The replay will take place on Tuesday 13th March at Rugby Park.
Dons boss Derek McInnes made three changes to the side that were beaten last weekend by league leaders Celtic. Graeme Shinnie returned to the starting XI after completing his suspension along with Adam Rooney and Ryan Christie who missed out last week against his parent club.
Andy Considine and Sam Cosgrove were both serving bans and unavailable with Gary Mackay-Steven and Chidi Nwakali dropping to the bench.
Due to the adverse weather conditions Aberdeen?s midweek trip to Motherwell was postponed, however The Dons boss ensured that the weather had not affected his sides training schedule and preparations for the game. The visitors, Kilmarnock, did play midweek, leaving Tynecastle with a hard earned point and came into the game with renewed confidence following an excellent string of results under Steve Clarke.
The visitors kicked things off attacking towards the 1,300 plus travelling support that had braved the weather and journeyed north. The first 5 minutes were fairly tentative with neither side being able to really keep a hold of the ball and launch an attack. Kilmarnock had a couple of early corners however they were comfortably dealt with by the hosts.
The home side took the lead in the 8th minute through Graeme Shinnie. Playing at left back in for Considine The Dons captain played a nice one-two with Christie to get into a good position down the left. Shinnie fired a low cross/shot across the box which caught Killie keeper Jamie MacDonald in two minds and the ball went straight through him and crept in at the far post to give Aberdeen the lead.
The Dons looked to pressure MacDonald following his early mistake. A long range shot from McLean was followed in with intent by Rooney and May looking to pounce on any spillage from the ?keeper, but MacDonald held on.
An in-swinging corner from McGinn had MacDonald flapping again. But the ?keeper got enough on his punch to clear from underneath his own cross bar and Killie countered through Eammon Brophy. Running in from the left, Brophy got to the byline and looked set to pull the trigger. Christie who had tracked him all the way raised an arm and made contact with the Killie striker putting him off balance he hit the floor. Brophy was adamant that it was a penalty but referee Steven McLean waved away his excessive appeals and booked him for his protests.
The Dons looked a threat from set pieces. May won another corner down the right hand side. McGinn?s out-swinger was met by Arnason on the volley but he couldn?t direct his effort towards goal. Both sides looked to go forward when in possession of the ball often knocking the ball in behind bypassing the midfield.
Logan became the first Aberdeen player to go into the book with a foul on the half way line on Brophy. The resulting free kick was eventually cleared after Woodman got half a fist on the ball. The Dons countered through McGinn who was cynically brought down by Alan Power. The referee played advantage, before returning to show Power a yellow card, as May played a lovely ball wide to Christie. The winger fired a cross into Adam Rooney, his shot was well blocked by Rory McKenzie and the scoreline remained 1-0.
Killie nearly scored twice in a minute before the interval. From a corner Kirk Broadfoot got up well and directed his header towards the top corner however Woodman saved acrobatically and parried the ball out. Kris Boyd then had a golden chance to level. The resulting corner was flicked on and fell to the Killie captain on the volley but Boyd blazed his effort well over from 8 yards out and The Dons went in at half time one goal to the good.
Neither side made any changes and the game restarted as the light snow continued to fall.
Killie made the better start and again won an early corner, Brophy?s shot taking a nick off a red shirt. Boyd met the corner, initially miscontrolling the delivery but he did enough to win another. Boyd again met McKenzie?s delivery but his header was weak and did little to trouble Woodman in goal.
A clumsy challenge from Broadfoot on Shinnie earned the former Rangers man a yellow card and The Dons a free-kick in a good position. McGinn whipped the free kick in at pace and Arnason got in front of his man forcing a terrific one handed save from MacDonald in goal.
As the game passed the hour mark the tie was still finely in the balance. Both sides looked a threat from set pieces but lacked the quality with the final ball in open play to generate any clear cut chances. The visitors had a few long range efforts, none of which hit the target and troubled the keeper.
In the 66th minute Kilmarnock were awarded a penalty. A lack of communication between Logan and Arnason on the right hand side allowed Jordan Jones to get in behind. Jones went down between The Dons defenders and although there appeared to be little contact as he entered the area the referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Boyd made no mistake in converting and levelled the cup-tie.
The visitors goal set the match alight and with 20 minutes to play the game began to open up with both sides going for the victory.
Logan had a left footed shot deflected wide for a corner but MacDonald did well to come and gather. Kilmarnock went straight up the other end and Boyd had a half chance. The striker did well to swivel at the edge of the area and get a shot away but his effort was well wide.
With just over 10 minutes to play GMS was brought on to replace Stevie May as The Dons went in search of the victory. Steve Clarke made a change too with Boyd off for Greg Kiltie.
Rooney had a half chance to nick it with 6 minutes left to play. Logan nodded down to the striker in the box but Adam couldn?t hit the target with his volley. The striker went close again minutes later, this time with his head. He got on the end of McGinn?s cross but his header lacked the power and direction to trouble MacDonald.
Nwakali replaced Christie in the final moments of the game but didn?t have an opportunity to make an impact. Two minutes of time were added on but The Dons couldn?t find a winner in the remaining stages.