Derek McInnes made two changes to the cup winning side. Cammy Smith came in for the injured Jonny Hayes and Nicky Low replaced Barry Robson who dropped to the bench. So the Dons lined up in the usual formation with Langfield in goal, Logan at right back, Anderson and Reynolds in central defence with Considine at left back. Flood and Jack were the sitting midfielders with Low on the left and McGinn on the right. Cammy Smith played just off Rooney.
Just before kick-off Peter and Jonny paraded the League Cup and then the teams walked out to a fantastic card display in the Merkland Stand and Richard Donald Lower.
The opening stages of the game were very scrappy with very few decent passing moves. Niall McGinn to his credit was the one player who was trying to make things happen and was popping up on the right and left. On 9 minutes Logan was fouled by Johnston after his quick feet drew the foul. With Robson on the bench Low was in charge of the set-pieces. On this occasion Low had two attempts to put over a cross but on both occasions he failed to find a red jersey.
Then on 10 minutes the visitors took the lead. From the Dons point of view it was poor defending. Rory McKenzie picked the ball up on the half way line. He was allowed to run fully 40 yards without anyone putting in a tackle. He got himself to the edge of the area and was then able to put a through ball in for Boyd. The former Scotland striker was then able to turn and fire a shot past Mark Reynolds and into the corner of the net. A fine finish from Boyd who gave Langfield no chance as the keeper would not have even seen the shot till late.
A minute later Cammy Smith made a similar run to McKenzie and made room for his shot at the edge of the area but he failed to connect properly and the ball trundled past. On 15 minutes a corner to the Dons but Low could not pick anyone out in the box after two attempts but a minute later Low helped create an Aberdeen equaliser. Mark Reynolds played a long ball forward which Nicky Low flicked on to McGinn. The ball was played back Low who threaded a lovely ball through for Rooney. The striker turned and the early shot was too good for Samson. The shot did not go in the corner but the early hit surprised the keeper. Like Boyd, a great finish from the striker.
Three minutes later the Dons should have been ahead. Rooney made a run down the right and got the better of Masksimenko far too easily. He cut it back for McGinn but his ballooned the ball over from about 10 yards. A really good chance but the ball did take a bobble in front of him and Pascali did well to do just enough to put McGinn off. Then on 22 minutes a free kick in a great position after McGinn was taken down. Jack, McGinn and Low all fancied it, Ryan took it but put the ball just past the post, Samson had it covered anyway.
On 27 minutes the visitors did their best to gift the Dons the lead. Samson and Croft went for the same ball but got in mess. McGinn picked up the loose ball but he was forced wide and was unable to get a shot away despite the net being empty. The Dons did win a corner which was played short, McGinn played it in, Considine hooked it on but Samson gathered. The Killie defence again did not look convincing. They seem to lack someone who was willing to attack the ball.
On the half hour mark Boyd and Jack clashed on the half way line. The Kilmarnock striker seemed to have lost his cool. Referee Craig Thomson, who it must be said once again had a good game, decided a word with both players was enough.
On the half hour Low went for a shot but instead of shooting cleverly faked the shot and then played a little pass to Rooney. He in turn played a first time pass to McGinn who was one on one with Samson but the keeper blocked the shot. Niall was offside though. Good play from the Dons. A minute later McGinn was not offside and in an even better position. Cammy Smith beat Tesselaar and ran in on goal. He cut it back for Niall who from a similar position to the Rooney cut-back put the ball over. Despite the miss it was encouraging how the Dons were cutting Killie apart when they picked up the pace. On 38 minutes McGinn this time tried his luck from distance. He caught the ball sweetly but it just went past. It was good to see Niall still has the confidence to try things. A minute later McGinn had yet another chance but from a tight angle Samson blocked.
It looked at this point as if it was only a matter of time before Aberdeen scored. Killie then actually enjoyed some possession which allowed them to go in at the interval on level terms. Boyd had one half chance but with his back to goal, he was crowded out by defenders.
The first twenty minutes of the second were similar to the first - mostly Aberdeen with the odd break from Killie. Shortly after the restart Considine had a half chance but the ball would just not come down for him in the box. Aberdeen were camped on the edge of the Killie area but could not find a way through. On 55 minutes Boyd reminded the Aberdeen defence they needed to be alert when he worked space for a shot but from about 25 yards out Langfield made a comfortable save.
On the hour mark Nicky Low was replaced by Barry Robson.
Robson was very quickly involved and creating things. On 63 minutes he put over a lovely ball. Smith found space but drove it against the defender. He then put over a beautiful delivery from a corner to the near post which was not dealt with by Samson. The keeper missed it, the ball landed at the feet of Anderson at the back post but he volleyed it over. He was taken by surprise more than anything but a good chance gone.
Killie were by now offering almost nothing up front. Boyd was looking very frustrated and you could not blame the striker, he was getting no support.
On 66 minutes Niall MiGinn got in behind the defence. He had time to look up and played a left footed cross across the face of goal but frustratingly there were no takers. You thought at this point it was going to be one of those days but finally on 71 minutes the goal came. Flood chipped in a free kick. Reynolds at the back post area cut it back. Smith completely miskicked, but the ball fell for Ryan Jack. He hit a shot through a ruck of players and the ball found its way into the net. Samson to fair had no chance as the ball went through about four players. It was a scrappy goal but who cares! The goal was thoroughly deserved.
Kilmarnock now needed to come out and play some football which to their credit they did.
On 78 minutes a good cross by McKenzie caused some danger in the box. Cammy Smith, who had an excellent game, was well positioned and cleared the danger with a great defensive header. Logan played the ball forward and Rooney brilliantly flicked it on and gathered. He tried to pick out McGinn at the far post but the ball was over hit. After 80 minutes another chance for Niall. Ryan Jack picked him out and the Dons striker was again in the perfect position but he pulled his shot just wide. Lee Ashcroft deserves credit for throwing himself into a tackle to try and block but again Niall should have scored.
For the final five minutes Declan McManus replaced Niall McGinn. Declan has been in great scoring form for the U20s, as he has been for the past three years. On 86 minutes he got a chance to run at the now tiring Killie defence. He could have gone himself but tried to pick out Rooney and the ball was over hit and the chance lost.
The large crowd stayed to the end to help the Dons see out the final few minutes without any concerns what so ever. This was very much a team effort that helped the Dons get over the line. They played some very good football at times.