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Kilmarnock 2 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Kilmarnock 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Kilmarnock scorers: Mahood 56, McLauchlin 90
Aberdeen scorers: D'Jaffo 64, Young 82.

14/09/2002 | KO: 15:00

Dons just miss out on win.

Aberdeen produced a great come back at Rugby park this afternoon only to lose an equaliser at the death.The first half was dire for the Dons as they failed to manage one shot on goal and looked devoid of any ideas and inspiration. When Mahood fired the home side ahead in the 56th minute it looked inevitable that another defeat was on the cards. However D'Jaffo conjured an equaliser from nothing and then Darren Young hit a 35-yard screamer fit to win any match and suddenly the Dons were in control and calling the shots. Unfortunately a 90th minute defensive lapse provided the home side with a point.

Russell Anderson was handed the captain's armband in place of the missing Darren Young as Killie got the match underway in glorious sunshine. David Preece, making his first start of the season, was called into action in the 2nd minute when he made a tremendous save at full stretch from a fierce Canero drive. Worryingly, the Dons had failed to mount an attack of any note and were playing all their good passing play in the middle of the park before giving the ball away cheaply. Fabiano had a glimmer of a chance in the 8th minute when he ran on to a through ball from McAllister. Canero did well to get back and clear the danger before the Frenchman could get the ball under control.

McNaughton was forced to concede a corner in the 13th minute, as the home side looked the more threatening. Kilmarnock went close again in the 16th minute when a Gary Locke free kick went inches wide of the post with Preece scrambling across his line. A minute later the Dons defence was all at sea as the home side threatened once more with Quitongo causing most of the problems. The Dons ventured forward in the 19th minute when Deloumeaux collected a D'Jaffo flick, but the Frenchman's cross was disappointing.

The Dons put themselves under needless pressure in the 24th minute when Deloumeaux handled three yards outside the penalty area. Fulton took a quick free kick which was also fortunately too quick for his team-mates and the chance was gone. There were loud appeals for a penalty in the 27th minute when McGuire appeared to handle as the ball was played in. The referee was lenient and awarded a corner. Two minutes later, McAllister was lucky to avoid a booking when he seemed to deliberately kick out at an opponent after losing the ball.

The Dons had a dangerous looking break in the 32nd minute with D'Jaffo, Fabiano and Mackie breaking. D'Jaffo made the wrong choice of pass and the danger was cleared. This one incident could sum up the story of the Dons season to date. We had a replay five minutes later with Billio breaking. He had Mackie and D'Jaffo either side, but delayed and was eventually forced to play a backward pass. The home side continued to press, winning a multitude of corners as the Dons struggled to cope with Quitongo's direct play. Canero collected the first yellow card of the match with a cynical late challenge on Bisconti. The resultant free kick was wasted again as the Dons looked devoid of any forward thinking ideas.

The second half was taking the same shape as the opening period with Kilmarnock forcing their seventh corner of the match in the 48th minute as Quitongo continued to wreak havoc. The inevitable happened in the 56th minute as the Dons failed to clear their lines and Alan Mahood took full advantage to fire home. In the aftermath, Bisconti was booked for protesting then substituted a minute later as his lack of games began to show. Darren Young was the replacement.

Killie went close to extending their lead on the hour mark when Preece was forced into a save from Quitongo. A minute later McGuire made a telling tackle as Killie went for the jugular. Ebbe took a final throw of the dice in the 63rd minute with a double substitution. Thornley and Michie replacing Fabiano and Billio. Within a minute the gamble paid off as the Dons equalised with their first shot at goal. D'Jaffo collected a ball over the top by Deloumeaux and the striker strode forward and unleashed a shot past Marshall.

This seemed to set the game alight and raise the confidence of the Dons. McAllister was harshly booked in the 69th minute for what looked like a fair challenge. Given his brush with the ref in the first half justice was probably done. A minute later D'Jaffo had the ball in the net again after Marshall could only parry a Michie shot. Unfortunately he was in an offside position when he scored. Aberdeen were now a changed side as they took the game by the scruff of the neck.

In the 76th minute a McNaughton free kick was headed inches over the bar by Michie. A minute later Michie turned provider when his cross was met by D'Jaffo and Marshall was forced into a finger tip save for the Dons first corner. Preece earned his corn again in the 81st minute when he was sharply off his line to deny Quitongo. A minute later the Dons took the lead when Darren Young hit a 35-yard screamer into the top of the net. The Dons were on a high now and the 83rd minute saw Deloumeaux hit a powerful shot, which was deflected on to the post. The resultant corner fell to Thornley on the edge of the area and his shot went inches wide of the post as the Dons tried to kill the game.

In an action packed finish Preece made a tremendous block from Fulton that was cleared for a corner. It proved to be a corner too far for the Dons as sloppy defending saw McLaughlin rise to head the equaliser for what was probably a deserved point given the first 45 minutes. Nevertheless it's always painful to lose all three points in the 90th minute of a match.

Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Marshall, Shields, McLaughlin, Dindeleux, Canero, Locke (Fowler 51), Mahood (Giacomo 84), McSwegan (Murray 75), Fulton, Boyd, Quitongo. Unused Subs: Meldrum, Sanjuan

Bookings:  Canero 41,   Fowler 88
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Preece, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, McAllister, Bisconti (Young), McNaughton, Fabiano (Michie), Billio (Thornley), D'Jaffo, Mackie.

Unused Subs: Peat, Payne.

Bookings:  Bisconti (56),  McAllister (69),  Young (78).
Attendance: 6,538
Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Referee: Iain Brines