Kilmarnock up to fourth after easing past toothless Aberdeen

Captain Kyle Vassell gave the home side the lead with a superbly taken goal.

Kilmarnock up to fourth after easing past toothless Aberdeen SNS Group

Kilmarnock moved up to fourth in the Premiership with a deserved 2-0 victory over a poor Aberdeen at Rugby Park.

Captain Kyle Vassell gave the home side the lead with a superbly taken goal on the stroke of half-time.

And Marley Watkins extended their lead just after the hour mark after a mistake by Dons defender Stefan Gartenmann.

Danny Armstrong also hit the crossbar for the impressive hosts while Aberdeen were toothless throughout as they remained in 10th.

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes made just one change from the side who defeated Livingston last weekend, with Matty Kennedy coming to face his old club in place of Corrie Ndaba.

Aberdeen also made just one change to the side who agonisingly lost to PAOK in the Europa Conference League on Thursday, with Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes replacing Dante Polvara.

In a tight opening period it was the hosts who had the better of the chances, with Kennedy firing straight at Kelle Roos in the seventh minute with the first shot of the match.

Kilmarnock were very nearly in front 10 minutes later as Watkins picked out David Watson in the centre of the box but the midfielder’s shot was deflected over the bar from eight yards.

Kennedy also fired wastefully over in the 24th minute, with Aberdeen’s only chance of the first half coming in a long ball up the field that Duk almost tucked around an onrushing Will Dennis.

It had been a cagey half but the home side had been on top and they made the breakthrough just seconds before referee Kevin Clancy was set to blow his whistle.

A long ball from Dennis was flicked on by Armstrong to Vassell who cut inside Slobodan Rubezic and fired past Roos from just outside the box.

Aberdeen looked to respond after the break and Duk did well to get to the byline but Dennis clawed away to safety.

But it was Kilmarnock who continued to look more likely to add to their advantage. From a short free-kick, Kennedy unleashed a dipping effort that was tipped over by Roos, before Watson headed narrowly wide from the resulting corner.

The impressive Armstrong had been threatening all game and he was inches away from extending the hosts lead in the 62nd minute as he curled against the crossbar from the edge of the box.

Kilmarnock only had to wait two minutes to make it 2-0 though, as a dawdling Gartenmann saw his attempted clearance charged down by Watkins who calmly stroked the ball past Roos.

Aberdeen boss Barry Robson made four substitutions and he looked to get back into the game.

One of the replacements was Ester Sokler and he almost made an instant impact, heading narrowly wide when well found by Duk.

The visitors continued to probe but they never came close to threatening a comeback as Kilmarnock saw out the game comfortably to record a second consecutive home win.

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