Kilmarnock 0-1 Aberdeen: Eight-man Killie go down

Eight-man Killie were beaten in an incredible opening post-split match after being defeated 0-1 by Aberdeen at Rugby Park.

A second-half Scott McKenna header secured the win with referee Steven McLean sending off Kirk Broadfoot, Stuart Findlay and Rory McKenzie.

A tentative opening ten minutes saw few chances for either side, with a Scott McKenna header that flashed wide of Bachmann’s post being the only notable bit of action.

It took a fine bit of control from Eamonn Brophy on 19 minutes to get the ball down and force a first save from Joe Lewis at the near post – testing the Aberdeen man from inside the box.

Gary Dicker was then on the receiving end of a nasty elbow from Sam Cosgrove – setting the tone for a feisty end to the first-half.

Tempers began to flare following a string of Aberdeen challenges on Killie players; with things reaching a head on 35 minutes when Kirk Broadfoot was shown a straight red card for challenging the ball that Joe Lewis gathered at a goalmouth scramble in the Aberdeen box.

Killie knew they had a big job ahead of them in the second 45, with Aberdeen subbing Cosgrove for James Wilson as the game resumed.

The opening exchanges again proved to be a dour showing with little quality, tireless pressing from the front three bearing no fruit for Killie in attack.

Stevie May skied a free-kick over the bar from outside the box, the striker soon followed up with a close-range effort that Bachmann saved.

The only goal of the game arrived on 66 minutes, as McKenna leapt high at a Graeme Shinnie corner to head the ball into the bottom-right corner.

Stephen O’Donnell went close to bagging the equaliser on 71 minutes, seeing his effort denied by a last-gasp block from the Dons defender.

Killie were reduced to nine-men on 83 minutes with Findlay picking up a second yellow after tackling Shinnie whilst trying to win back the ball.

Ref Steven McLean then sent off Rory McKenzie in injury time for an off the ball incident

With four minutes of added time, Aberdeen held on to secure the points with the post-match talking points sure to be on the red cards.

Kilmarnock: Bachmann, O’Donnell, Broadfoot, Findlay, Taylor, Mulumbu (Millar), Dicker, Power, Burke (McAleny) , Brophy (K. Boyd), McKenzie

Subs: MacDonald, Bruce, K. Boyd, Ndjoli, McAleny, Millar, Millen

Attendance: 6,531