They say you shouldn’t mess with a good thing. Well today, interim manager McCulloch did just that, and we were severely punished for it. Everything looked so good for 82 minutes, and then came along Miles Addison.
But I digress, lets start at the beginning. The first half was played at an intensity not often seen on the hallowed astroturf of Rugby Park. The Dons dominated the opening 10/15 minutes, with wave after wave of attack being dealt with superbly by Ajer and Dicker at the back. The away side wasted plenty of chances, and we made them pay just before half time. A good cut back from Jordan Jones (even though the whole of the East Stand berated him for not shooting) found Rory McKenzie who smacked the ball past Lewis with a little help from Mark Reynolds.
The game went back and forth in the second half, with both teams really going for it. Boydy went close with a volley just wide, while McLean had a number of good chances to equalise for the visitors.
Everything changed with the introduction of Addison for Stevie Smith. With the big man moving in to his usual centre back roll, this broke up the solid partnership of Ajer and Dicker, which proved to be fatal. Just five minutes after coming on, Addison tried to hold off Stockley, waiting for Woodman to come out of his goal to collect. However, the goalie never arrived and Stockley simply flicked out a foot to send the ball past the stranded Woodman. What Addison was thinking by not clearing the ball, we’ll never know. But we do know that this gave Aberdeen a route back into the game and it only got worse.
A mere matter of minutes after Stockley wheeled away in celebration, the Dons grabbed the winner, and again it was Addison who was at fault. His poor attempted clearance was volleyed first time by Pawlett, which found the back of the net. The away support were joyous, the home fans left with a feeling they know all too well by now.
Woodman: Made some smart saves, especially from McGinn in the first half. Could do nothing about the goals. (8)
Hendrie: Dependable as always, kept Hayes relatively quiet all game, which is a hard thing to do. (8)
Dicker: Had another outstanding game at centre half, dealt with Rooney superbly and should feel aggrieved he was switched to midfield before the goals. (8)
Ajer: Another outstanding performance from the young man. The emotion he showed at the end was something you don’t see very often, and was truly inspiring to see from a Killie point of view. (9)
Taylor: A man of the match performance from the young man, dealt with Logan superbly and was dangerous going forward. (9)
Longstaff: Showed quality in patches, but was quite sloppy in possession. (6)
McKenzie: Got the goal, but was largely anonymous for most parts of the game, and on several occasions decided to pass when shooting was a better option. (7)
Smith: Controlled the midfield well, got himself about and made sure the Dons players knew he was there. (8)
Jones: An average performance from the wide man, I counted one good cross the whole game. (6)
Sammon: Failed to have a real impact on the game, first touch let him down at vital moments. (6)
Boyd: Tried as hard as he could but couldn’t find that 200th league goal. Had a rasping strike that went narrowly wide. (7)
MAN OF THE MATCH: GREG TAYLOR