Aberdeen beat Kilmarnock 3-1 with two wonder goals

Scott McKenna earned his second Scotland cap in starting against Hungary in Budapest.
Scott McKenna earned his second Scotland cap in starting against Hungary in Budapest.

Aberdeen fought back from a goal down at half-time to beat Kilmarnock 3-1 with the Red Army treated to two sensational goals at Pittodrie.

Defender Scott McKenna equalized with a header before the centre-back made it 2-1 with a sublime 40 yard wonder goal that is contender for goal of the season.

January signing Niall McGinn also pitched in with a sublime solo goal where he won possession in his own half, slalomed three challenges and rifled in a 25 yard drive.

The victory also moved Aberdeen back above Rangers into second place in the Premiership – albeit potentially only for less than 24 hours as the Ibrox club are in action tomorrow.

There were three changes to the side that started the 2-0 loss to Rangers at Ibrox on Wednesday with two enforced.

Danny Rogers came in for his first Dons start to replace Joe Lewis who sustained knee cartilage damage at Ibrox and will undergo surgery early next week.

It is expected the 30-year-old No.1 will be out for up to two months.

January window signing Niall McGinn came in for his first start since returning to Pittodrie on a long term deal until summer 2021.

McGinn replaced Ryan Christie who was ruled out by injury with on loan Dominic Ball also started with Greg Stewart dropping to the bench.

Manchester City midfielder Chidiebere Nwakali made the bench after his international clearance was pushed through in time for the clash.

The 21-year-old Nigerian had missed the games against Rangers and St Mirren whilst awaiting a work permit having agreed a loan deal until the end of the season.

Aberdeen were denied the opener in the third minute when Gary Mackay-Steven picked out Shaleum Logan at the back post with a post.

The right-back’s left foot volley was saved at the near post by diving Jamie MacDonald.

Aberdeen were controlling play and Scott McKenna headed wide soon after.

In the 19th minute McGinn fired in a powerful drive from the edge of the penalty area that keeper MacDonald did well to push over the bar.

Killie striker Kris Boyd made a futile attempt at earning a penalty when he went down when moving in front of Scott McKenna.

There was no contact on Boyd but he still went down. He should have been booked for simulation.

Moments later Boyd sent a header high over the bar.

Kilmarnock grabbed the lead in the 28th minute when an impressive run from Jordan Jones teed up Greg Taylor who unleashed a low shot from the edge of the box.

His effort took a deflection off Kris BOYD, and although Rogers got a hand to the ball it wasn’t enough to prevent the goal.

Moments later Rogers pulled off a vital save when he blocked a powerful shot from the impressive Jordan Jones.


Aberdeen threatened in the 38th minute as McGinn connected with a Mackay-Steven cross from the left but his volley on the half turn from 10 yards was saved at the near post.

Next midfielder Kenny McLean flighted a long free-kick from the half-way line to the edge of the penalty area.

Defender McKenna rose to head it back across goal towards Considine who forced his header over from 10 yards.

Aberdeen drew level in the 49th minute when McGinn whipped in a corner kick from the right and McKENNA met it with a powerful header.

Keeper MacDonald pushed the effort onto the bar and it bounced down  and over the line.

Adam Rooney made sure by bundling the ball over the line but it was McKenna’s goal.

Three minutes later McKENNA found the net  with an absolutely sublime strike. He collected a pass from the right, took a touch and then unleashed a bullet 35 yard left footed rocket that bulleted past helpless keeper MacDonald.

You will be hard pressed to see a better goal anywhere this season.

Hull City have recently had a £700,000 bid rejected for McKenna and Aston Villa are also tracking him. Boss Derek McInnes has underlined McKenna is not for sale in the January transfer window.

His performance against Killie will only bring him to the attention to other clubs and ramp up his value.

On the hour mark the influential McGinn cross deep towards the back post towards Logan who ghosted in but his shot was just wide.

In the 69th minute Kris Boyd fired in a powerful 22 yard free kick. Keeper Rogers blocked the shot but spilled it but recovered quickly to scoop the ball wide for a corner.

Aberdeen went 3-1 ahead with another sensational goal when McGINN won possession off Gary Dicker deep in his own half in the 72nd minute.

The recent signing raced up field, slalomed past three challenges to open up space and then unleashed a superb 25 yard drive past MacDonald.

It was a wonderful solo goal.

McGinn came close to doubling his tally soon after with a 20 yard curling effort that flashed just wide of target.

Keeper Rogers produced a magnificent instinctive save to push a powerful low drive from Stephen O’Donnell over.

New loan signing Nwakali came on for his debut with five minutes remaining and was booked for a challenge on O’Donnell soon after.

ABERDEEN: Rogers, Considine, O’Connor, McKenna, Ball, Shinnie, McLean, McGinn, Mackay-Steven, Rooney.

Subs: Arnason (for Ball 62), Nwakali (for McGinn 84), Wright (for Mackay-Steven 85)

Subs not used: Craddock, Stewart, Maynard, Harvie.

KILMARNOCK: MacDonald, O’Donnell, Broadfoot, Power, McKenzie, Dicker, K. Boyd, Jones, Taylor, S. Boyd, Mulumu.

Subs: Erwin (for Power 46), Brophy (for K. Boyd 77), Kiltie (for McKenzie 77).

Subs not used: Lyle, Findlay, Waters, Frizzell.

Referee: Craig Thomson