Evening Express

Woodman the hero as Dons reach Scottish Cup semi-final

Aberdeen FC's Freddie Woodman was the spot-kick hero with three saves against Kilmarnock.

ABERDEEN reached the Scottish Cup semi-final with a 3-2 penalty shoot-out  defeat of in form Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

On loan Newcastle United keeper Freddie Woodman was the hero with three saves in a high drama shoot-out.

The Reds will now face Motherwell at Hampden in the last four on Saturday April 14.

The sides were level at 0-0 after regulation time before Killie went ahead in extra time through Stephen O’Donnell.

Kenny McLean hit back from the penalty spot to

After a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie both sides went again with the Reds edging a nervous quarter-final replay.

It ended a four game run without victory for the Reds who have will compete in a sixth semi-final under boss Derek McInnes.

Aberdeen lost last season’s final 2-1 to Celtic and the bid to go one better and lift the trophy for the first time since 1990 remains alive.


A large travelling 1,494 strong Red Army made up the 8,998 crowd.

Aberdeen made two changes to the side that were held 0-0 at relegation battling Partick Thistle at the weekend.

Boss McInnes went with a more attacking team with leading scorer Adam Rooney, on 11 goals for the season, coming in.

Stevie May, the £400,000 summer signing from Preston North End, dropped to the bench.

Winger Gary Mackay-Steven returned to the starting line-up with Dominic Ball losing his slot.

The three Dons that were recently called up into Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad started – Kenny McLean, Scott McKenna and Ryan Christie.

Kilmarnock created the opening opportunity in the seventh minute when Stephen O’Donnell found Kris Boyd with a low cross from the right.

Boyd held off Anthony O’Connor before turning and shooting low but the 15 yard effort was straight at keeper Freddie Woodman who collected.

Moments later skipper Graeme Shinnie flicked the ball over Kirk Broadfoot then waited for the ball to drop before shooting on the half volley from 22 yards.

Shinnie’s effort took a deflection to send it straight to keeper Jamie MacDonald who saved comfortably.

Aberdeen threatened in the 15th minute when Shinnie drove through the heart of midfield before sliding a pass to Mackay-Steven on the overlap.

The winger crossed deep to the back post where Christie nodded the ball back across goal.

Rooney met it on the half volley but blazed over from 12 yards.

A tense tie exploded in the 23rd minute when Mackay-Steven went down on the left wing with the ball nestled in near his chest as he was on the deck..

Rory McKenzie went in with an over zealous attempt to dig the ball out with three kicks..

It sparked a stramash with players from both sides racing to the incident..

Referee Steven McLean sought advice from assistant David Roome  and after a lengthy pause, where McKenzie must have been sweating, held up a yellow.

He was fortunate not to see red.

In the 35th minute McLean unleashed a vicious 25 yard drive that flashed inches wide.

Soon after a corner kick from McGinn on the right fell to McKenna but the centre-back, off balance, hooked a shot over from 12 yards.

Kilmarnock were awarded a free kick in dangerous territory in the 43rd minute for a foul by McLean on McKenzie.

Boyd fired low to the left of the defensive wall and the 22 yard effort skidded wide.

There was a let off for the Reds in the 61st minute when a free-kick from Gary Dicker found Boyd who was completely unmarked at the far post as the defence failed to clear the danger.

Keeper Woodman did well to block from the striker at close range.

Both teams went 4-4-2 in an attempt to win the tie with striker May on for Mackay-Steven and Eamonn Brophy replacing McKeniee moments later.

Woodman produced a superb save when he dived to block a  vicious 22 yard drive from Stephen O’Donnell in the 73rd minute.

The May-Rooney partnership lasted less than five minutes as Rooney made way for Greg Stewart.

Killie were looking the more likely to score and McKenna produced a crucial block to deny a goal bound drive from O’Donnell.

In the 80th minute Christie slammed a free-kick from 22 yards into the defensive wall.

He pounced on the rebound but blasted it wide.

Killie were threatening and from a long throw the ball fell to Stuart Findlay 15 yards out but his snatched shot flashed inches wide.

It was the last opportunity in the regulation 90 minutes.

Disaster struck for Aberdeen in the 95th minute when a long clearance upfield bounced in front of Logan.

The full-back jumped to head it but flipped over Brophy and was left poleaxed on the deck.

Brophy capitalised to pick up the ball and square to O’DONNELL who had the goal beckoning and slammed home a 15 yard drive beyond Woodman.

Logan had been culpable along with Kari Arnason for the mix-up that led to the equalizing penalty in the original tie.

The Dons hit back in the 103rd minute from the penalty spot.

May was manhandled to the ground by Kirk Broadfoot as he attempted to turn on goal.

MCLEAN stepped up and calmly converted the penalty low to the right of the keeper.

Game on.

Moments later McLean unleashed a magnificent 30 yard left footed drive that smashed off the cross-bar.

Suddenly the momentum had turned.

In the 114th minute Nwakali sliced a 25 yard effort well wide as the Reds probed for the goal to take them to Hmpden.

Moments later McLean shot inches wide of the far post.

With one minute remaining Nwakali unleashed a superb 35 yard effort that looked to be sneaking into the top right corner until MacDonald produced a diving save of equal quality.

At 1-1 on pens keeper Woodman tipped a Brophy spot kick onto his right hand post.

Then Woodman blocked a poor penalty from Greg Taylor.

Next McGinn rattled his spot kick off the cross bar.

Woodman then saved from Kiltie to take the Dons into the semi-final.

ABERDEEN: Woodman, Logan, O’Connor, McKenna, Considine, Shinnie, McLean, Christie, McGinn, Mackay-Steven, Rooney.

Subs: May (for Mackay-Steven 65), Stewart (for Rooney 77), Nwakali (for Christie 88).

Subs not used: Rodgers, Reynolds, Arnason, Ball.

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

Subs Brophy (for McKenzie 70), Erwin (for K. Boyd 90), Tshibola (for Power 105), Kiltie (for Mulumbu 118)

Subs not used: Fasan, S.Boyd,  Simpson.

Referee: Steven McLean