Kilmarnock 0-2 Aberdeen: Hedges & Cosgrove send visitors third

Ryan Hedges scored his eighth goal of the season for Aberdeen at Rugby Park

Aberdeen powered to victory over 10-man Kilmarnock to usurp Hibernian in third place in the Scottish Premiership.

Ryan Hedges broke the deadlock with a deflected shot 12 minutes into the second half after a turgid opening 45.

Sam Cosgrove thumped in the second with the final kick of the ball, having been brought down by Brandon Haunstrup, who was dismissed, before lashing home the resultant free-kick from 20 yards.

Kilmarnock created very little and have now failed to score in three matches.

They remain ninth, level on points with St Johnstone and Hamilton Academical beneath them, and one shy of St Mirren and Livingston in a congested bottom half.

Aberdeen, who have not lost at Rugby Park since 2011, overtake Hibs by a point with a game in hand and are behind second-placed Celtic, who have two games in hand. on goal difference.

This game was lively, if bereft of suave, attacking football and light on clear-cut opportunities. Connor McLennan was a pest for Aberdeen, skewing a volley wide in the early skirmishes, while Andy Considine and Tommie Hoban sent headers off target from decent positions.

Too often, Kilmarnock lacked the guile to cleave open their notoriously robust and diligent guests. Chris Burke scurried free and flashed a ball across the face in the dying embers of the first half, but his team-mates’ predatory instincts were blunt. Only Greg Kiltie attacked the back post, and the ball was steered away by Matty Kennedy.

Derek McInnes, who had lost just once to Kilmarnock in 29 matches as Aberdeen manager, withdrew defender Hoban for midfielder Dean Campbell at the interval, in a bid to splinter the home side’s resilience.

Seven minutes into the new half, Aberdeen seized their chance. Kilmarnock coughed up possession from a throw-in, Hedges swaggered to within a few metres of the box, and his shot cannoned off the left leg of Stuart Findlay and soared beyond Danny Rogers.

Kilmarnock stayed in the fight, but they looked every inch a team toiling to find a ruthless streak. In 18 league matches, they have scored only 18 goals. Callum Waters arced in a couple of glorious deliveries from the left – there were no takers in blue and white.

McLennan could have put the game to bed 20 minutes from time, the winger found in a pocket of unguarded space on the edge of the box after wonderful interplay between Lewis Ferguson and Curtis Main but firing low into traffic.

So too could Cosgrove, when sent galloping through on Rogers by an exquisite Hedges flick. The goalkeeper swiftly flung out his left leg to block Cosgrove; a magnificent save that kept his team’s flickering hopes alive.

The striker, though, would have the final say. Once more, he was put through on goal, only this time Haunstrup hauled him down on the edge of the box. The defender was sent off, and the ball sent fizzing low into the home net from the resultant free-kick.

Even guarding the most slender of leads, Aberdeen are fiendishly difficult to reel back in. They are street-smart and industrious and Kilmarnock could not decipher a formula to deny McInnes’ troops a deserved victory.

Man of the match – Lewis Ferguson

Lewis Ferguson
On his 100th Aberdeen appearance, Ferguson laced a typically dynamic performance with some lovely flourishes of skill and made several telling interventions defensively.

What did we learn?

Kilmarnock looked most threatening when loading up the Aberdeen box from corners, or swinging crosses into the danger area. What they lacked was a poaching striker willing to take chances and exert himself to get between the posts.

After going four games without a win, Aberdeen look back to their resilient best. Kilmarnock scarcely had a sniff. This was a vintage McInnes display – defensively unflustered, hard working and clinical when it mattered.

What’s next?

Kilmarnock travel to Dundee United on Wednesday, while Aberdeen face a trip to Motherwell.

More to follow.

Player of the match

HedgesRyan Hedges

with an average of 8.15


  1. Squad number23Player nameRogers

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  2. Squad number6Player namePower

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  3. Squad number2Player nameMcGowan

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  4. Squad number27Player nameTshibola

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  5. Squad number17Player nameFindlay

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  6. Squad number18Player nameWaters

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  7. Squad number10Player nameKiltie

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  8. Squad number29Player nameBurke

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  9. Squad number11Player nameKabamba

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  10. Squad number12Player nameWhitehall

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  11. Squad number7Player nameMcKenzie

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  12. Squad number5Player nameBroadfoot

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  13. Squad number9Player nameBrophy

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  14. Squad number3Player nameHaunstrup

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  1. Squad number11Player nameHedges

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  2. Squad number19Player nameFerguson

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  3. Squad number14Player nameTaylor

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  4. Squad number40Player nameMcCrorie

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  5. Squad number4Player nameConsidine

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  6. Squad number33Player nameKennedy

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  7. Squad number3Player nameHoban

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  8. Squad number18Player nameMcLennan

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  9. Squad number9Player nameMain

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  10. Squad number17Player nameHayes

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  11. Squad number1Player nameLewis

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  12. Squad number24Player nameCampbell

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  13. Squad number16Player nameCosgrove

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  14. Squad number2Player nameLogan

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  • 23Rogers
  • 2McGowanSubstituted forKiltieat 29′minutes
  • 5Broadfoot
  • 17FindlaySubstituted forHaunstrupat 87′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 18Waters
  • 29Burke
  • 6Power
  • 27TshibolaBooked at 76mins
  • 7McKenzie
  • 9Brophy
  • 11KabambaSubstituted forWhitehallat 72′minutes


  • 3Haunstrup
  • 10Kiltie
  • 12Whitehall
  • 16Doyle
  • 19Pinnock
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 33Taylor


  • 1Lewis
  • 3HobanSubstituted forCampbellat 45′minutes
  • 14Taylor
  • 4Considine
  • 33Kennedy
  • 40McCrorie
  • 19Ferguson
  • 17Hayes
  • 11Hedges
  • 9MainSubstituted forCosgroveat 80′minutes
  • 18McLennanSubstituted forLoganat 80′minutes


  • 2Logan
  • 8Ojo
  • 10McGinn
  • 16Cosgrove
  • 22Hernández
  • 24Campbell
  • 32Edmondson
  • 37Ngwenya
  • 43Woods

David Munro

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Kilmarnock 0, Aberdeen 2.

  2. Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 0, Aberdeen 2.

  3. Goal! Kilmarnock 0, Aberdeen 2. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  4. Brandon Haunstrup (Kilmarnock) is shown the red card.

  5. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Foul by Brandon Haunstrup (Kilmarnock).

  7. Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

  8. Kirk Broadfoot (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Offside, Kilmarnock. Kirk Broadfoot tries a through ball, but Brandon Haunstrup is caught offside.

  10. Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jonny Hayes.

  11. Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Shay Logan.

  12. Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jonny Hayes.

  13. Attempt missed. Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Kirk Broadfoot.

  14. Substitution, Kilmarnock. Brandon Haunstrup replaces Stuart Findlay because of an injury.

  15. Hand ball by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

  16. Offside, Aberdeen. Ryan Hedges tries a through ball, but Sam Cosgrove is caught offside.

  17. Attempt blocked. Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  18. Attempt saved. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Hedges.

  19. Foul by Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen).

  20. Alan Power (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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