SPFL Match 19 - December 19th 2015 - Rugby Park
SPFL Match 19 - December 19th 2015 - Rugby Park
No. of Shots
Shots on Target
McGinn (9), Rooney (36),
Jamie MacDonald, Ross Barbour, Conrad Balatoni, Mark Connolly, Stuart Findlay, Jamie Hamill (Craig Slater 37), Steven Smith , (Tope Obadeyi 63), Greg Kiltie, Aaron Splaine , Josh Magennis, Kris Boyd (Rory McKenzie 51)
Subs Not Used: Mark Ridgers, Mark O'Hara, Scott Robinson, Adam Frizzell
David Shaw @ Rugby Park
Just over 900 Dons fans travelled the length of the country to watch their team take on Killie on a strangely mild December afternoon. Aberdeen, of course, were league leaders for the first dozen games or so before their away-form inexplicably collapsed. Rumour has it that their manager was the only man playing away from home during this period!
Traditionally, on the last weekend before Christmas, retailers can be found throwing whatever’s left on the shelves at a gullible, unsuspecting public. Gary Locke did much the same today – throwing Ross Barbour in for his first game in ages against the impressive Nial McGinn, and shuffling centre-half Finlay into the left-back berth to try and cope with the equally impressive Johnny Hayes. It didn’t look good on paper and it was even worse to witness on plastic. From the off, Barbour set up McGinn for a one on one with MacDonald and you felt that the writing was on the wall for Killie before a cracker had even been pulled. Fortunately, Macdonald saved McGinn’s weak effort.
Ten minutes gone and a McLean free kick found McGinn with a free header from 5 yards to begin the rout. Rooney and McLean then missed from point-blank range when it looked easier to score – McGinn at least being denied by the crossbar. Wave upon wave of Don’s attacks were not being dealt with by Killie’s two defensive midfielders, Hamill and Smith, whilst the full-backs were being drawn infield by the driving runs of Jack and McLean.
Then, after a brief flurry up field by the home side, Magennis outmuscled his marker but subsequently shot wide. Two minutes later and Killie paid for this miss when Jack sprinted down the left wing unopposed to cross for Rooney to bullet home the second goal.
Steven Smith was then booked and almost sent off for another bad foul on the same player, so Gary Locke took off Jamie Hamill! Thankfully, half-time arrived to halt any more madness.
Straight from the kick-off, Aberdeen launched an attack down the left. Again, Jack was left in acres of space to flight over a perfect cross for Hayes, standing all alone with only MacDonald for company. It was now 3-0 and heading for a slaughter. Boyd made way for Rory five minutes later, with Magennis shifting to striker, and the change was instantly beneficial. Suddenly, Killie started to compete, with substitutes Slater and McKenzie supporting Josh in a three pronged attack not seen since we last won a game.
Obadeyi then replaced Smith as Killie went for broke. Splaine, who looked our best player in the first half (please don’t take that as any kind of compliment whatsoever), headed over a Slater cross as Killie at least tried to compete. However, Aberdeen scored a well-worked goal after 80 minutes, when Pawlett’s excellent back heel was stroked home by Shay Logan. Cue the mass exodus by many disgusted home fans as another hammering at home proved just too much too stomach. Shouts of ‘Locke must go’ and even a Wimbledon-esque slow handclap echoed around the half-empty stands as angry fans even argued with each other, unable to agree on who should be blamed for the fiasco that was unfolding in front of them, week after week. Referee McLean then called time before any more damage could be done.
Five home reports now and five hammerings at home. I’m honestly beginning to feel like Kate Adie reporting from a war zone. Who would be a football fan – I ask you!
Gary Locke: "The fans are right to be angry, I'm angry myself, I've stuck up for the players after a couple of bad results here but I said to them in [the dressing room] I can't stick up for them after that. The position we are in you've got to compete and stop crosses coming in and we never did that. I think it's blatantly evident that we need to make changes, I can't keep on going here shipping the goals that we lose. I'm confident in my ability, The players have got to take a bit of responsibility themselves. I'll take responsibility, I'm deservedly taking a bit of stick at the moment and you have to take that on the chin as a manager. But I know the players are better than what they have shown today. There is a lack of confidence. We just have to keep working hard on the training ground and keep believing in what we are doing. The players and myself have got to turn it around."
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