Kilmarnock 0-0 Aberdeen: Little inspiration or quality as both sides share the points
Scotland defender Scott McKenna may be a doubt for forthcoming international games after going off injured today. Photo by Scott Baxter/GettyImages.

Kilmarnock and Aberdeen played out a turgid 0-0 draw in this afternoon’s SPFL clash at Rugby Park this afternoon.

Story of the match

With the visitors enjoying the lion’s share of territory and possession, while the home team had by far the best chance of the game, a draw can be seen as a fair result. 

Both sides forced into early changes

Aberdeen commanded the majority of possession in the first half, but failed to trouble Laurențiu Brănescu in the Kilmarnock goal beyond a Lewis Ferguson free-kick just before the break. Scott McKenna and Kirk Broadfoot both left the pitch with injuries, while the half was perhaps best summed up by a Chris Burke corner which flew straight out for a corner on the other side of the park. 

Killie had the first chance of the second period after a misplaced clearance from Zak Vyner fell to Eamonn Brophy. The Scotland international set up Niko Hamalainen, who was unable to find the target. For the Dons, a James Wilson run and shot on 53 minutes showed supporters a brief glimpse of the former Manchester United man’s undoubted ability.

With a quarter of an hour remaining, Kilmarnock should have won the game when Burke rounded Joe Lewis, but missed with the goal gaping. While the result gives Angelo Alessio his first point in Scottish football, and puts Aberdeen on four points from three games, neither side will be entirely happy. However, neither side provided enough quality to justifiably consider themselves worthy winners today. 

Takeaways from the match

A point gained, two points dropped, or both?

Today’s result was a qualified success for both sides which will ultimately please neither. Killie will be relived to get off the mark in this season’s SPFL, while Aberdeen can claim a clean sheet and a point away from home against a team who finished above them last season. That said, neither will be happy with today’s performance. Killie were on the back foot at home for long periods in this match, while Aberdeen provided little penetration or enough quality to break them down. Add into the mix injuries for key defenders - and the distinct possibility of Celtic and Rangers pulling further clear tomorrow afternoon - and two points dropped could well be the verdict for both sides. Although Rangers were always going to be the most likely side to challenge Celtic this season, few expected the gap to open up between them and last season’s third and fourth placed sides quite so early.

Will Wilson be given time to prove himself?

Today’s performance from James Wilson pretty much sums up his career for Aberdeen. Flashes, but little more. Further proof that there’s definitely a player in there, but he’s maddeningly shy in showing himself. However, the only way Wilson can prove himself is by playing.

Given Derek McInnes’ persistence for long periods of last season with a glaringly out of form Stevie May, Dons supporters may be wondering whether Wilson will be given a similar amount of patience. Either way, it is highly unlikely McInnes managed to persuade Wilson to return north with the promise of the occasional 10-minute run-out twice a month. While the player will obviously be desperate for a run of games, McInnes may also consider that there was little point gambling on Wilson without giving him a good few months of regular football to prove himself. Expect to see Wilson from the start a lot more frequently in future.