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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 16:53 GMT
Aberdeen 3-1 Kilmarnock
Barry Nicholson and Chris Maguire
Barry Nicholson and Chris Maguire opened the scoring for the Dons
Three goals from Aberdeen were enough to collect all three points in a convincing performance against Kilmarnock at Pittodrie.

Chris McGuire curled in a fantastic 25-yard strike on six minutes in his first competitive start for the Dons.

Barry Nicholson fired in a well-worked second and substitute Steve Lovell added the third from close range.

Jim Jefferies' side failed recover from the early setback despite a late volley from striker Steven Naismith.

With just six minutes played, Aberdeen were first on the scoresheet thanks to a superb debut strike from 17-year-old Chris Maguire.

The youngster picked up the ball from the edge of the penalty area after Barry Nicholson headed forward to curl in an unstoppable shot from almost 25 yards.

Less than three minutes later, Nicholson latched on to a neat flick from Darren Mackie and delivered another clinical strike to pick up his third for the season and give the Dons a dream start.

It took almost 15 minutes for Kilmarnock to mount their first serious attack on the Aberdeen goal when Gary Wales sent in an searching corner, but Lee Miller managed to clear.

McGuire almost notched up his second as the 30-minute mark approached, when he was felled by Grant Murray, but could only send the resulting free-kick just wide of Graeme Smith's right-hand post.

Kilmarnock rarely threatened again for the remainder of the first half, but managed to contain a committed and worthy Aberdeen attack, despite trailing by two goals.

When the sides returned from the break, Jefferies had made a tactical substitution when the experienced striker Colin Nish came on to replace midfielder Gary Locke.

As the 60-minute mark approached, Maguire sent in a corner from the left-hand side which Miller headed off the bar.

With 10 minutes left to play, Anderson picked up a yellow card for a foul on Daniele Invincibile, and the Dons decided to replace the Aberdeen captain with Zander Diamond.

As the game began to wind down, McGuire left the field to be replaced by fellow-striker Lovell and received a standing ovation from the home fans for his sterling efforts.

It wasn't long before the former Dundee man added his name to the Aberdeen tally with a terrific finish in the dying minutes of the game from close range when Miller's effort was parried into his path by Smith.

However, the visitors picked up a consolation for their efforts when Naismith netted a controlled volley with only one minute of regulation time remaining.

The midfielder latched on to a pass from Invincibile and drove for home with a left-footed effort from six yards out to give the visiting fans a small sample of Christmas cheer.


Aberdeen: Langfield, Hart, Anderson (Diamond 75), Considine, Foster, Maguire (Lovell 76), Severin, Nicholson, Clark (Dempsey 88), Miller, Mackie. Subs Not Used: Soutar, Touzani, Daniel Smith, Donald.

Booked: Anderson.

Goals: Maguire 6, Nicholson 9, Lovell 87.

Kilmarnock: Smith, Grant Murray, Ford, Greer, Lilley (Stephen Murray 76), Fowler, Invincibile, Johnston (Barrowman 67), Naismith, Nish (Locke 46), Wales. Subs Not Used: Combe, Dodds, Adams, Campbell.

Booked: Greer, Lilley, Wales.

Goals: Naismith 89.

Att: 11,887

Ref: W Collum

SEE ALSO
Maguire best Nicholl has coached
26 Dec 06 |  Aberdeen
Jefferies points to rusty players
26 Dec 06 |  Kilmarnock


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