Dunfermline 0 Aberdeen 3: Mackie makes it easy for Dons

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The Independent Football

The honeymoon is officially over for Stephen Kenny. The Irishman discovered yesterday how hard life at East End Park is going to be after his side wilted under the fierce scrutiny from a resurgent Aberdeen.

Dunfermline's new manager took the credit for the win against Dundee United on his arrival last week, even though he had been in Fife for only a few hours.

However, the Scottish Premier League's bottom side were chasing this contest after Lee Miller struck nine minutes after half-time and Darren Mackie's late double sent Aberdeen into second place.

Games between these sides in recent seasons have had the flavour of a derby. Nothing to do with geographical proximity, given the 100 miles between them, but everything to do with a tangled relationship that would draw glances even in Arkansas.

The bad blood between the clubs was created by Jimmy Calderwood's defection to manage Aberdeen just a week after he led Dunfermline to the 2004 Scottish Cup final. Since then, players have swapped sides at a frantic pace. Dunfermline possessed five former Pittodrie players in their line-up by the time Jim Hamilton came off the bench in the last 20 minutes, while the visitors had two players, Barry Nicholson and Gary Dempsey, whom Calderwood lured away after the cup final.

Aberdeen almost went ahead in the 26th minute when Russell Anderson met Nicholson's corner but the captain's header grazed the top of the bar. Nicholson then sent a fierce shot over before half-time.

However, Aberdeen found their range in the second half. Miller broke the deadlock in the 53rd but he profited from a dreadful mistake by Greg Shields, who tried to hook away a long ball with Miller on his shoulder and missed, allowing the Aberdeen striker to curl a right foot shot beyond Dorus De Vries.

Dunfermline were ruthlessly picked off by Aberdeen in the final six minutes. Jamie Langfield's kick out was glanced on by Miller into the path of Mackie, with Scott Wilson missing the interception, and the striker stabbed the ball past De Vries.

Two minute later Dunfermline sent everyone forward for a free-kick but were caught by the counter-attack as Miller found Mackie and he ran 70 yards before steering in a composed finish to the glee of the travelling support behind that goal.