Kilmarnock's Frenchmen mix flair with finishing

Kilmarnock 3 Aberdeen 1
Click to follow
The Independent Football

"Another One Bites The Dust" blared out as Rugby Park emptied yesterday, but another Queen hit would have been more appropriate. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the only bad record which goes on even longer than Aberdeen's pitiful one here.

It is 1994 since they last won here and fine goals from Frédéric Dindeleux, Kris Boyd and Alan Mahood extended the long-playing misery and augmented Kilmarnock's push for a Uefa Cup place.

Kilmarnock's indifferent form at home has been the principal reason behind Bobby Williamson's team being off the pace in the perennial pursuit of a European place. Their manager prefers to promote his own emerging youth talent, but in his transfer dealings the manager is something of a Francophile. He has signed five French players and the most consistent of the quintet, the former Lille defender Dindeleux, supplied the breakthrough after just 12 minutes.

Craig Dargo had cleverly drawn a foul near the corner flag, allowing Antonio Calderon to whip in a free kick which Dindeleux met with a glancing header that flew past the goalkeeper Peter Kjaer. Yet Kilmarnock's comfort zone ought to have been ripped away within 30 seconds. Robbie Winters set up Hicham Zerouali, but the Moroccan international somehow sliced his shot wide.

The hectic tempo was testimony to both sides' bold play and, had Paul Di Giacomo taken advantage of Mahood's tackle on Darren Young, then Kilmarnock might have doubled their advantage, but the young striker's shot grazed the side net. Then Stephen Murray's cross was stabbed wide by Dargo when the forward ought to have scored.

Seconds before the interval, Dargo atoned with an inventive back-heel which released Di Giacomo, whose advance on goal was only denied by Kjaer's vital deflection.

However, when Aberdeen introduced their own Frenchman, Eugene Dadi, shortly before the hour, equality was quickly restored. Kilmarnock were so concerned with the robust substitute that they stood off Zerouali when he gathered Kevin McNaughton's cross some 30 yards from goal. The capricious little striker killed the ball with his right foot and, with a swipe of his left, sent a dipping shot which went over Gordon Marshall and in off the underside of the bar.

The spectacular equaliser generated a fresh sense of purpose in Aberdeen, but the vigorous running of Di Giacomo and his new partner, Boyd, who had replaced Dargo, continued to probe for openings and Kilmarnock reaped the reward with eight minutes left.

Boyd supplied Murray on the left before the diminutive midfielder's perfect return pass was thrashed in, via the post, by Boyd's left boot. Killie instantly replaced Di Giacomo with Christophe Cocard and, with a few minutes remaining, the former French international ended a run into the box with a cutback which was eagerly finished off by Mahood. C'est formidable, as they say around Rugby Park.

Kilmarnock 3

Dindeleux 12, Boyd 82, Mahood 88

Aberdeen 1

Zerouali 60

Half-time: 1-0 Attendance: 7,611