At a wet Pittodrie, the match against Kilmarnock was lined up to be a cracker, but all-in-all neither side could get on the scoreboard with both sides cancelling each other out.
Derek McInnes kept the same starting line-up that won against Hamilton midweek.
And it was the Dons that had the chances on goal, with the Ayrshire side failing to put on any shots at goal.
Stevie May’s first fierce short from 25 yards was kept out by Killie goalie Daniel Bachmann.
Greg Stewart, who joined the Dons during the January transfer window after playing at Kilmarnock for the first half of the season, had three efforts on goal.
Aberdeen failed to take the opportunity to take a late winner, after Kris Boyd was given a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Graeme Shinnie in the 82nd minute.
The Dons moved up to third in the Scottish Premiership, albeit that may be only temporarily as Livingston face The Rangers on Sunday.
Derek McInnes told the club website: ““Niall feel’s he was impeded and my reaction at the time was I thought it was. He’s maybe impeded before he gets the shot away after taking a great touch and it was a good pass from Tommie Hoban. I haven’t seen it again and sometimes in these types of games you’re looking for more creativity. Sometimes you need those little breaks and my first thought that it was a penalty, but I don’t want to be too critical of the referee. I thought there was contact, and a foul, but unsure if it was in or out of the box.”
“It was a frustrating, stop-start and competitive game.
“Both sets of players put everything into it, and I think it was lacking in a bit of quality at the right times.
“It was the type of game we anticipated and maybe we had to do more with the onus being on us as we’re the home team.
“We had the bulk of possession and I can’t really remember Kilmarnock being in our box too often. I thought we nullified the counter attack and we’ve watched Kilmarnock enough and they can be very compact within their shape and can break quickly. I thought the concentration of the team was good, but in these types of games we look for that bit of brilliance in the one v one situations. Kilmarnock defended well and are a good side who are up there for a reason. The onus is on us to break them down and unfortunately no matter how much we threw at it, we had enough attacking players on the field, even with the subs we tried to be as positive as we could but Kilmarnock were good enough, experienced enough and had enough knowhow to get their clean sheet that I’m sure they came for.”
Commenting on Kris Boyd’s red card, the manager said: “I haven’t seen it again.
“My first thought was it was a yellow card and I think Kris has caught Shinnie. There’s a bit of speed going into it, but my first thought, it was a yellow.
Scott McKenna Injury
“He’s got a bit of tightness in his hamstring and is really disappointed and frustrated with that as we are. I don’t think it’s as bad as it was when he had to come off against Rangers here. I’d imagine he’ll be a doubt for Tuesday and maybe the next couple of games, but certainly our first investigation doesn’t seem to be as bad as his previous injury.
“They are all important games.
“Fortunately, we had Tommie Hoban back on the bench and Mark Reynolds will get a game in this week (Reserves on Monday) to get his match fitness up. He’s ruled out on Tuesday due to the AstroTurf, but it’s great to have Tommie back. We’ll hopefully have Mikey Devlin back in about ten days and hopefully we’ll get through the next couple of games and get some bodies back. Hopefully Scott’s not too badly injured.”
Shay Logan said: “It wasn’t a very good game.
“They set up well and they are an organised team and Steve Clarke’s got them playing the way he wants. They want to stop teams from playing and that’s what they did today. They didn’t have much quality, but neither did we and I think they came here for a draw today and they’ll be happy with a point.
“You can’t tell just now and come towards the end of the season you can see from there.
“Kilmarnock are a tough team and Steve’s got them playing really well. They are second in the league for a reason and they’re doing things right. There will be games like that where they’ve come out with a victory, but it never really looked like they were going to score today.
“I think we needed a lot more from ourselves to create better opportunities to get a goal.
“I don’t think there’s ever going to be a lack of effort from us. We’ve got a good manager and good players that wouldn’t allow that to happen. It was just one of those games. You could tell from the first five minutes it was going to be that type of game and they are a counter attacking team. They didn’t create much and we felt comfortable at the back. We just needed that bit of spark and I thought we had it when Greg went close and that summed up the game really.
“It’s a clean sheet for the defenders and we’re happy with that. We would have loved the win and I think we deserved the win if anyone did, but we just didn’t do enough. Maybe a point’s fair result, but we dust ourselves down and we’ve got a big game Tuesday against Stenhousemuir. We should have put it to bed when we were here last time and now we have to go to their back yard and put in a good performance.
“The city loves the cup runs and it’s always good to be involved in cup finals. Winning one and getting to finals makes you want to get back there.
“We’re always going to be involved in a title race and there’s strong teams in and around it. Celtic are a strong team and they’re going to be favourites every year. We just keep knocking on the door and keep putting points on the board and we’ll see where it gets us. Come the split we’ll see what sort of position we’re in and we might think we’ve got a good chance.
“We’ll take it game by game and we know what sort of tally we want to get to. Hopefully we’ll get three points more often than not.”
|26th January 2019