Dons Just Can't Afford to Lose Serial Thriller Miller; A Red Tide of Happiness: Miller Receives the Congratulations of His Jubilant Team-Mates after Heading His Vital Second Goal at Rugby Park
Byline: STEPHEN McGOWAN
KILMARNOCK 1 ABERDEEN 2
FOR Aberdeen, these threaten to be a fraught two weeks. Lee Miller's quite brilliantly-taken double last night provided further proof of a renaissance in the striker's career.
It also provided further reason for predatory clubs to dig deep before the beginning of February. Even in the midst of a biting recession, goals remain a valuable commodity.
Miller's ninth and 10th strikes of the season were deadly. A goal down to a fortuitous Kilmarnock strike from Allan Russell, Aberdeen gradually steadied the ship to earn a valuable three points.
Victory in a thoroughly enjoyable game of football lifts the team from the north east into fourth place in the SPL. Thanks to Miller, the race for Europe now looks compelling.
A technically-brilliant first-half strike with his heel was followed by a finely-judged looping header in 58 minutes and the win was no more than Aberdeen deserved as they recovered from a wicked stroke of ill-fortune to play some deft passing football.
Kilmarnock had taken the lead in just 10 minutes. A short free-kick 30 yards out had been tapped to Garry Hay and blasted towards the general direction of the goal when the ball ricocheted viciously off Danny Invincibile's chest.
Zinging across goal, Russell's predatory instincts paid off when he reacted first to rattle the ball past a helpless Jamie Langfield.
As Aberdeen were left to nurse a sense of grievance, Invincibile tended to a bruised chest. Jimmy Calderwood, as is his wont, threw his arms up in the air in a gesture of boundless frustration.
No one could quibble with the quality of Russell's finish. The former Airdrie striker had chided himself for failing from the penalty spot in Saturday's drawn cup tie with Ayr United, but this was an immediate act of reconciliation with the Killie support.
Emboldened by the breakthrough, Killie might have doubled their lead in 25 minutes. When Invincibile surged down the right flank then cut the ball back for Craig Bryson, only Zander Diamond's body prevented a second goal, the former Clyde player's toe-poke shot deflecting over the crossbar.
Who knows how things might have panned out for Killie had it gone in? Fortune had favoured Aberdeen this time and they were in the mood to capitalise.
The Dons set down a marker by carving out their first chance moments later. Charlie Mulgrew's cross into the box landed perfectly on Gary McDonald's head, but the midfielder spared his first club by heading inches wide of the post.
On the half-hour, the Dons struck the bullseye and, predictably, Miller was the scorer. The striker has slowly resurrected a career in danger of strangulation under Calderwood and …
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Publication information: Article title: Dons Just Can't Afford to Lose Serial Thriller Miller; A Red Tide of Happiness: Miller Receives the Congratulations of His Jubilant Team-Mates after Heading His Vital Second Goal at Rugby Park. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Daily Mail (London). Publication date: January 14, 2009. Page number: 76. © 2007 Daily Mail. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale Group.
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