Saturday 28th August (3pm Kick-off)
So the grudge match day has arrived, it's time for my team, Aberdeen, to play my dad's team, Kilmarnock. It's a case of top v bottom. Aberdeen's 100% record versus Kilmarnock 0% record in the SPL this season. It's only game 3 of the 2010/11 season mind so there's only the six points between us.
It's a big day for me and Emma too, seeing as this is the first time she will be joining me watching my beloved team. I don't think she's quite as excited as me to be honest, she'd have been happier if my mother had joined her for a shopping experience instead aha ha.
The three of us leave Edinburgh at 11.15am for the journey north to Aberdeen. It's only a 2 1/2hr journey to Aberdeen so we've given ourselves enough time to get there. Nae surprises there then. It's an easy drive although the roads are pretty busy up to and beyond Perth, it's unlikely it's hoards of Killie fans heading to Aberdeen though.
We arrive in the Granite city about 1.45pm and park up on the Esplanade beside the Kings Links Golf Course, this gives Emma her first glimpse at Aberdeen's ground. We sit in the car and have lunch looking out on to the North Sea. Those of you who know Emma will be well aware of her problems when it comes to portion control, this is something which my Dad manages to wind her up on by commenting that the standard of filling in the sandwiches 'is slipping'.
Anyway at 2.15pm we take the short walk to the ground. It's weird to wave goodbye to my dad outside the ground as he's off to sit in the away end with the other Kilmarnock fan. Emma and I take the opportunity to visit the Club shop as I've got birthday money to spend. Takes me ages to decide what to get - should I go for the home strip, away strip or the full body suit. In the end I settle on the traditional home top for me and a 'Stand Free' Aberdeen scarf. Once outside the shop I'm so eager to get the top on that it takes me 5 minutes to realise it's still got the bloody tags on it. What a chump!
We buy our tickets and take the long trek up to the top deck of the Richard Donald Stand. By the time we find our seats we find we're in the second back row of the stadium and we can see the whole of Aberdeen from our seats.
Kilmarnock, as per usual, seem to have brought only two busloads of supporters with them but I must compliment them on their singing voices as it sounds like there's about a thousand of them.
Aberdeen are quickly into their stride when the game starts and are first to threaten when Pawlett shoots straight at the Killie keeper after a nice lay back from Magennis. It takes a quarter of an hour for the away team to have their first effort with Hamill blasting a free-kick over the bar. Shortly after this we have the first substitution of the day when the referee decides the ball's too flat.
A Paul Hartley free kick is deflected in front of the keeper who spills the ball right in front of McArdle, who really should've scored. After seeing a good Aberdeen on Tuesday night I was expecting more from them and it was disappointing to see them revert back to the sort of football they were playing last season with lots of sideways balls and lack of urgency to play it forward.
Kilmarnock on the other hand were playing the ball over the top of the slow Aberdeen defence for their striker Conor Sammon and he almost scored when he broke free in the penalty box and his shot seemed to squirm under the dive of the keeper and McArdle had to clear the ball off the line.
The normally boisterous Aberdeen support are very quiet and even the Killie fans sing the 'Sheep-Shaggers' song fails to rouse them. It's not really turning out to be the great game I was hoping it would be for Emma's first visit. Fingers crossed we get a bit more excitement for the second 45 minutes and the Aberdeen fans find their voices. At half-time I take the time to sample the 'Pittodrie Pie' and it's not a bad effort. I can't however tempt Emma into sampling one of the vegetarian options available.
We take the opportunity to wander right down to the front of the stand to see if we can see my dad sitting in the away section adjacent to us. We can see him but despite some frantic waving, it takes a phone call to his mobile before he can pinpoint our position. Both of us agree that it's been a fairly dull game so far but he does give me his rating for the pie and surprisingly he's awarded it an 8 out of 10. I ask him if he's sure as this will take Aberdeen to the top of the Pie League, his response is 'yes, I realise this but you've got to be honest about these things'.
For the second half we move from up in the gods to the front rows of the upper deck. Aberdeen are again the first to threaten when Mackie beats two defenders in the box and shoots, a deflection takes it wide of the post and out for a corner. This finally rouses the Aberdeen fans from their slumber a fact that doesn't go unnoticed by the Kilmarnock faithful who give us a quick burst of 'We forgot that you were here'.
Kilmarnock come more and more into the game with some slick passing and great movement off the ball, Craig Bryson especially looks like a good player. This prompts the Aberdeen manager to try a double substitution bringing on Vernon and the 18 year old Megginson for Magennis and Maguire - the latter reacts by refusing to shake his managers hand and throwing his shin-pads to the floor like a petulant child.
With quarter of an hour to go Kilmarnock's David Da Silva plays a fantastic ball through to Sammon who finds himself one on one with the keeper, he shoots and Aberdeen's keeper does brilliantly to tip it round the corner. Aberdeen are holding on now and Kilmarnock look like a team at the top of the table and not the bottom. With ten minutes left Hamell lets fly from 30 yards and it looks destined to end up in the top corner only for Howard to fling himself to his right and tip it over the bar. From the resulting corner Mackie clears a Sissoko header off the line.
A quick break from Aberdeen sees Mackie burst into the box and just as he's about to pull the trigger he's bundled off the ball. I join in the thousands of Dons fans behind the goal in screaming for a penalty. The referee gives the right decision and awards a corner to Aberdeen instead. It really would've been a soft penalty.
It looks like the game is going to end up in a draw as the fourth official signals there will only be three minutes injury. Calamitous defending from the Aberdeen keeper however gifts the winner to Hamell with only sixty seconds left. A ball over the top of the Aberdeen defence and it looks like Meginnson will be first to the ball, he hesitates however as Howard comes rushing off his line and in nips Jamie Hamell to take the ball of them both and stroke it into the empty net.
There's no time for Aberdeen to get back into the game and when the referee blows the whistle for full time Aberdeen walk off to a chorus of boo's.
I look over to the Kilmarnock fans and see my dad jumping around like a 17 year old. I can't be happy for him obviously. I'm gutted, not only have we lost and we're no longer top of the table but I've just realised who's giving me a lift back to Edinburgh. True to his word he's waiting for Emma and I outside the ground with a smug grin on his face.
I can't really take this moment from him though as his team were the better side and on the balance of play probably deserved the three points. Revenge will be mine (fingers crossed) on November 27th when we go to Rugby Park for the return fixture.
Emma, who was supposed to be my lucky mascot, is barred from visiting Pittodrie as she's obviously a jinx.
Ticket: £22 (£16) - As a quick side note it was pleasing to hear my dad state that the turnstile operator asked to see his driving so he could prove he was actually an OAP.
Pie Marks: 8/10 - Top marks so far
Man of the Match: Dad -Ben Gordon Me - Craig Bryson (both Kilmarnock)
Final Score: Aberdeen 0 - Kilmarnock 1
Mileage: 258 miles
Fact of the Day: Pittodrie Stadium was the first stadium to feature a dugout, when in the 1920's Player-Coach Donald Colman wanted a place to take notes and observe his players without sacrificing the shelter provided by the grandstand.
Next Game: St.Mirren Park (August 29th)