Derek McInnes made just the one change for this afternoon?s visit of Fir Park. The injured Michael Devlin was replaced by Andrew Considine in a straight swap.
In the first minute Danny Johnson was able to turn on the edge of the area and get a shot away but his effort was always going well wide. On three minutes a lose pass by Peter Hartley was picked up by Mackay-Steven. Gary, despite slipping showed good feet work to beat a couple of players and then play the ball wide to Stevie May. From a tight angle the striker forced Mark Gillespie into a smart stop. A minute later Curtis Main dragged a shot wide.
After a fairly scrappy opening ten minutes, GMS produced a good bit of quality down the right but his cross was well taken by Gillespie. Motherwell then enjoyed more of the possession without really troubling the Dons defence although that might have been different if Bigirimanu had controlled a cross when on space on the edge of the area.
There was not a lot of quality on show as both teams were guilty of a number of slack passes.
In the 20th minute McGinn dropped his shoulder to beat his man before putting over a dangerous cross which was half cleared. Max Lowe picked the ball up at the back of the area and his clever cut back found the on running Shinnie but he did not get a proper connection with his shot and the ball bobbled wide. The first real chance of the game and the skippers reaction revealed that he knew he should have done better.
In the 24th minute Lowe forced the first corner of the afternoon. GMS and McGinn tried to work a short one but got it horribly wrong. Well broke and had a two on one. Logan looked as if he had salvaged the situation when he forced Danny Johnson wide, but the striker was able to cut back inside before dispatching the ball past Lewis. A goals go, this was an incredibly poor one for Aberdeen to lose.
The Dons have fought back well this season from this situation. Not today.
However they were almost level a few minutes later when Lowe?s low cross picked out Wilson but like Shinnie he could not connect properly with his first time shot and the ball went over the bar.
Both chances should have been taken and could have made a massive difference to the way the afternoon unravelled.
On the half hour mark a mistimed tackle gave Motherwell a free kick 30 yards out. As everyone waited for a cross Bigirimana tried to beat Lewis at his near post and he very nearly did. The keeper scrambled across to make a smart stop but from the resulting corner Johnson was able to head the ball past the Dons keeper at the front post area. Another soft goal from the visitor?s point of view.
On 36 minutes a McGinn cross almost found May as Aberdeen tried to find a way back into the game. Then Lowe forced Gillespie into a decent save with a low drive before McKenna missed the ball trying an acrobatic effort after Considine had half won a header from a corner. Aberdeen then forced a number of set-pieces but again the short corners did not lead to anything.
It had been a very lack lustre first forty five minutes and Aberdeen had paid the price.
Half time: Motherwell 2 Aberdeen 0
During the interval Sam Cosgrove replaced James Wilson who appeared to be struggling after talking a knock. Aberdeen won a corner early on but Gillespie claimed it despite being put under pressure. On 50 minutes Lewis Ferguson won a free kick 30 yards out, which he took himself but the ball sailed harmlessly into the arms of Gillespie.
The Dons day was about to go from bad to worse.
Curtis Main got away with a barge Considine but as the play developed the Dons looked to have retrieved the situation inside the area until a lose Lewis Ferguson pass was picked up by David Turnbull and his low shot found the net.
In the 62nd minute Stevie May was replaced by Scott Wright.
Motherwell were now playing with confidence and well and truly dominating the midfield battle. Aberdeen were trying but could not get anything going at all. A Scott McKenna shot from 35 yards which sailed into the crowd was the only effort on goal.
On 71 minutes Motherwell should have added a fourth but Hartley with a free header from a corner failed to hit the target. No one had tracked his run. With fifteen minutes to go Main pushed Wright over, play was allowed to continue and Aberdeen should have had a penalty went GMS was fouled in the box. It would have been nothing more than a consolation.
Bruce Anderson then replaced McGinn.
With ten minutes to go Lewis saved well from Grimshaw. Scott Wright had a decent run but his shot did not match the quality of the run. In the closing stages Lewis Ferguson was booked, his frustrations were clear to see. He was one of the very few Aberdeen players to get plus marks today. The Motherwell keeper did have work to do in added on time when he saved well from a Scott Wright shot. Considine then might have done better from the resulting corner but his header was straight at Gillespie.
The contest was over long ago, and the final whistle put Aberdeen out of their misery.
The Dons worst performance of the season by far. Not ideal preparation for a cup final.
Full time: Motherwell 3 Aberdeen 0