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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
Aberdeen 0 - 2 Motherwell
Kick Off:  3:00 PM         Burns (13), Craig (90)  
Attendance: 7,246 (Visitors: 355)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Young Dons fail to break down steelmen
After the enjoyment of the 3-0 win over United a fortnight ago this was a poor spectacle by an admittedly young Dons side. A deflected Burns goal in the 13th minute was enough to give the Steelmen a half time lead and the Dons never looked like pulling one back in a disappointing second half. Sheerin had hit the post prior to the winning goal and this could have made the difference. After they went behind there was a goal line clearance from Lasley and a couple of muted penalty claims. Motherwell had plenty of chances to extend their lead and finally grabbed a second in the 90th minute when Craig beat Preece from 10 yards.

Motherwell kicked off and immediately set about testing the inexperienced Dons defence. And in the early stages there were a couple of moments of indecision before the Dons settled. Aberdeen went close in the 5th minute when Tosh worked his way into the Motherwell area and delivered a low cross, which Hinds just failed to connect with. Corr was then tested with snap shots from both Tosh and Buckley, but the keeper held both efforts quite comfortably. Then in the 8th minute Motherwell had a lucky escape when a Sheerin effort was deflected on to the post to deny the Dons the opener.

The Dons had the ball in the net in the 13th minute after Hinds pounced as Corr spilled a Zdrilic shot, but he was clearly offside and the goal was chalked off. The visitors then went up the park and grabbed the lead. Whereas the Dons had enjoyed little luck in front of goal Motherwell?'s first shot at Preece appeared to take a wicked deflection that left Preece helpless and rewarded Burns with the opening goal. Aberdeen tried to level and Muirhead went close with a fierce strike in the 19th minute.

Motherwell went close again two minutes later after they were allowed to continue when Hinds had been clearly pushed off the ball. Fortunately the effort went wide of the post. A snapshot from O'Donnell in the 24th minute went inches over the bar and the visitors fired a dangerous delivery across the face of the goal as the Dons lost the early initiative they had enjoyed. The Dons went close again on the half hour mark when a Tosh corner caused all sorts of problems before being scrambled clear by the Motherwell defence. Following a series of corners the Dons were denied a strong penalty claim when the ball hit a Motherwell defender on the arm. Tosh was booked for carrying his protest too far.

A minute later Hinds limped off to be replaced by Prunty as the injury crisis deepened. The Dons continued to carve out chances but also looked susceptible when the visitors broke from the back. Morrison had a free kick charged down in the 42nd minute then went close again from the resulting corner kick with a volley from the edge of the box that again saw Corr make a comfortable stop. There were few chances created before the break leaving the Dons with it all to do in the second half.

The opening period of the second half was a rather scrappy affair as both teams struggled to create anything of note. It was Motherwell who went close in the 55th minute when Preece pulled off a fine block from a fierce shot from Jason Dair. Three minutes later Rutkiewicz went close when Lasley cleared his header off the line. It was Motherwell who were having the better of the play at this stage and a series of corner kicks tested the Dons defence as the home side struggled to carve out chances.

The Dons did get their act together in the 64th minute when a wonderful passing move saw Corr make a fine save from Morrison. Motherwell almost doubled their advantage in the 65th minute when a poor pass by Zdrilic was intercepted allowing Burns to play a one-two before thankfully hitting the ball into the side netting. Within seconds Foster replaced Zdrilic. Motherwell continued to threaten and Preece was sharply off his line in the 68th minute to deny Burns a second goal. There were further claims for a spot kick in the 70th minute when Prunty tumbled in the box as he tried to get on the end of a cross, but once again the appeals were turned down.

Preece was having major problems with his kicking throughout the match and he almost gifted the visitors a second in the 72nd minute when he sliced an effort straight to the feet of O'Donnell. The Motherwell man hit it first time but fortunately Preece was back in time to save. Craig went close for the Steelmen in the 79th minute when he hit a shot inches wide of the target before Aberdeen went up the other end and Sheerin forced a good block from Corr. Motherwell added a deserved second in the 90th minute when Craig beat Preece on the left to leave the Dons in second bottom spot.

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Morrison, Buckley, Heikkinen, Rutkiewicz, Higgins, Tosh, Sheerin, Hinds (Prunty 34), Zdrilic (Foster 66), Muirhead.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Tosh (33).

Motherwell Teamsheet:  Corr, Corrigan, Hammell, Lasley, Craigan, Adams, Dair, O'Donnell, Burns, Craig, Quinn.

Unused Subs: Clarkson for Burns (81)


Referee: Steve Conroy, Busby

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