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AFC - Match Report
match report 2005-06 fixture list
Aberdeen 2 - 2 Motherwell
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Lovell 13, Lovell 23.       McLean (45), Foran (47 pen)  
Attendance: 10,212 (Visitors: 450)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Dons lose two goal lead and top six place
It was a complete reversal of the previous Pittodrie meeting between these two clubs as Motherwell came back from 2-0 down to grab a vital point. With Inverness winning at Easter Road it means that the Dons top six stay has proved to be short lived. Two goals from Steve Lovell in the first half put Aberdeen on easy street but a controversial free kick in the third minute of injury time gave the Steelmen a lifeline as McLean looped in a header. Two minutes after the break Dempsey elected to try and dribble out of his own box and ended up conceding a penalty, which Foran dispatched. Aberdeen now need to win at Inverness next week to put themselves back in the driving seat of a top six finish.

Motherwell kicked off the match in a swirling mist and it was the visitor's who pressed forward with McDonald stumbling in the box after an early challenge from Anderson. The Australian's inability to stay on his feet was to become a feature of this match. There was no foul play however and Aberdeen's back three coped well. At the other end the Dons won the first corner in the fourth minute but Diamond was unable to control Snoyl's delivery and the ball was cleared. A Severin free kick a minute later evaded Anderson at the back post as Aberdeen continued to press. After a positive start the match then got bogged down in the middle of the park with neither side managing to create anything.

Then in the 11th minute Foran created a chance out of nothing when he turned Diamond and hit a fierce shot that was tipped over the bar by Langfield. The subsequent corner was poorly defended as Aberdeen struggled to clear their lines. Aberdeen then grabbed the lead in the 13th minute when Smith swung in a cross and Snoyl had his shot blocked. The ball fell to Clark 25 yards out and he fired in a low shot that Meldrum could only parry allowing Lovell to follow up and fire into the net.

Motherwell hit back quickly and carved out a couple of decent chances. O'Donnell just failed to turn a Corrigan cross into the net in the 16th minute and a minute later McDonald went close with a fierce shot that beat Langfield but scraped the post. In the 20th minute Crawford looked to have been fouled but the referee let play continue and the Dons were almost punished as Langfield and Anderson almost collided before the keeper cleared his lines. Crawford then required lengthy treatment before he returned.

The Dons then grabbed a second goal in the 23rd minute and once again it was Steve Lovell on target. A corner from the right was helped on by Diamond as a Motherwell defender attempted to pull the shirt off his back Lovell hooked the ball past Meldrum. Crawford clearly hadn't recovered from his knock and Foster replaced him on the half hour mark. Aberdeen then laid siege to the Motherwell goal but couldn't add a third as the defence stood firm. Motherwell then tried a quick free kick in the 37th minute but Kerr was unable to put his shot on target.

Lovell then took an elbow in the head but once again it was deemed to be a fair challenge by Mr. Murray and forced Aberdeen to play with ten men while Lovell went to get stitched up. Hammell then received the first yellow card in the 40th minute after a late challenge on Severin. There was hesitancy between Langfield and Diamond two minutes before the break but the keeper eventually gathered as the visitor's tried to make their one-man advantage work in their favour. Then in the third minute of the two minutes of injury time Motherwell won a very soft free kick as Scott McDonald appeared to have trouble with his balance again. Hammell swung in the free kick and McLean rose to loop a header over Langfield. Diamond continued his protests after the whistle and was booked for his troubles.

Motherwell took hope from their goal and started well winning a corner in the 47th minute. From the set play Langfield made a great save from Foran but seconds later Motherwell were level when Dempsey tried to play out of the box and ended up tripping Hammell. Foran stepped up to fire the penalty low past Langfield. Aberdeen appeared to have lost their way at this stage and Lovell collected a yellow in the 52nd minute for a late challenge on Craigan. The red army were feeling aggrieved by some of the decisions from the officials as the game looked to get out of control.

A quick free kick in the 57th minute set up Jamie Smith but with only the keeper to beat he hit his effort wide of the target. Aberdeen had a claim for a penalty in the 64th minute when Anderson appeared to be held, but a corner was awarded and Snoyl sent in a great delivery that only needed a touch but the ball eluded everyone. A mistake by McNaughton then allowed Motherwell to break but fortunately Anderson was on hand to clear.

Crosses from Smith and Lovell caused problems as Aberdeen looked to regain the lead. Snoyl then showed some trickery in the 73rd minute before his cross was cleared. Then two minutes later Diamond was presented with a great chance but made a total mess of his shot. The game had lost a lot of it's shape as the continual stoppages affected the flow of the game. Chances were few and far between and Foster sclaffed a shot in the 84th minute before Mackie, who had replaced Snoyl, used his pace to hit the bye line but he failed to find a colleague. Lovell then looked for an optimistic hat trick from distance but the effort went well wide.

Aberdeen continued to press in the closing stages but the final ball just couldn't be delivered. All the substitutions and Motherwell time wasting produced only two minutes of stoppages as Aberdeen won a free kick in the closing seconds and despite a rather weak appeal for a spot kick the chance was gone. Then seconds later Langfield made a dramatic save to deny an undeserved winner for the Steelmen.

Match Stats:

Dons Well
Goal Attempts 5 5
On Target 4 1
Corners 6 5
Possession 60% 40%

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Langfield, Clark, McNaughton, Severin, Anderson, Diamond, Smith, Dempsey, Lovell, Crawford (Foster 30), Snoyl (Mackie 80).

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Diamond (45),  Lovell (52).

Motherwell Teamsheet:  Meldrum, Corrigan, Hammell, Craigan, McDonald, Kerr, Foran, O'Donnell, McDonald, McBride, McLean.

Unused Subs: Clarkson for McDonald (80), Kinniburgh for McLean (83), Paterson for McBride (90)

Bookings:  Hammell (40),   Craigan (64),   McDonald (77)

Referee: Calum Murray, Livingston

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