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Aberdeen 4 - 1 Motherwell

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 0 Motherwell

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: McLean 6 (Pen), McGinn 26, Rooney 54, Hayes 78.
Motherwell scorers: C Cadden 64

30/04/2016 | KO: 15:00

Ton Up for Rooney as He Hits 20 Goals Again

The Dons were looking to record their first win since the league split, after a night to forget in Perth where they were comfortably beaten 3-0 by St Johnstone.

A number of changes were made to the team with on-loan goalkeeper Adam Collin making his debut in place of Scott Brown. Mark Reynolds and Michael Rose also dropped out of the side with Willo Flood and Ash Taylor returning.

It was a scrappy opening five minutes as both sides tried to battle their way into the game. When Aberdeen did get going, they made it count. Six minutes into the match Jonny Hayes took the ball for a run, showing wonderful skill and improvisation to skin an exposed Louis Laing and get himself into the Motherwell penalty box. Laing, who couldn't get goal side, had no choice but to bring Hayes down as he looked ready to cut the ball back. Referee Bobby Madden had no hesitation pointing to the spot.

With Adam Rooney on the bench, Kenny McLean stepped up to take the penalty making no mistake from the spot. McLean went down the middle, Ripley dived left. Jonny Hayes deserves huge credit for his part in the goal, with the winger looking to be full of confidence having been nominated for PFA Player of the Year as well as winning a hat trick of club awards. ABERDEEN 1 - 0 MOTHERWELL (McLean).

It was the visitors who looked to ramp up the pressure having just gone behind, but they made nothing of any set pieces or chances created. It was Aberdeen who looked more assured on the front foot and made the most of a wonderful passage of play. After a great move McGinn slipped in Logan on the right hand side, Shay initially miss controlling the ball. However he recovered well and delivered a nice ball into the box. Fortunately McGinn continued his run, got in front of his marker and found himself in enough space to direct the ball past Ripley from 18 yards. A great finish from Niall and a great team goal. It was a move that showed exactly what Shay Logan brings to the side, with the defender having signed a new 2-year-deal earlier in the week. ABERDEEN 2 - 0 MOTHERWELL (McGinn).

It was a quiet first half on the whole, with both sides failing to produce any clear cut chances. Ash Taylor decided to play the role of a winger as he made a run forward, but his cross ended up in the Merkland Stand.

Derek McInnes was forced to make a change two minutes before the half time whistle, as Simon Church looked to be go over his ankle meaning he could no longer continue. This gave Adam Rooney the chance to make his return to action. Rooney was given a huge ovation by the Red Army who have clearly missed their talisman.

The Dons very nearly grabbed a third before half time when Niall McGinn's ball into the box was narrowly missed Rooney and then by Graeme Shinnie at the back post.

HALF TIME - ABERDEEN 2 - 0 MOTHERWELL ('6 MCLEAN PEN, '26 MCGINN)


Ahead of the second half Motherwell manager Mark McGhee decided to shake things up by bringing on Ben Hall for Louis Laing, who'd had a pretty torrid afternoon against Jonny Hayes on the right.

Aberdeen looked rejuvenated after the break and were moving the ball well, looking to quickly grab a third goal that would take the pressure off. Adam's Rooney's influence was already taking effect as he found himself with two opportunities to score within a short space of time. McGinn did well to cross from a tight angle as he chipped the ball up, but Rooney sliced wide from an offside position. The striker had his second chance when his looping header drifted wide after a quick counter attack and deep cross from Logan.

It was third time lucky for the Irishman when a Niall McGinn free kick into the danger area was met by the head of Andy Considine, his effort was well saved by Connor Ripley who stretched to tip the ball onto the bar. Rooney reacted well to get onto the rebound and lashed the ball home for his 20th goal of the season. It as great anticipation from the striker who was making his 100th appearance. ABERDEEN 3 - 0 MOTHERWELL (ROONEY).

The visitors got themselves back in the game when some complacent defending gave substitute Chris Cadden the chance to shoot after a good cross from Johnson. While his effort wasn't the most powerful of shots, it deflected off Ash Taylor, putting the ball past Adam Collin. ABERDEEN 3 - 1 MOTHERWELL (CADDEN).

Motherwell had their tails up and suddenly felt they could get something out of the game. A well timed ball by Scott McDonald put Louis Moult one on one with Collin. Under pressure from the recovering defenders he could only drag his shot wide. A real let off for the Dons. It was threatening to become a nervous last 20 minutes.

With the pressure building, Aberdeen had to hold their nerve. The home fans had their hearts in their mouths when a Motherwell free kick landed at the feet on Keith Lasley, who looked likely to score had it not been for Andy Considine's quick thinking to scoop the ball away from him. Really good defending from Andy.

Any chance of a Motherwell comeback was killed off after a wonderful solo effort from Jonny Hayes, who beat two men and the goalkeeper. The Steelmen simply couldn't handle Jonny's pace. The Dons winger's superb controlled finish put the game beyond doubt. ABERDEEN 4 - 1 MOTHERWELL (Hayes).

Shortly afterwards it was game over for Adam Rooney who was replaced by Barry Robson after some discussion with the bench. Rooney's comeback perhaps coming too soon for him.

The match ended on a sour note as Motherwell captain Keith Lasley was sent off for a late challenge on Kenny McLean. Initially it looked as if Lasley would only be booked, but after a bit of brawl in the middle of the park involving a number of players Bobby Madden produced a red card.

The Dons held on to their lead and the match finished 4-1. They go to Parkhead next weekend looking to make it three wins out of four against Celtic for the season.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Collin, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Taylor, Flood, McGinn (Wright 84), Hayes, Jack, McLean, Church (Rooney 44).

Unused Subs: Reynolds, Smith, McLennan, Lennox.

Bookings:  Shinnie (21),  Logan (66),  McLean (77).
Motherwell Teamsheet
01.Connor Ripley, 03.Steven Hammell, 05.Louis Laing (32.Ben Hall 46), 06.Stephen McManus, 16.Kieran Kennedy, 07.Lionel Ainsworth (26.Chris Cadden 62), 08.Stephen Pearson, 11.Marvin Johnson, 14.Keith Lasley, 20.Louis Moult, 77.Scott McDonald. Unused Subs: 13.Craig Samson, 15.Joe Chalmers, 17.Morgaro Gomis, 21.Jack Leitch, 35.Allan Campbell.

Bookings:  05.Louis Laing (45),   20.Louis Moult (65),   14.Keith Lasley (88).
Attendance: 10,259
Visitors:239
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Bobby Madden