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Motherwell 4 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Motherwell 3 - 2 Aberdeen

Scottish Premier Reserve League
Motherwell scorers: Sammon 21, Sammon 26, Scott (Pen) 36, Scott 67
Aberdeen scorers: Dangana 1 (Pen), Dangana 12 (Pen).

08/04/2019 | KO: 14:00

With four Reserve League games left this season, the Young Dons travelled to Airdrie on the back of a five-game unbeaten run to face a Motherwell team who last week went down 2-0 to Hearts in the final of the Reserve League Cup. The Steelmen have enjoyed a solid campaign and currently sit third in the League just two points off top spot.

The Dons lined up with David Craddock in goal with a back four of Ryan Harrington, Conor Power, Luke Turner and skipper Jack Mackenzie in front of him. Lloyd Robertson and Tyler Mykyta anchored the midfield with Seb Ross in front of them, while Chris Antoniazzi and Lewis Duncan were wide men flanking David Dangana. First team squad men Ferguson, Cadden, Sammon and Frear were in the Well starting eleven.

The Dons started in sensational style winning a penalty after only 26 seconds. Seb Ross intercepted a pass and broke into the area where he was bundled over by Devine, the centre back picking up a yellow card. David Dangana converted the penalty with aplomb, sending Ferguson the wrong way, to give the visitors a dream start.

Motherwell enjoyed a good spell of possession as they chased an equaliser but were unable to create anything clear cut, Craddock enjoying a quiet opening 10 minutes.

On twelve minutes Aberdeen were awarded another penalty, referee MacDermid pointing to the spot this time after a foul on Dangana by Livingstone. Once again David converted the spot kick to make it two-nil as he registered his sixth League goal.

On 18 minutes, Sammon missed a great chance lifting the ball high over the ball after a fine pass from Cornelius. Tyler Mykyta did well a couple of moments later to rob Cadden and his audacious chip was just over the bar.

Motherwell pulled a goal back on the 21 minute mark, Sammon bundling the ball in after a Frear effort had been blocked. Game on once again.

Five minutes later it was all square. Frear fired in a shot which blocked on the line, but the ball rebounded off Sammon into the net to make it 2-2.

The home side were exerting a lot of pressure and a fine Scott cross nearly picked out Cornelius, but the Dons defence were able to clear their lines. This was a highly entertaining game with both teams playing bright, attacking football.

On 36 minutes Motherwell were awarded a penalty on the say so of the assistant referee after Frear was adjudged to have been clipped by Mackenzie, Scott stepping up to fire the spot-kick into the roof of the net. The match had completely turned now.

Frear and Sammon almost combined to give the experienced hitman a first-half hat-trick but Craddock saved bravely from his fellow Irishman.

Ryan Harrington fired wide from twenty five yards after a Mykyta cross was headed out to him, but it was the home side who held the upper hand as the game moved towards the interval. Aberdeen had a chance to draw level just before the break, but Chris Antoniazzi lifted his free-kick too high after Dangana had drawn a foul twenty yards out.

A fine fightback from the home side having been two down early on, but still all to play for in the second period.

Half time - Motherwell Reserves 3 Aberdeen Reserves 2

Less then two minutes into the second half, the Dons were incredibly awarded a third penalty when Ferguson pulled down Dangana as he chased a Harrington knock down from a Duncan free kick. Unfortunately, on this occasion David fired wide from the spot and the chance to draw level was spurned.

Motherwell continued to push forward at every opportunity and Frear in particular was causing the Dons defence problems and it took an outstanding interception from Turner to deny the winger a shot at goal after a defence-splitting ball from Semple.

The Steelmen missed a great opportunity to go two goals ahead on 60 minutes when the outstanding Frear fired not the side-net after Craddock had done well to deny Cadden.
Seb Ross couldn't get enough on his shot to trouble Ferguson after doing well to create space in the box and the Dons were made to pay as Scott rifled in his second goal of the game to make it 4-2 as the game entered its final quarter.

Power and Mykyta came off to be replaced by Danny Strachan and Connor Barron with just over 20 minutes to play. Shortly after, 'Well coach ex-Don Maurice Ross withdrew Sammon, Cadden and Frear as McDonald, Rehman and Watson came on.

The changes continued as Dangana and Duncan were replaced by Kieran Shanks and Lyall Booth, the latter making his Reserve League debut.

Booth was quickly into the game delivering a fine cross from the left, unfortunately just too high for anyone in red. A fine through ball from Devine sent Scott racing in on goal but Craddock denied the 'Well striker his hat-trick with a fine block.

Two further changes saw Barry replace Robertson in the Dons ranks while Bowers took over from Hussain for the Fir Park outfit. Both sides continued to go at it hammer and tongs, the biggest surprise of the second half being the fact there had only been one further goal.

Lyall Booth forced a smart save from Ferguson as the match moved into stoppage time but despite a late flurry the Dons couldn't add to their tally.

An entertaining spectacle in the Lanarkshire sunshine, the greater experience of Motherwell proving too strong for a youthful but determined Aberdeen side.

Motherwell Teamsheet
Ferguson, Cadden (McDonald 72), Livingstone, Hussain (Bowers 85), Devine, McAlear, Sammon (Watson 72), Cornelius, Scott, Semple (C), Frear (Rehman 72)

Unused substitutes - Hemfrey (GK), Starrs, McGuigan

Bookings:  Devine 1
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Harrington, MacKenzie, Robertson (Barry 85), Power (Strachan 68), Turner, Duncan (Booth 76), Mykyta (Barron 68), Dangana (Shanks 76), Ross, Antoniazzi.

Unused Subs: Mair.
Venue: Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
Referee: Matthew MacDermid
Next Match
Ross County
19 May 2024 / 15:00 / Victoria Park, Dingwall