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Motherwell 0 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Motherwell 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Youth Cup Fourth Round
Aberdeen scorers: Ross 71.

07/12/2018 | KO: 16:00

The game kicked off in terrible conditions. The heavy rain was being driven across the pitch by strong winds. With a number of defenders and midfielders missing through injury, it was a very attacking looking Aberdeen line up that Scott Anderson and Barry Robson had fielded.

In the early stages of the game Sean Linden made a couple of promising runs down the right. On eight minutes Kyle Dalling was penalised for a trip on the edge of the area. The ball in was headed goalward by Semple and Mair had to be very alert to tip the ball over the bar.

In the 10th minute Ethan Ross found Liden with a neat through ball, just as he was away to shoot the last defender managed to get a block at the expense of the game's first corner.

For the next 20 minutes or so there was not much goal mouth action as both teams scrapped for supremacy in the middle of the park. Credit to both teams as they were trying to play football but the conditions was making it difficult.

In the 17th minute Lewis Duncan won a free kick out wide but again the Dons could not win the ball in the box. Then at the other end Tyler Alexander, playing left back today, made a well-timed tackle on McAlear.

Even at this early stage in proceedings, you could see that one goal might settle it.

Motherwell then enjoyed a good spell and Keatings put in a dangerous cut-back and then a Motherwell corner was headed clear. Just before the half hour mark Michael Dangana, brother of David, broke the offside trap back with a well timed run. He laid the ball back to Linden and from cross the keeper just got to the ball ahead of Lloyd Robertson.

Aberdeen then won a corner and free kick but could not work an opening. They did though enjoy a good spell as they started to get on top.

In the 38th minute for the first time, Aberdeen won a first ball from a set-piece, Dalling nodding the ball down from a corner and Robertson and Dangana almost got there but the ball was just cleared inside the six yard box.

No goals at half time but Scott Anderson and Barry Robson would have been happy with the way the game was going.

Half Time: Motherwell 0 Aberdeen 0

At the start of the second half a Ross cut back looked dangerous but the ball did not fall for a red shirt. Then Linden got in behind the defence from a tight angle and his shot was blocked. He might have been in two minds whether to shoot or look for a team mate.

Motherwell were still making the occasional foray towards the Aberdeen goal and on 55 minutes McAlear put a ball across the face of goal but there were no takers. At the other end Ross and Linden on several occasions almost found a way through but the final pass just went astray.

Aberdeen appealed for a penalty when Dangana went down in the area but nothing was given.

At the other end Jack Brown and Dean Cornelius both put over dangerous balls before centre half David Devine at the front post headed a corner into the side netting.

Then in the 70th minute the deadlock was finally broken.

The move started with Archie Mair who clipped it to Danny Strachan. The right back did brilliantly to find Linden with a wonderful pass down the line. The winger again got himself in a good area on the right and this time the Dons got the little break they deserved. The central defender cleared the ball from the six yard box but it fell straight to Ethan Ross. The skipper still had a lot to do but took one touch before hammering a low shot past the keeper.

A really well work goal that deserved to win any game.

Motherwell came back strongly and the visitors had to withstand a five minute spell of pressure which they did. The back four all had really strong games. After that the Dons regained control and looked the more likely to score on the break. The pace of Duncan, Linden and Dangana was ideal for this type of scenario. In the 84th minute Aberdeen looked to have won the game when Duncan, after a break down the right, picked out Ross and his shot, which was half block by the keeper appeared to be going in, but Hemfrey got enough on it to slow the ball down and regather on the line.

After that though the players all worked hard to see out the game and book their place in the Quarter Finals.

Full Time: Motherwell 0 Aberdeen 1

Reaction

Scott Anderson "I really enjoyed the game. I thought it had a right cup tie feel about it. The conditions and the rain probably lend itself to that as well.

"Obviously pleased with the result but also with the performance. It was excellent. I thought we deserved it. Archie has had one save to make early on with the header but out with that he has not had a lot to do. At the other end we had one or two really good opportunities.

"So I was pleased with both sides of the game. We limited a good Motherwell side to a few chances and we did well without the ball. The boys worked really hard.

"There was a period in the first half when I felt they were a little bit long with their passes, a ten, fifteen minute spell when we struggled a bit but once we shortened our passes we did very well. I felt more of the quality in the game came from us. Our decision making was very good, we knew when to play and when to maybe be a bit more direct. So that pleased me greatly.

"We have pace out wide and there were lots of times when we got into good areas but the final little ball just let us down.

"For the goal Danny does well to find Sean and he puts over a good cross into a good area. Ethan then latches onto the second ball and you would always back him in that position to score.

"We can now look forward to the quarter-finals in the new year. We were very young today. We had six players missing so it gave the younger ones the chance to experience a big game like that. Hopefully by the next round we will have some of the injured guys back, so they can get involved in this competition.

"It will push everyone on."

Stats

Motherwell Teamsheet
Hemfrey, Brown, Muir, Kettings (Starrs 75), Devine, Hussain, Smith (Cook 65), Cornelius, Semple, McAlear, McKinstry

Subs Not Used: Purves, Semple, Mehassab, Liam Motherwell, McDonald

Bookings:  Smith 32

Venue: Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie