Aberdeen returned to League action for the first time in some four weeks since they drew 3-3 with Rangers at Cormack Park, their only outing in the intervening period a Youth Cup win over Banks O' Dee.
It took Motherwell less than a minute to take the lead, the ref pointing to the spot after only 35 seconds after a Murray foul which was preceded by some great pressing by the Steelmen allied to untidy defending from Aberdeen. Skipper Hunter made no mistake with the penalty to give his side a dream start.
There were only 12 minutes on the clock when it was two, MacDonald, who would later suffer a broken shoulder, picking up a misplaced pass in midfield before rifling a great 20 yard shot into the top corner.
Only desperate defending by Murray prevented Spiers making it three after the Well man had gone round Oluyemi. But the third goal duly arrived on 25 minutes, winger Mo Adam firing home from about fifteen yards after a corner had not been cleared.
Aberdeen were thrown a lifeline when some neat passing saw the ball played through for Adam Emslie to race away from the home rearguard before finishing in style. It now looked as if the Dons might claw their way back into the game after a horror start. And Alfie Bavidge had the chance to reduce the deficit further just a couple of minutes after Emslie's goal, but he couldn't get enough power on his shot to trouble Green.
A disappointing first half from Aberdeen but if they could grab the next goal they might get themselves back into it.
Half time - Motherwell 3 Aberdeen 1
Green saved bravely at the feet of Bavidge, but the Steelmen once again found themselves with a three goal cushion as Logan Dunnachie powered home a header from Hunter's pinpoint corner kick.
And the lead stretched further on the hour when Mark Ferrie's smart finish seemingly put the game to bed. However, Liam Harvey had no such thoughts as, straight from kick off, he latched on to a loose ball some thirty yards out and fired an absolute howitzer past a helpless Green to make it 5-2.
Both sides continued to push for more goals but there was just one more to enjoy, Harvey and Emslie combining nicely to create an opening for Bavidge who finished well to net via the post.
So, it finished 5-3 to the home side, their early blitz proving ultimately too much for the Dons who looked unusually frail at the back. Next up is a trip to the Oriam to meet Hearts on Tuesday.
Full time - Motherwell 5 Aberdeen 3
Barry Robson: "A frustrating night. I did not think we defended well at all. A lot of individual errors, that is what sometimes happens with boys at this age. But they will learn.
"We were a goal down very early on. Motherwell are then on the front foot on a tight pitch, which suited they way they wanted to play. We have to learn how to deal with that and play against that. They will learn a lot from tonight. We will work with them to make the players mentally stronger to deal with these challenges.
"We pulled a goal back from Adam but even at that point I was never convinced that we would keep them out at the other end. You could see that there was a lack of confidence after what happened in the opening 20 minutes. We never regained that confidence and belief.
"I thought going forward we were still good and looked dangerous as we always are, but we need to be better defensively character wise to come through games like tonight.
"We have a lot of games coming up, they are all tough games this year. We are quite young in the league and that is why mistakes will happen. Playing against players who are even just a year older at this stage of their development can make a big difference.
?They will bounce back."