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Motherwell 0 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Motherwell 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Aberdeen scorers: Sheerin 6 (Pen).

08/03/2003 | KO: 15:00

Dons sink well from the spot

Aberdeen collected a vital three points at Fir Park today in a bruising battle which ended in controversy. The winner came as early as the 6th minute when Sheerin converted a penalty after McGuire had been fouled. The second half produced a series of cards culminating in the dismissal of Motherwell defender Stephen Pearson in the sixth minute of stoppage time. The referee appeared to wave both yellow and red at the player and given the fact that he had not been previously booked it appeared to be a baffling decision. Aberdeen will not worry about it too much however as the three points help ease them away from the basement.

Motherwell were first out of the blocks when Aberdeen conceded a corner in the opening minute following a mix up between Anderson and Kjaer. As the ball was swung across Vaughan rose to head the ball over the bar. Aberdeen hit back in the 6th minute when D'Jaffo hit a sweet low drive, which Dubourdeau did well to turn round the post. The resultant corner saw D'Jaffo flick on Clark's delivery and as McGuire looked set to net at the far post he was pulled back by Partridge and the referee quite rightly pointed to the spot. Paul Sheerin made no mistake with the penalty kick to give the Dons an early lead.

Aberdeen pressed to increase their advantage, but as one attack broke down Darren Young was booked for a late lunge. In the 14th minute brother Derek almost pounced on a useful through ball from D'Jaffo, but the keeper was out quickly to foil him. At the other end McGuire was quick to cut out a dangerous cross and a minute later McAllister's interception denied a certain goal. In the 18th minute the full back was at the other end where his fierce shot was blocked.

Both sides were looking to add to the scoring with McFadden causing the Dons defence problems and D'Jaffo leading the front line well. The game then hit a lull with a speculative long-range effort on the half-hour mark, which Kjaer held comfortably, being the only goal action. Chris Clark continued to send in teasing crosses, but the home defence was coping well with the threat. Aberdeen almost undid all the good work in the 43rd minute when Tosh gave the ball away cheaply on the edge of his box. Fortunately Kjaer made a terrific stop from McFadden to keep the Dons lead intact.

Leigh Hinds replaced D'Jaffo at half time and one has to assume the Frenchman had picked up a knock as he was having a terrific game up front. The second half continued with end to end football with defences in the main remaining on top. Motherwell went close in the 55th minute when a Clarkson drive went inches wide of the post. Aberdeen then got a real break in the 63rd minute when first Kjaer blocked a shot and then Anderson cleared the rebound from the line.

Chris Clark found his way into Mr. McDonald's book for his first infringement of the match after several 'Well misdemeanours had gone unpunished. This was particularly harsh on the youngster as earlier in the half he had been thrown into an advertising hoarding with the perpetrator escaping any punishment. The home side was beginning to get the upper hand as Aberdeen started to look as though they were "hanging on". Mackie then replaced Derek Young in the 76th minute.

Two minutes later Aberdeen looked certain to double their advantage. After good build up play Tosh teed up a volley, which looked net bound until a Motherwell backside diverted the ball wide of the target. Motherwell went close again in the 85th minute when Kjaer had to get down low to block a McFadden free kick. The keeper also reacted quickly to gather up the loose ball. Mackie could have finished the game off in the 88th minute when he latched on to a through ball from McGuire, but just as he was about to pull the trigger a Motherwell foot cleared the ball for a corner.

Seconds later McAllister made a tremendous tackle to stop Offiong from getting in on goal. There were loud appeals for a penalty from the home side in the 89th minute, but Mr McDonald was not interested. Then despite the fact that neither trainer had entered the pitch in the second period, five minutes of stoppage time were added.

This five minutes stretched to seven and in that time Mackie and Partridge were booked and Pearson was sensationally red carded although it looked as though the referee waved both yellow and red at the player. Given the fact that the player had not been booked previously the decision was baffling. In the end the Dons held out for a vital three points.

Motherwell Teamsheet
Dubourdeau, Corrigan, Hammell, Ramsay (Craig 90), Fagan, Partridge, Lasley (Lehmann 59), Pearson, Vaughan, Clarkson (Offiong 73), McFadden. Unused Subs: Woods. Cowan

Bookings:  Lehmann 81,   Partridge 90   Pearson 90
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Kjaer, McAllister, Anderson, McGuire, Hart, Tosh, Young, Sheerin, Clark, D'Jaffo (Hinds 46), Young (Mackie 76).

Unused Subs: Preece, Payne, Tiernan.

Bookings:  Young (12),  Clark (65),  Mackie (90).
Attendance: 5,636
Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell
Referee: Dougie McDonald, Edinburgh
Next Match
06 Dec 2023 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen