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Aberdeen 3 - 1 Motherwell

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Motherwell

Premier Division
Aberdeen scorers: Jarvie 64, Sullivan 71, Harper 85.
Motherwell scorers: O'Rourke 89

02/11/1976 | KO: 19:30


From being 25-1 outsiders to win the Premier League at the start of the season, the Dons became second favourites at 4-1 behind Celtic. The win over Motherwell in front of 15,000 spectators moved the home team into top place in the league and put them 'in the mood' for their League Cup Final clash with Celtic four days later.

Ally MacLean replaced Bobby Clark, who had tonsillitis, in goal. Davidson broke through for the Steelmen and was blocked by a solid tackle from Joe Smith. Jocky Scott then released Joe Harper with an intelligent through ball but the usually reliable striker miss-kicked and the ball trundled past. Motherwell were giving as good as they were getting and Marinello shot narrowly past from a Billy Williamson miskick. Next Drew Jarvie had a chance - it was certainly end-to-end football - and Willie Garner distinguished himself several times with no-nonsense clearances. Fierce shots from Davidson and Jarvie had the respective goal-keepers saving with difficulty.
The woodwork came to Motherwell's rescue when Jarvie, having a great game, pounced once more and drove the ball fiercely from 20 yards, beating the keeper but not the timber. A run and cross by Pettigrew saw Davidson's flashing header fly just wide. It was an excellent match with the visitors looking extremely fast and dangerous on the break. A Harper "goal" was disallowed by a controversial offside decision and, as the interval approached, Motherwell redoubled their efforts with Davidson and Pettigrew almost scoring and deputy keeper MacLean showing signs of fallibility. The visitors just had the edge in the first half.

Half Time 0-0

The Dons restarted on the offensive and Jarvie narrowly failed to make contact with Stuart Kennedy's fast cross. McAdam replaced Stevens in the Motherwell ranks. The home team kept up the pressure but it was proving difficult to break down the visiting defence. In an attempt to change the pattern of attack Arthur Graham took on a roving role. He was involved in a clever move with five other players, the culmination of which was a terrific shot by Smith from outside the penalty box, which struck the crossbar. By this time it was one-way traffic towards Rennie's goal. Harper and Scott narrowly missed from Dom Sullivan's crosses and, at last, the Dons broke the deadlock in 64 minutes when a long ball found Scott in the penalty box and he headed on to Jarvie, who neatly side-stepped Rennie to shoot home. O'Rourke then replaced Pettigrew. The Dons went two up in 71 minutes when MacLean threw a long ball to Scott who, in turn, transferred it to Graham. Arthur passed to Smith who slipped it to Sullivan and the winger unleashed a tremendous drive past Rennie. In an isolated breakaway McAdam should have scored but he blasted the ball over from 12 yards.
Harper got his name on the score-sheet five minutes from time with a superb third goal. Scott made progress on the right and swept the ball across goal for the in-rushing striker to bullet the ball into the net from close range. Against the run of play Motherwell scored a consolation goal in the dying seconds through O'Rourke. The Dons had certainly 'turned on the heat' in the second half for a deserved victory.

Source: Match Programme, 13th April 1996

Aberdeen Teamsheet
McLean, Kennedy, Williamson, Smith, Garner, Miller, Sullivan, Scott, Harper, Jarvie, Graham.

Unused Subs: Thomson, Shirra.
Motherwell Teamsheet
Rennie, McLaren, Wark, Millar, McVie, Stevens (McAdam 52), Marinello, Pettigrew (O'Rourke 67), Graham, Davidson, Kennedy
Attendance: 15,207
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: H. Alexander, Kilmarnock
Next Match
Heart of Midlothian
09 Dec 2023 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen