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Aberdeen 4 - 0 Motherwell

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Motherwell

Premier Division
Aberdeen scorers: Harper 39, Harper 50 (Pen), Archibald 67, Archibald 72.

09/09/1978 | KO: 15:00

'Well down to earth - Harper in orbit

This was a confident, workmanlike performance by Aberdeen in front of 13,000 spectators. It was just what the fans wanted before the club's European Cup-Winners' Cup tie with Marek Dimitrov in Bulgaria four days later.

Motherwell's early tactic was to play Pettigrew and Larnach through the middle with Marinello wide on the right. This left Stuart Kennedy, noted for his surging runs upfield, free to operate, almost at will, up and down the right flank. In the first few minutes he sent over a couple of inviting crosses and was an obvious danger to the visitors. It was Joe Harper who popped up from nowhere to give Aberdeen their first real chance when his brilliant flick from a Dom Sullivan cross squirmed past the post as the fans rose prematurely to celebrate a goal. The Dons were now playing some clever, one-touch football but Motherwell were giving nothing away. Their marking was very tight and when Harper drew Miller and Marinello out towards the left wing he went into orbit as the two Fir Parkers went crunching in. They were lucky to be only booked and Joe was also fortunate not to be yellow-carded when he retaliated.
The striker gained his revenge in 39 minutes when he floated a well-placed header over the 'keeper from a Sullivan cross. Motherwell reacted immediately and Jim Leighton had to bring off two great saves to thwart Pettigrew. Aberdeen had been dominant but Motherwell were certainly not out of contention.


Aberdeen almost scored after two minutes. Sullivan sent a superb pass through to Drew Jarvie, he squared the ball to Steve Archibald and Latchford bravely foiled the striker. In 50 minutes a second goal arrived when Wark handled in the penalty box. Harper sent the ball in one direction while the 'keeper dived to the opposite side.
Motherwell defender Peter Millar obviously had not learned from his earlier misdemeanour and when he hit Jarvie with a vicious tackle he was sent off. Aberdeen then sent on Gordon Strachan for Sullivan and McLeod came on for Boyd. Being a player short the visitors had to reorganise and, with a two goal deficit, they set out to try and contain the home team.
In 67 minutes the vital third goal arrived. Latchford, challenged by Harper, failed to cut out a long through ball by Kennedy and Archibald was on the spot to crash the ball into the net from ten yards. Five minutes later the same player struck again and it was almost a carbon copy of the previous goal with the same participants involved. Kennedy crossed, Harper again challenged the keeper and Archibald headed the ball into an empty net.
As a contest it was all over but the Dons kept pressing. In the last minute Willie Miller had the ball in the net but the linesman flagged for offside.

Source: Match Programme, 15th October 1994

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Leighton, Kennedy, McLelland, McMaster, Garner, Miller, Sullivan (Strachan 56), Archibald, Harper, Jarvie, Scanlon.

Unused Subs: McLeish.

Bookings:  Miller (89).
Motherwell Teamsheet
Latchford, Millar, Wark, Boyd (McLeod 56), McVie, Stevens, Marinello, Pettigrew, Larnach, McLaren, Clinging (Lindsay)

Bookings:  Millar 30,   Marinello 30,   Boyd 50  Millar 54
Attendance: 12,200
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: A. G. McFaull, Glasgow
Next Match
03 Dec 2023 / 15:00 / Easter Road, Edinburgh