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Aberdeen 3 - 2 Motherwell

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 1 Motherwell

Premier Division
Aberdeen scorers: Bett 2, McDougall 35, Weir 81.
Motherwell scorers: Reilly 38, Kennedy 76

09/04/1986 | KO: 19:30


Aberdeen were battling to retain their Premier League title, so it was imperative that they should beat lowly-placed Motherwell. Despite injured and ill players being unavailable, they succeeded and kept the pressure on league leaders Hearts.

It took Aberdeen only 90 seconds to make an immediate impact on the game with a dramatic opening goal. Willie Miller dummied to take a free kick at the edge of the penalty box, John McMaster rolled the ball sideways and Jim Belt's raging shot almost burst the ball and the net. This early goal was followed by an uneventful spell interrupted only by a snapshot from Wright which went wide. Another free kick to Aberdeen 20 yards out raised the possibility of another goal but this time Miller took it and hooked the ball wide. Aberdeen began to produce some clever build-up moves, with crisp passing, but Motherwell defended stoutly. Boyd shot wide in an isolated raid and a move involving Eric Black, Peter Weir and Bett almost produced a goal. Aberdeen's pressure was eventually rewarded with a second goal in 35 minutes. Weir's cross was back-headed by Black to Frank McDougall and Dons' fans in the 10,000 crowd applauded his scoring header. Motherwell shocked the Dons with a goal 3 minutes later. A pass from Murray enabled Reilly to hit a shot on the turn past Bryan Gunn. This setback for the Dons spurred them into instant retaliation and a McMaster shot was well saved by Gardiner.

McMaster and Miller combined to force a corner in an otherwise dull start to the second half. In an effort to change the pattern Joe Miller replaced McDougall in 54 minutes. Aberdeen again began to dictate although they had lost much of their earlier urgency. In 63 minutes Black narrowly missed with a header from a Tommy McQueen cross. Aberdeen were denied a penalty when Weir appeared to be fouled. Next, Stewart McKimmie had a shot blocked. In 74 minutes Tommy Mclntyre came on for McMaster and 2 minutes later Motherwell's doggedness was rewarded with an equalising goal. A Reilly shot was parried by Gunn to Kennedy who scored easily. This setback stirred the Dons into renewed activity and they regained the lead in 81 minutes with what proved to be the decisive goal. An Alex McLeish free-kick was back-headed by Black to Weir who dashed into the goalmouth to smash the ball into the net. Two minutes later Aberdonian Dornan was booked for; foul on Weir and Baptie appeared for MacLeod. Black had two efforts blocked in quick succession as Aberdeen went for more goals. With play moving inn injury time Aberdeen almost scored with one of the best moves of the entire game. A Willie Miller free kick to the far post was headed by Weir to Joe Miller whose hitch-kick went narrowly over the bar. Despite a lacklustre display the Dons had pocketed two precious points.

Source: Match Programme, 11th April 1992

N.B. Match originally scheduled for 28th December 1985. Match programme for that date was issued here.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Gunn, McKimmie, McQueen, McMaster (McIntyre 74), McLeish, Miller, Black, Gray, McDougall (Miller 54), Bett, Weir.
Motherwell Teamsheet
Gardiner, Wishart, Murray, MacLeod (Baptie 85), Forbes, Boyd, Dornan (Gahagan 89), Kennedy, Reilly, Wright, Walker

Bookings:  Wright 50,   Kennedy 89
Attendance: 10,300
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: A. Ferguson, Giffnock
Next Match
03 Dec 2023 / 15:00 / Easter Road, Edinburgh