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Aberdeen 1 - 1 Motherwell

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Motherwell

Aberdeen scorers: Diamond 28.
Motherwell scorers: D Smith 83

27/02/2008 | KO: 19:45

Draw ends losing run

Aberdeen earned a draw at Pittodrie this evening but at the end of the game it felt more like a defeat. Leading through a Zander Diamond goal at the interval the Dons started well in the second half but as the game progressed Motherwell began to gain a foothold. With ten minutes remaining Diamond went from hero to villain when he conceded a clumsy penalty. Soutar produced the 'get out of jail free' card with a fine save but he was beaten three minutes later by a long range effort from substitute Darren Smith. In between Motherwell keeper Graeme Smith made two world class saves to deny Barry Nicholson, first diving at his feet as he looked to bury a de Visscher cross then turning a header round the post to keep his side alive. The draw probably isn't enough to help in the European hunt but it at least ended the run of defeats.

Motherwell kicked off in front of a sparse Pittodrie crowd and Soutar was called into action in the 2nd minute when he was down sharply cutting out a low cross. There was little goalmouth action in the opening stages although a few hearts fluttered in the 7th minute as Considine, Diamond and Soutar looked a bit indecisive with a through ball. Mackie and Lovell linked well in the 10th minute before Motherwell cleared and made a dangerous break on the right that was tidied up by Maybury. Four minutes later de Visscher and Maybury broke on the right but the full backs cross was well won by the Motherwell defence.

Motherwell won the first corner in the 15th minute and Soutar clutched the ball out of the night sky. A free kick two minutes later was half cleared and Nicholson fired wide from the edge of the box. A second free kick produced the Dons first corner when Severin drilled the ball into a busy penalty area and it was deflected wide. The corner came to nothing and at the other end Porter fired well over. A Maybury cross in the 23rd minute had Smith punching clear. The keeper was forced into another punched clearance seconds later as Aberdeen started to exert some pressure.

A wayward shot from de Visscher in the 24th minute ended up in row z then the visitor's wasted a free kick at the other end. Mackie released Nicholson with a neat flick in the 27th minute but his cross was cleared for a corner. The set play produced the opening goal when Diamond rose majestically to head de Visscher's corner into the net. Another ball into the area a minute later was spectacularly cleared as Aberdeen looked to double their advantage. Mackie was causing all sort of problems up front and another flick found Nicholson who was very unlucky not to find Lovell 12 yards out.

Motherwell had some sustained pressure without threatening the goal then Aberdeen almost scored again when the ball broke to Lovell but his cut back was cleared for a corner. Smith opted for a punch again as de Visscher swung in a dangerous looking cross. A great move in the 43rd minute ripped Motherwell apart when de Visscher released Maybury on the right and his cross was headed inches over by Barry Nicholson. A minute later a poor pass back was almost pounced on by Mackie as Smith was forced to head clear.

Mackie should have done better in the 50th minute when he was released by a defence splitting pass from de Visscher. Unfortunately the striker didn't get anything behind his shot and it fell tamely into the arms of Smith. Lovell had the ball in the net three minutes later but he had clearly pushed Craigan before looping a header over Smith. Maybury had a fierce shot turned wide by Smith as Aberdeen chased a second goal then good defending from Considine kept Hughes at bay as Motherwell enjoyed a spell of pressure. Maguire won a free kick on the left of the Motherwell penalty area that earned Quinn the first booking of the game. The free kick was fizzed across goal by de Visscher but no one could get a touch.

A Motherwell free kick in the 66th minute was fired over by McCormack then a corner was scrambled clear by the Dons defence. Walker replaced Mackie in the 68th minute but Aberdeen continued to get forced back. The Dons broke in the 72nd minute but Lovell's first touch let him down as he went on-on-one with Smith. The Dons had a lucky escape in the 76th minute when Clarkson hooked the ball over the bar from two yards and a minute later Miller replaced Lovell. Diamond then picked up a soft yellow card as he was adjudged to have fouled Smith. The game burst into life in the 79th minute when de Visscher made a great run down the right, delivered the perfect cross only for Smith to make a wonderful save at the feet of Nicholson.

A minute later Diamond made a clumsy challenge on Porter and conceded a penalty. Soutar got the central defender out of jail with a fine save, but the equaliser was only delayed by three minutes as a corner was cleared to the edge of the box and substitute Darren Smith was given all the time in the world to drill the ball past an unsighted Soutar. Graeme Smith denied Nicholson for a second time in the 84th minute when a quick throw in presented Nicholson with a header that was brilliantly turned round the post. Aluko made a good break in the 86th minute but his cross was cleared then seconds later Severin played a great one-two but tried another pass when a shot might have paid dividends.

A de Visscher shot in injury time was fired straight into the body of Smith and at the other end Considine made a perfect challenge and referee McDonald awarded Motherwell a free kick in a very dangerous area. When the ball was whipped in Foster almost headed into his own net but Soutar dived full length to turn the ball away. This was a much better performance but the draw felt more like a defeat at the end of the day.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Soutar, Maybury, Foster, Severin, Diamond, Considine, Maguire (Aluko 82), Nicholson, Lovell (Miller 77), Mackie (Walker 68), de Visscher.

Unused Subs: Langfield, Touzani, Mair, Bus.

Bookings:  Diamond (78).
Motherwell Teamsheet
G Smith, K Lasley, P Quinn, S Hughes, S Craigan, M Reynolds, C Porter, S Hammell, S Lappin (M Fitzpatrick 59), R McCormack (D Smith 69), D Clarkson (J Murphy 78). Unused Subs: L Daniels, R Malcolm, B McLean, M Archdeacon.

Bookings:  P Quinn (62)
Attendance: 8,240
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Dougie MacDonald, Edinburgh
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead