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Aberdeen 0 - 1 Motherwell

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Motherwell

Scottish Premiership
Motherwell scorers: Ainsworth 49.

26/12/2013 | KO: 15:00

Well Breakaway Goal Denies Dons

Despite dominating the game for long spells, The Dons failed to score and Motherwell took advantage with an early second half goal on the break.

After a thrilling match at Inverness the previous week, Derek McInnes made one enforced change to the side with Mark Reynolds dropping out after suffering a facial injury. He was replaced by Jonny Hayes.

The home side started the game comfortably and took the game to their opponents. Peter Pawlett's early surge down the right won a free kick. Robson swung in the kick off but put too much power on it and it went out for a goal kick.

On 4 minutes, The Dons won the first corner of the game- Pawlett with another run, this time down the left. Niall McGinn took a low corner, which former Dons U20 goalkeeper now Motherwell loanee, Dan Twardzik was forced to punch clear. Aberdeen continued to push for the opening goal, enjoying lengthy spells of possession and what a chance they created on 15 minutes. After good play by McGinn down the right channel, he eventually swung in a great cross. Jonny Hayes stooped at the far post to head home but the ball went just wide of the post.

5 minutes later, The Dons -playing at high tempo- picked up the ball in midfield and drove towards goal, Hector ultimately crossing for McGinn who couldn't quite reach it and Motherwell cleared to safety. Barry Robson was next to try an effort on goal when he picked the ball up 25 yards out and tried a powerful drive which drifted wide of the target.

Motherwell were not proving much a threat in the early stages of the game but they did find themselves with a chance when John Sutton drifted away from Russell Anderson but he slipped as he went to hit the ball and Langfield clutched gratefully.

Aberdeen then created a couple of chances within seconds of each other. Good play set Niall McGinn up but Twardzik saved well. Seconds later, Barry Robson tried to chip the ball over the Motherwell defence but it ran on just too far from Vernon and out for a goal kick.

On 35 minutes, a McGinn free kick whistled past the post after Peter Pawlett- making his 100th appearance for The Dons first team- had been fouled just outside the box. 2 minutes later, Motherwell found themselves on the attack and Paul Lawson fired a powerful effort from 30 yards that Langfield was forced to save.

A minute later, Aberdeen won a free kick which was swung towards the far post. Eventually Scott Vernon picked the ball up on the edge of the box and played a neat cross towards Peter Pawlett who headed wide of the target. Just before the half time interval, Flood played a delightful ball through the Motherwell defence to McGinn but he couldn't quite get hold of it and Twardzik raced off his line to block for a corner kick.

HT 0-0

The home side started the second period on the front foot again but, as in their previous match, they lost an earl goal. This time a Willo Flood header deflected to Anier and the Motherwell player broke up field and into the box before calmly pulling the ball back for Ainsworth who slotted it in past Langfield. It was harsh on The Dons who had dominated the game- and they continued to do so.

On 55 minutes there were cries for a penalty from the Red Army when Pawlett picked up the ball in the box from Jack and went down under the close attention of Fraser Kerr. He stumbled under the pressure but managed to keep his feet before Twardzik got a touch to put the ball out for a corner. Russell Anderson was booked soon after for his protests.

A minute later, the Dons won a free kick on the corner of the box when Ryan Jack was brought down by Kerr. The resultant free kick was played in low towards Barry Robson who appeared to be tripped as he went for it but again referee Clancy said no penalty.

The pressure kept coming from the home side and Joe Shaughnessy struck the right hand post with an excellent effort on 58 minutes. A few moments later, Niall McGinn picked the ball up down the left, cut inside and made a bee-line for the box before unleashing a shot which Twardzik saved comfortably.

Josh Magennis replaced Joe Shaughnessy on 69 minutes as Derek McInnes reshuffled the side in search of a goal and they went close when Magennis turned well and found Robson who crossed expertly to the back post area for McGinn but unfortunately he volleyed well over the bar.

Aberdeen continued to dominate the game but really failed to create too many clear cut chances until a neat exchange between Robson and Pawlett saw the latter drift into the box before shooting over the bar- to the annoyance of Hector, Vernon and Magennis who may have benefitted from a cut back.

There was a double change for The Dons on 85 minutes when Craig Murray replaced Barry Robson and Calvin Zola replaced Scott Vernon.There was one other chance for The Dons when Hayes whipped in another great cross into the box which Pawlett headed wide of the target. It wasn't Aberdeen's day but they will be looking to bounce back against Ross County on Sunday as the Festive fixtures continue.

N.B. The Match programme was issued to cover both this and the following Ross County match
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Shaughnessy (Magennis 70), Anderson, Hector, Jack, Robson (Murray 85), Flood, Pawlett, Hayes, Vernon (Vernon 86), McGinn.

Unused Subs: Weaver, Wylde, Smith, Low.

Bookings:  Anderson (56),  Hayes (80).
Motherwell Teamsheet
Dan Twardzik, Fraser Kerr, Shaun Hutchinson, Simon Ramsden, Steven Hammell, Lionel Ainsworth (Zaine Francis-Angol 71), Stuart Carswell, Keith Lasley, Paul Lawson, John Sutton, Henri Anier (Craig Moore 66). Unused Subs: Adam Cummins, Robert McHugh, Gunnar Nielsen, Iain Vigurs, James McFadden.

Bookings:  Shaun Hutchinson (44),   Paul Lawson (84),   Craig Moore (90).
Attendance: 12,494
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead