Aberdeen U20s were beaten 3-0 by a strong Motherwell outfit at Fir Park. Goals at the start of each half from Craig Moore and Bob McHugh put the Dons on the back foot, with McHugh adding a stunning third to kill the game ten minutes from time.
The Dons lined up with a 4-1-4-1 formation. Craig Murray at left-back, and Marcus Campanile at right-back with a central defensive pairing of Michael Rose and Kieron Gibbons. Craig Storie sat in front of a central midfield two of Jamie Masson and Nicky Low, with Stephen O'Neill starting on the right flank and Gregg Wylde on the left supporting Lawrence Shankland as the lone forward.
The Dons fell behind after just 90 seconds when the ball broke inside the box for Craig Moore who was in plenty space to tuck past Danny Rogers from 8 yards. Aberdeen responded well to going behind however, and Nicky Low came within inches of levelling on ten minutes. Stephen O'Neill's cross from the right flank was punched straight to the feet of the Dons skipper on the edge of the box, with his right foot shot striking the underside of the crossbar before being cleared.
A great run down the left by Craig Murray four minutes later saw the full-back cut inside his marker before his knock-back was diverted behind by Currie. Moments later Low's left-foot shot from 25 yards went past the keeper's bottom left corner. Rogers was called into making a wonderful save on 17 minutes to prevent the Dons falling two behind, tipping Paul McCafferty's thunderous 30 yard strike over the bar. On 21 minutes, Low's left-footed free-kick from just outside the box drifted over the bar, before Dons wingers Wylde and O'Neill switched flanks in order that both could cut inside onto their favoured foot. With 37 minutes on the clock, Moore broke through on goal and was set to pull the trigger before an excellent last-ditch tackle from Michael Rose thwarted the danger.
The Dons went in at the break showing decent promise in their search for an equaliser, however their hopes of getting back into the match were dealt a severe blow as Motherwell doubled their lead just 20 seconds into the second-half. The ball was teed up for Bob McHugh, who took one touch before drilling a low right-foot shot from 15 yards into Rogers' far corner as the Steelmen started the second period just as they did the first.
The Dons threatened instantly as Wylde latched on to a short backpass before taking the ball round the advancing Currie. However he ran out of space to shoot although he crossed for O'Neill at the far post, the angle was again too acute for a shot and his cut-back was hacked off the line by the 'Well defence. Moore came inches away from his second goal on 52 minutes, as Dom Thomas knocked the ball into his path 20 yards from goal, but his fizzing low drive went just Rogers' right-hand post. Lawson and McHugh had long-range efforts for the Steelmen which went comfortably over the bar, before Rogers made another stunning save to tip Adam Cummins' looping header over the bar.
On 69 minutes the Dons threatened, as O'Neill's diagonal half-volleyed cross from a deep wide-right position picked out Storie, but the midfielder could not keep his header down and it landed on the roof of the net. Michael Kelly then replaced Campanile to slot in at left-back, with Murray shifting across to right-back. Ten minutes from time, Well made it 3-0 as McHugh grabbed his second of the game, picking up the ball in space thirty yards out before letting fly with a dipping strike into Rogers' right hand corner, killing off any Dons hopes of a fight back.
The Dons brought on Matthew McMahon for O'Neill straight after the goal, and had chances to net a consolation, with Low striking over from the left and a Wylde drive from the inside right channel being blocked by Currie's legs. A corner then picked out Lawrence Shankland who headed over the bar. The impressive Rogers -who did not deserve to be on the losing side -came to Aberdeen's rescue in injury time with an excellent block at the feet of 'Well substitute Dale Shirkie.
However, the Dons did not carry luck on their side at any stage in this game as they fell to defeat against a slick Motherwell outfit.