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Motherwell 0 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Motherwell 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Rooney 36, Rooney 89 (Pen).

04/01/2015 | KO: 15:30

Rooney at the Double as Dons go 4 Points Clear

Match Summary

Aberdeen made it seven league wins in a row and recorded their seventh clean sheet with a thoroughly deserved victory over Motherwell at Fir Park.

They also remain top of the SPFL Premiership after what was a very strong performance.

Season 1992-93 was the last time the reds had a seven in a row winning run.

The Dons pretty much controlled the game from start to finish and opened the scoring on 34 minutes when David Goodwillie played a great ball forward to Adam Rooney and the Dons top scorer squeezed the ball in at the far post with a low left footed shot across Dan Twardzik.

The ex-Dons keeper had a fine game and made a number of very good saves, particularly when he tipped a McGinn shot onto the bar and kept out Goodwillie from close range.

Aberdeen had most of the possession but they could not get the second goal that their play warranted and at 1-0 the home side still had hopes of getting something.

It was a nervous final quarter but Motherwell never really looked like scoring with the Dons working very hard in defence to give them nothing in the way of chances.

With a few minutes to go McManus was judged to have handled Hayes' shot on the line. TV replays show it was a harsh looking call but referee Collum produced a red card and Rooney scored goal number 19 for the season.

Match Report

Unsurprisingly Derek McInnes named the same starting XI as last time out against St Johnstone. What was a surprise was the appearance of Willo Flood on the bench, a major boost to the Dons in what is going to be a demanding set of fixtures in January. Barry Robson also returned to squad; as did Joe Shaughnessy, back from his loan spell at Falkirk.

So one again the Dons lined up with Brown in goal, a back four of Logan, Taylor, Reynolds and Considine; Jack, Hayes and Pawlett were in central midfield with Rooney wide left, McGinn wide right and Gloodwillie up top.

Motherwell had a number of injuries as they looked to bounce back from their heavy defeat to local rivals Hamilton. They were forced to hand 17 year old Luke Watt a debut at left back.

Adam Rooney actually started off on the right side and put over an inviting ball in the second minute after beating young full back Watt. His ball was not far away from Goodwillie. On 3 minutes Twardik made a decent double save. He first of all punched a long throw clear despite being put under a lot of pressure. Motherwell could not clear their lines though and Goodwillie managed to make room and get in a snap shot which the ex-Dons keeper did well to block. David looked frustrated as he knew it was a good opportunity.

On 7 minutes a Logan ball into the box forced the first corner of the game. Then on 10 minutes a great break forward saw McGinn float a ball in for Rooney but the striker diving at full length actually got too good a contact on it and his header just went past the post.

The Dons had now put Pawlett up against the young left back and he put over a good ball after getting to the by-line. Twardzik just managed to get to the ball ahead of Goodwillie and in the end the keeper made a good save by cutting the cross out with his feet. A minute later Pawlett again cut the ball back to Goodwillie who had a fresh air swipe and then Stephen McManus just did enough to block McGinn. Hayes then put over a wicked cross which almost caught out Twardzik.

Aberdeen were in complete control with 15 minutes gone. The home side were actually sitting deep and trying to hit the Dons on the break.

On 22 minutes Ojamaa hit a shot from about 30 yards out but Brown watched it all the way.

A good slow build up on 24 minutes led to corner number three for the Dons. Corner number four then followed plus a free kick in a good area but still the League leaders could not find a way through. Aberdeen were completely dominating the possession and the midfield area - anytime Motherwell did have the ball they were getting put under so much pressure by the men in black they were giving it straight back. Despite the dominance though, the Dons passing in the final third was not incisive enough to create any clear cut chances.

Then a good little spell from the home side. On 34 minutes the best attack so far from 'Well and Taylor was forced to make a vital block on Ojamaa which led to a corner.

On 35 minutes Kerr gave the ball away to Considine. He played the ball to Goodwillie and who floated a fantastic ball into the path of Rooney who outpaced McManus and the Dons striker was in. He waited for Twardzik to come out before calmly slotting it past him and in off the far post with his left foot. The Dons were ahead.
It was Adam's 18th goal of the season and the 10th assist from David.

On 38 minutes McGinn strolled down the left and put over a dangerous cross. Twardzik did well to come out and make a brave save before Goodwillie could get a shot away. A mistake at the back then gave a chance to Pawlett but he pushed his shot wide. He probably had better options either side of him. On 40 minutes McGinn hit a great shot from the edge of the area which hit the top of the bar. Referee Collum gave a goal kick but it actually looked like Twardzik had made a brilliant fingertip save. The keeper had certainly helped keep the scoreline down at the break.

HT 0-1

The second half started off similar to the first - plenty of possession for the Dons and the home side continued to play like a team lacking in confidence.
On 52 minutes a Considine shot from the edge of the area broke kindly to Goodwillie but the situation was well defended before he could pounce. Hayes then got to the by-line and had loads of time and space but he could not pick out the right pass. The Motherwell defence deserve credit for holding their shape and they were not giving the Dons any easy chances. At 1-0 the game was still in the balance.

On 54 minutes Ainsworth put over a dangerous ball and Taylor did well to be in the right place to knock the ball to safety. A reminder that despite their control this game was far from won.

After 57 minutes a good move from the Dons but Pawlett elected to shoot from the edge of the area and made poor contact. It was the wrong option as McGinn was in acres of space down the left. Just after the hour mark McGinn was completely taken out of the play by Mark O'Brien who was booked. He was maybe fortunate to stay on the pitch.

On 65 minutes Aberdeen got in behind the fullbacks once again and Goodwillie put a good ball across the area but frustratingly there were no takers. Then there was even more frustration. Logan put over a great cross which found Considine at the back post area. His looping header beat Twardzik but hit the post. Rooney's shot was then blocked at the near post by Twardzik, still the move continued and Pawlett really should have done better with a header 8 yards out.

After 69 minutes the first changes - Fraser Kerr was replaced by Dominic Thomas. Also Sutton was replaced by Lee Erwin. A few minutes later the Dons won corner number seven but McGinn wasted a good chance to put over a decent ball.

Aberdeen started to get a bit sloppy in the middle of the park which gave the home side some more of the ball and lifted the home fans. The subs also helped give Motherwell some energy and for the first time in the game enjoyed a spell of pressure. Scott Brown had to punch a cross clear and Pawlett did just enough to block Watt's shot. Ojamaa then put a shot in the area straight at Brown. Aberdeen were now not getting everything all their own way.

With about 15 minutes to go Cammy Smith replaced Peter Pawlett. Within seconds of that Aberdeen should have made the game safe when Jack threaded a great pass through but Goodwillie pulled his shot wide. Motherwell then won a couple of corners and from one of them the Dons got lucky. The ball was headed back into the area and could have broken anywhere but thankfully it landed at the feet of Considine who hammered the ball clear.

It was a very nervy last 10 minutes.

On 84 minutes yet another chance to put the game safe was wasted. A really good patient move saw Considine play it to Hayes and he in turn found Jack. Ryan threaded through another lovely ball for Goodwillie but he pulled his shot just past the post. It was in fact another very good save from Twardik but again Collum did not see it and gave a goal kick.

With five minutes to go Goodwillie was replaced by Flood. Willo was then involved in the move which finally help make the game safe. Logan played a good pass to McGinn. Niall's cross was tipped on by Twardzik who could not quite reach the cross. The ball fell to Hayes who hammered in a shot which hit McManus on the line. Referee Collum saw it as a hand ball and produced a red card. With three minutes to go Rooney stepped forward and his very well taken penalty sent the keeper the wrong way.

Rooney was then replaced by Shankland. In the last minute Smith was not far away from getting on the end of McGinn's cross but the Red Army were still able to enjoy the final moments of this game knowing that Dons were going to be staying top of the league.
Motherwell Teamsheet
12.Dan Twardzik, 02.Craig Reid, 06.Stephen McManus, 15.Mark O'Brien, 38.Luke Watt, 07.Lionel Ainsworth, 14.Keith Lasley, 18.Josh Law, 20.Fraser Kerr (19.Lee Erwin 70), 09.John Sutton (26.Dominic Thomas 70), 24.Henrik Ojamaa. Unused Subs: 04.Stuart Carswell, 13.Gunnar Nielsen, 23.Adam Cummins, 29.Christopher Cadden, 43.Jack McMillan.

Bookings:  06.Stephen McManus (88),   15.Mark O'Brien (62).
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Brown, Logan, Considine, Taylor, Reynolds, McGinn, Hayes, Pawlett (Smith 77), Jack, Rooney (Shankland 90), Goodwillie (Flood 86).

Unused Subs: Langfield, Monakana, Robson, Shaughnessy.
Attendance: 4,805
Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell
Referee: Willie Collum