J.Twigg at Pittodrie
A crazy two minutes cost Motherwell dearly at Pittodrie as the Dons run out 2-1 winners.
Scott McDonald diverted in a Lee Erwin shot to give the visitors a deserved interval lead but Ash Taylor and Adam Rooney scored in quick succession early in the second half to hand the Dons victory.
It was hard on the Steelmen, who could have gone into the break with a more commanding lead than the one they had earned through McDonald.
With Donvervorn Daniels anchoring the midfield, Ryan Jack was able to push forward and he went close in the seventh minute after collecting a David Goodwillie pass, curling an 18-yard shot just over the crossbar. Moments later, the same player shot straight at George Long from 25 yards.
The hosts struggled to get into a rhythm in the early stages but they did carve out an opening for Kenny McLean in the 21st minute. Shay Logan picked out Goodwillie, who in turn found the former St Mirren starlet – but he could not keep his effort down from 14 yards.
Motherwell gave as good as they got and, after Erwin sliced wide, they should have gone in front in the 29th minute. After a mix-up in the hosts backline, Erwin got in behind the Dons defence but Jamie Langfield came racing out of his goal to spread himself and make a goal-saving block.
However, Aberdeen failed to heed the warning and trailed after 37 minutes. Erwin was allowed to move forward unchallenged and his shot from just outside the box was cleverly flicked by McDonald on route and the ball found the bottom corner.
The Steelmen’s lead would have been short-lived but for an impressive save from Long, who dived to his right to keep out McLean’s downward header.
Aberdeen drew level though six minutes into the second half from a corner. Niall McGinn’s deep delivery found the unmarked Taylor, whose header from eight yards was brilliantly saved by Long – but the ball squirmed from his grasp and into the net.
Rooney then profited on a defensive blunder two minutes to give the Dons the lead.
On loan Sheffield Utd goalkeeper Long charged out of his box to try to clear the danger but got into a mix-up with Louis Laing and Rooney nipped in to tap into an empty net.
From looking assured and well organised in the first period, the visiting defence had quickly become ragged and they nearly conceded again in the 65th minute when McGinn drove a low angled shot just wide from Goodwillie’s lay-off.
In an effort to get back into the game, ‘Well manager Ian Baraclough turned to substitutes John Sutton and Lionel Ainsworth and although the latter screwed a late shot wide, Aberdeen saw out the match to keep alive their title bid.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Fir Park
FULL TIME | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
It ends Aberdeen 2 – 1 Motherwell
90′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
Aberdeen sub, Pawlett off for Robertson
88′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
Lasley clips a ball over the top and it’s an ambitious effort from Ainsworth who strikes it first time. Not far wide.
85′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
Final Motherwell sub, Dom Thomas on for Erwin
83′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
McDonald needlessly enters the ref’s book for dissent.
79′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
Erwin enters the ref’s book for a rash tackle on Logan.
75′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
And an Aberdeen change, Robson on for Goodwillie
76′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
Motherwell sub, Sutton on for Johnson.
75′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
McGinn tries to capitalise on a loose pass but drags his shot well side from 20 yards out.
65′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
Motherwell sub, Grant is off for Ainsworth.
62′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
Lasley is booked for a foul on Jack.
52′ | 2-1 | #AFCvMFC
Goal – An incredible lapse of communication between defender and goalkeeper lets Rooney in to poke into the empty net.
50′ | 1-1 | #AFCvMFC
Goal – Taylor gets plenty of room to head home from a corner. 1-1
46′ | 0-1 | #AFCvMFC
Lasley and Johnson get the second half underway.
Half time’ | 0-1 | #AFCvMFC
Teams are back out for the second half. ‘Mon ‘Well!
HALF-TIME | 0-1 | #AFCvMFC
37′ | 0-1 | #AFCvMFC
Erwin got his shot away form 25 yards out and it deflected off McDonald and into the net!!! 1-0 to ‘Well!!!!
35′ | 0-0 | #AFCvMFC
Aberdeen sub, Daniels makes way for Pawlett.
32′ | 0-0 | #AFCvMFC
McLean fires just wide of the post from 20 yards after a clearance falls straight to him.
30′ | 0-0 | #AFCvMFC
Great chance!! Erwin gets on the end of a loose ball but Langfield raced off his line and got enough on it to block!
24′ | 0-0 | #AFCvMFC
Lovely through ball from Grant to find Erwin but as he pulls the trigger, his shot sails well wide of the target.
21′ | 0-0 | #AFCvMFC
Lasley wins a tackle in the box but the ball falls kindly for McLean who shoots wildly over the bar from 15 yards.
16′ | 0-0 | #AFCvMFC
Motherwell win a corner but Grant’s low delivery is hooked clear by McLean.
10′ | 0-0 | #AFCvMFC
Jack gets another effort on goal. This time his shot from range is on target but is comfortable for Long
8′ | 0-0 | #AFCvMFC
Aberdeen counter and Jack should have done better with his shot from just inside the box. Ballooned over the bar.
7′ | 0-0 | #AFCvMFC
First shot on target for ‘Well. Johnson sent Erwin racing down the wing and he cut in and got a shot away. Easy save.
Kick-Off | #AFCvMFC
Goodwillie and McGinn get the game underway. COYW!!!!
Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough:
“It’s a sore one to take because for 45 minutes, that was as good as we have played since I have been here.
“We have shown that we can be a good team and made a very good team in Aberdeen change their system and personnel because they could not get to grips with us.
“All of a sudden, we switched off at a set-piece which has been our Achilles heel and it set us on the back foot and then after a little bit of panic, we find ourselves 2-1 down.”
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes:
“There was a change in our demeanour in the second half and that was the biggest thing.
“The players showed exactly in the second half how important the three points were and they deserve so much credit for that.
“It could be the most important three points of the season, you never know.”
“We are now in to a 10-game season and we will look to win as many of them as possible. From the last 15 league games, we have lost one, drawn two and won 12 and that is brilliant consistency.”.
“If we get anywhere near that in the last part of the season, we will be pleased with our work and we are just determined to finish as strongly as possible.”