There were no fireworks on display for the women of steel, as a clinical Aberdeen side punished attacking complacency, with Motherwell left to rue their squandered opportunities on a disappointing evening at K-Park on Sunday.
Bayley Hutchinson strengthened her goalscoring pedigree for the season, firing four goals past Emily Mutch, with youngster Darcie Miller also finding the target. Carla Boyce and Kayla Jardine both netted, but the visitors cruised to a commanding three-goal advantage in South Lanarkshire.
Head Coach, Paul Brownlie made two changes from the defeat to Hearts at the Oriam prior to the International break, with Tara McGonigle and Carla Boyce both returning to the starting XI, as Murron Cunningham and Kaitlyn Canavan were made available from the bench.
Motherwell came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening few minutes, as Bailley Collins latched onto Kayla Jardine’s incisive through ball, bending a threatening effort towards the bottom-left corner, but Annalisa McCann reacted quickly to produce a smart stop.
The hosts continued to threaten and almost found the breakthrough moments later, as Gill Inglis’ floated cross-field pass sailed invitingly into the Aberdeen penalty area, with Jo Addie lurking in the box, but the defender couldn’t apply the finishing touches.
Paul Brownlie’s side were denied what proved to be the first of many notable penalty claims, as Tara McGonigle was hauled down directly on the 18-yard line. The winger darted across the face of goal from the right-hand side and looked to have been impeded with a late-lunging tackle, but the referee waived play on despite the adamant pleas of the Motherwell squad.
Motherwell were left to reflect on their numerous chances on goal, as the Dons netted the opener late into the first-half, with Bayley Hutchinson finding the target from close-range.
Motherwell again thought they might’ve had an instant route back into the game, with their second penalty claim of the evening, as McGonigle’s chipped cross from the right clearly struck an Aberdeen arm in the penalty area, but the referee ruled against awarding the penalty.
Nevertheless, Motherwell pressed forward and deservedly found the breakthrough through Boyce, with a close-range finish moments before half-time.
As the second half resumed, Motherwell struggled to pick up from where they left off, and the visitors capitalised with two quickfire goals.
A quick counter-attack left Hutchinson racing through on goal, and the striker fired a low delivery across the face of the six-yard box, which Miller calmly converted from a few yards out.
Moments later, the striker was through again, coasting past numerous claret jerseys before placing a composed effort into the bottom-left corner.
In the latter stages of the second-half, Hutchinson secured her hat-trick with a replication of her second. The striker coasted across the face of goal unchallenged and applied the finish to match, leaving Mutch with no chance.
Hutchinson netted her fourth with less than a minute left, as Amy Anderson was pickpocketed on the halfway line and one incisive through ball cut through the Motherwell backline, and the forward calmly dispatched her effort into the bottom-left corner.
Motherwell secured a late consolation, as Jardine’s strike from distance sailed over the head of McCann in the Aberdeen net, but the visitors were able to hold out a three-goal advantage to secure all three points.