Motherwell twice came from behind to rescue a point against Aberdeen at Bathgate this afternoon.
Aberdeen went ahead at the start of the second half; Dominco Gibson tucking home from close range. ‘Well hit back through Josh Watt but were pinned back again when Joe Shaughnessy looped a header over Tom Bradley.
However, with fifteen minutes left on the clock, super sub Keiran McGachie pounced to level things up and claim a point for his side.
It was a fairly even start to the game with both teams looking to make a positive early impression. The visitors had one or two half chances, but nothing that would overly trouble Tom Bradley in the home goal.
The first real chance of the game came on the thirteenth minute mark. A well-worked short corner on the right eventually found Steve Howarth inside the area but his intelligent near post flick ended just over the bar with the keeper grounded.
Shortly after, the same player raced clear of the Aberdeen defence, after a lovely through ball by McKinnon, but dragged his shot just wide of the post.
‘Well were starting to get the upper hand and a super move involving McKinnon, Halsman, Griffin and Howarth was almost completed when Keiran McDonald wrestled space inside the area but his low shot was deflected just the wrong side of the post as the Dons survived again.
The visitors began to creep their way back into the game and Tom Bradley had to look smart to keep out a deflected shot from Jamie Masson that the Dons had come close from a testing free-kick on the right flank.
With eight minutes left of the first half, Aberdeen had the ball in the net with a bizarre own goal, Stephen O’Neill’s ball across the face met by Griffin whose clearance cannoned off Ewan Murray into the net. Thankfully the assistant referee had his flag up for a goal kick as the ball had already crossed the line before the initial cross.
Neale Cooper’s side continued to push for the opener and Masson was denied again when his shot, from a Gibson cutback, was headed clear by Murray when it looked to be heading into the far corner of the net. And, on the stroke of half-time, Jordon Brown got in on the action but his back post header drifted harmlessly wide of the post.
The second half was devoid of some of the quality play in the first-half but was far more exciting as a game.
Evident when Aberdeen took the lead just seven minutes in. A cross from the right flank was touched away by Bradley, allowing O’Neill to collect. He got past Halsman before cutting the ball back for Gibson who was left with the simplest of tasks, tucking home from almost underneath the crossbar.
Motherwell hit back eight minutes later with an equaliser of some quality. Ross McKinnon collected the ball on the half way line and put ‘Well on the attack with a terrific ball out towards Josh Watt who was lurking on the right flank. The little winger twisted and turned, leaving Clark Robertson on the ground before smashing home a terrific left footed shot high into the top left hand corner.
Incredibly, within sixty seconds, Motherwell had the ball at the edge of the Dons area but Howarth’s attempted block was crowded out by a host of diving defenders.
Another seven minutes past and, unbelievably, Aberdeen somehow got themselves back ahead. A corner kick from the right was knocked away by McGachie only for the unmarked Shaughnessy to loop a header over Bradley and into the net.
Gordon Young’s men again chipped away looking for a leveller and found it courtesy of substitute Keiran McGachie. Steve Howarth was fouled on the edge of the area by Conor Devaney, allowing Ross McKinnon to have a dig at goal. The left-sider struck a stinging love drive that was parried by Lukasik, allowing the former Stenny man to pounce and he nodded home his second goal in successive weeks.
With fifteen minutes left, and the game finely poised, both teams pushed for what would be the winner. McGachie brought out the best in Lukasik with a decent low shot that was saved and Josh Watt came close to grabbing his second when he got on the end of a Chris Connor cross from the right but his header bounced just the wrong side of the post.
Connor himself had a late shot fly just over the bar on the stroke of full-time but neither side could add to their two goal haul and the game finished, probably deservedly, all square.
Motherwell: Bradley, Griffin, Halsman, Murray, Sloan, McKinnon, Watt, McDonald (Connor – 75mins), Carswell, Howarth, Erwin (McGachie – 59mins)