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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
SPL 
24/02/2004
 
Motherwell 1 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  7:45 PM   Wright (84)        
Attendance: 5,225
Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell
Another late strike sinks Dons
The Dons once again lost a goal in the last ten minutes of a match to dent their chances of a top six finish. A draw would have been enough to take the Dons above Kilmarnock but a late lapse of concentration denied them. After a fairly even match, Motherwell struck in the 84th minute through substitute Wright. It was once again a bitter pill to swallow and despite a late flurry the Dons couldn't produce an equaliser.

Aberdeen almost made a sensational start when they carved open the home defence in the opening minute. A Morrison cross was nodded back by Scott Booth and Zdrilic forced a fine save out of Marshall with a fierce shot. Motherwell settled after this early warning, but they failed to put the Dons under any pressure. There was a fine passage of play from Sheerin in the 8th minute when he ran at the home defence and played a neat one-two with Booth before drilling a low cross into the box. The delivery just needed a touch to steer the ball past Marshall, but unfortunately there were no takers.

 
The home side won the first corner in the 11th minute, but Diamond took command of the area and cleared the danger. At the other end Clark went on a good run and had Marshall punching his delivery clear. The match was moving from end to end and the Dons defence was looking comfortable as the home side won a series of corners. With 25 minutes gone Motherwell were beginning to get the upper hand as McDonald had a bit of a wild effort at goal. On the half hour mark good play by Hinds produced a free kick. Unfortunately Morrison's delivery failed to get past the first defender allowing the home side to break. However the Dons were back quickly to cover.

Aberdeen almost grabbed the opener in the 37th minute when Hinds fired in a dangerous cross. Marshall was out quickly to deal with the danger, albeit feet first, as Booth pounced. The Dons striker picked up a knock in the process and had to go off the park for some treatment. Three minutes later Booth looked set to break again when he was flagged offside in a rather tight decision. In the 42nd minute Booth headed a Morrison free kick over the bar as The Dons finished the first half on top. Just on the break Marshall intercepted a Clark cross as Zdrilic threatened.

It was a scrappy opening to the second period, but in the 50th minute good play between Heikkinen and Morrison set up Hinds. His shot was blocked and the ball fell to Sheerin who fired a good effort in on goal which Marshall held well. A mistake by Zdrilic in the 55th minute allowed Burns to break and forced Preece into action as the home side made the stronger start to the second period. The pressure mounted five minutes later when Clarkson headed wide of the target from eight yards out. Paterson decided at this stage to make a change as Muirhead replaced Booth.

 
Within two minutes of being introduced Muirhead skipped past three or four defenders before unleashing a great shot that forced a fine save from Marshall. This lifted the Dons as they tried to ease their way back into the game. A further change was made in the 68th minute when Steve Tosh replaced Sheerin in the middle of the park. At this stage it looked as though the first goal may very well seal the points as both sides looked to grab the advantage.

In a final throw of the dice Prunty replaced Hinds in the 74th minute as the Dons looked for a winner. The newcomer had a half chance in the 77th minute, but he was rushed into his shot and pulled it wide of the target. Another good move two minutes later failed to produce a finish when Muirhead put his cross too close to the keeper. At the other end Clarkson pulled a shot wide of the target as both sides looked for the elusive winner. Then for the umpteenth time this season Aberdeen conceded a late goal when substitute Wright scored what would prove to be the winner. A late flurry with chances for Tosh and Heikkinen failed to produce an equaliser leaving the Dons still rooted in second bottom spot.

Motherwell Teamsheet:  Marshall, Quinn, Craigan, Corrigan, Hammell, Lasley, Fagan, Burns, Dair, McDonald, Clarkson.

Unused Subs: McDonald for Dair (10), Craig for McDonald (73), Wright for Fagan (83)

Bookings:

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Morrison, McGuire, Heikkinen, Anderson, Diamond, Clark, Sheerin (Tosh 68), Booth (Muirhead 60), Zdrilic, Hinds (Prunty 74).

Unused Subs:

Bookings: Caution Diamond (86).

Referee: Calum Murray

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