Aberdeen, on a run of 10 games without a win, made a promising start and after
two minutes a curling cross from Mike Newell was headed just wide by Robbie Winters.
Five minutes later Aberdeen threatened again when Craig Hignett tested the
keeper from 20 yards but his shot was too direct and Miko Kaven easily saved.
Motherwell boosted by their midweek victory over Rangers, took longer to settle.
After 11 minutes a cross from John Spencer was missed by Owen Coyle but the
ball was quickly returned across goal by Stevie McMillan only for Mark Perry
to clea r the danger.
Motherwell's midweek goal hero John Spencer began to influence the game and
after 17 minutes he cleverly set up Owen Coyle, whose shot was blocked by Perry.
Spencer was again instrumental in the next threat from the home side when he
his way to the edge of the box before laying the ball to Simo Valakari
whose shot was well struk bot off target.
Then on the half hour Aberdeen came close with a Davie Rowson drive from 20
yards which was not far away. And a minute later the Dons grabbed the lead when Mike Newell worked a one-two
with Eoin Jess at the edge of the box before striking a left-foot shot which
sneaked just inside the post.
Aberdeen's determination to end their dismal run paid off with a Mike Newell
goal after 31 minutes.
Mike Newell broke the deadlock after 31 minutes. Motherwell had an early chance
to draw level with a free-kick from the edge of the box directly in front of
goal. But Spencer's curled free-kick drifted
over the bar. Two minutes from half-time Aberdeen might have made it two when
a mistake by McGowan gave possession to Robbie Winters 40 yards from Goal.
He cheekily tried
to lob the keeper and although his shot was on target Aberdeen's new striker
was dissapointed not to have scored.
Then on the stroke of half-time an incisive pass from Spencer opened up the
Dons defence allowing McMillan to race onto the ball but with Jim Leighton
leaving his line the Motherwell player forced his effort into the side netting.
Aberdeen made the perfect start to the second half, extending their lead
two minutes after the break.
A long, flighted ball from Kiriakov towards the six-yard box found Robbie
Winters out-jumping a static home defence to head the ball past a helpless
Two minutes later Motherwell should have pulled one back when McMillian's
cross found Halliday but his header was well off target.
Another great cross this time from Christie was scooped over the bar by McGowan
as Motherwell tried to stage a fightback. New boss Billy Davies sent on two subs in Derek Adams and experienced Pat Nevin
and it paid off.
In the 57th minute a long ball from Shaun Teale was nodded down by McGowan, and first to react was John Spencer who rattled the ball home from 12 yards.
Motherwell completed their great escape on 69 minutes, when Jamie McGowan struck
home to make the final score, Aberdeen 2-2 Motherwell.