Aberdeen put in a great second half performance to earn a point at Fir Park, but once again it was a game marred by controversy. Motherwell went in at half time a goal to the good and it was hard to argue with that after a poor defensive performance from the Dons. It was a different Aberdeen side that came out after the break and their pressure paid off in the 67th minute when McDonald headed home a Mulgrew corner. As the midfielder celebrated his goal he covered his face with his shirt and referee Crawford Allan decided it was worthy of a booking. Having been booked earlier McDonald was sent off. Had he done this after missing would he have been similarly booked? The decision appeared harsh. With the Dons in control the whole shape of the game changed although Aberdeen still carved out some chances to win, but frustratingly had to settle for a draw.
Motherwell kicked off in the driving rain, but it was Aberdeen who showed first in the second minute when Pawlett did well on the wing and found Paton. His cross was half cleared and Foster fired inches wide with a fierce shot. A minute later Motherwell won the first corner of the match and Reynolds headed wide. At the other end a Miller shot was deflected then Langfield made a comfortable save from Forbes.
After a lively opening five minutes the game settled down with the Dons in their all- black change strip. Aberdeen went close in the 13th minute when Ruddy made a magnificent save from McDonald following some fine football from the Dons. Seconds later Motherwell went ahead as Considine and Kerr got in each other's way and Jutkiewicz beat Langfield from 16 yards at the near post. It was almost double trouble two minutes later when calamitous defending almost produced a second for Motherwell.
Murphy lobbed the ball over Langfield and as the Dons defence failed to react Murphy had another attempt and Considine was forced to head the ball off the line. A Mulgrew shot was blocked in the 21st minute as Aberdeen looked to work their way back into the match. At the other end Motherwell won their second corner of the game, but Ross cleared before Sutton sent an effort wide a minute later. In the 26th minute Paton showed good control to chest the ball to McDonald, but the midfielder fired wide. A minute later Kerr also fired wide after good build up.
Pawlett and Mulgrew combined well on the half hour mark and Mulgrew swung in a great cross towards Paton, but play was stopped for an infringement. At the other end Coke was allowed to race forward unchallenged and hit an effort inches over the bar. The Dons really need to tighten up at the back if they are to take anything from this, but in the 38th minute Reynolds was allowed to step forward unchallenged and fired another effort over the bar. With two minutes of the half remaining Ruddy denied Paton a certain goal as he turned the ball round the post for the Dons first corner of the match. A minute later Miller fired inches wide as the Dons made a strong finish to the half.
Aberdeen started the second half in style as a stramash in front of the Motherwell goal ended with Hammell putting the ball out for a corner. Ruddy then made a good save from an Ifil header before Pawlett was taken down with a bad tackle by Coke, which ended with the Motherwell player collecting the first yellow card of the match. A second corner kick followed in the 52nd minute and another followed as Pawlett was tackled by two defenders as he looked set to shoot. Ruddy was able to claim the ball at the next corner as Aberdeen dominated the opening exchanges.
Two minutes later Ruddy punched a Mulgrew cross clear with the home side camped inside their own penalty area. Saunders then scrambled the ball clear as Ruddy came out for a cross and missed. McDonald was then booked for a late challenge before Langfield had to make a fine save from Sutton when the player was again allowed to move forward unchallenged. Langfield made a brave save in the 58th minute, but picked up a worrying leg injury with fourth choice keeper Bain on the bench. Fortunately he was able to continue after treatment although he wasn't moving freely.
Considine was forced to concede a corner on the hour mark and two minutes later Motherwell won a free kick in a dangerous area, but Langfield claimed the ball comfortably. Ruddy made a fine save from a Mulgrew free kick in the 64th minute and the keeper did well to hold on to the ball with McDonald lurking. A minute later Miller headed a Mulgrew free kick over the bar. With all this pressure the Dons really need to make these chances count. McDonald won another corner in the 67th minute and the Dons finally made the pressure play.
The corner was swung in and McDonald headed the ball past Ruddy to level the match. Controversy then ensued as the scorer ran to celebrate his goal and covered his face with his shirt. Referee Allan decided that this merited a second yellow card and McDonald was sent packing. Once again a match was ruined as things were getting interesting. Saunders was then booked for Motherwell before Foster fired over in the 71st minute. Instead of Motherwell getting deflated from the Dons goal they now took a lift from the sending off.
After being out of the game for the whole of the second half they won two corners and in the 77th minute Reynolds fired wide of the target. Two minutes later a Sutton snap shot went inches wide as Motherwell started to take control of the match. In the 80th minute Jutkiewicz tried an extravagant attempt when simplicity might have been better and at the other end a Kerr shot was comfortably held by Ruddy as they continued to look for a winner despite the handicap. Young replaced Pawlett in the 86th minute and two minutes later Ruddy was forced into another great save from Paton.
A Mulgrew free kick in the 89th minute was half cleared before the Dons won a late corner. Before the corner was taken Mackie replaced Paton, but the ball was headed clear. Foster then picked up, fed Considine and his cross fizzed across the goal and was turned wide by Mackie. The fourth official then signalled four minutes of injury time as the heavens opened. Duff replaced Ross in the final minute of the match as the game ended all square. Surely the Dons would have collected three points if eleven men had remained on the park.