The Red Army witnessed a 6th stalemate of the season at Pittodrie as neither Aberdeen nor Motherwell could come up with a goal despite plenty of endeavour. The hosts dominated the first period and created a few good chances but the second half was a more even affair.
Aberdeen lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Scott Vernon partnering Niall McGinn up front. Vernon replaced Rory Fallon in the starting line up and Joe Shaughnessy returned from his broken nose to replace Josh Magennis.
The Dons started brightly and won their first corner kick on 4 minutes when Niall McGinn played a superb ball to Ryan Jack and he drove into the box to win the kick. From the resultant corner the ball fell to Johnny Hayes who swung in a tremendous ball towards Shaughnessy but he headed just over the bar.
Good play again by McGinn saw him fly in a dangerous cross which Randolph misjudged and the ball had to be cleared for a corner by Tom Hateley. The corner was floated in but Vernon's header was off target on 11 minutes.
On 16 minutes the Dons created another good chance when Jack crossed towards the far side of the box and as the ball dropped Hayes made a desperate attempt to prod the ball home but couldn't quite make up enough ground.
Jack then had an effort at goal himself but fired well wide. At the other end, referee Kevin Clancy then gave a foul against Gavin Rae for what looked like a well timed attempt to win the ball from James McFadden. The free kick was wasted by the Steelmen and the Dons broke swiftly. Mark Reynolds sent a delightful chip over the Motherwell defence towards the on rushing McGinn- unfortunately for the Northern Ireland international he was then flagged offside. It was a tight call that could have gone either way.
With 26 minutes on the clock a great ball was played in to the box by Hayes and Vernon rose to head the ball into the back of the net. Sadly Darren Randolph appeared from nowhere and got a touch on the ball that was enough to deny the striker giving the Dons the lead. Johnny Hayes sent a free kick wide a few minutes later before Jamie Langfield had to make a good save from Hately's free kick on 32 minutes.
3 minutes before the break the Dons were dealt yet another blow when Clark Robertson was inadvertently injured in a clash with McFadden. Gary Naysmith came on to replace the Scotland U21 international at left back.
Stephen Hughes had a good chance to put the dons ahead at the break but hesitated when he found himself in a good position in the box and the chance evaporated.
After the break the home side once again started well and McGinn went close with an effort on 47 minutes but Randolph denied him again before Hayes went close but shot just wide of the post seconds later.
On 52 minutes the visitors were awarded a dubious free kick when Gavin Rae tackled Keith Lasley. McFadden- who looked well of the pace in this game- whipped in the kick but it flew past the post and failed to trouble Langfield.
With the game flowing from end to end now- Randolph had to get down well to save a dangerous looking cross from Hayes while at the other end Langfield was able to parry the ball away to safety despite it bouncing awkwardly in front of him on the difficult Pittodrie surface.
The Dons then made a second change with Josh Magennis replacing Johnny Hayes and the substitution nearly paid off immediately when the striker unleashed a great shot but Randolph blocked again. Seconds later there was a great chance for Gavin Rae to give the home side the lead when the ball bounced towards him 5 yards out but somehow he couldn't turn it home and the game remained goalless.
Aberdeen continued to apply a lot of pressure to the Motherwell defence and won a succession of corners, some of which were more dangerous than others. All too often though there was no one there to capitalise the better deliveries. The Steelmen continued to look a threat on the break and they did so from a Dons corner. Nicky Law found himself with the goal beckoning but Langfield got down well to deny the attacker.
There were huge cries for a penalty from the Motherwell players on 88 minutes when Joe Shaughnessy, outstanding throughout the game, appeared to foul Zaine Francis-Angol in the box but referee Clancy thankfully waved away the strong claims and the Dons broke up field only for McGinn to shoot well over.
Craig Brown made his third change which saw Rory Fallon replace Ryan Jack, but it was to no avail as the Dons failed to find the target yet again at Pittodrie -this time they dominated though and should have collected all three points.