Aberdeen and Motherwell will meet again in the Scottish Cup after a last minute Niall McGinn goal rescued the Dons' hopes. Jamie Murphy's strike on 79 minutes looked like it would send the visitors through but McGinn scored his ninth of the campaign to level the game. Defeat would have been harsh on either side in what was a largely un-eventful game.
The injury hit Dons made one change to the side that were defeated by Inverness in the league a few days before. With just Gavin Rae recovering in time to replace the injured Chris Clark, the side had another makeshift look to it.
Despite this they started well and could have been two up inside the first few minutes. Firstly a great cross into the box found Niall McGinn but Fraser Kerr nicked the ball away from him and out for a corner. Eventually a cross from Johnny Hayes was superbly headed towards goal by Rory Fallon but 'Well keeper Lee Hollis made a good stop to deny the striker.
The home side kept up the opening pressure and Gavin Rae had a shot blocked by the Motherwell defence and a short time later McGinn had a long range effort that went wide of the post. On 11 minutes it was Hayes who went close when he unleashed a shot from 20 yards that Hollis misjudged but managed to scramble away for a corner.
Motherwell had been quiet in the opening stages and created very little. On 18 minutes Joe Shaughnessy made what looked a reasonable tackle but referee Willie Collum didn't agree and booked the Dons youngster. From the resultant free kick the Steelmen won a corner which eventually fell for Chris Humphrey who fired in a shot that had to be turned over by Jamie Langfield at the expense of another corner kick. This time though Rory Fallon got a block in and cleared and the Dons broke up field. Hayes crossed into the box but Vernon couldn't connect with it and Jamie Murphy made a good clearance.
On 21 minutes referee Collum was again the centre of attention when he gave a dubious foul against Andrew Considine in the middle of the park. 4 minutes later, Considine tried an effort from 25 yards but it went well wide of the post and failed to trouble the Motherwell defence.
Aberdeen then wasted a good free kick opportunity on the edge of the box after Gavin Rae had been cynically obstructed before Josh Magennis delivered a long throw that nearly caught the visitors defence out.
Chances became rarer and rarer as the half wore on- the Dons best coming after Shaughnessy played Hayes through on goal but he blasted the ball just over the bar.
It was Motherwell who started the second half the brightest and could have lead early on, Langfield having to make a vital save at one point. The home side eventually got more involved in the half, McGinn wasting an opportunity after good build up play down the right.
A short time later the Dons applied more pressure down the right with Anderson, Shaughnessy & Hayes combining well before Cummins tackled Shaughnessy well to avert the danger. Shaughnessy then won a corner a short time later after his cross was deflected out of play. Unfortunately for Aberdeen no one was there to convert when the corner was superbly played in low and needed only the slightest of touches to give the Dons the lead.
Mark Reynolds defended well on 63 minutes against the powerful Michael Higdon and not long after Tom Hately curled a free kick over the bar for 'Well but the game remained pretty even with neither side creating too many clear cut opportunities. Indeed, Russell Anderson showed why he is a centre back and not a striker when he completely miss hit a chance and smashed the ball out for a throw in!
At the other end, Ojamaa had a shot which Willie Collum controversially ruled had taken a deflection out for a corner to the bemusement of the Red Army and the Dons players. Luckily for them the corner didn't do any harm.
With 12 minutes left though the Dons were dealt a huge blow when they went behind. Jamie Murphy curled an effort into the back of the net from outside the box to the delight of the travelling supporters and dismay of the home ones. With so few chances created in the game it left the Dons with an uphill struggle to find something.
Joe Shaughnessy, who performed well throughout the game, saw his header saved by Hollis after a good cross by Hayes as time drifted away. The Dons made a change with 3 minutes left to play when Anderson was replaced by Cammy Smith and just as it looked like the Dons would be stumbling out of the cup at the first hurdle, up popped McGinn to score after a fantastic cross from Considine to take the tie to a replay.