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Motherwell 1 - 3 Aberdeen

HT Score: Motherwell 1 - 3 Aberdeen

Scottish Second XI Cup Semi Final
Motherwell scorers: Robinson 32
Aberdeen scorers: Anderson 16, Ruth 26, Virtanen 34.

24/02/2020 | KO: 14:00

Development Dons Defeat Motherwell To Reach Reserve Cup Final

First half goals from Bruce Anderson, Michael Ruth and Miko Virtanen proved too much for a battling Motherwell side as the Dons won through to the final of the Reserve League Cup, Robinson's magnificent strike for the Steelmen only a consolation.

Motherwell's path to the last four saw them beat Morton, Dunfermline and Dundee while they drew with Celtic. Aberdeen won all four of their group matches, defeating Ross County 4-1, Queen of the South 5-0, St Johnstone 3-0 and Kilmarnock 4-3 - the irrepressible Bruce Anderson scoring hat-tricks in each of the three ties he has played.

Aberdeen had Tomas Cerny in goal, with Ronnie Hernandez, Lloyd Robertson, Luke Turner and Jack Mackenzie the back four. Skipper Seb Ross and Miko Virtanen anchored were in central midfield flanked by Jon Gallagher and Ryan Hedges, while Bruce Anderson and Michael Ruth were in attack.

Motherwell were first to have an effort on goal, skipper Cornelius firing wide from twenty yards in the 5th minute. A Minute later a strong run into the box from Manzinga saw him smash an angled drive off Cerny's left hand post and away to safety.

Aberdeen responded with a good run and pass from Ruth, but Anderson had run offside. Motherwell threatened again in the tenth minute, Cerny forced to tip Ndjoli's powerful free kick over the bar. The Steelmen though they had taken the lead on 12 minutes when Manzinga headed Robinson's cross past Cerny, but the offside flag was up.

It had been a positive opening to the semi-final, particularly from the home side.

In the 16th minute a great burst forward from Seb Ross saw him play the ball into the box for Bruce Anderson to knock the ball past Morrison to give the Dons a lead against the run of play. That's ten goals in this competition for Bruce - a remarkable return in only four games.

 

Three minutes later an offside flag denied Michael Ruth and the Dons as the striker turned a Jack Mackenzie cross into the net.

The Dons were playing some bright attacking football, but Well were dangerous on the break, Manzinga's cross producing an acrobatic clearance from Hernandez before Robinson fired wastefully into the side-net.

On 26 minutes, it was 2-0 to Aberdeen. Ross and Anderson again linked up well to send Bruce in on goal and when Morrison parried his shot, Ruth was on hand to force the rebound over the line.

Cornelius shot high and wide after good work from Ndjoli as Motherwell tried to get a foothold in the match and their enterprise was rewarded on 32 minutes when Harry Robinson, son of Fir Park boss Steve, fired a stunning 25 yard shot high into Cerny's top right corner.

But their joy was short-lived as the Dons went straight back up the park and scored again, Turner knocking Hernandez's cross down for Miko Virtanen to scramble the ball home.

It was fast and furious as both sides were giving as good as they got, Robinson and Manzinga both having decent efforts well saved by Cerny while Aberdeen always looked threatening when they moved forward.

A hugely entertaining first half with the home side a little unfortunate to be two behind at the break as they had been very dangerous in attack, but the Dons had been in fine form in front of goal.

Half Time - Motherwell Reserves 1 Aberdeen Reserves 3

Robinson continued where he left off in the first half testing Cerny again with an early snap-shot from the edge of the box. Well keeper Morrison was fortunate to block a Hedges shot with his feet after a fine Mackenzie cross as the Dons responded.

Great linking up between Ross and Anderson saw the latter's shot parried behind by Morrison, but a pass inside to Ruth would have perhaps been the better option.

Aberdeen were starting to dominate possession and Motherwell's front men were having to operate on pretty meagre rations. Coach Maurice Ross tried to change things up by introducing Quinn for Ndjoli on 64 minutes.

As the game went into its final quarter Motherwell's attacking play began to look a little more desperate and the Aberdeen defence was able to snuff out most of the danger before play came into their final third. A fine burst forward from Hedges saw the Welsh winger play a dangerous ball into the Motherwell box but the threat was averted by some good defending.

Gallagher had a header from a Hernandez cross deflected wide as the Dons pushed for a fourth then Hedges curled an effort high over.

Motherwell made a second change on 79 minutes, the impressive Robinson coming off to be replaced by Starrs. Three minutes later Frank Ross replaced Ruth for Aberdeen.

Full back Johnston shot over as the Fir Park outfit tried to get something in the bank for their second half efforts, but they were beginning to look a beaten side, Aberdeen managing the game quite comfortably.

The full-time whistle blew to see Paul Sheerin's men through to a final meeting with Celtic, ending a successful long weekend for the younger sides after Barry Robson's Under 18s booked a Youth Cup final meeting with Kilmarnock on Friday.

Full Time - Motherwell Reserves 1 Aberdeen Reserves 3

Motherwell Teamsheet
Morrison, Johnston, Brown, Hussain, Maguire, Hale, Robinson (Starrs 79), Hutchison, Cornelius (C), Ndjoli (Quinn 64), Manzinga

Unused Substitutes: Hemfrey (GK), Muir, Robertson, Kettings
Venue: Broadwood Stadium, Clyde
Referee: Jordan Curran