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Motherwell 2 - 4 Aberdeen

HT Score: Motherwell 0 - 2 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Motherwell scorers: Bair 79, Biereth 93
Aberdeen scorers: McGrath 26, Devlin 45, McGrath 68, Lopes 74.

01/11/2023 | KO: 19:45

Dons Cruise To Victory Over Well

Aberdeen were back in business with a comprehensive win at Fir Park that moved the Dons back into the top six and sent them off to Hampden Park on Saturday in buoyant mood.

Barry Robson made two changes to the Aberdeen side beaten at Kilmarnock on Sunday, Leighton Clarkson and Dante Polvara replacing Connor Barron and Duk, who started on the bench.

Following their late recovery to earn a 3-3 draw at home to Ross County on Saturday, Motherwell made two changes, Lennon Miller and Connor Wilkinson replacing Theo Bair and Oliver Shaw, who were among the subs.

The Dons made an aggressive start, both Jack MacKenzie and Nicky Devlin well into the Steelmen’s territory in the opening minute. Motherwell could barely get out of their own half in the first five minutes as Aberdeen slicked the ball around sharply, and didn’t give their hosts a moment’s peace when they did get brief possession.

Bojan Miovski went chasing after a Polvara through ball in the seventh minute and appeared to be sandwiched between two defenders as he looked to get away 25 yards out, but nothing was given. On the quarter hour, Richard Jensen required the aid of the physios after taking a blow on the back, but fortunately, he was able to carry on.

The Dons got the goal their enterprising play deserved on 26 minutes, Jamie McGrath finishing off a good move that started with Slobodan Rube i winning an emphatic defensive header on halfway. From there, the ball was worked out to Devlin on the right and his cross bisected defender and goalkeeper, McGrath nipping in between them to guide his header back across goal and into the bottom corner.

A Clarkson free-kick from the left caused confusion on 33 minutes, the ball half cleared but Jensen pounced on the ricochet, his shot on the turn blocked away to safety. Polvara was next to pick up the pieces in the box as Motherwell struggled to clear an Aberdeen attack, his attempt to shape the ball into the far corner too close to Kelly on 43 minutes.

It was 2-0 two minutes later though, Devlin quickly onto a loose ball to roll it into the net from eight yards out. McGrath began the move with a neat pass into Miovski with the outside of the boot. As he darted into the box, there was a strong tackle on Miovski but as the ball squirted away from him, Devlin was there to take full advantage.

It wasn’t all good for Devlin though because there was a horrible clash of heads between him and Spencer in added time, Devlin coming off worst, but able to continue after treatment.

HALF-TIME: MOTHERWELL 0 ABERDEEN 2

The Steelmen made a couple of changes at the break as they looked to rescue the game, Biereth and Butcher replacing Mugabi and Slattery. The restart was then delayed for ten minute because of a problem with the officials’ communication system. What would Eddie Turnbull have made of it all…

Motherwell made a strong start to the half but Jensen was a magnet for the ball in the opening minutes, making three strong interventions to keep the Dons’ goal intact.

Aberdeen had a glimpse of a third in the 50th minute, Graeme Shinnie winning the ball 30 yards out. He drilled it into Miovski, McGrath running in to take it off the number nine’s toe and get in a shot that was blocked. A glancing header by McGrath from a Clarkson cross followed moments later, Kelly saving comfortably.

Butcher was booked for deliberate handball on 51 minutes. Wilkinson followed him into the book for a high challenge on Jensen a minute later. Spencer was the third to be yellow carded, taking out Devlin on 54 minutes. Biereth barged Gartenmann over on 59 minutes and was the fourth to be booked as Motherwell’s frustration was getting the better of them.

The Dons made their first change on 65 minutes, Barron replacing Polvara. Within three minutes, it was 3-0, a classic counter-attack. Clarkson helped the ball into Miovski on halfway and he galloped 30 yards forward. He was tackled on the edge of the box but as Miller hesitated over the loose ball, waiting for his goalkeeper to claim it, McGrath didn’t, collecting the ball, skipping around Kelly and clipping the ball into the empty net.

It was his last act of the night, for he was immediately replaced by Duk, Zdravkovski coming on for Miller. With Hampden in mind, Ryan Duncan and Ester Sokler then replaced Miovski and Shinnie in the 73rd minute.

It was 4-0 within a minute of that, a Duncan corner on the right drifting into the middle, Duk emerging from a ruck of defenders on the edge of the six yard box to guide his header in.

Motherwell made two more substitutions in the aftermath, Shaw and Bair on for Wilkinson and O’Donnell. It was a move which paid dividends for Bair pulled one back in the 79th minute, cutting inside and curling an effort just inside the near post from the edge of the area.

Sokler was the next to require treatment, taking a clearance from Casey smack in the face from close range with 10 minutes to go. More work for the physios before he was up and ready to continue.

Good work from Clarkson set Duncan away in the 85th minute, but he got under his drive from the edge of the box and sent it flying over the bar. Straight up the other end, Biereth speared in a dangerous looking ball right through the six-yard box, Bair not quite able to get on the end of it. Kelle Roos was booked for time wasting as he prepared to take the goal kick.

There was time for ‘Well to grab a second in stoppage time, lurking at the back post to get on the end of a cross from the Aberdeen right and finish crisply, but the game was long since won for the Dons.

3+2 minutes added at end 1st half.
10 minutes delay to 2nd half kick-off due to breakdown in referee's comms (VAR).
4 minutes added at end 2nd half.
Motherwell Teamsheet
Kelly, O'Donnell (Bair 75), McGinn, Mugabi (Butcher 46), Casey, Spencer, Slattery (Biereth 46), Miller (Zdravkovski 70), Spittal, Paton, Wilkinson (Shaw 76) Unused Subs: Oxborough, Gent, Blaney, L. Ross

Bookings:  Wilkinson 50,   Butcher 51,   Spencer 54,   Biereth 59,   Kelly 69,   Zdravkovski 94
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Roos, Devlin, MacKenzie, Shinnie (Duncan 73), Jensen, Gartenmann, McGrath (Lopes 70), Miovski (Sokler 73), Clarkson, Polvara (Barron 65), Rubezic.

Unused Subs: Doohan, Habib Guèye, Hayes, MacDonald, Milne.

Bookings:  Roos (86).
Attendance: 4,602
Visitors:752
Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell
Referee: Colin Steven
Next Match
Dumbarton
H
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen