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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Motherwell

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Motherwell

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Gartenmann 60.

27/04/2024 | KO: 15:00

Stefan the man as Dons do Well

It was the Dons who brought the steel to this fixture with Motherwell, a dominant second half in particular seeing Aberdeen to victory, increasing the gap to the bottom two.

Following Aberdeen’s epic Scottish Cup Semi-final with Celtic at Hampden Park last week, there was just one change to the starting XI, Junior Hoilett replacing Duk, who was on the bench. Jonny Hayes replaced Shayden Morris among the other substitutes.

Motherwell drew 1-1 at home to Hibs in their final game before the split and named an unchanged side for their visit to Pittodrie.

It was a sunny day at Pittodrie but it was Motherwell who made the brighter start and on six minutes, Kelle Roos had to make a good block at his near post after the Steelmen broke down their right, O’Donnell joining up to fire in a shot from the corner of the six-yard box. Aberdeen responded and almost immediately, Hoilett curled a shot just over the bar from the edge of the box.

Stefan Gartenmann was booked on the quarter hour mark after hauling down Vale on halfway. Good feet from Dante Polvara enabled him to create space and then find Leighton Clarkson, and his angled pass got Jamie McGrath in on goal, his cross blocked behind after 19 minutes.

It was Hoilett and Jack MacKenzie combining after 22 minutes, the full-back galloping away down the left before slinging in a cross to the far post. At full stretch, Bojan Miovski couldn’t quite get enough on the ball and turned it just wide.

O’Donnell and Hoilett had a tussle on the touchline on 37 minutes, the Motherwell man with a handful of Hoilett’s shirt. The Aberdeen man won the free-kick but then shoved O’Donnell to the ground and was maybe a bit lucky to escape without a card. Aberdeen were beginning to push Motherwell back with some better possession, but without carving out a real opportunity.

Polvara had perhaps the best opening of the half in the first minute of added time, getting himself enough space on the edge of the area to fire in a dangerous looking shot that arced wide. Roos then had to be lively as Motherwell went up the other end of the park, the goalkeeper down to his left to clutch a Spittal header from Gent’s cross.


It was Motherwell who started the quickest in the second half, Vale heading wide from a near post corner from Gent in the opening minute.

The Dons almost had the lead on 52 from a Hoilett corner that reached Angus MacDonald, wide of the back post. He caught the ball full on the volley only for Miller to produce a brilliant header off the line. In the lead up to MacDonald’s strike, Polvara came off worst in a clash with McGinn and it took the help of the physios before he continued.

In the 56th minute, MacKenzie came inside to collect a cross, only to take a high, lunging boot in the kind of area that could turn a baritone into a soprano. As a result, Vale was given a straight red card, which was confirmed by VAR.

From Clarkson’s free-kick, a Motherwell man got a touch that took the ball away from a raft of red shirts and away for a corner. No matter. From the corner kick, Hoilett curled the ball in and, despite having his shirt pulled, Gartenmann got up to it on the edge of the six-yard box, guiding his header in off the far post for 1-0.

Six minutes later, another right wing corner into the same area found Nicky Devlin’s head, but he popped the ball just over the bar.

The Dons certainly should have doubled the lead on 68 minutes, Clarkson beginning a breakaway move by worming away from three challenges and delivering a good ball into Hoilett. He had Miovski free to his right but there was a bit too much on his pass and, under pressure from Kelly, he chipped his effort across goal and wide.

The Steelmen replaced Casey and Zdravkovski with Halliday and Nicholson on 71 minutes. Connor Barron made way for Duk at the same time. MacKenzie was still feeling the effects of the kick he took and went down injured again a couple of minutes later, replaced by Richard Jensen.

Another Hoilett corner from the right found Gartenmann at the near post once more, this time along the ground, the Dane stabbing his shot wide of the target in the 78th minute. Miovski tried a snapshot a minute later, but Kelly was equal to it.

A double change came from Motherwell on 81, Mugabi and Moses replacing Miller and O’Donnell. Still Aberdeen poured forward, Kelly getting an important hand on Duk’s cross to keep the hosts at bay, Mugabi completing the clearance.

Hoilett was next to try his luck on 84, drifting inside and letting fly with a rasping drive that Kelly could only tip over the bar. Gent became Motherwell’s last change on 88 minutes, Shaw coming on for him. Duk could have sealed the points a minute later, played in by Jamie McGrath after Hoilett won the ball high up the pitch, but Kelly was equal to his powerful angled drive.

Five minutes into the added eight, Miovski made way for Ester Sokler. He was played in on goal in the 99th minute but with only Kelly between him and the goal, the ball got caught beneath his feet and the chance was gone. It didn’t matter, the game was won.

2 minutes added at end 1st half.
8 minutes added at end 2nd half.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Roos, Devlin, MacKenzie (Jensen 74), Gartenmann, McGrath, Barron (Lopes 71), Miovski (Sokler 93), Clarkson, Polvara, MacDonald, Hoilett.

Unused Subs: Doohan, Hayes, Phillips, Duncan, Milne, Rubezic.

Bookings:  Gartenmann (14).
Motherwell Teamsheet
Kelly, O'Donnell (Mugabi 81), McGinn, Casey (Halliday 70), Blaney, Gent (Shaw 88), Miller (Moses 81), Zdravkovski (Nicholson 71), Spittal, Vale, Bair Unused Subs: Oxborough, Ferrie, Wells, Butcher   Vale 56
Attendance: 14,794
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Craig Napier
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride