Almost 18,000 were at this game as Aberdeen were in the middle of their "purple patch" in the first half of the 1980s. Motherwell stunned the Dons with their equaliser, but the home team recovered to take two vital points. Joe Wark, as usual, defended stoutly for 'Well.
Aberdeen were on the offensive immediately and Doug Rougvie's first touch of the ball was greeted ecstatically by the fans as the big fellow had just been awarded his first cap by Jock Stein, against Northern Ireland. He sent Doug Bell down the left wing but his cross drifted over the bar. After 8 minutes a marvellous flying save by Walker deprived the 17 year old striker, Willie Falconer, of a goal. His spectacular header was picked out of the air.
Ten minutes later, Mark McGhee sprinted through a spread-eagled defence, but his shot grazed the post with the keeper beaten. Walker then showed his agility by diving out to clutch a Falconer cross. Motherwell had a lucky escape when Carson handled the ball and no penalty was awarded. Justice was done in 21 minutes when Mark McGhee blasted the Dons into the lead. Walker could only partially block a Tommy McIntyre shot from the edge of the box and McGhee scored from two yards our.
Aberdeen maintained the pressure and Bell appeared to have scored a second goal but it was disallowed for offside. On the stroke of the interval Falconer almost shattered the crossbar with a fierce left-foot drive, following great work by McGhee.
Motherwell shocked Aberdeen with a goal a minute after the resumption. Forbes went past Rougvie as he stumbled and his cut-back was lashed home by Gahagan. This out-of-the-blue equaliser left the crowd bemused - not amused - and manager Ferguson responded by sending on Ian Porteous for Bell in an effort to alter the pattern.
The visitors almost snatched a sensational lead when McFadden's strong header appeared to be flashing int the net until Jim Leighton threw himself to his right to palm the ball away. Motherwell were certainly a transformed side.
With just over 20 minutes to go a Gordon Strachan penalty restored the home team's lead. Following a Peter Weir corner McFadden pulled down the midfielder but he bounced up to make a perfect job of the spot-kick. Motherwell then replaced Alexander with Cormack.
In 77 minutes Aberdeen scored the decisive third goal. Strachan did the spadework with a suging run, and Falconer drove the wee man's cutback into the goal. Lowly Motherwell had fought all the way and it had taken the Dons a long time to subdue their opponents.