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Motherwell 1 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Motherwell 1 - 1 Aberdeen

Motherwell scorers: McCulloch 22
Aberdeen scorers: Winters 11.

27/08/2000 | KO: 15:00

Zero injured as Dons draw again

Aberdeen fought out their third draw of the campaign after taking an early lead at Fir Park. The Dons are certainly showing a lot more grit and determination this season but are still lacking that finishing touch up front. With a break next week from SPL action Aberdeen may be able to get some of the injury problems cleared up. Hicham Zerouali was stretchered off today after 24 minutes with a dislocated ankle that will now deny him his place in Morocco's Olympic squad.

Aberdeen got off to a positive start and as early as the first minute Zerouali got on to the end of a Bernard pass. He burst into the box and forced Goram into a fine save. Two minutes later Zero worked his way forward again but his cross was cut out by Goram as Winters challenged. The Dons made the breakthrough in 10 minutes when Rowson fired in a cross, which Winters bulleted into the back of the net. It was no more than the Dons deserved but Motherwell were then stung into action and headed upfield from the restart only to see a McCulloch shot deflected over the bar. Leitch was lucky to escape a yellow card in the 15th minute after a shocking tackle on Guntveit. Slack defending brought Motherwell back on level terms when Goodman fired in a cross and McCulloch took advantage of some indecision between Whyte and Esson to bury the ball in the back of the net.

Two minutes later Brannen was yellow carded for bringing down Zerouali on the edge of the box. The striker was stretchered off and replaced by Darren Mackie. After a few minutes delay Bernard stepped up and balloned the ball over the bar. Aberdeen put together a wonderful move in the 40th minute, only for it to grind to a halt as Rowbotham spotted a mysterious infringement. Darren Young picked up another yellow card in the 44th minute. McNaughton picked up a cut to the face after an elbow from Don Goodman, which the officials also missed.

The Dons created their first opening of the second half when Mackie sent in a teasing cross. There were no takers but the ball was cleared for a corner. Two minutes later both Young and Mackie had chances to score. A defender blocked Young's initial shot and Goram saved Mackie's follow up. Play was very much stop start at this stage, but Guntveit should have put the Dons ahead in the 58th minute after a great 1-2 with Winters.

A good challenge by Strong was enough to force the Norwegian to shoot wide. Four minutes later, a long clearance by Esson had Winters chasing for a 50-50 ball with Goram. Unfortunately Winters simply pulled out of the challenge when there was a great opportunity for him to capitalise.

Motherwell came close in 69 minutes when Elliot headed wide from a well-delivered corner. The next few minutes saw a passage of scrappy play with McCulloch and Strong both picking up cautions. The first for diving and the later for taking the legs from Winters. Belabed then replaced McNaughton but there was little else of note created and Dow replaced Winters with five minutes to go. It's now one defeat in five or one win in five depending on whether your glass is half empty or half full. The Dons now have a weeks break due to International games.

Motherwell Teamsheet
Goram, Strong (Elliot 64), McMillan, Oueifio, Corrigan, McCulloch (Wood 78), Brannan, Leitch (Harvey 52), Spencer, Adams, Goodman

Bookings:  Brannan 25,   McCulloch 70,   Strong 74
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, Rowson, McNaughton (Belabed 75), Young, McGuire, Whyte, Young, Guntveit, Winters (Dow 85), Bernard, Zerouali (Mackie 26).

Unused Subs: Preece, Inglis.

Bookings:  Young (44).
Attendance: 5,541
Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell
Referee: John Rowbotham, Kirkcaldy