Russell Anderson's last gasp goal denied Motherwell a second win in a matter of weeks over Aberdeen.

Stephen McManus and Zaine Francis-Angol had scored either side of a debut goal from Adam Rooney in a fiery encounter at Fir Park.

The Dons threw everything at Gunnar Nielson's goal but it looked like their dominance would come to nothing.

However, they finally levelled for the second time when Anderson bundled Niall McGinn's corner over the line.

An untidy goal, but one which keeps Aberdeen in second place in the Premiership.

Stuart McCall's men were 1-0 winners on Boxing Day at Pittodrie, and a second victory against Aberdeen would have put them in pole position to finish best of the rest.

A draw was the least Derek McInnes' men deserved, and they may even be cursing their failure to take all three points.

All eyes were on Aberdeen's new signing Rooney, who was handed a start on his debut.

Peter Pawlett began the game on the bench, with next week's League Cup semi-final with St Johnstone on the visitor's minds. But plans to rest him had to be scrapped after just 12 minutes when Ryan Jack was carried off.

The young Dons midfielder was on the end of a scything challenge from Shaun Hutchison, who was fortunate to receive just a yellow card.

Aberdeen shrugged off the early blow to dominate a lively opening between the pair, who were meeting for the 13th time in just two years.

Stephen McManus celebrates with teammates after his header put Motherwell 1-0 up at Fir Park

Stephen McManus celebrates with teammates after his header put Motherwell 1-0 up at Fir Park

It was Motherwell - missing Iain Vigurs who failed a late fitness test - who threatened first though, with the on-form James McFadden finding Jamie Langfield in his way as he met Francis-Angol's low cross from the left.

Despite the sodden pitch the pace was fast and furious, and when Stuart Carswell was caught in possession in midfield the more experienced Barry Robson nicked the ball off him and thundered a shot off the post.

Aberdeen went close again after Stephen McManus's less than convincing header fell to Jonny Hayes, who arrowed a shot towards the far post which Nielson did well to push away.

Motherwell had taken the lead inside the opening minute the first time these two had met this season, and within the opening 60 seconds of the second-half they broke the deadlock.

McManus was criminally given the freedom of the Aberdeen box to easily head Lionel Ainsworth's corner into the net.

For a while Aberdeen looked vulnerable as McCall's men went looking for a second, but the hosts couldn't quite create anything of note against a nervous backline, and eventually the Dons fired back with two good chances in a minute.

Both times Joe Shaughnessy met a Jonny Hayes cross at the back post but couldn't squeeze the ball over the line, while McGinn also saw a close range effort blocked.

Now it was Motherwell who were on the ropes, and just over an hour into his debut Rooney broke his Dons duck.

McGinn stole in ahead of Paul Lawson to fire a vicious shot at Neilson, who parried into the path of the Irish striker to head home.

But just when you thought the game had turned the visitor's way, Motherwell were back in front.

Keith Lasley found Henri Anier who had Francis-Angol and John Sutton waiting in the middle, and they both slid in to force the ball past Langfield.

Aberdeen continued to take the game to their hosts, with Rooney in particular passing up two chances within minutes of each other; slicing the first over the bar and sending the second into the side netting.

However, with their dominance looking like it would come to nothing, Dons captain Anderson popped up in the opposition box to untidily sneak the ball into the net.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Motherwell

  • 12 Nielsen
  • 20 Kerr (Lawson - 56' )
  • 03 Hammell
  • 14 Lasley Booked
  • 05 Hutchinson Booked
  • 06 McManus
  • 25 Ainsworth (Leitch - 90' )
  • 18 Carswell Booked
  • 07 McFadden (Anier - 68' )
  • 09 Sutton
  • 17 Francis-Angol

Substitutes

  • 08 Lawson
  • 21 Stewart
  • 22 Moore
  • 23 Murray
  • 24 Anier
  • 26 Leitch
  • 30 Thomas

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 02 Shaughnessy
  • 05 Considine
  • 08 Flood
  • 04 Anderson
  • 06 Reynolds
  • 11 Hayes
  • 22 Jack (Pawlett - 12' )
  • 10 McGinn
  • 17 Rooney Booked
  • 15 Robson (Low - 62' )

Substitutes

  • 07 Zola
  • 09 Vernon
  • 16 Pawlett
  • 18 Low
  • 20 Weaver
  • 21 Magennis
  • 28 Tate
Ref: Steven McLean
Att: 5,756

Match Stats

Shots

7 17

On target

3 5

Corners

1 6

Fouls

14 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Motherwell 2, Aberdeen 2.

90:00 +5:02 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Motherwell 2, Aberdeen 2.

90:00 +4:26

Attempt missed. Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

90:00 +3:26 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 2, Aberdeen 2. Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) left footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Andrew Considine.

90:00 +2:25

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

90:00 +1:55

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Stuart Carswell.

90:00 +0:04

Foul by Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell).

90:00 +0:04

Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

89:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Jack Leitch replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

88:21

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

88:21

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

87:39

Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

87:39

Foul by Niall McGinn (Aberdeen).

85:34 Booking

Booking Stuart Carswell (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

85:27

Foul by Stuart Carswell (Motherwell).

85:27

Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

83:45

Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

83:45

Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

83:25

Attempt missed. Nicky Low (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

78:32

Steven Hammell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:32

Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).

73:56

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

73:56

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

71:34

Attempt missed. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

68:43 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 2, Aberdeen 1. Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Henri Anier with a cross.

67:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Henri Anier replaces James McFadden.

66:09 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 1, Aberdeen 1. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Niall McGinn.

65:57

Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

64:06

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Stuart Carswell.

61:52 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Nicky Low replaces Barry Robson because of an injury.

60:39

Attempt saved. Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

59:52

Foul by Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell).

59:52

Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:26

Attempt blocked. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

56:40

Attempt missed. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

55:45

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

55:44

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

55:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Motherwell. Paul Lawson replaces Fraser Kerr because of an injury.

53:43

Delay in match Fraser Kerr (Motherwell) because of an injury.

52:26 Booking

Booking Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

52:05

Stuart Carswell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:05

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

49:35

Attempt missed. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

48:07

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by John Sutton.

46:46 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Motherwell 1, Aberdeen 0. Stephen McManus (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lionel Ainsworth.

46:17

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

45:00

Second Half begins Motherwell 0, Aberdeen 0.

45:00 +3:10 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Motherwell 0, Aberdeen 0.

45:00 +1:55

Attempt saved. Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

45:00 +1:26

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Fraser Kerr.

45:00 +0:03

Attempt missed. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

42:02

Foul by Fraser Kerr (Motherwell).

42:02

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

41:08

Attempt missed. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is too high.

37:45

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

37:45

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

33:46

Attempt missed. Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

32:54

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Stuart Carswell.

32:37

Barry Robson (Aberdeen) hits the right post with a left footed shot from outside the box.

30:13

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:13

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

29:39

Foul by James McFadden (Motherwell).

29:39

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:41

Attempt missed. Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

26:04

Steven Hammell (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

26:04

Foul by Niall McGinn (Aberdeen).

25:26

Attempt missed. John Sutton (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

24:31

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

24:31

Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:00 Booking

Booking Keith Lasley (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

22:00

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

21:56

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

21:10

Attempt missed. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

17:13

Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

17:13

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

17:00

Attempt saved. James McFadden (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

15:53

James McFadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

15:53

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

11:48

Attempt missed. Barry Robson (Aberdeen) left footed shot from long range on the right is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

11:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Peter Pawlett replaces Ryan Jack because of an injury.

10:25

Delay in match Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) because of an injury.

8:11 Booking

Booking Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

8:00

Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:55

Foul by Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell).

6:25

Foul by Stephen McManus (Motherwell).

6:25

Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

6:01

Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

6:01

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

5:14

Attempt blocked. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

2:48

Foul by Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell).

2:48

Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

2:26

Hand ball by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

1:15

Attempt missed. Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

1:00

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:47

Foul by Fraser Kerr (Motherwell).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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