Aberdeen 0-0 Motherwell

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at Pittodrie

A frustrated Aberdeen were held to a goalless league draw despite a dominant display against Motherwell at Pittodrie in the Scottish Premier League.

The visitors had Darren Randolph to thank after the Irishman produced a string of saves to shut out the Dons.

Craig Brown's men laid siege to the visitors but a combination of bad luck and a lack of cutting edge leaves them struggling to make the top six.

The home side also lost Clark Robertson to injury to compound their misery.

The pressure continues to mount on Brown after his side failed to score for the ninth time in 16 home SPL matches this season.

This latest sterile draw leaves them in ninth place in the table with a visit to Celtic Park next up for the struggling Dons.

The Pittodrie pitch was in a dreadful condition, but that could only provide limited mitigation for Motherwell's poor first-half performance.

James McFadden showed a few flashes of skill but the visitor's link-up play was poor and they rarely threatened Jamie Langfield's goal.

The one exception before the break came from Tom Hateley's 25-yard free kick that the Dons keeper moved smartly to save in 32 minutes.

At the other end Aberdeen showed plenty of urgency going forward only for their old failing in front of goal denying them any reward.

Ireland under-21 international Joe Shaughnessy headed an early effort over the bar then later in the opening period the full back hit a 20-yard drive just wide.

Hateley had to head over his own crossbar as Niall McGinn whipped in a tempting ball from the right and Scott Vernon nodded past from six yards from the resulting corner.

The big striker's luck was out in 26 minutes when he reached a Jonny Hayes cross first but saw his header spin clear off Darren Randolph.

Brown was forced into a change two minutes from half time when Robertson suffered a bad twist to his right leg in an accidental collision with McFadden and Gary Naysmith took over.

Aberdeen poured forward in search of a rare winner but Randolph made a couple of crucial second half saves to keep out McGinn and substitute Josh Magennis.

Motherwell nearly nicked it when Nicky Law was set up on the counterattack but Langfield saved at his feet then the Dons survived a strong penalty claim when substitute Zaine Francis-Angol was flattened by Shaughnessy.

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