Scottish Premiership

Motherwell 2-2 Aberdeen

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

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.



Formation 4-4-2

  • 12Nielsen
  • 20KerrSubstituted forLawsonat 56'minutes
  • 3Hammell
  • 14LasleyBooked at 22mins
  • 5HutchinsonBooked at 9mins
  • 6McManus
  • 25AinsworthSubstituted forLeitchat 90'minutes
  • 18CarswellBooked at 86mins
  • 7McFaddenSubstituted forAnierat 68'minutes
  • 9Sutton
  • 17Francis-Angol


  • 8Lawson
  • 21Stewart
  • 22Moore
  • 23Murray
  • 24Anier
  • 26Leitch
  • 30Thomas


Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Langfield
  • 2Shaughnessy
  • 5Considine
  • 8Flood
  • 4Anderson
  • 6Reynolds
  • 11Hayes
  • 22JackSubstituted forPawlettat 12'minutes
  • 10McGinn
  • 17RooneyBooked at 53mins
  • 15RobsonSubstituted forLowat 62'minutes


  • 7Zola-Makongo
  • 9Vernon
  • 16Pawlett
  • 18Low
  • 20Weaver
  • 21Magennis
  • 28Tate
Steven McLean

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamAberdeen
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 2, Aberdeen 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 2, Aberdeen 2.

  3. Post update

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

  4. 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.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Stephen McManus.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Stuart Carswell.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Jack Leitch replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Niall McGinn (Aberdeen).

  14. Booking

    Stuart Carswell (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Stuart Carswell (Motherwell).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Post update

    Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

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

  20. Post update

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

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