Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen1MotherwellMotherwell1

Aberdeen 1-1 Motherwell

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at Pittodrie
Scott McDonald (second right)
Scott McDonald (second right) headed Motherwell level in the second half

Scott McDonald showed new boss Mark McGhee why he should be in Motherwell's starting line-up by coming off the bench to get them a point at Aberdeen.

Adam Rooney's seventh goal of the season gave the out-of-form Dons a lead they barely deserved.

However, substitute McDonald was left unmarked to nod in the leveller from a Lionel Ainsworth free-kick.

It took a string of saves by Dons goalkeeper Danny Ward to stop them slipping to a fifth successive defeat.

The result means Aberdeen miss the chance to return to the top of the table before next week's visit to leaders Celtic.

Motherwell made a much more positive start to the game than they had against Celtic the previous week and they looked the more potent team early on.

The Fir Park players moved the ball around effectively and confidently with Marvin Johnson going close with a long-range curling drive that fizzed past Ward's post.

Adam Rooney
Adam Rooney gave Aberdeen the lead just before half-time

The Dons defence has lost a lot of the resilience they showed at the start of the season and a slick four-man move ripped them apart down their left.

The chance fell to Keith Lasley, who was left pounding the turf in frustration after steering his shot wide of the target from just inside the penalty area.

It then took a marvellous interception from Shay Logan to deny Wes Fletcher a goal after Johnson and Louis Moult combined to once again embarrass the home defence.

In fact, they were almost undone by overconfidence going forward as they were caught on the break when Jonny Hayes burst clear.

The Irishman then swapped passes with Niall McGinn, who picked him out in the inside right position, only for the former Caley Thistle player to flash a shot just wide.

For much of the season Motherwell have failed to press home any advantage by scoring when on top, and they once again paid the price when Adam Rooney gave Aberdeen an unlikely interval lead with his seventh goal of the season, one that undid all the visitors' good defensive work.

A free-kick wide on the right was whipped in behind a static Steelmen backline by McGinn and Rooney was left all alone to glance in a header.

Rooney nearly claimed a second goal with another glancing header from a McGinn cross that nestled on the top of the net.

Former Motherwell man Mark Reynolds had the ball in the net, but was adjudged to be in an offside position, much to the relief of his former club.

Aberdeen certainly played with more confidence in the second period and Peter Pawlett very nearly turned a loose ball into the net but it dribbled just wide.

Peter Pawlett (left) and Adam Rooney
Peter Pawlett (left) and Adam Rooney were left frustrated as Aberdeen failed to win again

McGhee threw McDonald on for the last half-hour in an effort to add more aggression and poise up front and it worked.

Fellow substitute Ainsworth floated in a free-kick from the right and McDonald, one of the smallest players on the park, glanced a header high into the net.

Both goalkeepers then made terrific save with Connor Ripley denying Shay Logan while Danny Ward tipped over Theo Robinson's net-bound effort, before Ward again came to the rescue to deny Ainsworth.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 19Ward
  • 2Logan
  • 5TaylorSubstituted forQuinnat 70'minutes
  • 6Reynolds
  • 3Shinnie
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forMcLaughlinat 89'minutes
  • 22Jack
  • 7McLean
  • 11Hayes
  • 16PawlettSubstituted forGoodwillieat 80'minutes
  • 9Rooney

Substitutes

  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 17Goodwillie
  • 18Quinn
  • 20Brown
  • 21McLaughlin
  • 32Parker

Motherwell

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Ripley
  • 18Law
  • 16Kennedy
  • 6McManus
  • 15Chalmers
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 14LasleySubstituted forAinsworthat 53'minutes
  • 8PearsonBooked at 57mins
  • 11Johnson
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forMcDonaldat 61'minutes
  • 20MoultSubstituted forRobinsonat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Laing
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 13Samson
  • 17Robinson
  • 23Thomas
  • 25Taylor
  • 77McDonald
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
12,389

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home11
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away7
Corners
Home9
Away10
Fouls
Home4
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Motherwell 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Motherwell 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Danny Ward.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Danny Ward.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  7. Post update

    David Goodwillie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Stephen McManus (Motherwell).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Ryan McLaughlin replaces Niall McGinn.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Theo Robinson (Motherwell) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Adam Rooney.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Danny Ward.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Theo Robinson (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Connor Ripley.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Josh Law.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Kieran Kennedy.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.