Aberdeen 2, Motherwell 1

Match Date: Saturday, October 23 2004
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 10,737
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Corrigan, Craigan, Partridge, Hammell, McBride (Paterson 54), Leitch, O'Donnell, Foran (Fagan 70), Clarkson, McDonald (Burns 80). 
Subs Not Used: Corr, Quinn, Kinniburgh, Fitzpatrick.

Motherwell scorer: McBride (29 pen)

Booked: O'Donnell.


Aberdeen  2     Motherwell  1

MOTHERWELL FAILED TO RE-APPEAR After the interval at Pittodrie and suffered their second away defeat of the season. Despite leading at the interval, the Fir Parkers just did not compete in the second half and had few complaints about the result.

Scott McDonald was unlucky to be penalised in the first couple of minutes when he appeared to challenge McGuire fairly and won possession. From the free kick Clark put the ball into the box and despite a foul on Marshall by Anderson play continued. The ball broke for Clark but he drove well over. A foul by Anderson was picked up shortly afterwards and from this Foran headed on towards McDonald though Preece was on hand to gather. Hammell then sent a long ball forward to Foran and although able to pick out McDonald who looked on side the flag was raised. Still Motherwell pushed and from a Corrigan ball McDonald pounced on a break off Anderson but drove his chip over the bar. O'Donnell was then tripped by the leg of Anderson but Referee Richmond failed to spot. The home side almost took the lead when Mackie cracked the ball off the bar after Tosh had played him in. An error from McGuire then presented Motherwell with a corner. Anderson took Partridge completely out of the play but play continued. 

The home response was a Heikkinen run towards the box but he was well policed by Hammell. It then took a vital clearance from Anderson as McDonald looked set to connect with a header from O'Donnell. Two rather meaty challenges on Motherwell players, both from Anderson, went unnoticed as Referee Richmond decided neither was a foul despite McDonald and Foran being unfairly flattened. Tosh played in Mackie a minute later but he drove well over, before Adams saw a header crash off Heikkinen in the next home move. However, it was Motherwell who took the lead just before the half-hour from the penalty spot. McNaughton clattered McBride instead of the ball and the Referee got at least on decision right by pointing to the spot. McBride himself took the kick and put Motherwell ahead. Motherwell had their tails up and an exchange between McDonald and Hammell saw cross come in which only just evaded Clarkson. A second penalty claim was denied when Heikkinen clearly fouled McBride again inside the area. Despite winning two corners Motherwell couldn't make them count. The home side responded and a shot from Mackie was parried by Marshall behind the post. A blatant dive by former Fir Parker Adams should have carried a yellow card as the Referee agreed it was no foul but there was no card either. McDonald was then clattered into by Hart with no booking to be seen. Just before the break Heikkinen was way high with his tackle on Leitch.

Half-Time     Aberdeen  0     Motherwell  1

The Fir Parkers began the second half positively enough with McDonald forcing an early corner. Foran did likewise a minute or so later though his header from the McBride take was high. Aberdeen went close when Adams sent Clark wide and his cross was sliced behind by the lone Mackie. Motherwell responded and again Anderson rescued his team by denying McDonald. There was an injury to McBride shortly afterwards as he went down awkwardly, the sad sight of the Motherwell midfielder being stretchered off and replaced by Paterson. The home side also made a change, McGuire off in place of Whelan. Foran should have done better with a cross out wide when sent a good pass from McDonald, and as Motherwell continued to push, Foran had a header held. The home side won a free kick when Craigan appeared to cleanly win from Whelan, as the ball then came in Marshall did well to deny Tosh any clean contact. For the umpteenth time Anderson battered into Clarkson and although a free kick was given, there should also have been an associated yellow card. Anderson was booked, however, when, after Whelan had again went down easily, the home defender tried to tell Referee Richmond how many yards Motherwell should retreat. It was a senseless act of dissent and earned him a yellow card. Referee Richmond was making a meal of the free kick, though eventually things did settle down and Aberdeen made nothing of the free kick. Slack defending from Motherwell then allowed the home side to level with 22 minutes to go. Mackie was given space out wide and he picked out Adams whose header gave Marshall no chance. Motherwell made a change, Fagan on for Foran. 

The Fir Parkers passed up a great chance to regain the lead when Partridge met a corner but could only find Preece with the header. There was controversy when Marshall was deemed to have picked the ball up outside the area though it looked close at best. Marshall received no card, and Adams drilled the free kick wide of the far post. Phil O'Donnell was booked for a rather innocuous trip on Tosh a minute later. Gordon Marshall then did superbly well to keep the scoreline level when he saved a Severin effort before hooking the loose ball clear as Mackie hovered. A poor Anderson clearance shortly saw O'Donnell find McDonald but his turn and shot was held by Preece. A slip from Craigan then presented the ball to Whelan but Hammell blocked the Adams ball. Mackie then found Mackie but he headed over. Both sides then made a change, Burns on for McDonald with Mackie off for Stewart. The home striker's first effort was a long run and shot but his effort was wide of the far post. Motherwell appeared to have ridden the storm and indeed forced Aberdeen back somewhat with a succession of corners. However, the sucker punch came with just a minute to go. After a handball by Stewart had been ignored, play continued with Clark finding Adams. Clear on Marshall the keeper did superbly to block the ball away. However, the danger was not over, and as the ball came back in it fell to Severin some 25 yards out and he left Marshall helpless. It was a sore one to take, and for the second successive game at Pittodrie Motherwell rued their inability to see out the match.

Full Time     Aberdeen  2     Motherwell  1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen