Aberdeen 1, Motherwell 3

Match Date: Saturday, April 9 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 10,443.
Motherwell Team (4-4-2):

Marshall, Quinn, Craigan, Partridge, Hamnmell, McBride, Fagan, Leitch (Kerr 45), Paterson, Hamilton, McDonald (Clarkson 87).
Subs not used: Corr, Kinniburgh, Fitzpatrick, Britton, Foran.

Motherwell scorers: McBride (22 pen), Hamilton (32), McDonald (72).

Booked: Fagan, Partridge.


Aberdeen  1     Motherwell  3

A PIECE OF JIM HAMILTON BRILLIANCE, Coupled with a superb Scott McDonald finish and good all-round team performance saw Motherwell edge nearer a top-six finish. Despite pressure from the home side, Motherwell were far more clinical than their hosts and fully deserved the three points.

Within the first minute Motherwell were on the attack, Quinn played a long ball forward for McDonald to chase and although he knocked the ball off McGuire and behind there was no corner. Whelan responded for Aberdeen when he played Clark wide but the return cross went out. McNaughton then beat Hammell to cross in towards Mackie, though Partridge was on hand to clear as the Pittodrie man failed to make a clean connection. The ball ran on for McDonald but despite being fouled by Byrne play continued. Whelan was an early booking when he caught Craigan very late. The Motherwell centre-half recovered to find McDonald who won a corner as his pass struck McGuire. The corner came to nothing, and Aberdeen attacked. Clark was awarded a free kick when Partridge looked to have won the ball fairly, and although Hammell partially cleared the ball fell to Severin whose angled shot went wide of the far post. Whelan then passed up an opportunity when he fired over on the angle after Clark had picked him out with a cross. Referee Murray decided to even up the bookings when he rather harshly carded Hamilton for his first tackle, the challenge on Severin anything but bookable. The first real chance for Motherwell arrived shortly afterwards. Byrne slipped allowing McDonald to race wide but the ball in was slightly deep and Hamilton could not keep the header down. A late McNaughton tackle had Paterson in pain but the free kick was hooked away. Latching onto a long ball down field was Byrne and as the ball broke McGuire failed to hit the target sending the ball well over. Diamond conceded a corner under pressure from Hamilton a minute later but Esson managed to punch clear. An unusually loose pass from Quinn then let in Whelan but his effort was easily held by Marshall. The misses by the home side were punished shortly afterwards. McDonald turned McGuire comfortably in the box and there was no doubting the award of a penalty as the Aberdeen man cynically hacked down the striker. Giving Esson no chance was McBride as he drilled home. McDonald was again the subject of a late tackle, this time Byrne the culprit, but the free kick was mopped up by the home defence. Whelan sent Mackie wide but there was Partridge to clear with effect. Defensive partner Craigan was forced to concede a corner soon afterwards and although Diamond headed the ball inches wide McBride on the post would have cleared anyway. McBride himself was the subject of a late Severin tackle which Referee Murray ignored, but he was quick to whistle a second later when Craigan was adjudged to have fouled Clark. The free kick broke off Whelan and into the waiting arms of Marshall. Motherwell won a corner when McDonald’s lay-off to Leitch was deflected behind. This was cleared, and the response from Aberdeen was a shot from Severin which went well over. Just a minute later perhaps the goal of the season arrived in spectacular fashion. Jim Hamilton gathered a loose ball in midfield, a clear 35-40 yards from goal, and with barely time to think he hammered an unstoppable volley towards goal. Although Esson got a hand to the ball it raced into the net to spark wild celebrations amongst the Motherwell players and fans alike. It was an awesome strike, and quite a way for Hamilton to score his debut goal. Shortly afterwards Aberdeen were gifted an opportunity to pull a goal back thanks to the generosity of Referee Murray. Contact between Craigan and Mackie was minimal to say the least, and at any rate appeared to be a good yard outside the box, but a penalty was given. Although Marshall saved the initial penalty from Mackie following up was Heikkinen and he slotted in. Opposite number Esson then had to race from goal to deny Hamilton who looked set to lob the keeper from a good 30 yards. McGuire conceded a corner as Motherwell regained the ball in attack but the pressure was averted when Diamond fell over. Aberdeen were awarded a free kick when Hammell looked to have fairly beaten Whelan. The ball was sent forward but Marshall gathered. Just before the interval McNaughton fired a shot high and over. 

Half Time     Aberdeen  1     Motherwell  2

Both sides made changes at the interval, with Brian Kerr making his competitive debut for Motherwell in place of Leitch whilst Blaha replaced Byrne for the home side. An early foul came when Diamond sent Hamilton sprawling 30 yards out. Hamilton himself headed on but McGuire hooked the ball clear. McBride then broke towards the box before being clipped by Severin. There was no card there, but seconds afterwards Partridge saw yellow when what looked like an accidental kick whilst attempting to clear the ball had Blaha crumpling to the turf. Blaha made an amazing recovery virtually as soon as Partridge had been booked. A handball by Mackie went unnoticed but Referee Murray was quick to halt play as Paterson clashed with the striker. Cleared by Quinn the ball fell for Paterson and he broke to the 18-yard box before unleashing a curling effort which went inches past the far post. Not for the first time Blaha collapsed under minimal pressure, and he was able to convince the Referee to give a free kick as Partridge challenged. Completely unnecessary was the intervention of Severin who seemed to be demanding a second yellow card for the Motherwell man. Soon afterwards McDonald burst forward and, with Paterson clear to his left, chose to shoot instead and could only find Esson. The home side passed up a great chance to level when a low cross from Hart was missed by Whelan who had drifted on to the six-yard box. Partridge then conceded a foul when Whelan made the most of the challenge. Craigan conceded the corner, and as this came in Whelan nodded on only to see McBride, perfectly positioned on the fart post, head clear. The pressure from the home side continued with Whelan holding the ball up for Clark whose shot was deflected behind by Craigan, Marshall punching the corner clear. With 18 minutes to go Motherwell ended the home pressure and made the points more or less safe with another goal and this one also had a quality finish. Scott McDonald ran onto a long ball and managed to evade desperate tackles from McGuire and also goalkeeper Esson before, virtually on the by line, he was able to finish with style. Again, the celebrations were wild in the away end. An immediate change for Aberdeen saw Mackie replaced by Stewart. Aberdeen attempted to hit back though Marshall was solid as Clark looked to meet a ball from Hart. Subject of another foul was McDonald who was in some discomfort after Clark had challenged. McBride saw his effort break off the wall back to himself and the resultant shot deflected behind. A third home change had Morrison replacing Hart. Crossing in from the flank was Heikkinen and as the ball broke Stewart attempted an overhead kick which was held firmly by Marshall. From a free kick awarded when Diamond fouled Paterson, the header from Partridge fell agonisingly wide of the upright with Esson well beaten. Having a quiet but effective debut was Kerr, and he played Paterson wide before the return ball fell an inch or so beyond McDonald. Aberdeen won a corner when Partridge deflected behind. Diamond rose to meet the ball and headed wide with the post again policed by McBride. Making way to a round of applause from the away support was McDonald, who appreciated the recognition after a good performance, and David Clarkson came on. Clarkson raced to the by line soon afterwards and cut back for Paterson, but Diamond was on hand to block the effort. Escaping a yellow card was severin who petulantly kicked the ball into the stand after being adjudged to have fouled. Just before time up Esson almost conceded a bizarre goal when he failed to control a weak pass back but recovered in time near his line.

Full Time     Aberdeen  1     Motherwell  3

Match Report by Ricky Mullen