Motherwell 0, Aberdeen 1

Match Date: Saturday, April 23 2005
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Attendance: 5,063.
 
Motherwell Team (3-5-2):

Corr, Kinniburgh, Craigan, Partridge, Corrigan, Kerr, Leitch (Keogh 78), Fagan, Hammell, Hamilton, Foran. 
Subs Not Used: Marshall, Higgins, Connolly, Maguire, Coakley.

Booked: Hammell, Partridge.

TOP SIX LIFE BEGINS WITH A LOSS

Motherwell  0     Aberdeen  1

A POOR SHOW BY MOTHERWELL Saw them slump to a narrow defeat at the hands of a similarly disappointing visiting side as the top six road show began. It was Motherwell’s seventh attempt at a victory, and their seventh failure.

It was a positive beginning from the Fir Parkers, Hammell playing the ball forward but Foran was unable to control it and Esson took the ball. Aberdeen responded, McNaughton chipped forward but again the goalkeeper too charge, this time Corr handling well. A foul by Anderson on Foran was waved play on by Referee Richmond and as the ball returned to the Irishman he played in Hammell but Esson in goals held the 25-yard effort. Hammell was in action again, sending a low ball which was well cut out by Diamond as Foran looked to pounce. Fagan made a burst from midfield but was unable to find Foran who’d peeled wide. The young Motherwell midfielder passed up a great opportunity to open the scoring soon afterwards. Leitch sent a fantastic ball through but Fagan, hesitating, eventually saw a weak shot held from the edge of the box. Corr did well to clear a Hart long ball into the box as the visitors attacked. A push from Whelan on Kinniburgh was ignored though the home centre-half did well to head away under pressure from hart. Connecting well were Hamilton and Foran, with the former sending an angled drive wide of the far post. There was almost a repeat of the controversial, in Jim Jeffries’ eyes at least, equaliser from a week ago when Stephen Craigan took a throw in. Opening the gate of the East Stand, he took a couple of steps back before launching a long throw which almost deceived everyone, visiting Keeper Esson clutching the ball after a hesitant first touch. Aberdeen forced a corner next up though Craigan was on hand to hook clear. Only some fine goalkeeping by Esson denied Motherwell the opener. Foran laid the ball off to Kerr and with virtually no backlift he sent a terrific shot from 20 yards which Esson managed to tip over the bar. Diamond headed this behind but Referee Richmond saw a foul by Hamilton which no-one else seemed to notice. He also failed to spot a handball by Mackie as the visitors attacked though Craigan cleared downfield. The visiting support thought they had taken the lead when Hart sent a Mackie pass into the side net, but a minute later they did indeed score. Whelan managed to turn Craigan and chip into the six-yard box where the unmarked Mackie finished. Attempting to hit back was Foran, but his powerful run forward saw Heikkinen commit a foul which should also have seen a card. Unfortunately Hammell’s take was poor. Heikkinen sent McNaughton wide a minute later but Kerr did well to clear for a throw. Getting the break of the ball was McNaughton but he drove an angled shot into the arms of Corr. Not long before the break Fagan did well to find Foran but his chip was over the bar. 

Half Time     Motherwell  0     Aberdeen  1

A very short pass back from Diamond almost handed a leveller to Motherwell, Esson only clearing from Foran with the minimum of space to spare. A soft free kick went in favour of the visitors when Severin went down under minimal Partridge pressure. Severin played the ball in for Anderson but he hooked the ball over as Corr challenged. Severin then made a clearance which fell to the feet of Kerr but his 25-yard shot was held. Clarke was allowed room to move forward by a slack Motherwell defence though he dragged his shot wide of the far post. A lob in by Hart then saw Hammell forced to concede a corner though this was well headed clear by the alert Kinniburgh. Making the by line was Shaun Fagan and playing back to Hammell the resultant low cross was just swept clear by Anderson ahead of Hamilton. The Motherwell striker was just an inch away from getting the break of the ball when again Anderson was on hand to clear. The two then clashed just inside the box and whilst it looked completely accidental the visiting defender got the benefit from the Referee. The first change for the visitors saw Diamond replaced by Byrne. Fagan won the ball soon after and passed for Kerr who in turn crossed low only to see McNaughton clear long. Next it was Hamilton who got to a long throw but was unable to beat Esson. Aberdeen gained a soft free kick when Craigan, clearing, was adjudged to have fouled Byrne who had kept his head low. His teammate McNaughton made a meal of a Hammell challenge a minute later and his theatrics got the Motherwell man carded. Whelan found Mackie who dragged a shot wide of the post. Some superb skill from Richie Foran opened up the visiting defence but his cross was headed over by Hamilton. Inconsistency was shown by Referee Richmond when he failed to book McNaughton who was very rash in a challenge on Kinniburgh. Another Craigan long throw caused more panic in the opposing defence but Esson just managed to clear outside his box. A ball from Heikkinen found Byrne out wide and his cross in was met by Clarke though Kinniburgh did well to block. Responding was Craigan but he was well off target, just before Whelan made way for Blaha. The latter was immediately involved, knocking down for Mackie but Hammell intercepted. Mackie then took Craigan out with a free kick awarded. Cleared, the visitors then broke with Muirhead finding Clarke who should have finished but shot wide. Another visiting change saw Mackie replaced by Stewart, whilst Motherwell changed Leitch with Keogh. Just on the park, Stewart saw yellow when he deliberately stopped Motherwell taking a free kick. Motherwell pushed forward, Partridge found Corrigan but as he crossed Foran looked to have been pulled by Heikkinen but there was no foul given. Partridge was then booked for a foul on Hart who also appeared to unnecessarily make the most of the foul. Joining him in the book was Muirhead for a tackle from behind on Kerr, but Motherwell ran out of time to get on level terms.

Full Time     Motherwell  0     Aberdeen  1

Match Report by Ricky Mullen

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