A rare pointless trip to the north

Craig Reid
Craig Reid

Motherwell began their three-week run of Friday night games with defeat at Pittodrie for the first time since 2008.

The north-east has been a happy hunting ground for ’Well in recent seasons and hopes were high the trip would spark their season to life.

The return of Stevie Hammell and Craig Reid provided them with a more solid look, but illness to Iain Vigurs denied ’Well one of their key creative outlets.

However, much like against Dundee the week before ’Well found themselves behind after just two minutes.

Dons’ goalkeeper Scott Brown started a slick 12-man passing move that ended with JONNY HAYES getting clear, he held off Hammell to slot the ball past Dan Twardzik.

Hayes then tried for a second with an overly ambitious chip from the corner of the box that wasn’t far away.

The home side were in full control and Peter Pawlett played in David Goodwillie, but from a rapidly narrowing angle his weak shot failed to trouble Twardzik.

’Well weathered the storm without further damage when Brown failed to hold Josh Law’s corner the visitors kept it alive and the ball eventually reached Stephen McManus but he crashed his shot inches over the bar.

The game started to get bogged down in midfield with neither side able to create notable chances as the home side remained one up at the break.

At the start of the second half Niall McGinn got down the right, and his cut back found Shaleum Logan in space, but his effort was weak.

Henrik Ojamaa scored his first goal since returning to Fir Park last week, but looked out of sorts and when he did get a rare sight of goal dragged his shot well wide.

Goodwillie on form is as good as any striker in Scotland, but like Ojamaa was playing well within his abilities.

A McGinn corner hit Fraser Kerr and fell kindly for Goodwillie, but he put in wide and then when Twardzik flapped at another McGinn corner, Goodwilie could direct the ball on target.

Craig Reid was hero of Pittodrie back in May as ’Well clinched second in the league and arguably fashioned their best chance with a powerful shot from distance, but Brown got down low to save well.

Aberdeen: Brown, Considine, Reynolds, Logan, Taylor, Flood, Hayes (Smith 84), Pawlett (Rooney 61), Jack, McGinn, Goodwillie (Robson, 74). Subs not used: Langfield, Monakana, Shankland, Rose.

Motherwell: Twardzik, Ramsden, McManus, Hammell, Reid, Francis-Angol (Ainsworth 88), Lasley, Law (Erwin 75), Kerr, Ojamaa (McHugh 75), Sutton. Subs not used: Nielsen, Leitch, O’Brien, Carswell.

Referee: Crawford Allan.

Attendance: 11,419.