Dons get a hand to deny ’Well win

Aberdeen captain Russell Anderson punching the ball into the net was all that denied Motherwell second place in the Scottish Premiership.

The away side were dealt a blow in 12 minutes as Ryan Jack was stretchered off after being fouled by Shaun Hutchinson at the edge of the area.

Zaine Francis-Angol scores Motherwell's  second goal as John Sutton also tries to get the vital touch

Zaine Francis-Angol scores Motherwell's second goal as John Sutton also tries to get the vital touch

From the resultant free kick Barry Robson’s clipped the roof of the net.

At the other end Zaine Francis-Angol crossed to the near post, but James McFadden volleyed straight at Jamie Langfield.

Robson then got even closer as he robbed Stuart Carswell and struck the post with a low shot.

A long ball by Hutchinson looked to have put John Sutton clear, but as the striker pulled the trigger former ’Well man Mark Reynolds got back with a great challenge.

In injury time a fierce Jonny Hayes shot was pushed away by Gunnar Nielsen as the sides went in level at the break.

However, just two minutes into the second half the home side went ahead as STEPHEN McMANUS powered in a Lionel Ainsworth corner which Peter Pawlett couldn’t keep out on the line.

‘Well almost threw away their lead as McManus headed an Aberdeen corner against the face of Sutton, but Keith Lasley cleared.

The hosts had Fraser stretchered off following a collision with Robson, meaning Carswell had to be deployed at right back and Hayes begun to run riot.

His cross saw Joe Shaughnessy head against the post and Stevie Hammell blocked Niall McGinn’s follow up, then Shaughnessy was denied from another Hayes cross, this time McManus hacking off the line.

The equaliser came in 66 minutes as McGinn’s shot was too hot for Nielsen to handle and ADAM ROONEY nodded in a debut goal.

’Well immediately responded by sending on Henri Anier for McFadden and within two minutes were ahead.

Anier played a one-two with Lasley and his low cross was bundled in by Francis-Angol, despite Sutton claiming it.

The Dons launched wave after wave of attack and were rewarded three minutes into injury time as Reynolds headed down a McGinn corner and Anderson knocked the ball over the line with his hand.

Motherwell: Nielsen, Hammell, Hutchinson, McManus, McFadden (Anier 68), Sutton, Lasley, Francis-Angol, Carswell, Kerr (Lawson 56), Ainsworth (Leitch 90). Subs not used: Stewart, Moore, Murray, Thomas.

Aberdeen: Langfield, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Considine, Reynolds, Flood, McGinn, Hayes, Robson (Low 62), Rooney, Jack (Pawlett 12). Subs not used: Weaver, Zola, Vernon, Magennis, Tate.

Referee: Steven McLean.

Attendance: 5,756.