Motherwell 3 Aberdeen 0: Super Steelmen see off dismal Dons

Mark Gillespie had a fine match in goal for Motherwell
Mark Gillespie had a fine match in goal for Motherwell

Super Motherwell produced their best performance of the season so far to see off Aberdeen 3-0 in Saturday's Scottish Premiership encounter at a freezing Fir Park, writes Craig Goldthorp.

This fine display against the Betfred Cup finalists swiftly banished the horrible memory of Motherwell's last league outing, a horrific 7-1 humbling at Rangers 13 days earlier.

Danny Johnson heads in his second goal (Pics by Ian McFadyen)

Danny Johnson heads in his second goal (Pics by Ian McFadyen)

The Well Bois were in good voice early on at Fir Park and the atmosphere was as lively as it's been all season.

And their enthusiasm was rewarded by two first half Danny Johnson goals and a David Turnbull strike after the break which comfortably secured the three points for the rampant Steelmen.

Johnson shot wide with his left foot before Stevie May had an effort blocked at the other end by home keeper Mark Gillespie, making his first appearance of the season due to Trevor Carson's absence through deep vein thrombosis.

The Dons enjoyed more possession early on and wasted a great scoring chance when Graeme Shinnie shot wide from 12 yards with his weaker right foot on 20 minutes after Max Lowe's pull back from the left.

Motherwell players mob Danny Johnson after his second goal

Motherwell players mob Danny Johnson after his second goal

And Aberdeen paid for this miss just four minutes later when the Steelmen took the lead with a brilliant goal by Johnson. The former Gateshead forward ran from the halfway line after Niall McGinn's misplaced pass, bore down on goal, beat defender Shay Logan and slotted past Joe Lewis.

The away side wasted a great opportunity to level within four minutes when another Lowe surge down the left set up James Wilson who shot over.

Motherwell continued to look dangerous and Gael Bigirimana's 30 yard free-kick was turned round the post by Lewis.

But the hosts duly went two up just before the half hour when Johnson headed in a corner from the right by Bigirimana.

Newly installed keeper Gillespie then made a great block from Lowe's powerful left footed drive on 40 minutes to preserve 'Well's two-goal lead at half-time.

Johnson produced another lung bursting run from the halfway line on 49 minutes but his final shot was comfortably saved by Lewis.

But the third goal was only delayed five minutes. Main and Johnson put pressure on the dithering Dons defence, whose clearance deflected off Main to David Turnbull who shot in clinically.

Motherwell could have scored a fourth on 70 minutes when Peter Hartley headed well off target after Bigirimana's corner from the right.

Midfielder Liam Grimshaw - who had a fine match for the hosts - nearly made it four with a left foot shot on 80 minutes.

Aberdeen's miserable day was perhaps summed up by substitute Scott Wright's miserably weak shot at Gillespie on 83 minutes after a fine run forward.

In the final minute, Gillespie turned Wright's shot round the post. When the resultant corner by Mackay-Steven went to the back post, Scott McKenna crossed for Andrew Considine to head weakly at Gillespie.

Motherwell: Gillespie, Tait, Aldred, Hartley, Campbell, Main (Sammon 84), Grimshaw, Bigirimana, Mbulu, Johnson (Bowman 81), Turnbull (Gorrin 75).

Referee: John Beaton

Crowd: 5131