’Well pay the penalty in Dons defeat

Jonny Hayes was outstanding for Aberdeen in their 3-1 win at Motherwell on Friday night
Jonny Hayes was outstanding for Aberdeen in their 3-1 win at Motherwell on Friday night

Motherwell crashed to a 3-1 home loss against Aberdeen in an eventful Scottish Premiership clash at a wind swept Fir Park on Friday night.

A rip roaring first half saw ’Well create the first chance after a minute when Craig Clay headed over at the back post after Louis Moult’s cross from the right.

But it was Aberdeen who scored first on six minutes when Ben Heneghan’s clearance was charged down and Jonny Hayes sprinted away to set up Graeme Shinnie to shoot home.

But the hosts soon threatened again when Richard Tait’s centre was missed by Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis but no Motherwell player could take advantage.

Play raged to the other end and a rasping Kenny McLean drive whizzed past Craig Samson’s left hand post.

Motherwell then equalised in wonderful fashion when Tait’s fine cross from the right was met by a wonderful Scott McDonald overhead kick which went in off the bar.

But the visitors went back in front after 24 minutes as this incredible match took another twist.

The Dons were awarded a penalty for Samson’s foul on Adam Rooney, after Kenny McLean’s initial effort from distance had been parried by the keeper.

Although Samson saved Rooney’s subsequent spot kick, the Aberdeen man followed up to score.

Motherwell spurned a golden opportunity to equalise after 38 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for Mark Reynolds’ foul on Keith Lasley.

After a long delay while Lasley got treatment, Moult’s penalty was saved by Lewis, andMoult mishit the rebound. Aberdeen defender Andy Considine then struck the ball against his own post before McDonald sliced an effort off target. A truly incredible sequence of events!

Aberdeen came very close to going 3-1 up before half-time.

Shinnie’s shot was deflected inches over before the resultant corner by McGinn was met by Ash Taylor’s head but Samson saved brilliantly.

A second McGinn corner was then somehow headed wide by Taylor from point blank range.

Lasley didn’t reappear for the second half, with the veteran midfielder replaced by Dom Thomas.

Motherwell didn’t defend cross balls brilliantly all night and they had a lucky escape when Taylor headed wide after a Shinnie corner.

McGinn’s long free-kick then found an unmarked Considine at the back post but he nodded off target.

It was almost 2-2 at the other end when Moult headed against the bar after Tait’s dead ball into the box.

And the home bar was then struck by Considine’s headed effort after a McGinn corner.

’Well replaced Chris Cadden with Lionel Ainsworth after 78 minutes in a bid to salvage something, but the hosts almost went 3-1 down when man of the match Jonny Hayes made a fine run before his parting shot was brilliantly saved by Samson low to his left.

The Steelmen had a chance of their own from a setpiece when Ainsworth’s corner was headed over by Stephen McManus.

But the men in claret and amber were killed off in the 89th minute after Tait had lost the ball on the far touchline.

The outstanding Hayes sprinted down the left wing and crossed for McGinn to shoot home with a first time left footed effort from the edge of the box.