JAMIE Murphy grabbed his fourth double of the season as Motherwell gained a modicum of revenge for being put of the Scottish by Aberdeen earlier in the month.
That made it 10 goals for the season for Murphy, who has been heavily linked with Sheffield United and Rangers, as he closes in on top scorer Michael Higdon who was also on target with his thirteen of the season.
Also involved in the 4-1 romp was Tom Hateley who made it two for the season, his only other goal coming direct from a corner against Inverness back in September.
’Well boss Stuart McCall made changes as his side looked to bounce back from defeat to St Mirren with Stevie Hammell and Chris Humphrey making way for youngsters Zaine Francis-Angol and Fraser Kerr.
This saw the hosts play with three up-front and despite the Dons starting better with Niall McGinn shooting wide after Darren Randolph had saved from Joe Shaughnessy and Josh Magennis as failing to find the target ’Well quickly took control.
Nicky Law crashed a shot off the bar from the edge of the box and then in nine minutes HATELEY met Murphy’s delivery at the back post to head past Jamie Langfield.
The visitors continued to press, but were undone again on the half hour mark as MURPHY made his way into the box getting past Scott Vernon’s laboured tackle before firing a low shot beyond Langfield.
However, the two-goal advantage would last a mere four minutes as the ’Well defence backed off JONNY HAYES and he needed little invitation to score with a low shot of his own.
But Aberdeen’s hopes of keeping in touch going into the break were dashed as Francis-Angol slipped the ball to MURPHY who stepped inside Russell Anderson before grabbing his second right on the stroke of half-time.
The lead did come at a price though as Simon Ramsden suffered a calf injury and failed to reappear for the second half and was replaced by Adam Cummins.
As ’Well sorted themselves out the Dons almost pulled one back by Randolph gathered a Hayes effort at the second attempt.
This narrow escape galvanised ’Well and 10 minutes into the half it was 4-1 as brilliant play from Henrik Ojamaa saw him beat Gavin Rae and Shaughnessy and his low cross was knocked in by HIGDON via the underside of the bar.
The day almost got even better for Murphy, after Ojamaa, who himself is reported to be a wanted man, was tripped in the box by Clark Robertson, but the hitman misfired and his tame penalty was saved by Langfield to deny him a hat-trick.
However, it didn’t affect the result and ’Well made it two SPL home wins in a row for the first time this season.
Motherwell: Randolph, Law (Carswell 81), Hutchinson, Hateley, Ojamaa (McHugh 81), Higdon, Murphy, Lasley, Ramsden (Cummins 46), Kerr, Francis-Angol. Subs not used: Hollis, Hammell, Humphrey, Daley.
Aberdeen: Langfield, Robertson, Anderson (Considine 58), Rae, Vernon, McGinn, Hayes, Fallon (McManus 82), Magennis, Reynolds, Shaughnessy (Smith 57). Subs not used: Ja Brown, Megginson, Jo Brown, Masson.
Referee: Craig Thomson.