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Motherwell v Aberdeen | preview

March 17, 2016 6:05 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Derek McInnes

“It is not something we have been overly concerned about recently but it was nice to get our European qualification confirmed last night. I am of course delighted we are back in Europe.

“The most important thing for the players is not to look at the next eight games, it is to look at the next game.

“The challenge is there every week for us, weather we play home or away, weather we are playing a team in the bottom six or the top six. There is no change in how we approach it, we have got to try and concentrate on each game. Motherwell are in good from and it is always a difficult place to go although we have had a decent record there over the past couple of seasons.

“If we look too far ahead of ourselves we won’t get the wins we want.

“It has been brought to our attention the problems Motherwell have (with illness). It is very rare these sort of things happen. I remember it once happening at St Johnstone and we were really concerned going into the game so I have sympathy for Mark. However it is very unusual for the league to postpone a game for this reason.

“I am very confident the game will go ahead as planned.

“Motherwell are in good form. For a while they went through a stage of losing late goals but their performances were not very different from when they were winning games. Now they have managed to get a bit of good form going and I am not surprised by that. Motherwell have every chance of being one of the teams who do not have to worry about what is happing at the bottom of the table and have every chance of getting themselves into the top six because of the form they have shown.

“I said a few weeks ago it was important that we went on a run again and that is where we are at the moment. We are showing some decent form and we want to keep the run going. Just because we are on a good run and the confidence is high, it does not guarantee you anything. We have to keep finding the form individually and as a team.

“Team news – Adam Rooney and Peter Pawlett are still out. Young Frank Ross has a thigh strain picked up in a closed doors game on Tuesday and he will not travel. Everyone else is fine. Adam had his thigh scanned again and the heeling is going well. We are confident he will be back for the final five matches after the split.”
 

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Defensive mistakes prove costly

March 19, 2016 9:13 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

SPFL Premiership | Motherwell 2 Aberdeen 1 | Fir Park

The hosts came from behind to defeat The Dons at Fir Park. Aberdeen took a deserved lead when Kenny McLean converted a penalty on the stroke of half-time. The Dons had chances to get a second but failed to convert. As the second half wore on Motherwell came more into it and Scott McDonald levelled with a header and short time after Louis Moult made it two when he nipped in to score. Both goals were very poor ones to lose. The Dons pushed hard for an equaliser but finished the game with ten men when Barry Robson was given a straight red card.

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Derek McInnes made one change to the side that beat Kilmarnock last week, Mark Reynolds came back into the starting XI, with Barry Robson dropping to the bench. Despite concerns over a flu virus, Motherwell fielded a strong but they were without the influential Keith Lasley in midfield.

The game kicked off in bright sunshine on one of better pitches in the SPFL at the moment. It was a cagy start with Motherwell happy to allow Aberdeen to enjoy possession. In the sixth minute Simon Church won the first corner of the game but unfortunately referee Don Robertson gave a goal kick.

In the eighth minute Shay Logan produced a good overlapping run and was picked out by McGinn. Shay’s cross was cleared to Jack on the edge of the area and his shot was on target. Connor Ripley did very well to get an out stretched hand on it as he would have seen the shot very late. A minute late the Dons produced a good move down the left and Hayes put over a good low ball but he was frustrated that no one had made a run to the near post. This was a good spell from the Dons and a few minutes later a free kick by the Dons was picked up by Reynolds at the back of the area. Mark’s ball back into the danger zone was knocked into the path of Church and his shot on the turn just went wide.

The Dons kept the pressure on and Mannus did very well to head clear a dangerous cross but this led to the first actual corner. Hayes’ ball found the run of McLean who had a great chance as he was all alone inside the area but he did not make proper contact. Aberdeen then had another corner but Motherwell broke and after 15 minutes the home side won their first corner. Motherwell were then able to get up the park and enjoyed a good little spell.

On 20 minutes a good little move from the Dons. McGinn played it to Shinnie who threaded a ball through to Church. His shot was blocked and in the end it fell kindly for Ripley. Then at the other end a mistake by Logan who failed to cut out a long ball. Moult had time to pick out Marvin Johnson and his first time effort just went over.

On 24 minutes Aberdeen had a free kick in a good area but McGinn’s ball in was too close to Ripley.
The game then became quite scrappy and Aberdeen were enjoying less possession. Shinnie had gone down with an injury and although he was able to continue he did not look comfortable in the middle of the park. On the half hour mark the woodwork saved the Dons. McDonald produced a great lay-off into the path Moult and his first time shot beat Brown but crashed off the post. A major let off. On 35 minutes Gomis was booked for a foul on McLean who was shaping to shoot. That led to a free kick in a dangerous area but the opportunity was wasted as McGinn lofted the ball over the bar.

After 38 minutes Hayes stood up a great ball which Shinnie contested at the back post with Hammell and the Motherwell left back did very well to win the header as otherwise it would have been a goal. At the other end Brown then made a smart stop to keep out a Johnson effort.

Just as the Dons were looking a bit frustrated at having to go in at the break still level, they took the lead on the stroke of half time. McLean picked the ball up and cleverly beat his man. Shinnie then took over and played the ball into Hayes who burst into the area. Jonny held off the first defender but centre half Kieran Kennedy came over took him out as he was away to shoot. The referee pointed to the spot but decided only to give Kennedy a yellow card. With Rooney unavailable penalty duties fell to Kenny McLean. He stepped forward confidently and lashed the ball past Ripley.

A minute later it was very nearly two. Hayes ball over missed Church but found McGinn coming in unmarked. Niall produced a great strike but Ripley was equal to it and made a brilliant block as he spread himself. It was to prove a crucial save.

HT

In the opening minute of the second half Ripley came way out his box to clear, Hayes very nearly got to the ball ahead of him. Then from the throw-in the ball was worked into the area, Shinnie laid it off to Jack but his left footed shot went wide. A decent chance. On 50 minutes Hayes was brought down by Leitch who was booked. McLean took the free kick which was on target but the ball was deflected and fell into the arms of Ripley.  

The game again then became very scrappy.  

On 62 minutes a McGinn shot inside the area was blocked and then a Hayes cross was juggled by Ripley but the keeper did just enough to hold on under pressure from McGinn.

Five minutes later the Dons hit Motherwell on the break and Hayes sprinted forward. His ball in found Church who miskicked but the ball fell kindly for McLean whose fierce left footed drive was very well saved by Ripley. Then from the resulting corner Reynolds headed on and Church’s flicked effort clipped the bar ad went over. It was a difficult chance for Simon as he was close to goal and did not have a lot of room to move, but those missed chances were to cost the Dons. 

A minute later substitute Ainsworth had an opening but pulled his effort wide. On 70 minutes a Hayes low cross was well cut out by Ripley. The big keeper had a fine game.

On 72 minutes Motherwell equalised. Aberdeen failed to clear their lines on a number of occasions and when they failed to deal with the ball when it came back in, McDonald nipped in and headed over the stranded Brown. The Motherwell striker should never have been allowed to get the header in. 

The goal lifted Motherwell and their supporters. Within two minutes they took the lead after more poor Dons defending. A ball over the top was not dealt with and as Reynolds left it for Brown, Moult was able to nip in and lift the ball over the keeper.

A disastrous couple of minutes for the Dons. Things were then to get even worse when substitute Barry Robson, who had replaced Andrew Considine, was red carded for an elbow on McDonald.

Even with ten men Aberdeen pushed hard for an equaliser as Taylor was went upfront. In truth there were a few half chances but nothing clear cut. In fact Motherwell should have scored again but Brown saved brilliantly to keep out Wes Fletcher from close range and Marvin Johnson hit the side netting when he should have scored.

A very disappointing afternoon for the 2,489 Aberdeen fans.
 

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