Our unchanged eleven set out with no intention of settling into a defensive shell hoping to sneak a point. With Erwin and McDonald leading the line and with the able support of the midfield we took the game to Aberdeen from the off.
It was pleasing to see the numbers of our white away strips that flooded into the opposition’s last third when the opportunity was there. McManus gave an early indication of the defence’s intention when he crunched McLean. Erwin got himself in good positions and his reward was a few attempts at goal. He had three off target shots before a through ballsethim up with a one v one with Langfield on the half hour. The ‘keeper stood tall.
McInness reacted by making a tactical change and Pawlett came on for Daniels. McLean looked the most likely to breach our goal and Long was happy to see his low drive from outside the box whistle by the post.
We took the lead in 37 minutes and although McDonald’s delicate touch saw him credited with the goal it followed a fine powerful shot from Erwin. We held on to the lead until 50 minutes when we managed to lose two in as many minutes.
The equaliser came from a stand side corner. Taylor was allowed an unchallenged header near the far post that was initially saved by Long before his outstretched fist bundled the ball over the line. With the home crowd aroused it was no surprise that Aberdeen were immediately on the attack but we gifted them their second. A ball falling well short of the eighteen yard line caused a farcical misunderstanding between Laing and Long that allowed Rooney to saunter into the box and roll the ball into the empty net. Oh Calamity!
Ainsworth replaced Grant and ten minutes later Sutton came on for Johnson as we fought to get back into the game. The winger managed an ambitious attempt in the dying minutes but Aberdeen were able to run the clock down and the game finished 2-1.
On the plus side, the first half showing was very encouraging and there are clear signs of a steady improvement.
Aberdeen 2 Motherwell 1
Team: Long, McManus, Lasley, Law, Erwin, Johnson(Sutton 76), Straker, Laing, Grant(Ainsworth 65), Pearson, McDonald