Maurice Ross made his Motherwell debut and delivered a fine game at right back. He would have been delighted at the pace shown by his team-mate on the right wing. Humphrey played a blinder today. His pace and trickery caused the Dons’ defence problems all afternoon. Jones started on the left wing as the suspended Jennings and the injured Jeffers watched from the sidelines.
We kicked off with the boos still echoing following Craig Brown’s appearance in the away dugout and immediately took command. Thirty seconds had passed when Humphrey made his first run. He delivered a ball to the back post where Jones collected. He could have shot but set up Lasley for an attempt and with the target large in his sights he fired wide.
The pressure stayed on the Aberdeen defence. Jones cut inside but shot wide then a marvellous passage of play between Murphy and Lasley had the crowd gasping but, again, the shot was off target.
The opening goal came in fourteen minutes. Humphrey raced on to a ball over Smith and pushed through the angle of the box despite a jersey tug. He took aim and blasted beyond Langfield into the net. It was a cracking goal.
Well done Hutch!
Aberdeen tried to steady the ship but they caused us little discomfort. Hutchison received a harsh yellow following a challenge on our former favourite Blackman. The home crowd were quick to let him know that he had lost their support and cat calls followed him every time he touched the ball.
We should have sealed the game in 57 minutes when Jones missed a sitter. Humphrey (again!) delivered a fine, low curler of a cross that eluded the defence to find Jones with a simple chance. Had he kept the ball low he must have scored but it floated high and wide.
Brown went for broke and used all three substitutes. Randolph had to make his first save after an hour but we seemed to cope well enough with their threat. There was a fright though when Maguire burst free and our keeper had to be at his best to push his shot away for a corner. McHugh and Craigan replaced Jones and Murphy as we shut up shot.
The second goal came in 86 minutes. Humphrey delivered the ball to McHugh on the penalty spot. He was unmarked and took a touch before letting fly with a fierce effort but Langfield has to be credited with a fine one handed save. The resulting corner was taken by Hateley and it allowed Hutchison to cap a fine day with a goal. The big defender nudged it over from a few yards.
The fourth official gave the visitors some hope by showing that five minutes of added time were to be played. They took advantage when Vujadinovic converted a corner for a consolation but it came too late to alter the result.
Much of the post match will focus on the verbal exchanges that seem to have taken place in the tunnel but the fact is that we are almost sure of a top six place.