We made four changes from the eleven which opened the Lanarkshire derby. Ruddy, Hammell, Moutouakil and Murphy returned at the expense of Fraser, Craigan, Humphrey and O'Brien. Motherwell kicked off facing the South Stand and we looked good in the early exchanges.
A November afternoon at Fir Park
Saunders (who was to have a superb game) had a headed attempt from a two minute's corner before Forbes had a fine effort on target. McGhee's men looked dangerous too in the wet, slippy conditions.
Ruddy had the first of two great first half stops in twelve minutes when a Miller header was blocked following a corner from the East Stand side. The keeper's man of the match award was secured just before the break when Miller seemed certain to score from the corner of the six yard box but, again, the big frame of the Everton loanee saved the day - this time to protect a one goal lead.
Jutkiewicz gave us the advantage immediately after Ruddy's first stop. We broke up the park and the big striker fired low from the right side of the box. Langfield was beaten at his near post and we had the opener. The lead should have been doubled two minutes later when Murphy found himself clear. His lobbed attempt was short but he had another attempt as he reached the bounce first but Considine appeared to clear off the line.
Gannon made a halftime substitution when he removed Forbes and introduced O'Brien but there was no immediate benefit. Aberdeen pressed us hard in the first ten minutes of the second period and we escaped punishment. Sutton produced a run from deep and came close with his shot but the Dons were not to be denied.
Our defensive line fell deeper and deeper as though we were inviting the attacks which duly arrived. There was no surprise when the equaliser arrived - a simple headed corner from McDonald. Our inability to push up the park cost us dear.
The striker received a second yellow card for lifting his shirt in celebration and saw red. We were unable to capitalise on his cruel punishment. His dismissal in the 67th minute left plenty of time for us to engage our plan against ten men but it bore no fruit. Too many high balls were punted to the Aberdeen defence and our chances were few and far between. O'Brien weaved his magic on the left and fed Jutkiewicz with a fine cross but his attempted scissor kick flew high and wide.
Meanwhile there were plenty of scares at Ruddy's end of the park. We avoided the embarrassing concession of a send thanks to the strength of the keeper and at the end a share of the spoils seemed fair.
At least the other results have done us no harm and we remain twelve games into the season, with only one loss.