Date: 12th November 2006 at 2:22am
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The Dons are now in third place in the league after another late goal gave Calderwood`s side their 3rd home victory in a row. It was rejuvenated Lee Miller`s second goal for the Dons just three minutes from time which brought Aberdeen victory and justice, in a match Aberdeen should have had won long before Miller bundled home Chris Clark`s cross from six yards.

In Calderwood`s 101st match at the helm for the Dons, it appeared he was going to get his wish of his players playing good football for ninety minutes and not waiting for the opposition to take the lead before mounting a fight back as his team served up some terrific passing football from kick off. Perhaps significantly, he only made one change from the team that drew at Inverness on Monday night as he brought Steve Lovell into the starting eleven in place of Darren Mackie. The starting line up must be close to that to which Calderwood sees as his strongest side as Aberdeen were virtually free from injuries with only Touzani and Byrne still out.

The Dons produced a first half display that must rank amongst the best Calderwood has seen his side generate since his command began. He and the 10,527 strong support witnessed two efforts by their side crash against the frame as their side dominated their vastly improved Lanarkshire competitors.

The first of these efforts involved the on form Michael Hart. He whipped a ball from the by line after getting the better of Paterson into the box which was met by the head of Scotland B Squad member Lee Miller but he saw this effort crash off the bar and away from danger.

Scott Severin was the Dons` second player to come close as he headed Barry Nicholson`s corner against Meldrum`s post base and Motherwell managed to escape to half time safety with the scoreboard still blank.

The Steelmen`s guard was finally broken in 51 minutes by the recently injury free Jamie Smith and he again showed his quality and value to the team by scoring after yet another great passing move involving Hart and Clark. Smith received the ball from Clark and coolly curled his right footed effort to the opposite side of Meldrum`s goal from the edge of the 18 yard box to give the hosts the lead.

As cute and clever as this goal was, Motherwell`s equaliser was equally memorable for the wrong reasons. Just four minutes after Smith`s strike, Jamie Langfield who was under no pressure let a Hart pass back just roll through his legs and draw Motherwell very undeservedly level. Sadly for Hart, the record books will note his name as the scorer of an own goal and this is especially cruel as not only should he be totally exempt from blame but he also had another tremendous match with timely tackles combined with an excellent engine that gets him forward often to create quality chances for his team mates. His performances have had his manager publicly praising him and touting him for international honours as his all round game improves.

The equaliser brought Motherwell into the game as they sniffed stealing a victory and at the very least, as full time loomed, escaping with a pick pocketed point. Their strong defence repelled the Dons attack and Langfield was able to redeem himself a little with some decent catches as Aberdeen left themselves prone to counter attacks as they pushed forward to rightfully claim all three points. Had Lee Miller not scrambled the ball home as late as he did, two rightfully earned points would have been thrown away but Calderwood is now getting the return he deserves from the big hitman after the faith he has shown in his blank firing striker.

Calderwood will also be very pleased to see that his team have totally reversed the trend of conceding late goals and are now the team celebrating them as they have done in their last three matches. The player`s willingness to keep going for the full period shows their manager and fans that the team are very united and have drive, belief and hunger to achieve the seasons` realistic goals and perhaps a few ambitious ones too.

Calderwood summed the match up in his post match statement. He said ‘I feel we deserved the win as we put in a good performance and had the majority of the possession. We played so much good football. We should have had the game completely under our control but our finishing let us down. We made it hard for ourselves in the end as they got a break, which brought them into the game, but we were worth the win. We got nervous after they scored but we composed ourselves and pressed hard to get our second goal, which is a real credit to the boys.’

The Dons must now look forward to next Saturday`s home match against St.Mirren with high hopes of another 3 points and moving away from the chasing pack.

Aberdeen: Langfield, Hart, Anderson, Severin, Foster, Jamie Smith, Nicholson, Dempsey (Maguire 78), Clark, Lovell (Mackie 72), Miller.

Subs not used: Soutar, Diamond, Daniel Smith, Winter, Considine.

oals: J Smith 57, Miller 86.

Motherwell: Meldrum, Quinn, Craigan (Kinniburgh 56), Reynolds, Paterson, McGarry (McBride 46), Kerr, Lasley, Foran, Clarkson, Elliot (Fitzpatrick 49).

Subs not used: Graeme Smith, Fagan, Connolly, Coakley.

Booked: Kerr, Clarkson, McBride.

oal: Hart (o.g.) 61.

Att: 10,527

Ref: C Richmond