Aberdeen completed a smash-and-grab win over Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday (Aug 12) to continue their unbeaten start to the season.
Well have now lost their first three games, but if they had shown more composure at the right times they could have picked-up a point, if not more.
The Dons opened the scoring after 33 minutes with a goal that would make the neutral spectator laugh – although the home fans among the 5,186-strong crowd (more than 800 less than attended Gretna’s mid-week UEFA Cup clash with Derry City) would have been more like to cry.
The ball was worked all the way from the Aberdeen penalty area, until a misdirected pass that should have signalled the end of the move. It didn’t.
Motherwell keeper Graeme Smith sprinted 20-yards to challenge his own team-mate, Stephen Craigan, but, when they both missed the ball, Darren Mackie was left with an open goal to stroke the ball into.
Smith apologised after the game and Dons boss Jimmy Calderwood said the goal came against the run of the play.
The second goal was the result of a scramble after 61 minutes. Zander Diamond headed the ball across the goal from a corner, and Smith couldn’t get both hands on the ball while being challenged by Karim Touzani. Darren Mackie was on-hand to put the ball across the line. It wasn’t the prettiest of goals, but they all count.
No other chances were converted during the match, with shots being hit from distance and, when either team found themselves through on goal, the resulting shot was inevitably fluffed – the ball kept falling to the wrong person.
After the match, Well boss Maurice Malpas said: “I take 90 minutes of positives, because I thought we were the better team.
After criticising the players last week, I`ve got to praise them. People will think I`m crazy because we were beaten, but performances like that will win us more points than lose them.”
Malpas has a very good point – if Motherwell continue to play as they did, they are certain to start winning matches. And once they have their first win, the confidence will spur them on to many more.
On a side note, one of those odd moments that sometimes occur in football took place before kick-off. Well’s two mascots did their usual routine, before revealing themselves as injured defenders Martyn Corrigan and William Kinniburgh.
If only they were on the pitch in their boots instead of inside the mascot suits, the result could have been very different…