Date: 13th March 2007 at 10:52pm
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2-0 may sound fairly conclusive but this was again a match where Aberdeen relied heavily on their defence and put the limited chances they created into the net. An own goal and a last minute wonder strike gave the Dons the points but the full team should be thanking Russell Anderson and his defence for keeping things clean at Langfield`s end in the second half.

Aberdeen controlled the first half and no one could deny that they were at least trying to play football on the poor Fir Park surface. Going in at half time one nil up was probably deserved considering the balance of play. It won`t be remembered as a classic goal but it was enough and gave the Dons the vital breakthrough on the half hour. Marc Fitzpatrick was attempting to clear under pressure from Craig Brewster but he only succeeded in right-footing the ball into the bottom left of the goal from18 yards.

Aberdeen had just lost Karim Touzani, again to injury, just before the goal; Calderwood started with three centre-halfs, hoping that his wingbacks would get forward to put crosses into Lovell and Brewster. His plan seemed to be working and Langfield had nothing to do in the first period, his guards ahead of him were rarely troubled either.

Maurice Malpas said after the game that he drummed home to the players during the break the way he demanded they were to play and it was a totally transformed Motherwell team who kicked off the second half.

After such a poor show in the first half by their opponents, Aberdeen seemed to be hussled into thinking this was all ‘Well could ever muster and seemed unable to up their game to match the North Lanarkshire outfits endeavor and drive. Perhaps thinking that it was job done and looking forward to Saturday, they allowed the home side to come at their goal again and again forcing Anderson and Diamond into goal saving tackles and blocks.

Constant pest Scott McDonald consistently showed why he`s destined for bigger things and gave Diamond an uneasy night so no surprise that it was he who created the chance that Motherwell came closest to equalizing from. He crossed into the box to Hungarian Krisztian Vadocz was but his effort from six yards came off the inside of the post and out to safety.

McDonald was again to pester the Dons defence on the 82 minute and it was left to Langfield to show why he is an integral part of the meanest away defence in the league as he put the Aussie`s six yard effort round the post with a great save.

Whilst not exactly surviving a bombardment, Aberdeen were on the backfoot and struggling to gain respite but again they continued their ability of notching late goals. Motherwell had put everything into their attacking play and felt they could afford to leave men ahead as every Don was pinned in his own half. Aberdeen managed to get the ball out of their half eventually and sub Darren Mackie played an inconspicuous ball to left-back Ricky Foster who then surprisingly unleashed a tremendous 25 yarder with his right-foot which flew into Graeme Smith`s top-right of goal from left side of the park.

A tremendous end to a decent game of football but not one befitting of such a special moment and it will be remembered for little else.

Regardless, it`s fine win for the Dons who are now only a measly 4 points behind their Euro rivals Rangers going into the head-to-head on Saturday.

No team gets an easy match at Fir Park and as usual this was the case tonight. Whether 2-0 was flattering or not, Aberdeen have played better and lost and if it`s the same outcome on Saturday, not one person in red and white will care an iota.

Motherwell: Graeme Smith, Fitzpatrick, Craigan, Reynolds, Murphy, McBride (Molloy 76), Kerr, Vadocz, Paterson, Clarkson (Keegan 66), McDonald.

ubs Not Used: Meldrum, McCormack, McGarry, Kinniburgh, Connolly.

Aberdeen: Langfield, Hart, Anderson, Considine, Foster, Jamie Smith, Severin, Touzani (Diamond 26), Clark, Brewster (Miller 79), Lovell (Mackie 65).

ubs Not Used: Soutar, Dempsey, Daniel Smith, Maguire.