December 26, 2012
Well rout Dons
Motherwell produced a ruthless attacking display to defeat Aberdeen 4-1 at Fir Park and go level on points with Inverness in second place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Tom Hateley headed home Jamie Murphy's cross after 10 minutes to give Stuart McCall's side the lead against the run of play.
The hosts again punished Aberdeen's failure to take their chances as Murphy doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark, however Jonny Hayes powered through the midfield before powering an effort past Darren Randolph to reduce the deficit just minutes later.
Murphy notched his 10th goal of the season on the stroke of half-time to provide a timely boost for Well and Michael Higdon added a fourth 10 minutes into the second half.
Former Scotland Under-21 international Murphy was handed a chance to complete his hat-trick when Motherwell were awarded a penalty with 25 minutes remaining, but his weak effort was saved by Jamie Langfield.
The visitors passed up a glorious opportunity to open the scoring after three minutes when Niall McGinn drilled wide after Randolph had blocked from Joe Shaughnessy.
Josh Magennis curled a shot wide after a neat through-ball from McGinn as the visitors continued to build on a dominant start to the match.
Motherwell burst into life after six minutes when Nicky Law rattled Langfield's bar with a fizzing effort from the edge of the area, and the opening goal arrived three minutes later when Murphy's precise delivery was headed beyond Langfield by Hateley.
Despite losing the opening goal, Aberdeen responded in positive fashion and only a brave block from Shaun Hutchinson prevented Scott Vernon's powerful shot troubling Randolph.
Rory Fallon almost netted for the third time this year against Motherwell only to be denied by an excellent stop by the home keeper.
Despite enjoying the better of the possession and chances Aberdeen were again punished for their lack of cutting edge on the half-hour mark as Murphy drove into the box before angling a low shot past the despairing Langfield.
Motherwell were not to enjoy their two-goal advantage for long as Hayes burst through the midfield before powering a shot low into the bottom left-hand corner.
Gavin Rae came agonisingly close to getting the visitors back on terms seven minutes before the break, however his effort flew inches wide.
The home side got the perfect lift on the stroke of half-time as Murphy slotted home his second of the afternoon.
Adam Cummins replaced Simon Ramsden during the interval and Motherwell survived a close call in the opening seconds of the second half as Randolph just managed to gather Hayes' shot at the second attempt.
Higdon was the first player to receive a yellow card for a careless lunge on Mark Reynolds. The former St Mirren striker was celebrating shortly afterwards however - as he slid the ball home after some fantastic build-up play from Ojamaa.
Dons boss Craig Brown responded by introducing Cammy Smith and Andrew Considine in place of Shaughnessy and Russell Anderson.
It was Motherwell who looked the more likely to add to their tally though and they were awarded a penalty when Ojamaa was tripped inside the area by Clark Robertson, Murphy stepped up hoping to seal his hat-trick, but was denied by Langfield.
Considine flashed a shot wide as Aberdeen looked to find a way back into the match, however they almost paid the price at the other end when Ojamaa met Murphy's cross and he was only denied by an excellent stop from Langfield.
Ojamaa received a standing ovation from the home supporters as he was replaced by Robert McHugh and Nicky Law also made way for Stuart Carswell.
The closing minutes brought little in the way of goalmouth action and Motherwell held on for a victory that moves them level on points with Inverness in second place in the league table.
|1 Darren Randolph||1 Jamie Langfield|
|15 Simon Ramsden||4 Russell Anderson|
|5 Shaun Hutchinson||22 Mark Reynolds|
|19 Fraser Kerr||23 Joe Shaughnessy|
|26 Zaine Sebastien Francis-Angol||3 Clark Robertson|
|14 Keith Lasley||5 Gavin Rae|
|6 Tom Hateley||11 Jonathan Hayes|
|4 Nicky Law||10 Niall McGinn|
|9 Michael Higdon||14 Rory Fallon|
|11 Jamie Murphy||9 Scott Vernon|
|8 Henrik Ojamaa||21 Josh Magennis|
|12 Lee Hollis||Jason Brown 32|
|3 Steven Hammell||Andrew Considine 6|
|30 Adam Cummins||Jordan Brown 24|
|17 Omar Daley||Jamie Masson 25|
|7 Chris Humphrey||Mitchel Megginson 19|
|18 Stewart Carswell||Cameron Smith 38|
|16 Robert McHugh||Declan McManus 34|
|Adam Cummins for Simon Ramsden (46)||Cameron Smith for Joe Shaughnessy (57)|
|Robert McHugh for Henrik Ojamaa (81)||Andrew Considine for Russell Anderson (58)|
|Stewart Carswell for Nicky Law (81)||Declan McManus for Rory Fallon (82)|
|Michael Higdon (48)||Clark Robertson (66)|
|· Squads: Motherwell | Aberdeen|