Aberdeen 1-1 Motherwell - report

Near identical goals from Adam Rooney and Scott McDonald ensured Aberdeen and Motherwell drew 1-1 in an open game between two Ladbrokes Premiership sides who desperately wanted to improve in recent form.Rooney was one of four changes made by Derek McInnes as he looked to help his side arrest a run that had seen them lose each of their last four games in all competitions - but Mark McGhee's side were not simply going to make up the numbers at Pittodrie.Indeed, it was the visitors who would have the better of the first 45 minutes, and there was an early taste of things to come.Just four minutes in another of the quartet, Shay Logan, had to be alert in challenging Louis Moult on the edge of the six-yard box, after he had been played in by Marvin Johnson.Johnson was having an excellent game on the right wing, and he was involved again when Well captain Keith Lasley, the one change from their defeat to Celtic last weekend, sent an 18-yard snapshot wide of the target.And midway through the first half, it was another move down that side which saw Logan, tucking in again to cover his centre-backs, time his challenge perfectly to deny Wes Fletcher.But 10 minutes from the interval everything started to come together for Aberdeen

A swift counter-attack saw Hayes and McGinn exchange passes, before the former sent his angled drive high and wide.It was a warning not heeded by the visitors, and when Stephen Pearson gave away a soft free-kick after 42 minutes, the home side took the lead.Hayes and McGinn stood over the ball, and it was the latter who swung over a sweet cross

The defence and goalkeeper seemed to hesitate as the ball arced in - but Rooney was not hanging around.If the goal was at odds with the flow of the play for much of the first half, it would have been cruel had Ryan Jack's effort on the stroke of half time dipped under the crossbar rather than flown over.The Steelmen suffered another blow just eight minutes after the restart as Lasley was forced off with an ankle injury, to be replaced by Lionel Ainsworth.They could have found themselves further behind just moments later as McGinn worked an opening to cross for Rooney - but his header was just over the bar.And the visitors had another narrow escape just before the hour mark as Hayes and Rooney combined, the striker feeding McGinn whose miscue was almost turned in by Peter Pawlett, only for the ball to dribble wide of target.Aberdeen did have the ball in the net again when Mark Reynolds turned home a free kick from close range, but his effort was ruled out by an offside call from assistant referee Kylie McMullan.And the home side were dealt an injury blow of their own when Ash Taylor was forced off with a back injury he picked up in attempting a miscued clearance

Paul Quinn took his place.Motherwell would find themselves level with 73 minutes gone

Reynolds gave away a soft free-kick challenging for an aerial ball, and in what was almost a carbon copy of the first half Aberdeen goal, substitute Scott McDonald ghosted in at the back post to head home Ainsworth's cross.With five minutes remaining, Motherwell goalkeeper Connor Ripley had to be at his best to push a Logan header over after excellent work by fellow full-back Graeme Shinnie, while at the other end Ward performed similar heroics from Theo Robinson's effort.And deep into injury time, on-loan Liverpool keeper Ward made a hat-trick of excellent saves, two from Ainsworth, to keep the scoreline level

Source: PA

Source: PA