Dons hit back to earn Fir Park point

Aberdeen came from behind to grab a 1-1 draw in a drab Scottish Premier League clash with Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday afternoon.

Last Updated: 18/09/10 at 17:23 Post Comment

Vernon: Levelled for Aberdeen

Vernon: Levelled for Aberdeen

Jamie Murphy gave the home side the lead in the 35th minute when he raced on to a Nick Blackman pass before firing past Dons goalkeeper Jamie Langfield from 10 yards out.

However, Pittodrie striker Scott Vernon made up for his missed chance just before the break when he levelled 10 minutes in to the second half from close range after Chris Maguire had set him up.

The point kept Aberdeen in third place over their hosts but it will be a game quickly forgotten by those 5,251 supporters who made the effort to get to Fir Park.

The first effort on goal came in the second minute when a 25-yard free-kick from Dons skipper Paul Hartley was well held by Darren Randolph in the Motherwell goal.

Moments later Langfield, back for Mark Howard, had a clearance charged down by Blackman but the visitors escaped punishment when Fir Park wide-man Chris Humphrey failed to take advantage of the loose ball.

Aberdeen, inspired by Hartley from the midfield, looked slightly the more assured in possession but posed little threat in the last third while Motherwell surrendered the ball too quickly and too often to allow them to build up any sort of momentum.

If anything, the first half deteriorated as it progressed.

There was a scare for the Pittodrie men just before the half-hour mark when a careless and overly-strong backpass from Andrew Considine almost had Langfield in trouble, the Dons keeper letting his team-mate know of his dissatisfaction in no uncertain terms.

The game refused to improve but in the 35th minute, and out of the blue, Murphy fired the home side in to the lead.

A fine pass from Blackman sent the Scotland Under-21 player racing down the left-hand side and in to the box and he cut back inside Jerel Ifil before slamming the ball through the legs of Langfield from around 10 yards out.

Three minutes before the end of the first half a long clearance from Langfield ended up at the feet of Vernon but the Dons striker missed the target from inside the box with only Randolph to beat, before a Murphy effort from distance at the other end dipped over the bar.

Vernon was presented with a half chance four minutes into the second half when Ifil's long pass found him in space but his failure to control the ball let the Well defence off the hook.

In the 51st minute Nikola Vujadinovic broke with some purpose from defence to set up Maguire 30 yards from goal but his shot went well wide of the target.

But in the 55th minute Vernon made amends for his earlier mishaps when he turned Maguire's cross past Randolph from around two yards out, the ball going in off the far post.

The away fans might have seen their side take the lead just after the hour mark when Considine was played in by Maguire on the left-hand side but his low drive from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by Randolph.

Motherwell responded by applying some concerted pressure to the Aberdeen penalty area but at the other end Vernon headed in to the side-netting after Maguire had escaped the attentions of Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings.

Alan Gow replaced Blackman and Bob McHugh came on for Humphrey, while Mitchel Megginson came on for the Pittodrie side, replacing Maguire.

In the 85th minute Murphy burrowed in to the Aberdeen area but his angled shot from 10 yards flew high and wide.

In the last minute Gow crossed from the right to Jennings but the midfielder, stretching to make a good connection with the ball, missed the target from six yards.

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1 Celtic 34 66 89
2 Aberdeen 34 17 64
3 Motherwell 34 5 61
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5 Inverness 34 5 53
6 St J'stone 34 9 51
7 Hibernian 34 -17 34
8 St Mirren 34 -19 34
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