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Aberdeen Fight Back Against Motherwell

Updated: Jun 9

Duk Double Claws Back Precious Point in Six Goal Thriller


By: Oliver Kennedy


PHOTOGRAPH: AUTHOR


Love may have been in the air across Aberdeen, but in Pittodrie, tensions were high as the Dons hosted Motherwell in a vital Valentine’s Day fixture. With both teams tied on 25 points and residing in the lower half of the Cinch Premiership table, a win would propel either team towards the top half and away from the danger of relegation. 


The rescheduled match, originally a festive fixture, saw legendary manager Neil Warnock lead Aberdeen out for his first home league game. After almost 45 successful years as a manager across the English leagues, Warnock has taken his first strides in Scottish football in the granite city. If Aberdeen were to gain anything from the fixture, they would have to nullify Motherwell striker Thelonius Bair, whose five goals this calendar year have been crucial for the away side.


Motherwell kicked off the evening’s action, and within minutes a penalty was given to the away side after Georgie Gent was cynically brought down in the box by Nicky Devlin. After a short VAR check, on form striker Theo Bair smashed the ball down the middle to give Motherwell the lead.


Aberdeen were quick to bounce back, maintaining pressure on the Motherwell defence, with a potentially equalising shot from Dons striker Bojan Miovski well saved by the away keeper. An Aberdeen corner became a fast Motherwell counterattack, with the away side doubling their lead after Theo Bair scored his second of the night.


The furious home fans vent their frustration to the players- but the worst was yet to come. Just 5 minutes after Motherwell’s second, they break through the middle of the pitch and a fortuitous rebound allowed Adam Devine to put Motherwell 0-3 up after just 25 minutes. A chorus of boos rang around the stadium, as the away fans cheered on their heroes. 


An apoplectic Warnock had seen enough, ending both Shayden Morris and Dante Polvara’s nights as they made way for Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes and Angus MacDonald. It would take mere moments for Duk to make his mark, bringing the score to 1-3 and giving fans a glimmer of hope. Boos turn to cheers of encouragement, and in the 36th minute Aberdeen defender Stefan Gartenmann reduces the deficit to one goal after slotting home from a corner. 


A breathless first half ends 2-3 to the visitors, with the 15,290 fans left slightly stunned with five goals in just half an hour. After a half time pie and bovril (complimentary of Aberdeen FC I should add), I was ready for another 45 minutes. 


Aberdeen restarted the game with energy and within just 4 minutes they were level, with Duk grabbing his brace with a tidy headed finish. As the game grew old and the players tired, possession became key to Aberdeen’s offence, holding the ball well and for large periods of time. With 10 minutes to go, Motherwell ventured forward, winning a corner. After a skirmish in the box, Motherwell thought they had scored a late winner with Harry Paton striking the ball in the net, but VAR disallowed the goal. 


Six minutes of added time made for a taut atmosphere around the stadium, but the honours were shared as the match ended 3-3. A first point in Scottish football for Neil Warnock, but Aberdeen still have work to do.  


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