Aberdeen 0-2 Motherwell: Unpredictability of following Steelmen is illustrated at Dons

Having lost 6-1 at home to Rangers in their previous Scottish Premiership fixture, all logic pointed to Motherwell not picking up any points at a resurgent Aberdeen outfit who’d beaten Hearts and Hibs and drawn 2-2 at Ibrox in their previous three games.

Kevin van Veen won three points for Motherwell with two goals at Aberdeen (Library pic by Ian McFadyen)

But – having been a fan myself for 40 years – I have discovered that rarely do logic and Motherwell FC go hand in hand and so the subsequent 2-0 victory thanks to Kevin van Veen’s double didn’t actually surpise me.

The Steelmen – missing suspended Scotland international Stephen O’Donnell – drafted in Bevis Mugabi at right back in SOD’s place, as well as replacing Callum Slattery with Barry Maguire in midfield and bringing in van Veen for Connor Shields up front.

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And these changes certainly had the desired effect as Motherwell – hesitant, passive and overpowered for so much of the Rangers game – produced a gutsy, resilient and ruthless display in the Granite City to record their first win in six Scottish Premiership matches.

To say that the victory was without concern would be a bit like saying that that journalists never worry about having to wrap up when sitting in a freezing main stand at Pittodrie for two hours.

And it is true that ’Well – who only had 30 per cent possession and mustered two shots compared to Aberdeen’s 18 – rode their luck at times.

Away keeper Liam Kelly, who was outstanding, made a great save from Christian Ramirez’s goalbound header early on and the Dons also missed good first half chances for Lewis Ferguson and Ryan Hedges.

Having survived that hectic spell, ’Well went ahead on 50 minutes when van Veen superbly steered in a Sean Goss cross.

And the lead was doubled seven minutes later when the Dutch forward half volleyed the ball into the net after a long free-kick was headed across goal by substitute Ricki Lamie.

Kelly then made an unbelievable late double save from Ramirez’s header.

Motherwell: Kelly, Mugabi, Solholm, Ojala (Lamie 51), McGinley, O’Hara, Goss, Maguire, Roberts, van Veen (Woolery 80), Watt (Carroll 69).

Referee: Don Robertson

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