Football - Well hold Dons to stalemate

Aberdeen were held to a goalless draw for the sixth time at Pittodrie this season as Motherwell became the latest team to frustrate the Dons.

PA Sport

The Dons have slipped down the Clydesdale Bank Premier League table during a run that before this game had seen them score just three times in their previous eight games, and manager Craig Brown welcomed Scott Vernon back into the team in a bid to address that statistic. But it was not to be, as the toothless Dons racked up another blank scoresheet.

In the end, they were relieved when Motherwell's appeals for a late penalty, after Zaine Francis-Angol went to ground, were dismissed by referee Kevin Clancy.

After a low-key start, it was the home side who threatened first. Niall McGinn fizzed a low cross to the back post, where Tom Hateley cleared for a corner as Johnny Hayes looked set to pounce.

McGinn, as ever, was the man most likely to provide something for the Dons, and after 20 minutes he slipped in Ryan Jack, only for the Scotland Under-21 man to send a left-footed shot high and wide.

Much of the action was in front of the Motherwell goal, and they had goalkeeper Darren Randolph to thank for keeping the scores level when he spread himself to block another Vernon header shortly before the half-hour.

Motherwell finally had their first sight of goal in the 32nd minute. Mark Reynolds brought down Henrik Ojaama 20 yards out, and Hateley's free-kick drew a diving save from Langfield.

Josh Magennis replaced Hayes and the former Cardiff man almost made an immediate impact, turning his man within seconds of coming on, only for Randolph to beat away his shot.

Despite Aberdeen having far more chances than their visitors, Motherwell should have taken the lead after 79 minutes. A superb pass set Nicky Law free in the penalty area, and he drew Langfield from his line, but could only direct his shot at the relieved goalkeeper.

A second Motherwell change saw Francis-Angol replace Ojaama, and he appealed strongly for a penalty in the 88th minute when he seemed to be caught by Joe Shaughnessy as he shot for goal, but Clancy was not interested.

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