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Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Saturday, 29 November 2008

Aberdeen 2-0 Motherwell

Mark Kerr and Bob Malcolm
Aberdeen's Mark Kerr (left) holds off the challenge of Bob Malcolm

Aberdeen marked manager Jimmy Calderwood's 200th game in charge with victory over Motherwell at Pittodrie.

Jamie Murphy missed a good chance to give the visitors the lead in a goal-less first half.

Gary McDonald made the breakthrough after 61 minutes with a header from Sone Aluko's cross.

Lee Miller sealed victory from the penalty spot six minutes later after Paul Quinn had been sent off for a professional foul on Darren Mackie.

The result moves Aberdeen into fifth place in the Scottish Premier League table while Motherwell slip to tenth.

Motherwell goalkeeper Graeme Smith saved well from Mackie's six-yard shot but the Dons striker had already been flagged for offside.

At the other end, Jamie Langfield was called upon to beat away Keith Lasley's drive before comfortably saving a Bob Malcolm free-kick.

Aberdeen created a good opening on the half-hour mark when Lee Miller's flick put Mackie through on goal.

However, the Dons striker elected not to shoot and his attempted pass to team-mate Sone Aluko dealt with by the Well defence.

Aberdeen players celebrate
The Aberdeen players celebrate McDonald's opening goal

The home fans claimed for a penalty when both Lee Mair and Mackie went down in the box as the Motherwell defence struggled to cope with Charlie Mulgrew's corner. However, referee Chris Boyle waved play on.

Mulgrew then saw his dipping free-kick saved by Smith, with referee Boyle blowing his whistle for an infringement in the Motherwell defensive wall.

Motherwell could have taken the lead shortly before half-time when Jamie Murphy latched onto Chris Porter's flick and fired a shot over the bar.

Andrew Considine made a crucial challenge on Chris Porter early in the second half and the Aberdeen defender was injured in the process.

Considine was promptly replaced by McDonald, who made an immediate impact.

The substitute dived in to meet Aluko's centre and head into the net.

Quinn was dismissed for impeding Mackie as the Aberdeen forward attempted to get on the end of Jeffrey De Visscher's cross.

From the resultant spot-kick, Miller registered his fourth goal of the season.

Motherwell substitute Steven Saunders, who had replaced Murphy, then made an important last-ditch tackle as Mackie threatened.

Lee Mair saw his effort come back off the post and Chris Maguire could not convert the rebound.

Aberdeen continued to press for a third and Scott Severin's deflected shot was well saved by Smith before Mulgrew and De Visscher fired wide in the closing stages.

Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood:
"Motherwell made it so hard for us. They closed us down at every moment and they were always dangerous on the break.

"I thought in the second-half, we started the game much better and got a great goal. It was a wonderful piece of skill from Sone Aluko and Gary McDonald couldn't really miss it.

"Teams come up here expecting it to be very difficult. We lost a few at home at the beginning of the season and our confidence went a wee bit.

"You could see the confidence coming back into the team when we were creating chances. I think we deserved the win in the end."

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
"The game was there to be won by one of us and they got the goals so you can't argue with that. We didn't look enough of a goal threat.

"The effort was there and the attitude was right but we're still not creating enough chances and that was disappointing.

"Paul Quinn switched off and got caught the wrong side. The referee quite justifiably sent him off.

"There was a lot of good aspects to the game and we can take positives into the next game against Hearts."

Aberdeen: Langfield, Considine (McDonald 60), Mulgrew, Diamond, Mair, Severin, Kerr, Young (De Visscher 63), Aluko (Maguire 67), Miller, Mackie.
Subs Not Used: Bateman, Foster, Hodgkiss, Paton.

Booked: Miller, Maguire.

Goals: McDonald 61, Miller 67 pen.

Motherwell: Graeme Smith, Quinn, Hammell, Reynolds, Malcolm, Klimpl, Lasley, Fitzpatrick, Hughes, Murphy (Saunders 67), Porter.
Subs Not Used: Nielsen, Sutton, McGarry, McHugh, Hutchinson, Page.

Sent Off: Quinn (65). Booked: Graeme Smith, Malcolm, Reynolds.

Att: 10,302

Ref: C Boyle

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Aberdeen's Darren Mackie 8.00 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
SPL as it happened
29 Nov 08 |  Scottish Premier
SPL photo gallery
29 Nov 08 |  Scottish Premier

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