Bob McHugh came off the bench to score a superb winner for Motherwell and heap more misery on Aberdeen.

The home fans had booed the decision to take off striker Jamie Murphy 15 minutes from time.

But replacement McHugh fired a long-range drive past goalkeeper David Gonzalez nine minutes later.

Scott Vernon had a first-half shot saved at the other end, but the Dons rarely threatened and Well's Chris Humphrey also struck the woodwork.

Aberdeen manager Craig Brown had made four changes in the wake of the midweek League Cup humbling by East Fife.

Youl Mawene and Rob Milsom returned from injury, while Rory Fallon and Isaac Osbourne were promoted from the bench, with Darren Mackie, Rory McArdle, Peter Pawlett and Josh Magennis dropping out.

Third-top Motherwell were unchanged for a third successive game despite their defeats by Celtic, St Johnstone and Hibernian, the latter a penalty shoot-out exit in the League Cup.

But they looked determined to change that run from kick-off and, within seconds, Murphy had sent a drive just wide of a post after a fine run deep into the Dons half.

The game did not live up to that lively opening and Aberdeen took another 15 minutes to threaten, with Vernon forcing goalkeeper Darren Randolph to turn the ball wide with a strong hand as the striker tried to find the bottom corner with a low drive.

Motherwell squandered a great chance when Humphrey raced clear of marker Andrew Considine and rounded Gonzalez.

However, the winger opted for power instead of a simple side-foot into the net and sent the ball crashing off the crossbar.

Motherwell struck woodwork again immediately after the break when a cleverly disguised free-kick from Tom Hateley found Tim Clancy, but the defender's header powered against the crossbar.

The game appeared to be petering out until McHugh, on as a substitute after replacing Murphy, won the ball himself off Ricky Foster before unleashing a superb drive past Gonzalez.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Motherwell

  • 01 Randolph
  • 03 Hammell
  • 05 Craigan
  • 22 Clancy Booked
  • 04 Law (Page - 88' )
  • 06 Hateley
  • 07 Humphrey (Daley - 68' )
  • 08 Jennings
  • 14 Lasley
  • 09 Higdon
  • 11 Murphy (McHugh - 75' )

Substitutes

  • 12 Hollis
  • 20 Page
  • 23 Halsman
  • 17 Daley
  • 26 Carswell
  • 16 McHugh
  • 18 Forbes

Aberdeen

  • 20 Gonzalez
  • 03 Foster
  • 05 Mawene
  • 06 Considine
  • 07 Clark (Pawlett - 58' Booked )
  • 08 Milsom
  • 11 Arnason
  • 16 Osbourne
  • 22 Jack
  • 09 Vernon (Magennis - 83' Booked )
  • 14 Fallon (Megginson - 75' )

Substitutes

  • 32 Brown
  • 02 McArdle
  • 15 Pawlett
  • 10 Mackie
  • 18 Chalali
  • 21 Magennis
  • 23 Megginson
Ref: Muir
Att: 4,348

Match Stats

Shots

8 8

On target

5 7

Corners

2 5

Fouls

10 18

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:15 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +1:54

Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +1:54 Booking

Booking Josh Magennis is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +1:50

Josh Magennis concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Craigan.

89:07

Youl Mawene fouled by Michael Higdon, the ref awards a free kick. David Gonzalez takes the direct free kick.

87:23

Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

87:23 Substitution

Substitution Jonathan Page on for Nicky Law.

87:23

Unfair challenge on Tim Clancy by Josh Magennis results in a free kick.

86:03

Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Higdon on Kari Arnason. Direct free kick taken by Kari Arnason.

85:50

Peter Pawlett takes a shot. Blocked by Stevie Hammell.

83:32 Goal scored

Goal! - Robert McHugh - Motherwell 1 - 0 Aberdeen Robert McHugh fires in a goal from just inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Motherwell 1-0 Aberdeen.

82:48

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Robert Milsom from the left by-line, clearance by Stephen Craigan.

81:50

Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

81:50 Substitution

Substitution Josh Magennis replaces Scott Vernon.

81:50

Foul by Mitchel Megginson on Tom Hateley, free kick awarded.

79:28

Andrew Considine challenges Omar Daley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

78:15

Omar Daley challenges Robert Milsom unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Robert Milsom, clearance made by Tim Clancy.

74:53 Substitution

Substitution Robert McHugh is brought on as a substitute for Jamie Murphy.

74:31 Substitution

Substitution Mitchel Megginson on for Rory Fallon.

74:01

Scott Vernon has an effort at goal from 25 yards. Save by Darren Randolph.

70:19

Foul by Rory Fallon on Tim Clancy, free kick awarded. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

68:48

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robert Milsom from the right by-line, save by Darren Randolph.

67:29

Richard Foster restarts play with the free kick.

67:29 Substitution

Substitution (Motherwell) makes a substitution, with Omar Daley coming on for Chris Humphrey.

67:29 Booking

Booking Booking for Tim Clancy for unsporting behaviour.

67:17

Free kick awarded for a foul by Tim Clancy on Rory Fallon.

66:09

Michael Higdon fouled by Youl Mawene, the ref awards a free kick. Stevie Hammell takes the free kick.

65:32

Stevie Hammell restarts play with the free kick.

65:32 Booking

Booking Peter Pawlett booked for unsporting behaviour.

65:17

Peter Pawlett gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darren Randolph.

61:52

Unfair challenge on Stevie Hammell by Peter Pawlett results in a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

61:40

Rory Fallon produces a cross, Scott Vernon takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

60:39

The ball is swung over by Chris Humphrey, Jamie Murphy takes a shot. Save made by David Gonzalez.

58:34

Michael Higdon challenges Youl Mawene unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Gonzalez takes the direct free kick.

57:33 Substitution

Substitution Chris Clark leaves the field to be replaced by Peter Pawlett.

56:13

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Lasley by Robert Milsom. Free kick taken by Steve Jennings.

55:05

Keith Lasley decides to take the corner short.

50:14

Outswinging corner taken by Robert Milsom from the left by-line, clearance by Steve Jennings.

49:09

Corner taken left-footed by Robert Milsom from the right by-line, clearance made by Stephen Craigan.

46:33

Youl Mawene fouled by Michael Higdon, the ref awards a free kick. David Gonzalez restarts play with the free kick.

46:17

Tim Clancy takes a shot.

45:44

Unfair challenge on Jamie Murphy by Kari Arnason results in a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +0:25 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

44:48

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Lasley by Kari Arnason. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

44:36

Shot by Kari Arnason. Blocked by Tom Hateley.

43:42

Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Craigan on Robert Milsom. Direct free kick taken by Richard Foster.

43:28

The offside flag is raised against Michael Higdon. Robert Milsom takes the direct free kick.

40:36

Nicky Law has an effort at goal. David Gonzalez makes a save.

40:07

Isaac Osbourne challenges Nicky Law unfairly and gives away a free kick. Nicky Law restarts play with the free kick.

39:37

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Lasley by Rory Fallon. Free kick taken by Tom Hateley.

39:15

Jamie Murphy fouled by Scott Vernon, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Keith Lasley.

31:52

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kari Arnason by Michael Higdon. Direct free kick taken by Andrew Considine.

27:21

Steve Jennings concedes a free kick for a foul on Isaac Osbourne. Direct free kick taken by Youl Mawene.

25:33

Chris Humphrey takes a shot.

23:27

The assistant referee flags for offside against Jamie Murphy. David Gonzalez takes the indirect free kick.

22:42

Rory Fallon takes a shot. Blocked by Tim Clancy.

17:27

Drilled right-footed shot by Nicky Law. David Gonzalez makes a save.

16:20

Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Robert Milsom from the right by-line, free kick awarded for a foul by Rory Fallon on Stephen Craigan. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.

16:05

Scott Vernon takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

15:22

Jamie Murphy fouled by Isaac Osbourne, the ref awards a free kick. Nicky Law takes the direct free kick.

15:08

Robert Milsom has an effort at goal from 30 yards. Save by Darren Randolph.

13:28

Foul by Andrew Considine on Steve Jennings, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Stevie Hammell from right channel, Kari Arnason manages to make a clearance.

10:35

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Tom Hateley.

10:02

Chris Humphrey takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Milsom.

8:42

Free kick awarded for a foul by Rory Fallon on Tim Clancy. Indirect free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

8:17

Michael Higdon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kari Arnason. Kari Arnason restarts play with the free kick.

8:00

Ryan Jack takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

0:25

Jamie Murphy produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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