Aberdeen find cure for travel sickness as Motherwell left spewing over VAR calls

VAR was never likely to sneak into Scottish football quietly. Not that Aberdeen were complaining too much as they moved up to third in the cinch Premiership with a 2-1 win at Motherwell.

Jim Goodwin’s side claimed a much needed away win with the new technology bookending this victory as it stepped in to allow a fourth minute Bojan Miovski goal but there was frustration when referee Euan Anderson opted not to utilise it in the frantic closing stages of this game as Motherwell appealed for two penalties in as many minutes.

The Fir Park side were dismissed by the officials with the incident coming on the cusp of the full-time whistle, much to their inevitable chagrin. Motherwell had felt that a haul on the shirt of Ricki Lamie from Anthony Stewart was sufficient for a penalty shout while the ball breaking onto his hand furthered their cause. If a wave of play on was not enough to get their backs up then this game finishing on Stewart climbing on Kevin van Veen ensured their irritation at the scoreline was compounded by the decision making.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Their anger and impotency will speak of the wider picture of just where they find themselves. With just one win from their last seven games, the Lanarkshire side are in freefall as they risk sliding into dangerous territory; they are now just four points clear of Ross County and Dundee United at the foot of the table.

Aberdeen's Bojan Miovski (C) celebrates scoring the opener in the 2-1 win over Motherwell. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)Aberdeen's Bojan Miovski (C) celebrates scoring the opener in the 2-1 win over Motherwell. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Aberdeen's Bojan Miovski (C) celebrates scoring the opener in the 2-1 win over Motherwell. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

In truth, it was a win that Aberdeen probably just merited on the balance of play. Notoriously travel sick, their start to this game was an apt cure for their road trip nausea. They started at a ferocious pace with Miovski giving them an almost immediate reward.

Connor Barron, subject of an improved long-term contract offer from Aberdeen this week to protect the club’s interests after a confirmed move for him this summer, had played in an intelligent low pass through the Fir Park defence to release Miovski. The North Macedonian internationalist collected before calmly scooping the ball over the advancing Liam Kelly to bag his ninth goal of the season.

Assistant Graham McNeillie’s flag went up as Miovski celebrated with referee Euan Anderson calling in the new technology to assist.

As Aberdeen sought to sustain their early tempo Duk had an effort disallowed after Kelly had saved a header only for him to net the rebound from close range. VAR confirmed the striker was offside in the first instance.

It was Aberdeen who looked the more menacing in the final third. Jayden Richardson might have doubled their advantage but for a late sliding block from Ricki Lamie while Duk finished the half by forcing a decent stop from Kelly.

The game continued in the same vein after the restart. Duk headed wide when he ought to have burst the net from Richardson’s cross while the forward dithered in getting a shot away from just inside the box to allow Paul McGinn to get a tackle in.

Goalkeeper Kelle Roos may reflect that he could have done better to keep out McKinstry’s effort which resorted parity with the on-loan Leeds player holding off Stewart as he brought down Connor Shields pass to swivel and spear it low into the bottom corner.

It roused Aberdeen back into action. Jack MacKenzie supplied the cross that Duk this time directed past Kelly and into the bottom corner to restore Aberdeen’s lead.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.