Motherwell 1-1 Aberdeen: Jim Goodwin looks at home in snug gilet, some Dons players taking bow this time, one-armed Kevin van Veen

The last time Aberdeen were in Motherwell, their players were lambasted by the travelling fans. This time some were taking a bow in front of them.

Motherwell's Bevis Mugabi in action alongside Lewis Ferguson and Aberdeen's Adam Montgomerey.
Motherwell's Bevis Mugabi in action alongside Lewis Ferguson and Aberdeen's Adam Montgomerey.

Dutch winger Vicente Besuijen took the acclaim after putting Aberdeen ahead in front of the away fans after 34 minutes. An earlier goal from Christian Ramirez was wrongly ruled out for offside.

Just like last week, however, the visitors could not hold on to their lead. The implications aren’t quite so serious on this occasion. Although Motherwell finished the stronger team, Aberdeen, urged on by their new manager Jim Goodwin, held on for a point.

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Goodwin looked instantly at home in his snug AFC regulation gilet. Such has been the swiftness of his appointment it did seem initially surreal to see him marshalling his troops. After all, St Mirren were playing elsewhere.

His new status as Aberdeen manager will have sunk in by next weekend when his coronation is ratified by Sir Alex Ferguson no less at the home clash with Dundee United. Ferguson is in town to unveil his own statue outside Pittodrie. Goodwin's arrival is cause for a double celebration and this result at least confirms Aberdeen are going in the right direction – from ninth to eighth.

The clock was ticking towards 5pm when referee Nick Walsh finally blew his whistle at the end. A crunching tackle by Jonny Hayes on Mark O'Hara after the whistle had gone for an earlier foul held up play for several minutes. It was another bruising encounter between these teams. Kevin van Veen, arm hanging limply by his side following an earlier incident, hit the post with the last kick of the half from the subsequent free-kick.

The draw was an acceptable outcome in the opinion of the 838 travelling Aberdeen supporters. They applauded rather than jeered as the players left the pitch at the end. Motherwell had taken the precaution of housing them in the top tier of the away stand on this occasion.

What a difference a week makes. Or, more accurately, what a difference having the benefit of a new manager bounce makes. Whether this is maintained remains to be seen. But this was a promising start for Goodwin, who only met his new players for the first time in the team hotel on Friday night. He was hands on right from the start and helped warm the players up.

There were so many fascinating strands to this re-match so soon after the pulsating and often bad-tempered Scottish Cup clash that proved Stephen Glass' undoing.

Van Veen later accused the Aberdeen centre-halves of waging an orchestrated attack on him on and off the ball. He was particularly scathing about former Motherwell skipper Declan Gallagher.

The pair’s interactions were heavily scrutinised here. While Van Veen spent most of the match in pain, it was nothing to do with Gallagher - or anyone else.

The striker hurt his shoulder in a 50-50 challenge with goalkeeper Joe Lewis inside the first 20 minutes. Incredibly, he struggled on. Against anyone else, he might have been replaced right away. But this was Aberdeen.

Van Veen has already scored four times against them this season. And lo and behold, even while operating at around 50 per cent capacity, he had a major say in the outcome.

His close-range shot after 68 minutes was blocked by Lewis and O’Hara was on hand to tuck in the rebound. Van Veen had bravely managed to hold off Gallagher and celebrated his part in the equaliser by lifting one arm – his left one, obviously – in salute.