Niall McGinn (90 mins)
Jamie Murphy (80 mins)
The William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round
, Dec 1, 2012
Ground: Pittodrie Stadium , Kickoff: 15:00 , Att 6,061
McGinn sets sights on Hampden appearance Niall McGinn has targeted a William Hill Scottish Cup final appearance at Hampden this season, but knows an in-form Motherwell stand in Aberdeen's way of progressing through Saturday's fourth-round tie at Pittodrie.
The Northern Ireland international came close to playing at the national stadium with former club Celtic, whom he left for the Dons in the summer, making the squad on a couple of occasions.
Buoyed by eight goals for Aberdeen this season in an unfamiliar centre-forward role, the 25-year-old is looking to take the next step with Craig Brown's side, although he is wary of the in-form Steelmen who have won their last three away games.
"It is a period of transition for us, in a couple of years we want to be challenging for trophies on a regular basis, that is what the fans deserve," McGinn told Press Association Sport.
"But it would be nice to get to Hampden this season, that is a personal goal of mine.
"I was in a few Celtic squads for semi-finals and finals but never got to play there so that would be extra special.
"I played in cup finals with Derry City and my first club Dungannon Swifts reached a cup final, although I was disappointed to be left out for that.
"It was disappointing to go out of the League Cup to St Mirren so we want to go as far as we can in this competition.
"But we can't look past Motherwell. They are doing very well at the moment and come off a couple of great results against Inverness and Dundee United, so they will be on a high.
"Everyone knows the importance of the game. It is going to be a typical cup tie and it would be nice to get the first goal to settle us.
"We were down 3-1 to Motherwell earlier in the season at Pittodrie in the league and had to fight hard to get back to 3-3, so we know how difficult it will be." After being a bit-part player at Celtic Park, McGinn is thriving on regular football and the added responsibility which comes with a new-found reputation for scoring.
"I'm delighted to be playing week-in, week-out and it is always nice to chip in with a goal," said October's Clydesdale Bank Premier League player of the month." Motherwell manager Stuart McCall has total confidence in second-choice goalkeeper Lee Hollis as he prepares to make his third appearance for the club.
Hollis will play for the first time in 14 months at Pittodrie after Darren Randolph was handed a two-match ban for his clash with Hearts striker Callum Paterson.
The 24-year-old has rarely been seen in a Motherwell jersey since his move from Airdrie in summer 2010. He made his debut in a 4-0 defeat at Celtic Park six days before the teams met in the 2011 cup final and played in a victory over Clyde by the same scoreline in the Scottish Communities League Cup last season.
But McCall insisted he had "100%" confidence in the player for the fourth-round clash.
"Lee got a two-year deal in the summer and he has only played a couple of times for us," the Fir Park boss said. "That's how much faith we have in him.
"Every team I've been at, when you've eight-a-sides normally a team will want to be with the first-choice goalkeeper.
"For example at Rangers, you had Andy Goram and at half-time you didn't want to change around.
"Here it doesn't matter if Darren is in goal or Lee is in goal because Lee is excellent at shot-stopping.
"Lee has been a great number two because he has pushed Darren all the way, hence Darren's consistency levels have been first class. He has an excellent temperament, I have no worries at all of him playing.
"Even at Parkhead, although we lost four goals it could've been eight or nine other than Lee, and he played against Clyde and was terrific as well.
"It's not as though he is a young boy. Although he has not had a lot of match experience, he has a good head for it." McCall had no complaints over Randolph's ban, despite the club sending goalkeeping coach Gordon Marshall to Hampden to fight his case, but he was surprised that Scottish Football Association compliance officer Vincent Lunny had instigated action after referee Crawford Allan took none during the game.
"I thought if the referee sees it, then he deems the punishment," McCall said. "We got done last season for Steve Jennings and big (Michael) Higdon for things the referee has not seen." Motherwell have not lost in the SPL against Aberdeen since 2008, before Mark McGhee and later Craig Brown left the club to take over at Pittodrie.
Aberdeen vs Motherwell
Last modified 17:38 01/12/12
Aberdeen late show earns replay Aberdeen's Niall McGinn continued his predatory form this season as he headed home a last-minute equaliser to earn Aberdeen a William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round replay against Motherwell.
It had, for the most part, been an even match between the two SPL sides. Motherwell had led through Jamie Murphy's superb strike with 10 minutes remaining.
Aberdeen's injury problems have been well-publicised in recent weeks, but they were boosted by the return of Gavin Rae after he had missed the past two games with a hamstring injury. Johnny Hayes also made it into the side despite suffering a similar injury in the midweek league defeat against Inverness.
Rae took the place of Chris Clark, who had been taken to hospital for an X-ray after the midweek game.
Motherwell, meanwhile, were forced into two changes from the side that had beaten Dundee United. Lee Hollis replaced Darren Randolph in goal after the Irishman was handed a retrospective two-game ban following a clash with Calum Paterson in the 0-0 draw with Hearts last Saturday.
Shaun Hutchinson missed out through injury, to be replaced by Fraser Kerr, while an unforced third change saw Stevie Hammell return from an ankle injury to replace Zaine Francis-Angol in defence.
Hayes showed no signs of his injury as he scampered away down the left in the opening seconds, before his low cross was cleared by Kerr with the in-form Niall McGinn ready to pounce behind him.
Hayes had Hollis under pressure within a minute. After his corner was cleared to the edge of the area, the winger fired in a shot that the keeper could only parry, before the danger was cleared.
The lively Hayes threatened again after 11 minutes when his 25-yard strike took a deflection which left Hollis wrong-footed, the ball seeming to come off the keeper's knee before swirling away for a corner.
Joe Shaughnessy was the first name into referee Willie Collum's notebook for a mistimed challenge on Murphy, and that led to a lengthy spell of pressure on the home goal, which saw Jamie Langfield push a Chris Humphrey strike over the crossbar.
Hayes was sent clear by Shaughnessy just before the half-hour, but blazed high and wide of the target.
Motherwell threatened moments later when Henrik Ojamaa bullied his way past Mark Reynolds, only to place his shot wide of Langfield's left-hand post.
The scores remained level at the interval, and it took a while for the action to heat up in the second half at a freezing Pittodrie.
The home side came close to a fortuitous opener after 57 minutes when Shaughnessy's low cross to the near post spun off Kerr and onto the Motherwell man's own post.
A minute later, Hayes popped up again, crossing to the near post where McGinn could only flick his header towards the back post, and Russell Anderson just could not latch onto it.
At the other end, Langfield provided some light relief when he took a swing at Shaughnessy's awkwardly-bouncing pass-back and succeeded only in slicing the ball straight up in the air. The Dons keeper caught the ball on the way down, as the Motherwell attack waited to pounce.
Well were presented with the chance to shoot from a free-kick when Rae brought down Keith Lasley, but Tom Hateley's effort flew over Langfield's crossbar from 20 yards.
Motherwell were convinced they should have had a penalty after 74 minutes, Ojamaa's shot seemingly blocked by the arm of Anderson, but Collum waved play-on despite the veracity of the protests.
It was going to take something special to open the scoring, and it was Murphy who provided it. The Motherwell attacker took the ball on the edge of the penalty area and rifled a superb 20-yard strike beyond the helpless Langfield.
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Substitution||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Rating|
|4||Russell Anderson(sub 87)|
|38||Cameron Smith(sub 87)|
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Substitution||Rating|