Dons find rare relief

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The Independent Online
Motherwell 0

Aberdeen 1

McCart og 34


IT WAS one of those typically wet and miserable days in darkest Lanarkshire, but for Willie Miller yesterday, it offered hope of a brighter future for him and Aberdeen.

Miller's side had won only two Premier Division matches out of 16 when they headed towards Fir Park while Motherwell had lost only one. Few held out any hope for the Dons, but they responded admirably. They played with more confidence and flair than theyhave all season and they were worth their win, even though their goal was fortuitous to say the least.

It came in the 34th minute when Joe Miller escaped on the right wing and tried to curl in a cross, but his delivery spun off Chris McCart, the Motherwell defender, the ball looped into the air, deceived Steve Woods and dropped into the net.

Motherwell's chances of recovering were reduced considerably when Billy Davies injured a leg and had to go off. His place was taken by Andy Roddie, the former Aberdeen player, but the midfield had lost a key performer and Motherwell were never able to produce their usual creativity. They also then lost Brian Martin with a calf injury which makes him doubtful for Scotland's European Championship qualifying tie against Greece in Athens next Sunday.

Miller was unwilling to say too much after the game - he has not been happy with press coverage of his plight - though he thanked those supporters who have been standing by him and the players. However, although they eased off the bottom of the Premier Division yesterday, Aberdeen have still a long way to go before they can convince all the fans that better days lie ahead.

Miller has already had the backing of the board of directors, but unless his team put together a winning run he will continue to be under pressure. At least he had the comfort of a rare win yesterday.

James Traynor writes for the Herald, Glasgow.