Scott McDonald prevented Aberdeen from returning to the top of the Scottish Premiership as Motherwell came from behind to earn a point at Aberdeen.
Adam Rooney’s seventh goal of the season gave the Dons a half-time lead but the former Celtic forward headed home after 73 minutes to deny the Dons victory.
The result ends Aberdeen’s four game losing streak but it was another frustrating afternoon for Derek McInnes’ men.
The Aberdeen manager made four changes from the team defeated 2-0 by Ross County last Friday with Shay Logan, Adam Rooney, Peter Pawlett and captain Ryan Jack reinstated at the expense of Paul Quinn, Andrew Considine, David Goodwillie and Willo Flood.
Former Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee returned to Pittodrie as he took charge of Motherwell for the second game of his second spell at the Fir Park club. He stuck with the same starting XI that lost 1-0 against Celtic last weekend.
Motherwell made a positive start to the match and almost took the lead through Marvin Johnson’s well-struck shot from distance that whistled past the post.
With the Dons were looking nervy at the back, Motherwell passed up another gilt-edged chance to score when Keith Lasley fired wide from the edge of the area when he should have hit the target.
The pressure from the visitors continued with Louis Moult sending an enticing cross into the path of Wes Fletcher, who was denied by a last-gasp block by Logan.
Aberdeen’s first real chance to test Connor Ripley arrived 10 minutes before the break but Jonny Hayes skewed his shot high and wide with his weaker right foot.
But it was Aberdeen who made the breakthrough against the run of play.
The Dons were slightly fortunate to receive a free kick in a promising position for a foul by Stephen Pearson on Logan. Rooney took full advantage of a static defence to head home McGinn’s delivery.
Motherwell’s hopes of getting back on level terms were dealt a blow when captain Lasley limped off eight minutes after the restart and was replaced by Lionel Ainsworth.
The Dons almost doubled their advantage moments later but Rooney’s looping header from a McGinn cross flew inches over the crossbar.
Pawlett passed up an even better chance from six yards out when the ball got stuck under his feet before his eventual effort squirmed agonisingly wide.
The Dons had the ball in the net on the hour mark when Taylor headed the ball across goal for his defensive partner Mark Reynolds to smash home but the strike was ruled out for offside.
That was to be Taylor’s last meaningful as he was forced off with a back injury and was replaced by Paul Quinn.
Taylor’s presence was sorely missed as Well restored parity after 73 minutes when substitute McDonald nodded home an Ainsworth free kick.
Logan almost netted the winner five minutes from time but the Dons defender was denied by a stunning save from Motherwell goalkeeper Ripley.
Motherwell went close at the other end with Theo Robinson denied by an equally fine stop from Danny Ward.
The on-loan Liverpool goalkeeper two more excellent save to keep out Johnson’s powerful effort deep in injury time before preventing Dons midfielder Jack heading the ball into his own net.