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New Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin secures 1-1 draw at Motherwell in first game in charge

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin during his first game in charge at Motherwell.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin during his first game in charge at Motherwell.

New Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin oversaw a 1-1 draw with Motherwell at Fir Park in his first game in charge.

The 40-year-old was on course to deliver a debut win when leading 1-0 at half-time through a Vicente Besuijen goal.

However Goodwin was denied three points when the Steelmen levelled in the second half through Mark O’Hara.

Goodwin, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, was straight into the dugout along with his assistant Lee Sharp.

The new Dons manager urged the Pittodrie board on Friday night to push paperwork and registration through quickly so that he could be in the dugout at Motherwell.

Despite the limited window of time ahead of the game Goodwin picked the starting XI at Fir Park.

Aberdeen chairman and the Pittodrie board moved swiftly to appoint Stephen Glass’ replacement.

New Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin in the dugout at Fir Park.

Aberdeen were given permission from St Mirren to speak to Goodwin on Thursday about the managerial post having agreed to pay the £250,000 compensation demanded by the Paisley club.

Talks moved quickly with a deal agreed on Friday night.

It was a rapid turnaround as a new manager is in place just seven days after the 2-1 Scottish Cup defeat at Motherwell precipitated the sacking of Glass .

Last week the cup defeat at Fir Park had seen the travelling supporters react with anger and frustration at the direction the team was moving in.

Cormack and the board delivered a swift and decisive reaction with the appointment of Goodwin.

Meanwhile St Mirren are keen to hold talks with Aberdeen skipper Scott Brown about potentially replacing Goodwin as their next manager.

Brown was secured on a player-coach dual role by Glass last summer on a two year contract until  summer 2022.

Scott Brown watches on alongside Stewart Milne and chairman Dave Cormack at Motherwell.

Former Kilmarnock, Rangers and Everton striker Steven Naismith has also been linked to the St Mirren post.

Brown was ruled out with a hamstring injury suffered in the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone on Tuesday. The skipper sat in the stand at Fir Park with chairman Cormack and former chairman Stewart Milne.

The skipper’s enforced absence was one of three changes made by Goodwin to the starting XI that drew 1-1 with St Johnstone on Tuesday.

Jack MacKenzie and Matty Kennedy dropped to the bench.

Ross McCrorie returned from injury and moved up into midfield to partner teenager Connor Barron who made such an impressive first start against Saints.

January additions Vicente Besuijen and Adam Montgomery were both reinstated to the starting line-up by the new manager.

Mark O’Hara and Aberdeen’s Ross McCrorie battle for possession in the Premiership match.

Aberdeen created the first opportunity in the third minute when Lewis Ferguson’s 22 yard free-kick was saved by keeper Liam Kelly.

Moments later the Dons broke on the counter-attack when Jonny Hayes powered down the right hand side before dinking a cross towards Calvin Ramsay.

The teenage right-back’s header was pushed wide by the keeper.

It was a bright start in Goodwin’s first game in charge.

Motherwell threatened in the 10th minute when Joe Lewis got down to save a low  12 yard drive from Mark O’Hara.

Lewis spilled the shot and Hayes had to turn it wide for a corner to alleviate the pressure.

Aberdeen Captain Joe Lewis during the Premiership clash at Motherwell.

In the 24th minute Lewis breathed a huge sigh of relief when he attempted to play a pass back from David Bates long.

Kevin Van Veen ran down Lewis and managed to connect with the keeper’s clearance 12 yards out, only to force the ball just wide.

Aberdeen had a goal disallowed when Barron crossed into the box towards Ramirez who drifted in between the two centre-backs to fire into the box.

However assistant referee Sean Carr had his flag up for offside.

Vicente Besuijen celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 Aberdeen against Motherwell.

In the 37th minute the Dons had the ball in the back of the net again… and this time it stood.

Montgomery raced down the left hand flank, bursting past Bevis Mugabi, and delivered a superb cross into the penalty area.

January signing Besuijen calmly slotted home from five yards for his first goal since arriving on a four-and-a-half year deal from ADO Den Haag.

Vicente Besuijen celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0 Aberdeen against Motherwell.

Aberdeen had an injury scare in the 44th minute when Hayes and O’Hara went for a 50-50 ball 22 yards out.

Hayes required sustained treatment on the pitch. A stretcher was taken onto the pitch Hayes didn’t use it and limped off in first half time added on.

With the last kick of the half Van Veen curled a 25 yard left footed effort that beat Lewis but cracked off the far post.

Jonny Hayes goes down injured late in the first half against Motherwell.

Half-time: Motherwell 0 Aberdeen 1

Despite the injury fears on Hayes the 34-year-old recovered during the break and there was no change when the teams took to the field for the second half.

Within minutes Hayes was involved when flighting a cross from the left flank towards Besuijen.

However the Dutch attacker’s 15 yard half volley was straight at keeper Kelly.

In the 54th minute Van Veen burst past Declan Gallagher before firing in a vicious shot from an acute angle.

Keeper Lewis did well to push the ball wide for a corner.

<br />Aberdeen Manager Jim Goodwin against Motherwell.

Motherwell levelled in the 68th minute when a free-kick from substitute Ricki Lamie found fellow sub Kaiyne Woolery who controlled the ball on his chest and shot.

His effort was blocked and Van Veen pounced on the loose ball to shot.

Lewis saved Van Veen’s effort but the ball fell to O’Hara who tapped home.

Aberdeen have secured just five clean-sheets in 36 games in all competitions this season.

That defensive frailty will be one of the major issues new manager Goodwin will look to fix immediately.

In the 87th minute Connor Shields was played clean through on goal but blasted wide to waste a clear chance. It was a let off for the Dons.

Full-time: Motherwell 1 Aberdeen 1

ABERDEEN (4-2-3-1): Lewis 6; Hayes 7, Bates 6, Gallagher 6, Ramsay 6, McCrorie 7, Barron 7, Montgomery 6 (McLennan 70), Ferguson 6, Besuijen 7, Ramirez 6.

Subs: Woods, MacKenzie, Emmanuel-Thomas, McGeouch, Jenks, Ruth, Kennedy, Milne.

MOTHERWELL (4-3-3): Kelly 6; Carroll 6, O’Jala 6, Solholm Johansen  6(Lamie 63), Mugabi 6, Goss 6, Donnelly 6, O’Hara 6, Shields 6, Van Veen 7, Efford 5 (Woolery 63)

Subs: Fox, O’Donnell, Shaw, Slattery, Cornelius, Tierney, Roberts.

Referee: Nick Walsh

Man-of-the-match: Jonny Hayes

Attendance: 5,171 (838 Aberdeen supporters)