Aberdeen maintained their perfect start to the Ladbrokes Premiership season with a 2-1 comeback win after another difficult day for Motherwell goalkeeper Connor Ripley in his side’s third consecutive defeat.
The Dons fell behind early on to Marvin Johnson’s follow-up but levelled with a freak goal in the 25th minute when Niall McGinn’s low cross went across Ripley and into the far corner.
The on-loan Middlesbrough goalkeeper had been caught up the park for Dundee United’s second goal last weekend and could only help Billy King’s shot into the net against Hearts in midweek, and he suffered another blow in the 62nd minute.
Ripley came for McGinn’s free-kick but bumped into a crowd of bodies and was on the ground when Ash Taylor headed home the winner.
Motherwell were unchanged from their midweek disappointment but there was a tactical switch as Scott McDonald played further forward.
The move paid off inside five minutes when the Australian released Lionel Ainsworth after strike partner Louis Moult had forced the ball forward to leave Aberdeen exposed.
Ainsworth returned the pass inside and McDonald hit a powerful strike that Danny Ward parried but Johnson was on hand to volley the ball into the net.
Aberdeen, who postponed their midweek clash with Hamilton following their European exertions, were causing problems with their movement, Shay Logan heading straight at Ripley before the opener, and Ryan Jack, McGinn and Kenny McLean all hit efforts wide soon after.
But Motherwell were looking comfortable before being caught out by McGinn’s inswinging cross from the left side. David Goodwillie failed to get a touch but did enough to deceive Ripley, who reacted too late to stop the ball curling in off the far post.
Goodwillie soon lashed the ball home after chesting down Logan’s cross but referee Willie Collum had already blown for a push.
Motherwell came back into it but Jake Taylor shot over from 16 yards and Ward saved Josh Law’s free-kick.
Aberdeen brought on Adam Rooney for Willo Flood to match their hosts’ 4-4-2 formation and the unmarked Goodwillie should have done better when he headed McGinn’s cross straight at Ripley from 10 yards.
Motherwell had a good spell of pressure and McDonald headed wide from Johnson’s far-post delivery before forcing a save from Ward, but they shot themselves in the foot when Law conceded a needless free-kick by tripping McGinn on the touchline and paid the price when Taylor netted.
Ripley made a decent save from a Jonny Hayes drive and Aberdeen brought on defender Paul Quinn for Goodwillie.
Motherwell substitute Dom Thomas caused problems with two dangerous crosses and a long-range strike that Ward pushed wide but Aberdeen came closer in the final stages when McGinn hit the post before Rooney missed a good chance on the break.