Aberdeen responded from their League Cup disappointment by beating Motherwell 1-0 at Fir Park.
After a 3-0 loss in Lanarkshire in the League Cup quarter finals the Reds produced a far better performance and claimed victory thanks to a second half goal from Andrew Considine.
Dons boss Derek McInnes shuffled his pack after Thursday’s League Cup reverse.
Dominic Ball and Mark Reynolds dropped to the bench, while Gary Mackay-Steven was left out of the squad completely. Greg Tansey, Kari Arnason and Scott McKenna came into the starting line-up.
The manager also reverted to a back four with after playing three at the back on Thursday, Anthony O’Connor was pushed into midfield alongside Greg Tansey with Arnason and McKenna at centre-back.
The first chance of note fell for the men from the Granite City. Cedric Kipre was pressed by Stevie May tight to the left touchline, the centre-back tried to dribble past May who tackled him and proceeded to race into the box on the left side but his powerful low effort from 12 yards fizzed just wide of the far post.
Other than that chance the opening quarter was a cagey affair with little to separate the teams.
On 25 minutes home goalie Trevor Carson was forced into action.
Aberdeen won three corners in succession and the third broke to McKenna on the right, his looping cross found Considine at the back post and Carson had to punch his header back across goal clear.
Considine also flicked a header just wide four minutes later.
Louis Moult – Aberdeen’s tormentor in the League Cup quarter final – had his first effort at goal on the half hour but shot well over from 25 yards.
The Steelmen tried to turn the screw as the half went on.
Three minutes from the break Peter Hartley shot wide from 12 yards after Allan Campbell’s right wing cross had been flicked on to him at the back post by Charles Dunne, but it remained goalless at the interval.
The second period started in competitive fashion and Motherwell were first to threaten on 53 minutes.
A well-worked move culminated in Chris Cadden shooting from 18 yards but Lewis pushed the ball behind for a corner which the Dons survived.
But on 57 minutes Aberdeen took the lead.
A cross from the right flank by Shay Logan was touched on by May, Ryan Christie gathered and back-heeled for goal from six yards, the ball hit the inside of the right post and broke across for goal for Considine to stab home from close range.
With 13 minutes left the hosts missed a good chance to equalise. Moult flicked a header down the left flank for sub Elliot Frear, fellow sub Craig Tanner was racing to the area but Frear dragged his cutback behind Tanner and the chance was gone.
With seven minutes left the game was nearly over as a contest. Cedric Kipre misjudged the bounce of the ball and sub Greg Stewart was onto it, he got into the box on the left and went for goal from 15 yards but his left foot effort was well saved by Carson.
The Steelmen pressed in the closing stages and Moult saw a 25 yard free-kick deflect off the Aberdeen wall and loop over, Motherwell also had a host of corners but the Reds held on for an important three points.
Motherwell: Trevor Carson, Richard Tait (Elliot Frear 60), Gael Bigirimana, Peter Hartley, Chris Cadden, Carl McHugh (Craig Tanner 71), Louis Moult, Ryan Bowman (Alex Fisher 60), Charles Dunne, Cedric Kipre, Allan Campbell.
Subs not used: Russell Griffiths, Steven Hammell, Liam Grimshaw, Deimantas Petravicius.
Aberdeen: Joe Lewis, Shay Logan, Anthony O’Connor, Kari Arnason, Scott McKenna, Andrew Considine, Graeme Shinne, Greg Tansey (Greg Stewart 56), Kenny McLean, Ryan Christie (Adam Rooney 85), Stevie May (Dominic Ball 79).
Subs not used: Danny Rogers, Mark Reynolds, Nicky Maynard, Scott Wright.