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Curtis Main hits crossbar during Aberdeen’s goalless draw with Motherwell

Aberdeen v NSI Runavik – UEFA Europa League – First Qualifying Round – Pittodrie Stadium
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Aberdeen striker Curtis Main was denied a winner against former club Motherwell by the crossbar during a goalless draw at Fir Park.

Main headed against the frame of the goal from close range in the 13th minute of a tight Scottish Premiership encounter.

Any fans logging on and hoping for some festive excitement ahead of this year’s muted Christmas celebrations would have been disappointed following an underwhelming contest.

Aberdeen dropped out of the top three and Motherwell remain without a win since Halloween but the home team at least halted a four-match losing run to stay in the top six.

Tommie Hoban shrugged off a hamstring problem to start in a back three for Aberdeen, while Mark O’Hara returned to Motherwell’s three-man central defence as Bevis Mugabi dropped to the bench to accommodate Liam Polworth.

Main and Matty Kennedy had early openings which were snuffed out by the home team before the former came close.

The striker rose to meet a Ryan Hedges corner and headed against the bar from inside the six-yard box.

The visitors continued to dominate and Jordan Archer made a smart stop from Jonny Hayes after a free-kick was rolled to the wide man.

Motherwell improved towards the end of the half but could not trouble Joe Lewis from a series of set-pieces.

Aberdeen brought on Sam Cosgrove for Connor McLennan at half-time to give them a second striker but both teams proceeded to cancel each other out.

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson waited until midway through the half before making his first change and it was a straight swap as Devante Cole replaced Callum Lang up front.

Both goalkeepers continued to be virtual bystanders.

Motherwell defended their box very well when Aberdeen put the ball in and, when O’Hara’s loose pass put the hosts in trouble, Polworth got back well to deny Cosgrove.

At the other end Cole’s ball across the face of goal was crying out for a claret-and-amber jersey to pounce but it was cleared.

Motherwell’s best chance came in the 79th minute when Tony Watt cut the ball back for Polworth but his first-time effort hit an Aberdeen defender.

There was plenty of effort from both teams in the final stages but, unsurprisingly, no late drama.