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Aberdeen run riot over hapless Motherwell

Press Association logoPress Association 15/02/2017

Adam Rooney has scored a hat-trick as Aberdeen thrashed a shambolic Motherwell 7-2 to strengthen their grip on second place in the Scottish Premiership.

Jonny Hayes had the Dons in front after just two minutes, and there were further strikes from Andy Considine, Rooney and Ryan Christie before the first half was done.

Rooney netted two more goals after the interval, including one from the penalty spot, before Ryan Bowman and Stephen Pearson found the net for the visitors but Peter Pawlett added a seventh for Aberdeen.

The opener arrived when Hayes drilled a low strike in off a desperate defender.

Considine, who signed a two-year contract extension earlier in the week, headed a Niall McGinn corner home from close range just after the half-hour mark.

Rooney stroked home the third two minutes later from a Hayes pass before Christie, on his first start since joining the Dons on loan from Celtic, provided a moment of brilliance to curl a superb strike into the top corner with the outside of his left foot.

Motherwell's misery was compounded on the hour mark when manager Mark McGhee was sent to the stands after an intervention from fourth official John McKendrick.

Five minutes later, Rooney converted from the penalty spot after Hammell brought down Logan and the Irishman completed his hat-trick midway through the second half with a close-range finish.

The Steelmen replied when substitute Bowman headed home a Richard Tait free-kick and they pulled another goal back on 82 minutes as Pearson fired home.

But Pawlett stroked home a low finish within seconds to restore the five-goal advantage and send the Dons three points above third-placed Rangers.

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