On loan Manchester Utd forward James Wilson finally started for the Dons, and got off to a winning start after securing his first goal for the Dons and our first win of the season at home with a composed sixth minute goal at a blustery Pittodrie.
Wilson made a run to get onto Niall McGinn’s reverse pass and fired across Trevor Carson to get the goal.
He had a largely quiet performance thereafter, who still looked short of match fitness.
His replacement Bruce Anderson nearly sealed the victory shortly after coming on the hour mark, after shooting too high in a frustrating game of two-halves.
Motherwell had their chances too, Carl McHugh hit the bar and Chris Cadden was denied by Joe Lewis late on.
Aberdeen are two points behind second placed Hibs.
Derek McInnes said of the Dons performance: “When you look back at the game it will maybe feel a lot more comfortable than it seemed at the time. We all know the competitive nature of Motherwell and they are never going to give it up and at 1-0 the game is not dead.
“There is no doubt we deserved to go in front. We scored a very good goal from James Wilson and I thought we were in charge in that first half. I enjoyed watching us.
“Today we had to try to get the balance right of having enough attacking flair but also enough robust players to deal with set-plays. We lost a goal last week at McDiarmid Park from a set-play and I thought today we were very comfortable. That pleases me in getting a clean sheet.”
James Wilson told the club website: “I like my home debuts as I’ve scored on a few down the years so it’s nice to keep that run going today.
“I scored on my Old Trafford debut, my Brighton debut and my Sheffield United debut.
“I’ve been here a few weeks now and I’ve just been getting back into training. It’s been a good two- or three-days training so I got the nod today and did the best for the team that I could, lasted 60 minutes. it was a good building block for me.
“It was pleasing to get the goal, but the win was the main thing. The defenders and also the midfielders did very well to keep their discipline and concentration. We were put under quite a bit of pressure at the end of the first half and at the beginning of the second.
“I’m very happy for the team to get the win.
“It was a very tough game, we knew it would be. We knew that we would have to match them physically.
“It’s been a while since I’ve scored competitively in the senior leagues so it’s never a feeling you forget and it’s nice to have it again.
“Any time the ball hits the back of the net it’s an incredible feeling so it’s really nice to get in the mix again.
“It was a great ball from Niall, I have got the touch then got the finish away.
“We linked up really well up front with the service out wide and with Sam. We can rely on Sam to hold the ball in.
“Stevie’s going to play his part as well so it’s a good position to be in at the minute with the competition for places with everyone fit.
“The pressure (on me) is nothing new. I try to deal with it as best I can and if I can keep scoring goals the pressure will lift as I go on.
“I watched the St Mirren game where we won quite comfortably, but since then we’ve got a few draws so I’m coming in to do my best for the team and get goals.
“I’ve had a little taste of Easter Road as I got 30 minutes a few weeks ago. It’s going to be a very different game trying to get into the Semi-Final. We’ll be ready for it and have recovery tomorrow and we’ll go again on Tuesday.
“The results haven’t been the best up until now but we’re back to winning ways and hopefully we can carry that forward.
“The fans were great today and I really appreciate the reception I got when I came off. It was good to repay them with the win.”