Uganda Cranes defender Bevis Mugabi was on the score sheet as his side Motherwell beat Aberdeen in what happened to be their best performance in the Scottish Premiership this season at Pittodrie.
Bevis Mugabi thundered home a header to double the lead. Mark O’Hara had earlier put Motherwell through a penalty, all goals coming inside the first 23 minutes of the game. The win moves Motherwell up to eighth.
Aberdeen, meanwhile, stay fourth, five points behind Hibernian having played two games fewer than the Edinburgh side.
After the game, Mugabi told club media: “Today was a brilliant result for us. It was nice to get my first goal and start climbing the table.”
Aberdeen had been flying before this game, and were aiming for a seventh straight win for the first time since 2015. They had been solid defensively, conceding just one goal during their impressive run.
But as news filtered out before kick-off that McKenna was missing amid talks between the club and Forest, there was intrigue about how their back-three would cope in his absence, with usual starter Tommie Hoban not ready to play three games in a week as well.
Nobody had to wait long for an answer. Motherwell flew out of the blocks, showing no signs of the long slog to penalties against Coleraine on Thursday in the Europa League.
They were awarded a penalty after just four minutes when Mugabi’s header struck the arm of Marley Watkins, and O’Hara dispatched confidently into Lewis’ left-hand corner.
The Aberdeen goalkeeper was then at fault for Motherwell’s second four minutes later, when his sclaffed kick zipped straight to Long, who waltzed into the box and finished into the corner.
And the Englishman didn’t cover himself in glory once again when he scrambled another backpass behind for a Motherwell corner, from which Mugabi brushed aside Ross McCrorie to bullet a header into the net.
It was a comedy of errors from Aberdeen, who had just a Watkins effort off the bar to show for their meagre efforts, but Motherwell deserved their commanding lead as they set about their opponents at a ferocious tempo.
Derek McInnes made three changes at the break as Hoban, Shay Logan, and Ryan Edmondson replaced Ash Taylor, Niall McGinn and Funso Ojo, but it made little difference.
Motherwell were composed, and coasted through the second half with minimal fuss.