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AFC - Match Report
match report 1937-38 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Aberdeen 0 - 0 Heart of Midlothian
Kick Off:  3:00 PM          
Attendance: 22,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen



Johnstone and Dykes were the outstanding personalities of as hard and thrilling a game as has been seen between Aberdeen and Hearts at Pittodrie.

The Aberdeen 'keeper gave a brilliant display, and three miraculous saves he made in rapid succession in the second half will be talked about for many a long day.
Dykes was the dominating figure in the Hearts' defence. The tall, fair-haired Tynecastle pivot time and again broke up Aberdeen attacks with head and feet. Messrs J. Bogie and J. Black, of the Scottish Selection Committee, who were spectators, must have been impressed by his display, and it will be surprising if he is not included in the team to oppose Ireland at Pittodrie on Wednesday.


The football provided did not attain the heights expected, but this may be accounted for by the fact that several players were playing for caps, and that both teams were desperately keen to secure the points. There was an abundance of thrills, and both goals had escapes, particularly the Aberdeen one, but it is a reflection on the forwards that no goals were scored.
Hearts were the better balanced team. They were more resourceful in defence and more cohesive and purposeful in attack. The Dons, however, showed no lack of spirit, and their attacks, although perhaps not so well conceived as those of Hearts, always carried a threat. Everything considered, a draw did neither side an injustice.
The Dons more than held their own in the first half, and the Hearts goal was first to be in real danger. A swift pass by McKenzie to Armstrong from a throw-in by Warnock saw the centre strike the ball with the outside of his foot to send narrowly past from close range.


After the interval Hearts held the balance of play, and with a quarter of an hour gone only a fine save by Johnstone prevented a header by Black entering the net. It was following this that Johnstone justly earned the cheers of the crowd and congratulations of his team-mates.
First the 'keeper dived sideways to push out a terrific shot by Black. He was struggling to gain an upright position when he was called upon to stop a drive by Briscoe, and he had only got to his knees when he smothered another effort by the right-winger.
The example set by Johnstone seemed to spur on the other members of the team, and for a spell Aberdeen had Hearts defending desperately. Twice McKenzie failed narrowly to find the net.
The Aberdeen defence as a whole was not so steady under pressure as that of Hearts. Johnstone was the exception. McGill was the cleaner kicking back, although Briscoe gave him many anxious moments. Cooper, who was making his first appearance after a lengthy absence owing to injury, seemed on the slow side.
Thomson, at centre-half, kept good grip of Alex. Anderson, but one could not safely sum up his abilities as pivot on this display. Fraser and Dunlop, the wing halves, were prone to keep the ball too much in the air, fatal policy against Dykes.
Fraser was a sound tackier, but reduced his value as an attacker by persisting in sending the ball up the right wing. Had he varied his tactics a little he would have been much more effective. Dunlop beat his man in clever fashion on several occasions, but his distribution was poor.


Strauss caused the Hearts defence most trouble. His speed and penchant for cutting in made him a continual source of danger. There was no more wholehearted player afield than Smith, but his policy of lying well back, although it helped the defence, detracted from the effectiveness of the attack.
Armstrong had no easy task against Dykes, and his team-mates increased his difficulties by insisting in attempting to give him the ball in the air. McKenzie found it difficult to elude Miller, but when the left half was injured in the second period and changed positions with Warren, McKenzie became dangerous.
Warnock, on the extreme right, seldom threatened danger, so closely was he watched by McClure.
Hearts were well served in defence. Waugh was a safe 'keeper, and Anderson, although he found Strauss a hot handful, was far from disgraced. McClure, however, was the better back. He gave a polished display. Of the wing halves Miller impressed until he was injured.
Honours in attack go to Black, the best inside forward afield. He was strong and forceful and combined cleverly. Briscoe, on the right, was clever on the ball and got across many dangerous centres.
Walker, who held a roving commission between half-backs and forwards, did not impress. Anderson, at centre, lacked guile, and Warren, on the extreme left, was subdued.

Source: Press & Journal, 8th November 1937

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Johnstone, Cooper, McGill, Fraser, Thomson, Dunlop, Warnock, McKenzie, Armstrong, Smith, Strauss.

Unused Subs:


Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet:  Waugh; Anderson (And.), McClure: Harvey, Dykes, Miller: Briscoe, Walker, Anderson (Alex.), Black, Warren


Referee: W. McCulloch, Glasgow

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