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AFC - Match Report
match report 1971-72 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Aberdeen 4 - 2 St. Johnstone
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Harper 5, Graham 15, Murray 19, Graham 54.       Aitken 20, Aitken 88  
Attendance: 24,235
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
A big holiday crowd of 23,000 enjoyed a six-goal game. Joe Harper's goal was the best, from a nearly impossible angle. The Dons fluctuated between the brilliant and the mediocre but this win kept them in contention with Celtic for the championship.

Aberdeen were determined to take no chances in their bid to keep up the pressure on Celtic so they opened with a fast and furious brand of football and their pace, skill and ideas proved too much for the Perth Saints. Their sweeping moves from defence with crisp and accurate passing and imaginative running had the Saints' defence in dire straits. It was all too much for Saints who conceded three goals in the first 19 minutes. In 6 minutes Joe Harper scored a well-taken goal. When Gordon failed to intercept a long ball from Martin Buchan the home leader promptly gathered it and rifled it into the visitors' net. The Dons struck again in 15 minutes when Harper and Jim Forrest combined down the right flank and when the latter crossed, Arthur Graham's header ricocheted off the post into the goal. Four minutes later Steve Murray joined in the scoring act when he volleyed the ball past the helpless keeper. Saints bounced back a minute later when Tommy McMillan miskicked to allow Aitken to net off the far post.After the Dons' blistering start the crowd waited expectantly for the goal barrage to continue but they were to be disappointed and disillusioned. Perhaps the players became too complacent but they certainly lost their sense of urgency. The sensational opening 20 minutes were followed by dull fare from an exasperating home team.

Aberdeen restarted with a spell of pressure but Robertson was not troubled. However in 54 minutes he was beaten when Graham was again on the spot to benefit from Forrest's accurate cross. Just after the goal Forrest suffered from cramp and was substituted by Martin Buchan's brother, George. St. Johnstone brought on Whitelaw for Mercer. St. Johnstone now resorted to playing offside tactics in a bid to frustrate Aberdeen and keep down the score. While annoying for attackers and spectators alike, the Dons' forwards showed little ingenuity or imagination in countering the offside trap. Despite this ploy the Dons did get through on several occasions to force Robertson into some good saves, one occasion in particular the Dons were unlucky when Harper made a flying dive to head a McMillan cross against a post. In 88 minutes St. Johnstone had the last laugh when Aitken ran through unchallenged to send the ball past the unprotected Bobby Clark.

This result left Aberdeen 2 points behind Celtic and 5 ahead of Rangers. The defence and midfield had formed soundly but the forwards were both the pride and despair of the onlookers, who had had their appetites whetted by the early goals and who had waited in vain for the main course.

Source: Match Programme, 5th December 1992

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Clark, Murray, Hermiston, Murray, McMillan, Buchan, Forrest (Buchan 55), Robb, Harper, Willoughby, Graham.

Unused Subs:


St. Johnstone Teamsheet:  Robertson, Coburn, Argue, Rennie, Gordon, Rooney, Aird, Mercer, Connolly, Hall, Aitken


Referee: J. R. P. Gordon, Newport-on-Tay

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