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AFC - Match Report
match report 1972-73 fixture list
North American Summer Tour 
Boston Astros 0 - 5 Aberdeen
Kick Off:          Robb 31, Jarvie 34, Forrest 50, Forrest 77, Forrest 87.  
Attendance: 3,699
Venue: Nickerson Field, Boston, USA
The final match of the North American tour had Aberdeen in Boston to play the Astros. The Astros were part of the American Soccer League (ASL) and the league sponsored a portion of the tour in order to promote the game. Boston had already played two regular-season games heading into the friendly against the Dons, and were unbeaten with two draws and conceded only three goals in those two matches.

In the build-up to the match, Astros manager John Bertos highlighted his team's defence as its strong suit. This was the polar opposite of Aberdeen's first American opponent - the Baltimore Bays - whose focal point was offence. Regardless - defence or offence - the final result was pretty much the same. And not even the chilly Boston weather could stop the heat the Dons were sending towards the Astros goal. ("Chilly" might be an understatement: Some on the Aberdeen bench were wearing three tracksuits just to keep warm!)
The Dons started in a 4-4-2 formation with Steve Murray playing the almost forgotten role of sweeper just behind the back line. Boston managed to hold the fort for a good portion of the first half, but after 31 minutes Davie Robb opened the scoring when he got his head on the end of a George Buchan cross. The goal rocked the Astros as just three minutes later Aberdeen doubled their lead with a great solo effort from Drew Jarvie: He dispossessed an Astros player near midfield and went on a run for goal, taking 'keeper Gustavo Carias off his line and sending the ball into the net. Aberdeen led 2-0 at the break.
Following half time, Dons manager Jimmy Bonthrone subbed on Jim Forrest for Steve Murray in order to focus more on the attack and the substitute had an immediate impact. He quickly made it 3-0 following a good one-two with Drew Jarvie in the 50th minute. Forrest then doubled his tally after a good sequence between Joe Harper and Jarvie allowed Forrest to get into space and slot it past the 'keeper, putting the Dons up 4-0 in the 77th minute.
A typically solid Joe Harper performance was rewarded with a goal three minutes from the final whistle, which was a nice way to round off the tour. Harper collected the ball on the outside of the box, beat two Astros defenders and ensured it was a five-star performance from the Dons in their last game on North American soil. Goalkeeper Bobby Clark didn't have much action with a strong Aberdeen defence in front of him that limited Boston to only eight shots. He did concede he was somewhat out of sorts playing on the AstroTurf surface, but just like the Aberdeen squad that played in Seattle on their AstroTurf pitch, he adjusted well.
The Dons would now enjoy some much deserved and needed time off to recover. The team played 12 games in 11 cities in three countries, taking them from the East Coast to the West Coast and back again, all over the space of a month. Aberdeen's next game would be against St. Mirren in the Drybrough Cup at the end of July.

Author: George Pirie
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