Click here to go back to the AFC Heritage Trust Homepage Aberdeen Football Club Heritage Trust Logo  
AFC - Match Report
match report 1972-73 fixture list
Aberdeen 5 - 2 Manchester United
Kick Off:  7:30 PM   Harper 2, Taylor 17, Mitchell 35, Harper 82, Jarvie 84.       MacDougall 15, 72.  
Attendance: 34,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
A bumper 34,000 crowd, surely the largest ever Pittodrie crowd for a friendly, flocked to Pittodrie with the promise of goals as both sides pledged all out attacking football. Despite the absence of new 220,000 signing Ian Moore, plus the legendary Denis Law and Bobby Charlton, United were still formidable opposition with many household names.
With less than two minutes on the clock the Dons sent the crowd into raptures when from an Ian Taylor cross Joe Harper bravely headed home, at the expense of a head injury from Martin Buchan, who tried in vain to clear. Harper resumed play after several minutes of treatment behind the goal as Aberdeen continued to dictate play. Amazingly United equalised with their first attack after 15 minutes, with that deadly marksman Ted MacDougall doing the damage. He rose with his shadow, Davie Robb, and managed to direct his header past a stranded Bobby Clark.
Within two minute, however, Aberdeen restored their lead when a vicious 20yard shot by Ian Taylor swerved away from Stepney at the last moment. A great save by the United keeper, pushing a Jarvie shot onto the base of the post kept the visitors in the game. That let off spurred United onto their best period of the match and only an international class save from Clark i 28 minutes from a Willie Morgan piledriver and an incredible miss by the same player, scooping the ball over with the goal at his mercy from a MacDougall cut back, prevented an equaliser. United paid the price in 35 minutes when, from a Varga crossfield pass, a Hermiston cross was bulleted home by Barrie Mitchell, on his home debut.

George Best, who had rarely been seen in the first half started the second period with a tremendous mazy run and shot well saved at the post by Clark. Despite enjoying the bulk of the play, Aberdeen were shocked in the 72nd minute when in a quick breakaway MacDougall raced through, barged aside a Robb challenge and scored from an acute angle. Hopes of an equaliser were dismissed in 10 minutes later when Harper pivoted on the edge of the box and sent a screamer past a bewildered Stepney. Two minutes later the scoring was completed when Drew Jarvie hooked the ball into the net from close range.

Source: Pittodrie Programme, 5th August 1991

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Clark, Willoughby, Hermiston, Murray, Young, Taylor, Varga, Robb, Harper, Jarvie, Mitchell (Buchan 67).

Unused Subs: Geoghegan, Forrest, Graham, Miller, Murray.


Manchester United Teamsheet:  Alex Stepney, Willie Watson, Tony Dunne, Tony Young, Dick Edwards (Torquay United), Martin Buchan, Willie Morgan, Ted MacDougall, Wyn Davies, Eric Young (Sammy McIlroy 76), George Best.

Unused Subs: Ian Donald, David Sadler, Ian Storey-Moore.


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

Related Links: