Aberdeen got a bit of bad news when they arrived at Tannadice Park today for the first leg of the North-Eastern League Cup final against Dundee United. A telegram was waiting them from George Hamilton, stating that he had missed the train from Edinburgh. Fleming was drafted into the centre, with Bain at inside right. United fielded the side that was on duty at Methil last week.
Dundee United started as if they meant to sweep Aberdeen off the ground, but the Pittodrie defence had other ideas. Having withstood the initial attack, the Dons themselves got going and soon the home defence was having to do the leather-chasing. Brownlee in the United goal, however, had nothing to complain about. All he had to clear was a lob from Donaldson. A neat move by the Aberdeen front line saw Bain send out to Donaldson, but the winger's shot was high.
The United got a surprise goal in seven minutes. Gardiner fastened on to a Sibley clearance and sent ROSS away on the right. The winger baffled Johnstone by sending in a grounder instead of crossing and the ball entered the net via the post. The keeper misjudged the move badly.
The balance swung evenly for a spell. First one side attacked then the other, but the Dons were on top. With fifteen minutes played however, the Dons drew level.
Bain, with a nicely-judged pass, gave DONALDSON a chance. The Hearts' winger came racing in from the touchline and smartly found the net with a cross shot. Juliussen almost put United ahead three minutes later. Lyon held up the United centre, but was beaten by the bounce of the ball, and Juliussen recovered to send the ball crashing against the crossbar. Following this came a determined assault by the home side. Johnstone punched out a corner from Ross. United came again and Gardiner worked his way through to bring Johnstone to full length. The game was far from being one-sided.
The Dons were the better balanced and smoother moving side in the outfield, but they could not break down a strong United defence. It was wholehearted cup-tie football, with lots of incident, and the 8000 crowd were thoroughly enjoying it. Bain might have put Aberdeen ahead after a good bit of play in partnership with Williams.
Ross was a dangerous raider on the United right and Juliussen was a dashing leader, though well held by Lyon, and the Aberdeen defence never wavered. The Dons' forwards, on the other hand, although playing clever and progressive football, were not getting the results when it came to finishing. A sharp Pittodrie thrust on the right threatened danger but Fleming shot past from a centre from Williams.
Disaster almost overtook the Dons three minutes from the interval. Lyon brought down Juliussen inside the penalty area. Sibley took the spot kick but sent right into Johnstone's hands.
(Half time: 1-1)
Ross was the first to be dangerous on the restart. He came in from the wing at top speed, and although harassed by Dyer he tested Johnstone with a hard grounder.
The Dons replied in snappy style and Donaldson, over on the left, picked up a pass from Fleming to miss narrowly. The Dunlop, well up behind the forwards, had Brownlee in action to a high shot. The 'keeper must have been glad to turn and find he had punched the ball over.
Seven minutes had gone when Dundee United regained the lead. GARDINER gathered a pass fro Ross, side-stepped a defender and banged the ball into the net. This roused Aberdeen and Donaldson was barging through when he was brought down just outside the penalty area. Dunlop took the kick and both Donaldson and Williams just failed to connect. With the lead the United were all out to augment their total. The launched several full-scale attacks and the Aberdeen defence was back on their heels. With twelve minutes played, the home team got another goal. Following a free kick by Fordyce the ball came off a defender to Juliussen, who netted from close range.
A quick change-over this. At half-time the Dons did not look as if they could lose two goals in twelve minutes. Talk about the German panzer division. They had nothing on the United now. The home lot had the Pittodrie defence careering around desperately in an effort to stem the tide. Ross actually had the ball in the net again, but offside saved Aberdeen. Then Johnstone saved brilliantly from Morgan after another all-in attack. JULIUSSEN, the United centre made it 4-1. He beat Lyon and Dyer in clever style and sent into the net - a great goal.
Source: The Evening Express, 13th December 1941