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St. Johnstone 1 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: St. Johnstone 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
St. Johnstone scorers: Glancy (pen)
Aberdeen scorers: Bowie.

27/12/1924 | KO:


Up to the time that St Johnstone equalised from a penalty kick, the points as stake at Muirton Park, Perth, seemed safe for Aberdeen. The outfield play of the visitors was far in front of that shown by the Saints, whose half-backs, playing below their usual form, had hard work in meeting the clever Aberdeen's forwards. The home front line had to find openings for themselves, and it was not often that the outside men or the centre had chances to shine. A miskick by M. Boyle, who banged the ball against Bowie, was taken full advantage of by the Aberdeen centre forward, who seven minutes from the start gave his side the lead. Openings for other goals were made by Smith and A. Jackson, the former putting in some good runs and sending over nice crosses. But Dempster saved cleverly, and even when A. Jackson got away with a clear field the home goalkeeper saved. Only twice in the first half was the Aberdeen goal seriously in danger. Hart tried a shot and Forsyth in heading in the ball almost beat Blackwell, but on both occasions the Aberdeen goalkeeper saved smartly. The attack in the second half came mainly from Aberdeen but in one St Johnstone breakaway, Fleming was pushed off the ball and from the penalty kick Glancy equalised. It was only after that that the Perth side made a fight of it, though to the end Aberdeen were the more likely scorers. Over 10,000 spectators were present.

Source: The Scotsman, 29th December 1924

Instead of having to be content with one point from of one goal each, Aberdeen ought to have beaten St Johnstone at Muirton Park, Perth. The restriction of the success was entirely due to the inability of the Aberdeen forwards to accept their chances. Had they done so, St Johnstone must have finished several goals in arrears, and Aberdeen would have been deserving winners. In a keenly and sometimes desperately-contested game, Aberdeen nearly always had the pull. Their defence was steady and sure, and was unfortunate to be debited with a goal from a penalty kick, awarded for some obscure reason. The half-backs were streets ahead of the St Johnstone trio, and the attack was always sprightly, but lacking in the main essential - finishing power. The St Johnstone backs did well by their side, and were in a large measure responsible for the failure of the Aberdeen forwards to clinch matters. The Perth team was not well served at half-back, and the weakness of this division was reflected by the ineffective play of the forwards, who, while not lacking in dash, never showed anything like the same combined tactics that marked the play of the Aberdeen attack.
For Aberdeen, Blackwell had not a great deal to do, and Hutton and Forsyth were brilliant at back, especially the internationalist. James Jackson and Edward were clever half-backs, with MacLachlan only slightly less in the limelight. In attack, Smith, W. Jackson, and A. Jackson were always prominent, but the outside right marred the effectiveness of his play by rather wild finishing. Cosgrove and Bowie were only fairly successful, although showing improvement on previous displays.
Dempster was a daring goalkeeper, who repeatedly used his fists on the ball to great effect, and at back, Penman and McBoyle, especially the latter, formed the strongest division of the team. All three half-backs were weak, although Swallow did fairly well in the second half. In a forward line that was badly supported from the rear, Hart, Ellis, and Sanderson were best.


The Aberdeen attack quickly got to grips with the home defence. Smith, after rounding White and Penman, centred accurately, and Dempster fisted away. W. Jackson met the clearance, to shoot hard, and the keeper again just managed to push the ball round the post for a fruitless corner. The Aberdeen left and right wings both supplied danger, Walter Jackson sweeping the ball behind and Bowie missing with a good shot. After five minutes' play Aberdeen took the lead. Penman, in clearing, kicked the ball against Bowie, and it rebounded behind the back. Bowie easily regained possession, and, running in, beat Dempster with a moderate pace shot. The exchanges continued to favour Aberdeen, and it was only the fine defence of Penman and McBoyle that kept them from augmenting their lead. Through the aid of a free kick, Johnstone ultimately got down on Blackwell, and Sanderson sent wide. In another raid by the home team, a dangerous centre by Ellis was headed away by J. Jackson. After this, the Aberdeen forwards again took up the attack. Dempster fisted away in quick succession from Smith and Edward, and McBoyle, underneath the bar, stopped a shot by Cosgrove. In a reply by the Perth left, Sanderson was brought down, and, following the free kick, Blackwell, while on the ground, saved cleverly from Fleming. Following this the home goal had a narrow escape. Dempster attempted to fist away from Smith, but missed the ball, and then flopped on top of it. He was charged by Bowie, and while they were struggling on the ground Alec Jackson shot the ball into the net. What appeared to be a perfectly legitimate goal, however, was disallowed, presumably for Bowie's charge on the goalkeeper. Play ruled almost entirely in favour of Aberdeen. Off a cross by Smith, Alec Jackson had a shot stopped by Dempster near the bottom of the post. Later, Smith met a centre by Alec Jackson to return the ball in front of goal to Bowie, but the centre forward sent wide. Following this, St Johnstone enjoyed a brief spell of attacking. A shot by Ellis was deflected against the crossbar by MacLachlan, and two corners followed, without advantage to the Perth team. Another dash and centre by Smith went for nothing. Then, at the other end, Blackwell saved a great shot from Hart at the expense of a corner, and the same player and Fleming called upon the Aberdeen keeper immediately afterwards. At this stage Cosgrove was injured, and had to be assisted off, but returned after three minutes absence. Near the interval Alec Jackson got clean through the home defence to shoot but Dempster shot out his foot and deflected the ball to Bowie, who from a difficult angle sent it against the outside of the net. On play, Aberdeen should have been leading by more than 1-0 at half-time.


Equality marked the play after the resumption, but ultimately Alec Jackson got away and was shaping for goal when he was badly fouled by Nicholson outside the penalty area. The free kick availed Aberdeen nothing, but they kept up the pressure, and Hutton had a terrific shot well saved by Dempster. Another chance at scoring was lost by Aberdeen when, from short range, Alec Jackson sent inches high. Had he steadied he must have scored. In a raid by the home forwards Forsyth fouled Fleming just outside the penalty area, and Nicholson's free kick was deflected for a corner, off which Blackwell fisted clear. Aberdeen got back to the attack and yet another chance of scoring was lost. Alec Jackson centred, and Bowie turned the ball in, but Dempster fisted out. The ball just evaded Bowie but went to Cosgrove, who from a few yards' range lifted it wildly over the bar. All against the run of the play, St Johnstone drew level. Forsyth, unable to clear an awkward ball turned to stall off Fleming, and the referee awarded a penalty kick against the back, presumably for "obstruction." Glancy took the kick and beat Blackwell. The reverse caused Aberdeen to renew their efforts in attack. Smith centred and again A. Jackson shot over the bar from good position. Ellis and Fleming exchanged places in the St Johnstone attack, but the alteration made no perceptible difference. Aberdeen always looked the more likely lot to score. Dempster ran out and fielded from MacLachlan, and W. Jackson, from a difficult angle, shot wide. In the closing minutes both teams strove desperately to snatch victory. Each forced a corner, and Dempster fisted clear from MacLachlan, and the whistle sounded with Aberdeen pressing vigorously and unfortunate not to take the lead. Attendance 9000.

Source: Press & Journal, 29th December 1924

St. Johnstone Teamsheet
Dempster; Penman, McBoyle; White, Swallow, Nicholson; Ellis, Glancy, Fleming, Hart, Sanderson
Attendance: 6,000
Venue: Muirton Park, Perth
Referee: J. P. Rowe, Glasgow