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Aberdeen 2 - 2 St. Johnstone

Scottish Cup Third Round
Aberdeen scorers: Pirie, Hutton (Pen).
St. Johnstone scorers: Munro 2

20/02/1926 | KO: 15:15

THRILLING CONTEST PITTODRIE. Page's Goalkeeping the Feature.

A Penalty Saves Aberdeen

St Johnstone came very near upsetting calculations at Pittodrie, where they established an early lead of two goals, and Aberdeen had to strive desperately hard to get level. Although Aberdeen did most of the attacking in the first half, St Johnstone got the goals. During a lull in the Aberdeen pressure Hart broke away to centre, and while the defence hesitated Munro scored easily from short range. The lead was increased when, during further Aberdeen pressure Stonor stole away and centred to Munro, who netted from what the crowd seemed to regard as a suspiciously offside position. Superior goalkeeping by Page defied Aberdeen until the interval, and enabled the Perth team to cross over with the substantial lead of a couple of goals. Early in the second half Pirie countered for Aberdeen from close in, and shortly afterwards Hutton converted a penalty kick for an infringement that was not apparent to many. Until the end of a thrilling encounter both goals were in danger, with Page the dominating factor in the Perth defence. Apart from Page, those who were most prominent on the Perth side were Jamieson, Whyte, Kirkwood, Black, and Toner. Aberdeen were best served by Hutton, MacLachlan, McDermid, Reid, and R. Bruce. The official number of those who paid for admission to the ground and stand was 21,026 (exclusive of season ticketholders), and the gross receipts amounted to £1299, 6s. The replay takes place in Perth on Wednesday.

Source: The Scotsman, 22nd February 1922

In so far as thrills were concerned, the traditions of cup-tie football were maintained at Pittodrie, where Aberdeen and St Johnstone divided four goals and failed to decide their tie in the third round of the Scottish Cup competition. Those who did not previously appreciate the difference between league and cup-tie football, but who saw the game, will now be enlightened. League form was borne out by the result, but not the actual incidents of play. It may appear paradoxical to say that Aberdeen should have won a game they nearly lost, and if they were unlucky in not winning, it can be said they were equally lucky to finish level. The game was as nearly full of contradictions as it was thrills. In a perfect afternoon, 21,026 persons paid £1299 6s for admission, figures which bear eloquent testimony to the interest the game aroused. Both teams enjoyed a mixture of luck, good and bad. After accounting for nearly all the pressure in the first half, Aberdeen were two goals in arrears at half-time, and it is to the credit of the Pittodrie players that they drew level in a thrilling second half, when the exchanges were much more even. The feature of the game was the magnificent goalkeeping of Page, a giant who guarded Perth citadel. To him more than any other is due the fact that St Johnstone were not well beaten. Mistakes by defenders cost Aberdeen the two goals which St Johnstone obtained in the first period. Blackwell could not have averted either. D. Bruce was much below his best form, but Hutton, apart from a tendency to roam too far forward, gave a fine display. MacLachlan was the best of the half-back line that has done better, and in a lively attack that was unfortunate to encounter such a goalkeeper as Page. McDermid, R. Bruce, and Pirie were best. On the Perth side Page was outstanding. He was splendidly supported by Penman, Reid, Swallow, and Whyte, who got in a power of defensive work. IN attack Kirkwood, Black, and Munro were most prominent.


St Johnstone attacked right away, and Munro in scoring position close in, lifted over the bar. The visitors returned to the attack, and a free kick against Cosgrove looked dangerous, but R. Bruce cleared and let Reid away. The Aberdeen outside right tricked Jamieson, and shot hard, but the shot struck the post with Page beaten. The Aberdeen right returned to the attack, but Swallow cleared, and at the other end Hutton relieved after Hart had centred. Page was again in action, with difficulty gathering a header from Pirie after Smith had crossed. The last named centred and on this occasion Jamieson barged into Reid and prevented him from getting in his shot. The Aberdeen winger was injured in the tackle, but was able to continue. Aberdeen kept yp the attack, and Smith volleyed in a terrific shot, which Page dealt with in masterly style. Subsequently the Perth goalkeeper was repeatedly in action. He saved a shot from Cosgrove, and then dived at a terrific drive by Hutton, who had joined the attack. Reid centred behind the goal, and off a cross by Smith, Pirie had a header that went inches wide when Page could not have saved. Hart brought relief to the visitors, but after beating [?] D. Bruce centred in rear.


With fifteen minutes played, and when Aberdeen looked like going ahead, the reverse happened. Cosgrove failed to gather a pass back by Reid, and Toner got away and centred to Munro. The latter was allowed to remain unchallenged, and while the Aberdeen defenders hesitated, he took deliberate aim and shot out of Blackwell's reach.
Aberdeen immediately resumed the offensive, and Page stopped a shot by Pirie, and subsequently Perth defenders charged down a number of shots in their own penalty area. On one of these occasions an Aberdeen claim for a penalty was turned down. Two corner kicks were fisted clear by Page who continued to defy the Aberdeen attack. Pirie shot from close range, and had a great drive from which the ball swerved wide after beating Page. The Aberdeen right half followed with another shot, and this time the Perth goalkeeper saved. A raid by the Perth right had the Aberdeen defence in difficulties, and Munro headed against the crossbar. Following this Hutton took a free kick 25 yards out and page effected a wonderful flying save. Other two corners fell to Aberdeen, but on each occasion Page fisted clear. Pirie gave Reid a chance, but the latter shot badly from long range when he might have made ground in the first place.


Seven minutes from the interval, while Aberdeen were concentrating on attack, and their defence was lying well forward, Toner broke away and parted to Munro, who at the time was obviously in an offside position. He was allowed to carry on, however, and, while Aberdeen defenders hesitated to tackle, he practically repeated his earlier feat by taking deliberate aim and giving Blackwell no chance. Following this, Aberdeen simply stormed the Perth defence, but the latter, although often beaten, never flinched. Shots by practically all the Aberdeen forwards were charged down, and Page continued to give a wonderful display. He fisted out from Reid, and scraped away a ball from R. Bruce. St Johnstone's lead of 2-0 at the interval was in direct contradiction to the run of play.


On play resuming, St Johnstone attacked on the right, Hart centring behind Blackwell's goal. Following this, Page had to handle a long shot by Hutton. Aberdeen kept up the attack. Page fisted away from Reid, but R. Bruce got possession, and, parting to Pirie, that player, without allowing the ball to reach the ground, deftly flicked it into the net far out of Page's reach. After this reverse, St Johnstone came away strongly, and Munro got through to finish weakly. MacLachlan was injured twice in quick succession, but was able to continue after receiving attention. The game continued at a terrific pace, each defence being raided in turn. Black got through to shoot wide at Blackwell's end, and Pirie was twice beaten by force of numbers when he endeavoured to carve his way through to shoot at Page's end. On one occasion the Aberdeen centre forward was practically through when Page ran out and tipped the ball out of his reach. Smith attempted to return a strong centre by Reid, but only sent the ball behind. Twice in quick succession the ball crossed and recrossed the Perth goal, but defenders and attackers alike missed it so great was their excitement. A centre by MacLachlan was fisted clear by Page, and the ball went to Cosgrove, who sent in a fast shot, but again the Perth goalkeeper saved his charge at the expense of a corner. Pirie shook off two oppon«nts to send in a fast low shot, which Page at full length deflected against the upright, and Penman completed the clearance.


In a raid by the Aberdeen forwards the referee signalled a penalty kick, evidently against Swallow, whose infringement was not quite apparent to those in the press-box. Hutton took the kick, and gave Page absolutely no chance. St Johnstone attacked in determined fashion after this, and nearly took the lead again, Kirkwood sending narrowly past after dribbling through. At the other end R. Bruce sent in a fast ground shot, which Page gathered with difficulty. The Perth attack again came into prominence, and after Toner had centred behind he gave Blackwell a high shot to field, and later the Perth left winger again had the Aberdeen 'keeper in action. At the other end, after Smith had crossed, Page dived to a ball before R. Bruce could get it. Following this St Johnstone rallied again, and Black and Kirkwood both shot wide from comparatively easy positions. In the closing minutes several of the players showed signs of distress, and MacLachlan, Jamieson, and Kirkwood all required trainer's attention. It was a thrilling struggle until the end.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 22nd February 1926

St. Johnstone Teamsheet
Page; Penman, Jamieson; White, Swallow, Lochhead; Hart, D. Kirkwood, Munro, Black, Toner
Attendance: 21,026
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: C. Bilney, Glasgow
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