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St. Mirren 5 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: St. Mirren 0 - 2 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
St. Mirren scorers: McCrae 2, Rankine 2, Connor
Aberdeen scorers: McHale (Pen), Smith 20.

01/09/1928 | KO:


Aberdeen attacked in the early stages, and in 20 minute Smith beat Page. A penalty awarded against St Mirren was converted by McHale, and ends were changed with the home side two goals in arrears. After the interval St Mirren had much the better of matters, scoring five goals, while Aberdeen failed to increase their total.

Source: The Scotsman, 3rd September, 1928

After leading by 2-0 at half-time, and appearing to have the issue well in hand, Aberdeen had a defensive collapse in the closing minutes of their game with St Mirren at Paisley, and were beaten by 5 goals to 2. For the most part the exchanges were marked by equality, and it was only during a hectic four minutes near the end, when they scored three goals in quick succession, that St Mirren could really claim superiority. The big margin of victory does not do justice to the losers.
In perfect weather the game attracted seven thousand spectators, who saw Aberdeen have slightly the better of matters in the first half when they scored twice, and might have doubled their score had they been able to accept opportunities at close range. There was much end-to-end play, and St Mirren might have scored on at least two occasions but for grand saves by Yuill.
After the interval the Aberdeen defence was frequently in difficulties, but nobody could have foreshadowed its sensational collapse at the finish, when it could not cope with a brilliant and penetrative St Mirren attack.
Changes in the Aberdeen team worked well until the closing minutes, and it was solely due to the failure of the right defence that St Mirren won so handsomely.
Aberdeen were best served by Jackson, McHale, Hill, Wilson, and Cheyne, and most prominent for St Mirren were Hay, McDonald, Colquhoun, McCrae, Rankine, and Conner.


After an attack by the St Mirren left had been repulsed by Cooper, Aberdeen got going, and Black sent wide from long range. Give and take play followed with both defences being kept on the stretch, and the first approach to a score was when McHale from a free kick swept the ball inches high of the home goal. A miss by McHale nearly let McCrae through, but Jackson cleared. Subsequently Aberdeen should have scored. Merrie got past all opposition, and with Page out of his goal the Aberdeen centre-forward sent the ball outside the post. Later a fine centre by Wilson went abegging, and Merrie again had the goal at his mercy, but sent wide, and Smith had a terrific shot which hit Page on the chest for McDermid to miss the rebound.


Midway through the period Aberdeen took the lead, Smith meeting a centre by Wilson to crash the ball into the net. Following this, Yuill required two attempts to get rid of a fine effort by Conner. St Mirren frequently attacked and twice came near to scoring, while Rankine and Morgan also had good shots that lacked proper direction. After McHale had shot high for Aberdeen. Yuill cleared a cross by Conner, and stopped a shot at point blank range from Morgan, while later he again saved finely from Conner.


Aberdeen rallied again, and after clever play on the right Findlay, inside the penalty area, handled a cross from Cheyne. McHale took the spot kick and gave Page no chance to save. Towards the interval St Mirren attacked in spirited fashion, and Yuill, while on the ground, effected a wonderful one-handed save off a shot by McCrae.
The second half was only minutes old when, following a free kick by Colquhoun, McCrae ran in to head the ball past Yuill from close range. For a time St Mirren were on top, and Morgan and Gebbie both went close with good shots. Merrie netted for Aberdeen, but was "'offside," and subsequently St Mirren drew level. A free kick was given against Jackson, just outside the penalty area, and with the ball accurately placed by Colquhoun, Rankine headed into the net. For a time after this the Aberdeen attack moved briskly, and after McDermid had sent high, Smith had a great shot blocked by Page. At the other end a ball from Gebbie hit the crossbar and glanced behind, and McCrae just missed with a fierce drive.
Following clever play on the Aberdeen right, Merrie might have scored for Aberdeen, but his shot struck Page's outstretched leg while the keeper was in advance of his charge. Aberdeen subsequently forced two corners, but these were cleared, and Yuill did well to stop an awkward ball from Conner. Merrie again netted for Aberdeen after the whistle had gone for "offside." and later, with Page out his charge, Smith sent the ball across an untenanted goal.


It was following these escapes that St Mirren suddenly developed sensational punch. McDonald lobbed the ball forward from a free kick, and McCrae dashed in to head past Yuill. A minute later Rankine scored with a glorious drive, and ere the plaudits had died down Conner dashed past Cooper to beat Yuille a fifth time with a lightning shot. St Mirren's whirlwind finish electrified the crowd, who gave the players an ovation the close.

Source: Press & Journal, 3rd September 1928

Another "Biffing" for the Dons.

A Game Which Should Have Been Won : Serious Lapses in Defence : Yuille Not to Blame.

(By "Bonac.")

The followers of the Aberdeen team were absolutely flabbergasted when the final result of the match at Paisley was announced. Although leading by two goals at, the interval, the Dons were beaten by five goals to two in the end. Such a total, collapse demands some explanation.
Let me say at the outset that when half-time arrived I was very confident that Aberdeen would win. The team deserved its lead, and the changes made were fully justified - up to the cross-over. St Mirren did not impress me as a team likely to win, but once they got the ball past Yuille, there was no stopping them.
There were several reasons for the downfall of the Dons. The right flank of the defence cracked up very quickly, and lost its hold on the St Mirren left wing. That was one of the causes for the defeat, but what led up to all the "pother" was, I feel sure, a word of advice given to Colquhoun, the Paisley right half, by "Andy" Reid the Love Street trainer. He had occasion, well on in the second half, to run on to the field to attend to an injured player, and on his return to the touch line, he was observed, apparently giving instructions to the right half. What the trainer said I do not know, nor do I care, but, finally, with a nod of the head he seemed to indicate that the place for the ball was on the left.
At any rate, Colquhoun was the first player to act according to his instructions, and on every possible occasion he swung the ball over to the opposite wing. It was clear by this time that young Cooper was experiencing difficulty in maintaining his grip on the elusive Conner. The other St Mirren players seemed to realise this too, for they kept on plying Rankin and Conner. There is no need to deal at length with what happened then. The fact, that the five goals scored by St Mirren were shared between McCrae, Rankin, and Conner, the centre and left-wing pair, speaks for itself.

In Defence of Yuille.

Let us further examine the causes of the debacle. When the fifth goal was registered, an Aberdeen director sitting near me remarked that four of the goals were saveable. I agree that four of the goals should have been prevented. But by whom? To say that four of the goals should have been saved draws the inference that Yuille, the goalkeeper, was to blame, but I am convinced that there was no more astounded person on the field than Yuille when the ball trickled under his hands on three of the occasions. I am going to be bold enough to state emphatically that the blame for the defeat does not rest with Yuille. A goalkeeper has very often to stand responsible for the blunders of those in front of him, and in this match there were serious errors in judgment by Yuille's protectors. The goalkeeper might have saved two of the goals, and I daresay he would have done so had it not been that he was taken completely by surprise. There were three balls headed past Yuille, and I contend that on each occasion the scorer should never have been allowed to get his cranium anywhere near the ball. Whose fault was that? Certainly not Yuille's. A goalkeeper can afford to come out to a high ball, but when it is going away from his charge all the time, then it is his duty to keep between the sticks. When the three goals in question were scored, Yuille was in position. Naturally, when a goalkeeper sees an opposing player heading a ball in the goal area, he looks for it coming towards him in the air. Yuille was apparently in that frame of mind. He anticipated a high ball on each occasion, but, instead, the leather beat him on the ground. With regard to the first of the St Mirren's goals, I have no hesitation in saying that the scorer was offside.

Cooper's Inexperience.

However, the point to be remembered is that the ball could easily have been cleared before it got anywhere near Yuille. I am sorry to say that young Cooper was principally at fault during this period. He did not take up the proper position, and seemed to get behind his opponent rather than in front of him. I do not condemn Cooper altogether. It was his first game, and he was up against the best wing on the field. I do think, however, that some of the older and more experienced players in the team could have coached him a little more when it was evident that he was in diffieultY on more than one occasion. With regard to the fifth goal, from the Press box it looked to he a saveable shot, but the ball travelled at a terrific rate into the top right-hand corner of the net, and I question very much if Yuil1e could have got across to it.
It was a somewhat unfortunate baptism for Yuille, but the collapse is not attribUtable to him. Those in front of him had the remedy, and they must stand responsihle for the defeat.
I do not, however, suggest that there should be many changes in the team. Yuille should be given an extended trial. He certainly saved his side in the first period.
I would, however, make alterations in the back division. Cooper has not yet the necessary experience. He has the ability, but a further run with the second team will do him no harm. Jackson is not a left back. He played well enough at Paisley, but I don't like to see a left back nearly always kicking the ball with his right foot. It suggests a lack of confidence in the left foot.
Now we come to the half-backs, a division of a team which I always regard as its backbone. Black was caught napping in the-second half, and he is still to the slow side. McHale was a good, destructive player. That was all. Hill, I must say, was the best of the three. He is not a great defensive player, but he is very clever on the ball, and sends forward the right kind of pass. He can look hack on his First League baptism with satisfaclion.

Missed Opportunities.,/p> Of the forwards, Smith, McDermid, and Cheyne were best. If all the chances had been accepted, I do not think the Dons would have lost. They had more opportunities to score than the Saints, although there were times when I thought the referee was wrong in pulling up the Aberdeen forwards for offside. Cheyne was the most artistic of the five, but he was not in his best shooting form. McDermid worked hard, but ought to have tried a pop at goal more often. He gave one the impression of being frightened to shoot. Smith had the beating of Day, and more advantage ought to have been taken of his crosses. Wilson was smart at times, but his failure to get the ball over, as well as the lack of strength and direction in his shooting, detracted from his usefulness. Merrie was a plodder, but he could have finished better.
Taking the whole team into consideration, it cannot be said they will go far in either League or Cup, and I am afraid the directors will have to spend a "little" money to get new players who will bring the team up to the required strength.
St Mirren were not a great combination but they have a very smart attack. McCrae requires a lot of watching, and when the Saints come, to Pittodrie, I guess the Aberdeen defenders will guard his favourite position, especially when free kicks are being taken. I would say, too, that in young Conner St Mirren have an internationalist in the making.

Source: Bon-Accord, 8th September 1928

St. Mirren Teamsheet
Page; Findlay, Hay; Colquhoun, Walker, McDonald; Morgan, Gebbie, McCrae, Rankine, Connor
Attendance: 7,000
Venue: St Mirren Park (Love Street), Paisley
Referee: J. P. Rowe, Glasgow
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