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Aberdeen 2 - 0 St. Johnstone

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 St. Johnstone

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Love 58, Cheyne 80.

08/09/1928 | KO: 15:00


St Johnstone started strongly, forcing a corner, which came to nothing. Aberdeen then attacked, but were driven back. Play ranged from end to end, but there was no scoring before the interval. In the second half Aberdeen were the more prominent side, and, accepting a pass from Smith, Love gave McLaren no chance, and near the finish Cheyne added a second goal.

Source: The Glasgow Herald, 10th September 1928

A well known Pittodrie standite who has attended his team's matches for more season tha I would care to reckon was very bitter at half time on Saturday. "the whole side's off its eggs; there's not one single man playing to form, and I'm almost convincing myself that it's the worst team I've seen at Pittodrie for a long time," he said.
"The half-backs have lost all idea of letting their forwards away in the proper fashion, and it it wasn't for the hard, defensive graft of McHale, who is not altoghether playing a brilliant game, they would be at least three goals down. Yuille has saved a couple of certainties, too, but both Munro and McBain could easily have been dispossessed before they got in their shots."

Hopeless Tactics

"I'm far from saying that they are not trying, yet, when I see two backs and two halves bunched together in front of the 'keeper scrambling to get the ball from the feet of the Saints inside trio and boot it anywhere out of danger, I wish I had went round the Brig o' Balgownie for a walk. Besides, when that sort of thing is happening, how can you possibly expect the forwards to get going in the proper way. They are completely out of gear, and are not getting a right chance."
He was fairly in the dumps about that first-half display. And no wonder. I was more than peeved myself. Play was desultory to a degree, and it must have afforded the spectators relief from their qualms when they accorded Gavigan an ovation for fooling Jackson in postage stamp style. I didn't think anything particularly clever in the winger's tactics, for he completely bungled the bag o ftricks when he got clear away.
St Johnstone failed to make hay when the sun shone, and it was their own shortcomings that prevented them from taking the lead. Munro and Company continually swarmed round the Dons' penalty area, and after god, open work finished so poorly, time after time, that Yuille's charge had a somewhat charmed life. But "Dunky" was wide awake when the ball actually came his way. Munro must have got a shock when that low shot of his, which seemed to be booked for a billet in the net beside the upright, was diverted by the 'keeper in a great cat-like dive.

Reason for Success

I didn't run across my standite at the end of the game. I wish I had. His remarks, I'm sure, would have been very illuminating. I don't say that he wouldn't have been better round by the Brig o? Balgownie, but he saw the Dons snap up a couple fo points without doing anything very bright to merit the full award. They just profited because the St Johnstone middlemen took a little too much lemon at half-time. These half-backs had a great grip of the game in the first half, but in ten minutes after the interval every one of them must have felt like lying on his back and studying the sky for a Sunday weather forecast. They had to do some running.
The home half-backs took up the threads of a lost game, and by hitting the ball about let the forwards get ahead of the opposing middle line. The result was that Swallow, Lafferty, and Jamieson cracked up very badly, and simply couldn't bear the brunt of the Aberdeen raids. There were no frills about these raids, and individual work was cut down to a minimum. Merrie and Cheyne did the shooting, and it was only the brilliance of young McLaren that baulked them of finding the net.
Love, ever courageous, got past the keeper, however. Smith went away on one of his typical cantrips, and flashed a great ball across the goal. In a twinkling, Love tore in from the right, and long before McLaren realised the position, the ball was in the back of the net. What pluck! There?s no player in the League today, not even McGrory himself, and I?m not so sure about Jamie Quinn, who can score like "Andy." If his timing had been the least bit faulty he must have set his neck.
The Dons continued their conscientious policy, and Yuille took several pleasant walks between the goal-posts. Then the coup de grace was administered in a smasher from Cheyne, who, along with Merrie, had been popping away at McLaren all the second half. Resourceful and cool, he was uncanny in his positional and anticipatory play, and he alone took the team out of the tight corners.
Jackson and Cooper were evidently misfits. The former played a bad game. Gavigan was his master, and he left his partner with the heavy end of the stick time and again. His first half blunders were numerous. I thought that Black did not stand by Cooper nearly enough. McHale hardly took his eyes off Munro, with the result that Black, instead of keeping his position, went too far into the centre when he should have let the centre-half vary his tactics. Cooper undoubtedly suffered. Black attempted too much, and he could never get back to help the younger player, who invariably had a great distance to cover before meeting his man. On one occasion he ran from the penalty area right up to the half-way line to dispossess Webb. I don't mean to shelter him, but he should be nursed a little more.
McHale has made a name for himself as a worker. He worked hard again on Saturday, but he still has many rough edges. His was bent on constructive methods all afternoon. But he rather overdid them. When he saw Jackson in some of his quandaries against Gavigan, he might have lent more assistance to the back. Yet McDermid and Smith wasted many of his balls.
The forwards were hardly impressive. The McDermid-Smith wing was very much subdued. McDermid was completely "off," and Smith, with nothing like sufficiency of support, never really shone against Imrie and Steele. Merrie was not a leader, but he shot often, and a s a marksman had distinctly bad luck. Cheyne tool a terribly long time to settle down, and his play was rather matked by slowness. His goal was a beauty, and, with Love, can have the doubtful honour of making the best wing afield. The winger, too, ws rather late in getting into his stride, but that might be excused by his long absence from the side. All over, the display of the team was bad. The weakness at back and half-back were glaring, and I am far from pleased with the left wing.

Source: Bon-Accord, 15th September 1928

After giving a lamentably weak display in the first half, during which they were fortunate not to fall into arrears, Aberdeen pulled themselves together in the second period of their match with St Johnstone at Pittodrie, and ultimately won comfortably by 2 goals to 0.
In brilliant weather there were 15,000 spectators.
At times in the opening half the home defence was over-run, and it was surprising how the goal escaped on several occasions, but St Johnstone might have been much more deadly in their shooting. As it was, Yuill, the home goalkeeper, distinguished himself, with several fine saves, and received an ovation at the interval. Jackson was the better back, and McHale was easily the most prominent half-back. Forward the honours went to McDermid, Love, and Merrie, but it was only in the second half that Aberdeen were seen to advantage, and their half-backs and backs did not shine under pressure.
The poor display of St Johnstone in the second half was inexplicable after their form in the first period. McLaren, who was at fault when both goals were scored, gave an otherwise clever display, and brought off many thrilling saves. Steele was the better back, and Swallow did good work at centre-half, but the wing half-backs did not touch their best. In attack the most prominent were Gavigan, Munro, and Webb, but the line was not penetrative, and there was a lack of craft in the inside wing positions.


Just at the start McDermid and Imrie were injured in collision, but both were able to resume. St Johnstone forced a corner on the right, and after this had been cleared Black had a fierce drive that narrowly missed the Perth goal. Strongly tackled by Cooper, Webb was injured and had to be attended on the touch-line. An up-the-middle pass by Smith was not gathered by Merrie, who also missed another chance when, with McLaren out his goal, he shot wide. Following these escapes, St Johnstone attacked with great persistence. A centre by Webb was missed by Yuill, and when Munro fastened on, Jackson kicked out from below the bar. Subsequently St Johnstone riddled the home defence, and Yuill threw himself full-length to deflect a great shot by Munro. Later, the Aberdeen goalkeeper cleared from Webb. Try as they might, the Aberdeen defence could not shake off the eager Perth attackers. More by luck than good judgment, numerous shots were blocked in front of the home goal, and such as Imrie, Lafferty, and McFarlane were at fault in their direction when they attempted first-time efforts. McDermid and Love occasionally transferred play but crosses by the home wingers usually found opponents.


In a period of end-to-end play neither defence distinguished itself. Swallow headed past from Webb's centre, and Smith shot against the outside net. In meeting a centre by Love, Steele almost put through his own goal, and at the other end McHale headed back to Yuill, who luckily was well placed to clear. Towards half-time the Aberdeen defence was again beset. McBain had a point blank shot brilliantly stopped by Yuille, who followed this up with another clever save from that forward. Following a corner kick for Aberdeen, McHale headed against the crossbar, and later Merrie had a fine effort knocked out by McLaren, but half-time arrived with no scoring.


Aberdeen got to business right away when play resumed, and from a pass by Love, Merrie shot inches high, McDermid missing narrowly a minute later. The home team kept up the attack, and after clever work by McDermid, Love had another fine shot that swerved just outside the post. In a rush by the Perth right, McBain sent wide, and later Yuill had to fist away from Gavigan. For a brief spell Aberdeen were forced on the defence, Webb heading over, and later centring behind. At the other end Merrie was again just off the mark with a particularly good shot.


Thirteen minutes had gone when Smith centred strongly, and Love rushing in headed into the net. After this success Aberdeen were a much improved team. Smart combination between Black, Cheyne, and Merrie resulted in McLaren saving brilliantly from the home centre-forward, and Love sent a terrific drive against the crossbar. The pressure was maintained, and McLaren had to go full length to a grounder by Cheyne, Yuill having to field from Gavigan at the other end. A curling shot by Love was saved by McLaren, and subsequently Cheyne muddled a shot with the Perth keeper out of his charge. Aberdeen at this stage overwhelmed the opposition, and from a pass by Love, Merrie sent inches wide, and Jamieson was winded when he got in front of a fierce shot by Cheyne.


Ten minutes from the end Aberdeen got another goal. Jackson had a long return fisted out by McLaren, and Cheyne getting possession shot the ball into the side net. Play continued to favour Aberdeen. Love just failed to reach a pass from Smith, and McLaren effected a wonderful flying save of a shot by Cheyne, who later swept another shot over the bar. In the last minute Jackson was injured and had to be assisted off.

Source: Press & Journal, 10th September 1928

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Yuill, Cooper, Jackson, Black, McHale, Hill, Love, Cheyne, Merrie, McDermid, Smith.
St. Johnstone Teamsheet
McLaren; Steele, Jamieson; Imrie, Swallow, Lafferty; Gavigan, McBain, Monro, McFarlane, Webb
Attendance: 15,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: J. P. Rowe, Glasgow
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