Source: The Scotsman, 7th October 1929
Dons Get Better of St Johnstone in Gruelling Game.As the outcome of their victory over St Johnstone at Perth and the defeat of Rangers by Hearts, Aberdeen are now in the position of league leaders - one point ahead of the champions. Celtic, with two matches in hand, are three points behind the leaders. The Aberdeen "A " team retains its place at the top of the Alliance League. Gained by the only goal, secured by Cheyne the second half, this was Aberdeen's first League success at Muirton Park. It was a gruelling game, brimful of incident, the forwards on both sides being particularly lively, and seven thousand spectators saw some fine goalkeeping. Aberdeen were deserving winners. Territorially they had the better of the exchanges in both periods, and their performance was all the more meritorious, because for the greater part of the second half they were handicapped by injury to McLaren, who sprang a muscle and went to outside left, where he limped for the remainder of the game, McDermid going to centre half and Smith to inside left.
Outstanding Players.The feature of the match was the thrustful raids of both sets of forwards, but there was always more punch behind the Aberdeen attack. Yuill was splendid in the Aberdeen goal, his powerful fisting being a feature. Livingstone was the better back, Hickie tackling well, but being erratic in his kicking. Black and Hill shared the half-back honours, and while McLaren frequently pushed forward the attack he was not so good in his defensive game. All the Aberdeen forwards struck their best form, and their merits are not truly reflected in the fact that they only got one goal. McLaren, the St Johnstone goalkeeper, effected many smart saves, and they had numerous shots that were either blocked or just missed their billet. Cheyne, Yorston, and Smith were always prominent, but McDermid and Love also accomplished many clever things. St Johnstone were finely served in defence by McLaren, Forrest, Swallow, and Ferguson, and in attack Main, Stevenson, and Webb were best.
Upright Intervenes.Yuill had to save from Stevenson the first minute, but Aberdeen quickly got going, and Cheyne had a shot deflected. Aberdeen kept up the attack, and Love missed with a first-time effort, and McLaren fielded a centre by Smith. A comer-kick, forced by Yorston, was cleared by Swallow, and alter this Webb raised the siege to send a cross shot past. Fast end-to-end play ensued. Stevenson went close with a hard drive, as did Smith at the other end. While Aberdeen were all out on attack, the home forwards broke away and Stevenson crashed the ball against an upright. After this escape Aberdeen redoubled their efforts in attack. McDermid, Cheyne, and Yorston all had shots blocked, and Smith on the penalty line swept the ball inches high of McLaren's charge. Aberdeen were showing fast combination, and it was brilliant play that led up to McLaren saving from Hill. A miskick by Hickie gave Main a chance that was not accepted, and later Webb hit the top of Yuill's cross-bar.
Aberdeen Force Matters.With play ruling so fast from end-to-end, the interest was sustained. The home goalkeeper had to go full length to deflect a fierce ground shot by Smith, and Cheyne had an effort deflected. Later, Yorston just failed turn in a centre by Smith, the ball going inches wide of McLaren's goal. St Johnstone were hard pressed at this stage, and were fortunate when McDermid got in the way of a shot by Yorston. Hill forced the pace, and again had the Perth goalkeeper in action. McLaren was again lucky when, at the second attempt, he got rid of a header by Yorston. Ultimately the home defence shook off the pressure, and Yuill had to clear whilst harassed by Main and Stevenson. At the other end Cheyne side stepped a defender to fire in one the best shots of the game, but it was slightly wide of the goal. The interval arrived without either side having scored.
Sustained Pressure.St Johnstone's initial efforts in the second half were frustrated by Livingstone, and this preceded a period of sustained Aberdeen pressure. Smith centred, and Yorston had two successive headers cleared with difficulty by the home goalkeeper. Following a free-kick by McLaren, Love volleyed wide. The Aberdeen forwards continued to dominate the game, but while their shooting was powerful, it often lacked direction. Cheyne missed a great chance when he shot wide from Smith's pass, and shortly afterwards the Perth goalkeeper saved at full length from Yorston. St Johnstone retaliated on the right, and after Livingstone had lost possession, Yuill saved from Main at the expense of a corner. It was at this stage that McLaren, the Aberdeen centre-half, was injured, and when he resumed the team was re-shuffled. The other McLaren and Forrest were injured when colliding with each other, but were able to carry on.
The Winning Goal.The Aberdeen goal was in jeopardy when Yuill was penalised for carrying, but the ball was scrambled clear. The period had lasted twenty minutes when Aberdeen took the lead. Smith broke through to square in front of goal, and Yorston cutely slipped the ball along to Cheyne, who netted whilst on the run. Aberdeen continued to hold the upper hand, and McLaren had to exert himself to save shots by Yorston and Cheyne. A St Johnstone rally followed, and in a desperate situation Yuill dashed out and cleared, Livingstone, with whom he collided, requiring the attention of the trainer. End-to-end play ensued. Yorston first-timed over the bar, and McLaren saved from his namesake by fisting over the bar.
Rousing Finish.The game had a thrilling finish, St Johnstone suddenly striking their form, and the Aberdeen defence had a trying time. Yuill misfisted, and while the 'keeper was out of his charge Main shot over. Just on time that player, who had taken up the centre-forward position, was inches high with a header.
Source: Press & Journal, 7th October 1929