Serious Blunders in DefenceAberdeen came a nasty cropper at Muirton Park yesterday evening, when they were beaten by St Johnstone to the tune of five goals to one. The Dons gave one of their poorest displays of the season, and there can be no question but that the better team won. At a critical point in the game Cooper, the Aberdeen back, had the misfortune when passing back to put the ball through his own goal, and from that point the Dons were beaten. The match was played in a storm of wind and rain, and with the elements in their favour the Perth men had much the better of the exchanges in the first half. Still, during this period the Dons defended dourly, and when the interval arrived with Saints leading by only two goals, their prospects did not look at all bad. The feeling optimism was strengthened when shortly after the resumption Armstrong reduced the leeway, but following this the defence made several fatal blunders, and St Johnstone finished the easiest of winners. In a very moderate Aberdeen defence, McGill did fairly well. Fraser, for his fine defensive work, took the honours at half, and in an attack which lacked cohesion and penetration Armstrong and Beynon were most prominent. St Johnstone were sound in defence. Moulds was the star of the half line, and in a fine combining attack Davidson and Ferguson were outstanding.
Opening Thrills.There were thrills in the first minute. Smith saved a stinger from Fulton, and from a Love slip Armstrong beat Clark and brought Wylie at full length with a fast grounder. With eight minutes gone St Johnstone took the lead. Taylor placed a free kick to Mason; the half-back's cross was headed out, but Davidson smacked it into the net first time. Aided by the strong wind Saints pressed vigorously, and following two corners the Aberdeen defence had a busy time. They weathered the storm, and twice Beynon neatly broke away on the left, but Taylor and Clark managed to clear on each occasion. From a fine Mills' cross-field pass Love tested Wylie with a dangerous drooping ball. The Dons fought gamely, but the Perth men were crowding on all sail in an effort to make the issue secure before the interval. There were several nerve-wracking scrimmages in the Aberdeen goalmouth, and Smith on two occasions pulled down balls which the wind looked like swirling into the net. Tennant was dangerous on the home right, and twice tested Smith with fast rising shots. The Perth halves lent the forwards grand support. Caskie, who was making his debut for the first team, won the hearts of the crowd when he rounded Cooper and sent in a terrific grounder which whizzed past the far post. The Dons replied in spirited fashion, and Mills sent past from an Armstrong slip. Mills, who came by an injury, changed places with Beynon. In forty minutes the homesters increased their lead. Smith jumped to a Moulds free kick from forty yards out, missed, and the ball rebounded from the crossbar to Fulton, who tapped it into the net. Armstrong and Mills had a good run, but Armstrong drove fiercely past. The Saints, however, maintained their advantage until the interval.
Smith at Full Length.St Johnstone resumed where they had left off ? pressing - and Smith, at full length, could only touch a Fulton try following a fine run by Tennant. Fortunately for Aberdeen Cooper was in a position to clear. The Dons rallied, and from a Cooper lob Warnock gave Wylie a hot handful. Confident in the knowledge of their lead Saints continued to have the better of matters, and Tennant cleverly beat Falloon and McGill to cut in and send narrowly past. Fraser rallied the Aberdeen forces, and from his slip Armstrong pivoted round to miss by inches. With sixteen minutes gone the Dons reduced the leeway. Warnock cutely backheeled a Fraser slip through to Armstrong and the centre coolly picked his square in the net. In two minutes Ferguson carried the ball forward and gave to Fulton. Cooper robbed the centre, but, in passing back, landed the ball in the net. Smith hadn't an earthly chance of reaching the ball. Twenty-two minutes after the restart Saints put the issue beyond doubt when Tennant forced the ball home during a goalmouth scrimmage. Shortly before the finish Cooper missed a Fulton cross and Ferguson ran in to beat Smith all ends up.
Source: Press & Journal, 12th April 1934