Attack Upset by First-time Tackling
ST JOHNSTONE WORTH THEIR POINTHopes that Aberdeen would lay the St Johnstone bogey on Saturday were not realised. The Dons dropped a valuable point, and there can be no denying that the Saints fully merited a division of the spoils. The defences were generally superior to the attacks, and although the game never lacked interest, the number of really testing shots dealt with by 'keepers Wylie and Smith could have been counted on one hand. Aberdeen did not play like potential champions, and if they are to continue to lead the League race there will have to be considerable improvement in their play.
Dons' Poor Second HalfThe Dons were, if anything, the more dangerous company in the first half, but after the interval St Johnstone held the upper hand. Except for occasional breakaways nothing was seen of the Pittodrie attack during this period. The visitors started well, and in the opening minutes they served up some smart football. Several shots were blocked, and Armstrong missed a possible scoring chance. Welsh, in attempting to clear, sent against Littlejohn, and the ball came to Armstrong. The centre, instead shooting, tried to trick the oncoming Wylie and lost possession. Beattie missed an even better opportunity for St Johnstone shortly before the interval. Falloon failed to stop a long upfield drive by Adam, and the Saints' leader was left with a clear run in on goal. He shot too soon, however, and Smith saved. McKenzie landed the ball in the net off the post following a McGill free-kick, but the referee's whistle had previously gone for offside.
Pittodrie Attack UpsetIn the second half the St Johnstone middlemen had the measure of the Dons' attack. Their first-time tackling upset the Pittodrie attacking machine, and for the most part Aberdeen were confined to the defensive. Encouraged by their supporters the homesters attacked desperately, and there was an early thrill in the Aberdeen goalmouth. Adam carried the ball through and sent it forward to Beattie. The centre looked like winning an exciting race with Falloon for possession, when the Irishman stumbled and brought down his opponent. An appeal for a penalty by the Saints was ignored by the referee. One other incident during this half is worthy of mention, and it almost cost Aberdeen both points. Beattie rushed through on his own and the Dons, instead of playing to the whistle, appealed for offside. A goal seemed certain, but Smith dashed from his charge and dived at the centre's feet to avert disaster.
Defence GoodWhile there were occasions when the Aberdeen defence was shaky, they emerged from a gruelling game with credit. Smith goal brought off a number of clever clearances, while Cooper was the more confident and polished back. McGill experienced some difficulty checking A. Ferguson. The half-backs were much too busy in defence to lend their forwards any assistance. Seldom indeed have Fraser and Thomson been seen to less advantage in an attacking capacity. Falloon had his hands full with Beattie. The Saints' leader gave the Irishman many anxious moments. Except in the opening stages little was seen of the Aberdeen attack as a combination. There is room for improvement in this department. McKenzie was a hard worker and Beynon had an occasional good run, but there was no outstanding performer.
Lang MissedLang was missed on the extreme left. Devers was a trier, but did not prove a success, and the fact that he was injured early in the second half in a collision with Welsh did not tend to improve matters. Armstrong got few chances and Mills played much below form. This pair will have to show an improvement against Ireland on Wednesday. St Johnstone are not a polished side, but they are better than recent results would suggest. They were sound in defence, Wylie receiving good protection from Welsh and Taylor. Littlejohn got through a power of work in defence, but the star half-back was Dickie, the former Aberdeen player. Much of the success of A. Ferguson and Tennant can be traced to the forcing work of Dickie. Tennant was St Johnstone's best forward, and the best marksman afield. Adam, another former Pittodrie player, did quite well, and, strangely enough, it was during the first half he was seen at his best.
Source: Press & Journal, 11th November 1935