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Aberdeen 5 - 1 St. Johnstone

HT Score: Aberdeen 3 - 1 St. Johnstone

Scottish Cup Second Round
Aberdeen scorers: Armstrong 20, Strauss 27, Smith 31, Brady 53, Mills 64.
St. Johnstone scorers: McCall 3

12/02/1938 | KO: 15:00



After they drew level against St Johnstone at Pittodrie, Aberdeen were never in difficulties. They won even more easily score indicates.

The Dons were superior to the Perth side in team-work skill, and nowhere was their superiority more marked than in attack.
St Johnstone will never have a better chance of winning a Cup-tie. They won the toss, and had a strong wind behind them. Add to this the fact that they were a goal up within three minutes, and you will realise that everything was in their favour. But they could not take advantage of these factors for the simple fact that they had not the ability.
They did not possess the power and skill necessary to conceive and execute scoring openings. Aberdeen were momentarily shaken by the loss of the early goal, but they recovered, and by the time the interval arrived had turned the deficit into a two goals lead.


The Dons are due all credit for their recovery. In the high wind they adopted the wise policy of keeping the ball on the ground. The result speaks for the efficacy of these tactics.
There can be no doubt that the better team won. The only excuse St Johnstone can have to offer is that they were handicapped by an injury to Smellie. Midway through the first half the left half received a thigh injury. He took the left wing berth, Caskie going inside and McCall to left half.
This upset the balance of the Perth attack, but there are no good grounds for assuming that it made any difference to the ultimate result.
Saints went ahead in three minutes. Thomson failed to get the ball away from a corner by Howe. Moulds gave to McCall, and the inside left shot into the net.


In twenty minutes the Dons were level. Brady worked his way through to test Wylie with a hard drive. The 'keeper managed to push the ball out, but Armstrong was on the spot to volley it into the net.
Seven minutes later the visitors were fighting an uphill battle. Armstrong engineered the attack. He parted to Brady, and from the inside right the ball travelled to Strauss. The South African made no mistake with his shot.
Saints were given no time to recover. Within four minutes Smith found the net after Strauss had made the running, and the Dons were as good as in the third round.
There was little to enthuse over in the second half exchanges. St Johnstone fought on, but they must have realised they were fighting a losing battle. Aberdeen played well within themselves, but, even so, they twice added their total.
The first goal came eight minutes after the restart. Armstrong and Mills carried the ball through for Brady send into the net. With nineteen minutes played Armstrong veered out to the right, lobbed the ball into the middle and Mills scored with ease.


Except in the early stages the home defence found little difficulty in holding the Perth attack in check. Johnstone in goal had little to do and Cooper was the more impressive back.
Nicholson never gave McLaren, the Saints' leader, a chance. Yet the Englishman at times did not seem too sure of himself with the ball on the ground.
The Dons were well served at wing-half. Thomson was strong and clever, and Dunlop proved an able deputy for Fraser.
A pleasing feature about the forward play was that every member of the line found the net. Brady, who was preferred to McKenzie, played well and proved himself a grand forager and vied with Armstrong for the honour of being the best forward afield.
The Dons' leader gave a sprightly display. He never gave Moulds a chance to settle. He was here, there where. He netted one goal, and played no small part in three of the others.
Mills was seen to best advantage in the first half, when he kept the ball on the ground and opened up the attack.


Smith on the right was clever but must instil more "devil" into his play. Strauss was below form, he scored the second goal that laid the foundations for victory, but he missed three chances which, at his best, he would have seized.
St Johnstone's defence was easily opened up. Wylie in goal was the best of the rear division. Welsh and Taylor were overworked.
Mason was the best of the half-backs, but got little encouragement.
The attack never settled and revealed little cohesion. Howe on the right was the most dangerous forward. McCall might have caused a good deal of trouble had he not been forced to fall back to left half.
Meechan and Caskie were too well guarded to be effective.

Source: Press & Journal, 14th February 1938

St. Johnstone Teamsheet
Wylie; Welsh, Taylor; Mason, Moulds, Smellie; Howe, Meechan, McLaren, McCall, Caskie
Attendance: 21,297
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: W. McCulloch, Glasgow
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride