AT Easter Road on Saturday, the poverty-stricken state of the Dons' play was shown in technicolour. The players had themselves to blame. They persisted in waiting for the ball instead of going to meet it.
Aberdeen had no plan and seemed incapable of improvising. The team was assailed by an attack of football debility. What a comparison the Hibs team provided.
Denuded of three of their stars, Govan and Reilly were with the Scottish team at Befast, while Smith was on the injured list - the Easter Road players were still speedy, energetic and debonair.
Practically the same Pittodrie team earlier in the week gambolled gaily against Charlton Athletic in a friendly match. The mystery is why so many of the players suddenly lost form at Easter Road.
Only three players emerged from the Hibs game with untarnished reputations. They were John Curran in goal. Kenny Thomson at centre half and Jimmy Stenhouse at inside left.
THE Aberdeen defence was too easily panicked, and the gap that existed between half-backs and forwards was never closed. Even when the attackers did get the ball they seldom did the right thing.
Aberdeen made Hibs look a better team than they really are. The biggest disparity between the teams was the amount of fighting spirit displayed by the Edinburgh side compared with the Dons.
Johnstone, Hibs inside right, was injured in the first half and had to play on the wing for a spell, and in the second period Buchanan, their left half sustained a broken nose and had to move out to the left wing.
Hibs have found an embryo star in eighteen-year-old McDonald, who deputised on the right wing for Gordon Smith. It was his league debut and he scarcely put a foot wrong.
The finishing of the Easter Road forwards warranted more criticism than praise in the first half. They could claim 75 per cent, of the play and looked like getting goals. At the interval all they had proved was that looks can be deceiving.
TRUTH to tell the Dons came nearer scoring than their rivals. That they failed simply served to emphasise that with Younger challenging Kerr, Hibs have no goalkeeping worries.
Aberdeen produced four real eighteen-carat goal-scoring attempts during the match, and three of them were in the first half.
The first came when Kelly dispossessed Cairns and shot from point-blank range for Younger to save and Pearson provided the two others. In each case the 'keeper distinguished himself.
The nearest approach to a score from the Pittodrie team after the interval came from McKenna, when he wandered upfield to bring Younger to full length.
THE Hibs forwards got on the target eight minutes after the start of the second half. What little fire remained in the Dons was extinguished with the arrival of this goal.
It was a well-taken point. Combe cutely sent Ormond away on the left. The winger went spanking in towards goal, rounded Emery in a twinkling and crashed the ball past Curran into the net.
With sixty-five minutes played the home team got their second goal. It brought out in bold relief the indecisiveness prevalent in the Pittodrie defence.
McDonald started the trouble on the right when he beat McKenna to a high ball. When he crossed Johnstone was decidedly slow in getting the ball under control. Eventually he pushed it back to Turnbull.
There was nothing lackadaisical about the manner in which the centre forward rammed the ball into the net.