The overhead conditions had improved at the beginning of the second half. Aberdeen resumed on the offensive and forced a corner which was well placed by Wishart for Hamilton to add a fifth goal. Wishart was allowed to go through amidst strong claims of offside but his shot hit the upright. Smith went twice full length to save. Then at the other end Reid missed narrowly. Walters had a shot blocked in the strong Duns pressure. Aberdeen went on the offensive again and Leggat scored the best goal of the match from a cross from the right.
Source: Evening Times, 13th February 1954
Source: Glasgow Herald, 15th February 1954
WHAT constitutes a suitable ground according to S.FA. cup rules?My idea was that the ground had to be enclosed by a wall or solid fence to prevent free access to the precincts of the club. Hawthorn Park, Duns, scarcely conforms to this standard. One end of the ground, where the solitary entrance was situated, was enclosed by corrugated iron, but the remainder was enclosed only by a three-strand wire fence and open fields. And is the Tarff ground or some of the others any better than Duns? Yet, according to rule, the grounds must be approved by the S.F.A. The game itself was almost laughable, mainly due to the condition of the ground. Both in a playing sense and physically the Dons were much better equipped than their rivals to withstand the testing conditions. It was all too easy for the Aberdeen players, and I suspect the score would have been bigger on a normal playing surface. It will give you some idea of the difference between the teams when I say that I don't think Fred Martin in the Aberdeen goal handled the ball more than half a dozen times in the second half.
Cup ReformRepresentatives of the Scottish League and the S.F.A. were this afternoon discussing the possibilities of Scottish Cup reform. North clubs seem to have done the case of the small clubs a lot more good on the field and in the matter of attendances. Berwick Rangers, however, must be excepted. The deplorable state of the playing pitch at Duns was not the responsibility of the club. In normal circumstances I should imagine, the playing surface would be quite good. Heavy rain before the start must have kept the crowd down and I estimated the attendance as between 500 and 700. The Duns officials were unable to provide gate drawings at the finish as they had 1000 tickets out on sale. They would have been lucky of the covered their expenses. The Aberdeen club would have received no more than the bare guarantee of fifteen railway fares, plus an additional £20 because the clubs are more than 100 miles apart. This in all would have amounted to £55.
Sporting GestureThe Pittodrie club made a sporting gesture at the finish when Mr William Mitchell, the chairman, told the Duns' secretary that the Aberdeen officials had decided to allow his club to retain the entire "gate." I could have a good deal more sympathy with the Duns club in their financial troubles were they fostering and developing the game in the area by playing local lads. In fact, there was not a single local player in the team against Aberdeen. Most of them hail from Edinburgh and district, and I understand a special bus is chartered weekly to take them to the matches.
By Norman MacDonald, Evening Express 15th February 1954