Rovers were unfortunate in that Joe Harper made his mark with his first hat-trick for the Dons. The Aberdeen fans in the 8000 crowd went into raptures, and a new hero was emerging, who went on to become Aberdeen's leading scorer. Players on both sides wore black armbands as a mark of respect for the late David Halliday, former Aberdeen manager, and a minute's silence was observed. The Dons initiated the first attack when Jim Forrest ran on to a headed pass from Dave Robb, beat Cooper and tested Reid. When Rovers responded Henning Boel headed clear a dangerous cross from Hislop. A mix-up between Boel and Ernie McGarr almost cost a goal when Hislop's 35 yard cross-cum-shot was left by the two Dons to each other and the ball went narrowly past. A similar incident in 10 minutes cost the Dons the opening goal, when left back Lindsay lobbed what seemed a harmless ball into the goalmouth. McGarr had it covered but Martin Buchan intervened and the ball ended up in the net. Aberdeen retaliated and Joe Harper's miscued effort landed at Alex Willoughby's feet. Reid rescued Raith by tipping the winger's shot over the bar. Harper had a shot well saved and Willoughby's free kick rebounded off "the wall". There were signs of nervousness in the Aberdeen ranks as the breakthrough was not coming. Again Willoughby took a free kick and this time Reid flopped on the ball. The equaliser came in 30 minutes when Reid could only palm out a Harper header and, with the keeper stranded, George Murray scored with a low shot from 18 yards.
Two minutes later the Dons went ahead when Lindsay turned from hero to villain by pulling down Willoughby and conceding a penalty. Harper scored easily, sending Reid the wrong way. A clever combined move by the two cousins, Forrest and Willoughby, culminated in the latter shooting narrowly wide. The Dons were now on top and the Raith defence was having some nervous moments.
Polland stopped Robb as he chased a long through ball from Jim Kirkland. This was a trademark of Robb - selfless running and harrying opposing defences. Polland cut out a pass meant for Forrest and then McGarr thoughtlessly threw out the ball to Kirkland, who was being marked by Brand. Generally the Dons were making it hard for themselves and they should have been more than one goal ahead. Willoughby had a great 60 yard run but Polland again came to Raith's rescue. Harper was now imposing himself on the game and he had a shot well saved. He also teed up the ball for Jim Hermiston, who shot wide. In 64 minutes Harper sent Robb in on goal, he rounded the keeper and shot into the empty goal for the decisive third counter. Murray might have extende; the lead when he collected a throw-in from Robb but, instead of shooting, he tried to find a better placed colleague. With nothing to lose even Polland ventured upfield and Judge headed past from a good position. Harper floored Raith with his flair in 79 and 81 minutes Firstly he combined neatly with Robb, accepted the latter's final pass and scored a lovely goal. Then he struck again when he collected a Willoughb. pass and moved in before flighting the ball cleverly past Reid.