Despite Athletic's position at the foot of the league, opening exchanges were even with Jim Forrest and Joe Harper bringing out good saves from Arrol, and Mitchell and McKimmie disturbing the home defence. Arthur Graham came nearest to scoring when his shot beat the 'keeper only to hit the side net. Then Martin Buchan, the Dons' skipper, broke up a promising Dunfermline attack. Bobby Clark had his first save in 17 minutes, diving to clutch a Robertson shot. George Buchan spoiled a good move by shooting wildly while Harper, who was being closely marked by Fraser, was prone to being caught offside. Eventually the Dons scored after 20 minutes when Martin Buchan combined well with Willie Young and then Forrest to shoot the ball under Arrol's body. The Fifers were not discouraged and equalised five minutes later when, with gaps in the home defence, local boy Barry Mitchell nipped in to place the ball neatly in the net. Immediately afterwards Clark had to dash out to baulk Mitchell. Aberdeen were stung into retaliation and Harper had a shot blocked by Callaghan. They restored their lead when Harper sent Graham through and Arrol misjudged the shot, which finished in the net. Harper was now in good form and Forrest almost netted from his pass. Steve Murray and Harper both had narrow misses from George Buchan corners.
Henning Boel dashed down the wing and passed to Harper whose net-bound shot was deflected by Fraser. The other full-back, Jim Hermiston, also found time and space to attack but George Buchan wasted his pass. Forrest then outpaced the visitors' defence but, travelling so quickly, he failed to control the ball and the chance was lost. Next, Hermiston had a shot blocked and George Buchan, who was having a frustrating afternoon, was replaced by Alex Willoughby. Aberdeen were now applying plenty of pressure as they looked for the cushion of a two goal lead. There was too much possession football and not enough aggression for the crowd's liking. Harper had an excellent opportunity to appease the crowd when the Dons were awarded a penalty after Graham had been felled by Cushley. Arrol dived in the opposite direction from the ball, but it rebounded off the post and was cleared. Almost immediately Aberdeen got their third goal with a brilliant header by Graham, when he bulleted the ball home from a Forrest cross. Then a wonderful save by Arrol deprived Harper from adding to the total. Using Forrest on the right wing and Harper as spearhead the Dons were in command, though the defence looked ominously casual in the visitors' occasional forays. Into the last quarter of an hour Fraser scored with a header and there were now signs of panic in the Aberdeen rearguard. Two narrow misses by Mitchell and Gardner saved the Dons from embarrassment and there were sighs of relief on and off the park as the final whistle was blown.
Source: Match Programme, 1st February 1992