Aberdeen made an explosive start to the match and Gordon Strachan fired them into the lead with a magnificent goal after only 90 seconds. John McMaster lofted a free kick into the Rangers' goalmouth. Forsyth headed the ball out into the path of Strachan who thundered a right foot shot into the roof of the net from 20 yards. This inspired the Dons to apply plenty of pressure. In ten minutes a flashing cross by Ian Scanlon caught the Light Blues' defence in a tangle and McMaster, Steve Archibald and Derek Hamilton all failed to apply the contact that would have sent the ball into the net. Then Alex McLeish, Strachan and McMaster all had shots at goal as the eager Dons surged forward. Rangers reacted typically with an equalising goal. As Bobby Clark hesitated in going for a McLean cross, John McDonald nipped in to score. Play then raged from end to end and the excitement generated helped to warm the 19,500 spectators on a chilly afternoon. Aberdeen looked the better side. Their possession football was superb and they hit with speed and strength. As half-time approached Scanlon had two tremendous efforts which would have given the Dons the lead their play merited.
Scanlon continued his fine form on the resumption and McMaster should have scored from his cross. Rangers shocked the home team by netting in 49 minutes. Jackson rose to head in McLean's cross with the Dons' defence posted absent. Aberdeen now reacted desperately as they pressed forward. The ball was cleared off the Rangers' goal line on three occasions as the defenders held out. Eventually after 70 minutes, the home team equalised deservedly after all their intense pressure. In a packed goalmouth sheer persistence and courage by Hamilton forced the ball across goal to the waiting Archibald, who hammered it past McCloy. Rangers then substituted Smith for the injured Dawson and John Hewitt, perhaps surprisingly, replaced Scanlon. It did not seem to be the kind of game to risk a raw 16-year-old player. Play continued frantically with both teams giving 100% effort and the crowd breathless with excitement. It seemed that honours would be shared but, with only 90 seconds left, Hamilton pierced the Rangers' defence to net a memorable, last-gasp winning goal. Although this victory left Aberdeen still ten points behind Celtic, they had, importantly, three games in hand, and were to surge to their first Premier League title less than four months later.