Airdrie skipper, Sandy Clark, rumoured to be interesting Aberdeen F.C. was keen to impress in his usual bustling style but he was being well-policed by Alex McLeish right from the kick-off. McLeish even found time to attack and headed a Peter Weir corner over the bar. Clark seemed determined to prove he could be a good acquisition for the Dons. With no support, he managed to test both McLeish and Stuart Kennedy before Willie Miller halted him. He did manage to shoot for goal on one occasion but Jim Leighton was not troubled. Gradually Aberdeen took control and Martin became the busiest man on the field as the Dons sprayed the ball about. John McMaster nearly gave the home team a deserved lead in 22 minutes when his 25-yard shot skimmed past Martin's left hand post. Next the Dons' skipper sent Kennedy away but his cross was just too high for the eager attackers. Neil Simpson then brought out the best in Martin with a vicious 20-yard shot. Doug Rougvie went close to scoring from a Miller free-kick. Aberdeen were virtually encamped in or near the Airdrie penalty box but, remarkably, it was the Broomfield side that missed the easiest chance of the half when Clark scooped the ball over the bar from a few yards out.
Slack play by the Dons' defence just after the restart nearly cost a goal. Clark looked to have atoned for his earlier miss but, to Airdrie's chagrin, his shot cannoned off Leighton's legs. Aberdeen reacted swiftly to this shock by substituting Andy Watson for Dougie Bell in 54 minutes and, a minute later, Mark McGhee scored an overdue opening goal. McMaster steered a short corner from Weir deep into the Airdrie penalty area and McGhee slipped the ball past the keeper from six yards. With their defensive shell now pierced Airdrie began to push more men forward in an effort to try to secure at least one point, but the close shaves were all taking place in Martin's goalmouth, where he was performing miracles. He was beaten again in 72 minutes by the promising teenager, Eric Black. He had almost scored twice previously with headers but this time he nodded home successfully a Simpson cross. Martin then saved gloriously a 30-yard rocket from McMaster and Drew Jarvie, who had replaced McGhee, flashed a shot past from 12 yards. In the last minute Erwin, who had taken McKeown's place, shot narrowly past, but by that time Airdrie had succumbed and looked certain to be relegated.