Aberdeen came perilously close to losing a seven year record. Since Alex Ferguson became manager the Dons had never lost a match after being two goals in front. The home fans in the 15,000 crowd were stunned as Hearts roared back for a deserved share of the points.
Pittodrie was bone hard (undersoil heating was to be installed two years later) and it was obvious from the outset that the ball was going to be lively and difficult to control. The Dons wore special vests to combat the cold but Hearts made the more dangerous start. Alex McLeish released Tommy McQueen with a magnificent 50 yard pass but there were no takers for the full back's inviting cross. Then former Don, Andy Watson, back at Pittodrie for the first time in a Hearts jersey, tried a shot from 25 yards. Neale Cooper and Neil Simpson were injured in confrontations with Robertson and the referee calmed down all three players. Only a great flying save from Smith stopped Frank McDougall from claiming his 19th goal of the season, but he could not prevent Simpson from scoring the opening goal in 21 minutes. Peter Weir did the initial damage with a teasing cross and Simpson picked his spot from eight yards. A Willie Miller free kick spelt danger and the tall MacDonald just beat Eric Black in an aerial duel.
Smith again prevented a score when he dived full-length to block a low shot from McLeish. The keeper was stranded in "no-man's land" in 34 minutes when the visitors' captain, Kidd, gifted a second goal with a disastrous pass-back. The alert Weir pounced on the ball, rounded Smith and tapped the ball into the empty net. The half finished with Cooper and Whittaker being booked after a disagreement.
Watson tried to encourage his forwards with a couple of dangerous lobs and Hearts immediately showed a great improvement on their first half display with some spirited play. Black fired a 20 yard shot only a yard wide, with Jim Leighton seemingly beaten. The Dons were knocked out of their rhythm and were seldom threatening the Hearts' goal. The pressure by the visitors gained success in 65 minutes when Watson was rewarded for his enterprising play. McQueen was short with a pass-back and, although Leighton blocked Clark's shot, the ball rebounded to Watson and the ball crossed the line, despite Miller's despairing effort to clear. Hearts maintained their impetus and were determined to try to gain at least one point. They equalised in 71 minutes through Robertson. Stewart McKimmie cleared a goal-bound shot by Mackay straight to Robertson, who lashed the ball into the net. Ian Angus replaced Doug Bell as Hearts continued to ask questions of the defending champions. Next Leighton crossed his own goal-line as he clutched a high ball from Black but he kept the ball from going over the line. With 9 minutes to go John Hewitt took over from McDougall but the Dons had disappeared as an attacking force. Fortunately for Aberdeen Celtic lost to Dundee so the Dons actually strengthened their grip on the league title.