Defence Changes Bottled Up Dons Attack
By NORMAN MACDONALD
MANCHESTER UNITED played high-speed, streamlined soccer in the friendly match with the Dons at Pittodrie yesterday evening. They transformed a three goal deficit into a 5-3 victory.
The English players believed in the quick-fire transfer. They showed speed, stamina and the ability to find the open space, and they were lethal at close quarters if given the glimmering of a chance.
Aberdeen shattered any illusions that the United may have had that the game would be conducted at a leisurely pace by flashing in three goals in the first nine minutes.
The pace set by the Dons in the opening stages shook the visitors, but they were quick to recover. With fifteen minutes played they switched their defence.
Irish international full back, Carey, switched from right back to centre half and closed the gap down the middle. McGlen went to left back and Aston moved over to the right.
Manchester United were definitely the better team in the second half, but the Dons contributed to their own defeat. The defence was too generous in the matter of conceding goals.
One of the highlights of the game was the sparkling display of goalkeeping given by Reg Allen. His agility and ability had to be seen to be believed.
Little wonder that the United paid Queen's Park Rangers a record fee for a goalkeeper of £11,000 for his transfer in June.
He had two wonder saves from Yorston and Boyd in the first half, and twice after the interval he stopped shots by the Aberdeen inside right that seemed destined for the net.
Aston had the hallmark of an international back. He revealed a fine positional sense and was sure in the tackle. Equally as reliable and shrewd a footballer was Carey. He put the brakes on the Dons' attack.
The Manchester team made several switches in attack during the game. Twice the veteran Delaney, who demonstrated that he had lost none of his speed or cunning, took over the leadership.
Downie, another Scot, showed he was a clever ball player and Pearson at inside left was ever dangerous.
The man who did most damage, however, was McShane, their left winger, who also hails from this side of the Border. He was limping toward the finish and retired five minutes from the final whistle.
Yorston was the one Aberdeen attacker who could match the English club players for pace, ball manipulation and shooting power.
Against a less brilliant 'keeper than Allen he would have had a hat-trick.
Give the Aberdeen forwards their due, however, they certainly gave the United something to think about in the opening stages with their dash, clever combination and thrust.
The Dons played really good football during that purple patch, and quickly made the Manchester players realise that they would have to open the throttle wide if they meant to win.
In a devastating four-minute spell Aberdeen found themselves three goals up. The scoring started five minutes after the start.
When McGlen failed to intercept a long, probing through-the-middle pass by Yorston, Hamilton was after the ball like a flash. Allen failed to stop the Dons' leader, who tapped the ball into an empty goal.
A few minutes later Baird beat McIlvenny in the jump and Hamilton touched the ball on to Yorston. When Allen left his goal Yorston evaded him and cut the ball into the net from an acute angle, Carey and McGlen on the goal-line failed to intercept.
In nine minutes Yorston finished a clever run with an accurate pass to Hather. The left winger released a terrific shot and the ball rebounded into the net off the post.
It took Manchester United thirty minutes to get their first goal, a shot by McShane being deflected into the net by Glen.
One minute later Thomson was a trifle too casual in tackling Bogan. Martin managed to push out the centre's try and stopped another shot by Delaney before McShane sent the ball into the net.
Another defensive blunder by the Dons in fifty-nine minutes led to the equalising goal.
In attempting to put Martin in possession Bruce passed back short and McShane nipped in to lob the ball over the 'keeper's head into the net.
Manchester United got number four in sixty-nine minutes. When Pearson hooked the ball towards the left it was deflected by an Aberdeen defender and Bogan ran through to score.
Seven minutes from the end Pearson completed the scoring from a perfect pass from Bogan.
Source: Press & Journal, 27th September 1950