GOAL LEAD TURNED INTO GOAL DEFICIT: NEWCOMERS DO NOT SHINE
INJURY TO MILLS WILL INCAPACITATE HIM FOR SIX WEEKS
Aberdeen's visit to Paisley last night ended disastrously. Not only were they beaten 2-1, but Mills, their international inside-left, fractured his left wrist five minutes after the start of the second half.
It happened in simple fashion. Mills and Cunningham jumped for a high ball, and the Aberdeen player fell on his left arm. He was removed to the Western Infirmary to have the injured limb set, and will be out of the game for about six weeks.
This, combined with the fact that Strauss has not fully recovered from an appendix operation, is a bad blow to Aberdeen.
When Mills was injured the score stood at one all, but with the departure of Mills and the return of Knox, the St Mirren centre, who retired to the pavilion with a head injury twenty-two minutes after the start of the match, the Paisley team held a decided territorial advantage.
Whether or not Aberdeen would have been beaten had they not lost the services of Mills can only be a matter of conjecture.
Exchanges were fierce from the start, and there was more destructive than constructive football. In the first period Aberdeen were the more aggressive, but after the interval the Dons were kept on the defensive except for occasional breakaways.
The Aberdeen players instilled more dash into their work than was the case at Falkirk on Saturday, but they were not particularly convincing, and have yet to reveal the form of last season.
The defence underwent a terrific gruelling in the second period at Paisley, and mistakes were frequent.
Johnstone kept a good goal, and Cooper was a stronger back than at Brockville. Considering that it was his first game for the League side Newton did fairly well, although he found Ferguson a slippery customer at times.
Dunlop, at centre-half, was not impressive. He started well but after the interval he was often in trouble against Knox. Thomson was disappointing and will have to show improvement. Fraser was the best of the trio, defending strongly throughout.
Near the close he forced on play in an effort secure the equaliser.
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Lang and Brady on the extreme wings were weak. The former was clever on the ball, but was prone to delay his centres too long. Brady did little of note, and was well held by Craven. Armstrong was a lively leader, and Mills until he was injured was often prominent with clever passes.
George Scott, who came in for McKenzie, showed smart touches, but lacked forcefulness.
McCloy, Craven and Kelly were always prominent in the St Mirren rear lines, and in a free-moving, but somewhat erratic front line Rankin was outstanding. Knox was a plucky leader, and Ferguson a dangerous right winger.
Aberdeen started off at great pace but failed to get in touch with McCloy.
Saints were first to threaten danger. A free-kick against Dunlop saw Kelly send the ball out to the unmarked Hanlin, and Johnstone saved at the foot of the post.
The Dons were trifle unlucky when Armstrong beat both Cunningham and McCloy to a clever Scott header, and when clean through stumbled, for Craven rush in and clear. A minute later Mills took a cross from the right first time, and McCloy saved at point-blank range.
In twenty-two minutes Knox and Dunlop collided in a St Mirren attack. Both men fell to the ground, and while Dunlop quickly recovered Knox had to be carried off. During his absence the home team set up a vigorous offensive, and Johnstone brought off a grand save from a Rankin free kick.
Twenty-five minutes had gone when Aberdeen took the lead. Fraser swept the ball up the right, Cunningham was slow to clear, and Armstrong nipped in to dispossess the centre-half, and run on to send into the net.
Saints, despite their handicap, fought back pluckily, and Rankin headed over from a Ferguson cross. Shortly afterwards Johnstone gripped a dangerous cross from Hanlin.
Although the Dons did the bulk of the attacking, St Mirren were dangerous in their breakaways, and when Rankine managed to elude both Dunlop and Fraser it was well for Aberdeen that his shot was high.
Just on the interval, however, the Paisley team drew level. During a hot attack Rankin shot hard, and the ball glanced off Dunlop well out of Johnstone reach. The keeper was travelling towards the left-hand side of the goal to get the ball when it was deflected into the righthand corner.
St Mirren were early dangerous in the second half, Johnstone fisting out a tricky free kick from Miller. Next minute Cooper, under pressure, was forced to concede a corner, but this was cleared.
With five minutes gone Mills jumped for a high ball along with Cunningham, and when he landed he fell on his left arm. He was obviously in pain and had to be assisted from the field. Knox resumed in the eleventh minute at outside-right, but later returned to centre.
St Mirren held the advantage after this, and in twenty minutes took the lead. Knox headed on a ball as it came to him in the air and Ferguson burst through between Newton and Dunlop to send into the net. Rankin might have increased their lead shortly afterwards when he was through and shot over.
Aberdeen broke away and a long throw in by Fraser saw Armstrong make a plucky effort with his head. McCloy, however managed to punch clear.
Saints were soon back on the attack, and Knox dispossessed Dunlop to cut in and send narrowly over. Brady was clean through from long Armstrong cross when he was brought down by Craven just outside the penalty area. The centre took the free kick, but his drive was blocked. St Mirren launched attack after attack on the Aberdeen goal, and the Dons' defence was hard pressed to prevent them increasing their lead.
Source: Press & Journal, 25th August 1937