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AFC - Match Report
match report 1946-47 fixture list
League Cup Semi Final 
22/03/1947
 
Aberdeen 6 - 2 Heart of Midlothian
Kick Off:    Baird 12, Wood o.g. (OG) 37, Hamilton 48 (Pen), McCall 76, Hamilton 71 (Pen), Hamilton 80.       Kelly (21), Urquhart (34)  
Attendance: 36,201
Venue: Easter Road, Edinburgh
Having been drawn as the away team for the semi-final, Aberdeen wear a change strip of blue with white sleeves at neutral Easter Road. Although Baird opened the scoring for the Dons, Hearts dominate the first half but fail to keep their lead for the turnaround when Wood scores an own goal. The story is different in the second half, with Geroge Hamilton scoring a hat-trick as the Dons caught fire.

After a promising first half display, Heart of Midlothian fell heavily at Easter Road to Aberdeen, whose superiority was not over-emphasised by a score of 6 goals to 2. Hard pressed in the latter stages, the Hearts' defence could not counter the combined play of the Aberdeen forward line, in which there was no weak link. As an attacking force the Edinburgh side faded out after the interval, although Urquhart and McFarlane tried hard until the end. Baxter emerged with credit in defence.
Aberdeen took the lead through Baird after twelve minutes play, and Kelly scored a clever equaliser. Urquhart put Hearts ahead, but the cores were levelled before half-time by Wood heading through his own goal. Three second half goals by Hamilton - one from a penalty - and another by McCall put the result beyond doubt.

Source: The Scotsman, 24th March 1947

 
Of Aberdeen's many successful post-war semi-finals there are probably two that stand out as being amongst the club's greatest victories. The first in the 1954 Scottish Cup saw the 6-1 hammering of the Rangers side who only a year before had beaten the Dons in the final itself. More recently, Rangers were on the receiving end once again when Aberdeen crushed them by five goals to one in the 1976 League Cup semi-final.

Before either of those celebrated victories however, the Dons had an equally sensational victory in the League Cup semi-final. The trail to that semi began in 1946 with a qualifying section that contained Falkirk, Motherwell and Queen of the South and, despite the two defeats at the hands of the Fir Park outfit, it was the Dons name that went into the hat for the quarter-final draw. The last eight pairings brought Aberdeen and Dundee together for a two-leg tie. With the draw made, the League Management Committee of the day then decided, in their wisdom, to delay the actual playing of the quarter-finals until March 1947. It was a decision that due to the unforeseen events of an extremely harsh winter almost proved to be calamitous.

Amidst arguments over when postponed Scottish Cup and League games were to be played the quarter-finals went ahead and the first leg at Dens Park saw Aberdeen gain a single goal victory. A week star the Dons won a hard fought tussle by the odd goal in five and qualified for the semi-finals where they were drawn against Hearts.
On 22nd March Aberdeen took the field at neutral Easter Road in unfamiliar dark blue shirts with white sleeves. Hearts for their part had changed to white shirts in compliance with the rules of the day on colour clashes.
The inclusion of Archie Baird at inside-left was a moral booster for the blue and white shirted Dons. Cartilage trouble had kept him out of the side since the New Year's Day game against Falkirk and his return was seen as a good omen. Within twelve minutes Archie had made his presence felt. Billy McCall put the inside-forward in possession on the edge of the box and sheer tenacity saw the number ten work a scoring chance in front of goal. Hearts centre-half Baxter put in a despairing last ditch challenge only to see his clearance rebound off Baird and into the net for the opening goal.
Nine minutes later Kelly beat Dunlop in a race for possession and calmly placed the ball past Johnstone for a deserved equaliser, In 34 minutes strong running Hearts took the lead when Urquhart first-timed a Dewar flick past the helpless Johnstone. As half-time approached it seemed that Aberdeen would be doing well to hold the Edinburgh side to 2-1 over the first '45', then suddenly Harris broke clear on the right and crossed hard and low across the goal. Right-half Wood dived to head clear only to see his 'clearance' fly past his own goalkeeper to put the Dons level.

Five minutes after the restart both wingers came into play as the Dons took the lead. McCall made ground on the left but seemed to have wasted a good opportunity by hitting his cross too deep, but Taylor had cut in from the right and headed the ball back across the goalmouth where Hamilton out-jumped Brown to make the scoreline 3-2 in Aberdeen's favour.
The game hung in the balance well into the second period but gradually the strain of Hearts first-half efforts began to show. With 17 minutes remaining Stan Williams beat Brown with a powerful drive but full-back MacSpadyen popped up to fist the ball out from under the crossbar. George Hamilton made his usual immaculate job from the spot. Three minutes later Billy McCall netted the rebound from a Harris shot to put the Dons in a commanding 5-2 lead. But Aberdeen had not finished yet and a typical flash of Hamilton genius saw the inside-forward grab his hat-trick when he took advantage of indecision between Miller and Baxter to race in and score.

The fact that the Dons went on to lose the final to Rangers, or more significantly went on to win the Scottish Cup four weeks later, has lead to that fine 6-2 victory becoming 'the forgotten triumph'.

Footnote:

Between the 8th February and the 19th April 1947 Aberdeen played 10 consecutive Cup-ties to become the first side to reach the final of both national trophies.

Source: Match Programme, 28th October 1981

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Johnstone, Cooper, McKenna, McLaughlin, Dunlop, Waddell, Harris, Hamilton, Williams, Baird, McCall.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet:  Brown; McSpadyen, McKenzie; Wood, Baxter, Miller; McFarlane, Currie, Kelly, Urquhart, Dewar

Bookings:

Referee: J. Calder

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