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AFC - Match Report
match report 1976-77 fixture list
Premier Division 
03/01/1977
 
Aberdeen 4 - 1 Heart of Midlothian
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Harper 21, Harper 38, Jarvie 44, Harper 58.       Callachan 60 pen  
Attendance: 18,761
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
JOE'S FIRST FOOT A HAT-TRICK!
Hearts were Aberdeen's "first foot" and the Dons recorded their first win over the Tynecastle Club at Pittodrie since November, 1973. The pitch was barely playable but the Aberdeen fans in the 19,000 crowd were rewarded by a scintillating display by Joe Harper, who netted a hat-trick to bring his season's tally to 24.

The Dons seemed to have the greater measure of control on the frosty, treacherous surface and had several promising moves with slick, one-touch football. Stuart Kennedy almost scored when he chased a long lob from Joe Smith but the conditions beat him. Next Willie Miller headed clear a dangerous Prentice cross. A left foot shot by Dom Sullivan had Cruickshank scrambling across his goal and the Dons surged into the lead in 21 minutes. Sullivan picked out Joe Harper, who cleverly juggled the ball away from Gallacher and hooked the ball into the net. This gave the home side confidence and they should have scored again when Arthur Graham ran on to a through ball from Harper, only to slip the ball past the far post.
Hearts were having spells of pressure but the home defence was unruffled and kept the Tynecastle attack at bay with decisive clearances on the slippery pitch. Aberdeen's second goal in 38 minutes was virtually a replica of the opener. This time Graham put the ball through to Harper, who duplicated his earlier juggling act against the same opponent, Gallacher, flicked the ball over his shoulder and volleyed it past the astonished keeper. Graham then missed with a header and it was all Aberdeen at this stage.
The potentially decisive third goal arrived just before the interval. Harper was again involved, this time as provider. He carried the ball to the bye-line before chipping it into the middle for Drew Jarvie to head past Cruickshank. The Dons demonstrated a high degree of expertise on what was a dubious surface and had been suitably rewarded.

Half Time 3-0

Hearts had both substitutes on for the start of the second half with Aird and Park replacing Clunie and Fraser. Jarvie had the ball in the net in 52 minutes but the referee, ignoring the advantage rule, had blown for a foul on Graham by Gallacher. In 58 minutes a marvellous piece of combined football brought the Dons their fourth goal - and Harper's hat-trick. Graham chased a long ball, controlled it well and passed to Jarvie, who in turn found Joe Smith. Smith slipped the ball inside to Harper whose first effort struck the crossbar. He followed up to net the rebound before anyone could intervene.
Hearts were a beaten side by this time but they were encouraged by a goal two minutes later. Miller's challenge on Prentice was judged to be a penalty and Callachan sent Bobby Clark the wrong way from the spot kick. Graham had a golden opportunity to restore the home side's four goal margin when he raced through on his own. only to glide the ball wide of the keeper and the post. Aberdeen introduced Dave Robb for Graham in 72 minutes and the newcomer was soon involved in the Dons raids. As the temperature dropped in the gathering darkness the ground conditions deteriorated and play became scrappy. The game ended with Robb sending a shot zooming over the junction of post and crossbar.

Source: Match Programme, 20th April 1996

 
Deprived of seeing the Dons on New Year's Day because of the weather, 19,000 fans saw the home team give a thoroughly professional performance on a treacherous pitch that was barely playable. Stuart Kennedy had the first shot of the game but slipped as he shot and his effort went wide. Aberdeen were controlling the ball better on the slippery surface and following a Dom Sullivan shot which skidded narrowly past, Joe Harper struck after 21 minutes. Sullivan crossed and Harper hooked a left-foot shot past Cruickshank.

Shortly after, Arthur Graham's parting shot went across the face of the goal. Hearts were not idle and were having their share of pressure but the Aberdeen defence remained unruffled with decisive first-time clearances. The Dons' second goal in 38 minutes was almost a replica of the first. Graham crossed, Harper flicked the ball over his shoulder and smashed home his volley. Graham then missed with a header from a Drew Jarvie flick. Just before the half-time whistle Harper collected a misheaded clearance and chipped an accurate ball for Jarvie to net with a header.

HALF TIME 3-0

Hearts had both substitutes on at the start of the second half, Aird and Park replacing Clunie and Fraser. Jarvie netted in 52 minutes but the referee had already blown his whistle for a foul on Graham by Gallacher. A beautiful piece of combined football a few minutes later brought Aberdeen's fourth goal and 'King' Joey's hat-trick. Graham chased a long ball. controlled it well and passed to Jarvie who, in turn, found Joe Smith. Smith slipped the ball inside to Harper and, although his first shot struck the crossbar, he followed up to net the rebound.
On the hour mark Hearts pulled back a goal from the penalty spot. Willie Miller was adjudged to have fouled Prentice by referee Kyle and Callachan sent Bobby Clark the wrong way. Graham had the chance to restore the Dons' four-goal lead eight minutes later when he raced away on his own from a Harper slip but he pushed the ball wide of the far post.
Davie Robb came on as a substitute for Graham in 72 minutes and the newcomer was soon involved in the Dons' raids. Play became somewhat scrappy in the deteriorating ground conditions in the closing stages, but Aberdeen were still in command and Robb narrowly missed with a shot which cleared the junction of crossbar and post. Harper was at his scintillating best in this game and his goal tally after this match stood at 24. Aberdeen sat at the top of the league, followed by Celtic, Dundee United and Rangers.

This win meant that Aberdeen had dropped just one point in five games. In the adverse ground conditions most of the Dons displayed a high degree of expertise in translating their normal football skills into effective tactics.

Source: Match Programme 20th November 1991

 
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Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Clark, Kennedy, McLelland, Smith, Garner, Miller, Sullivan, Shirra, Harper, Jarvie, Graham (Robb).

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet:  Cruickshank, Clunie (Park), Kay, Jefferies, Gallacher, Fraser (Aird), Shaw, Brown, Gibson, Callachan, Prentice

Bookings:

Referee: T. R. Kyle, Bishopbriggs

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