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AFC - Match Report
match report 1972-73 fixture list
North American Summer Tour 
19/05/1972
 
Baltimore Bays 1 - 5 Aberdeen
Kick Off:    Paul Scurti 87       Harper 6, Harper 15, Forrest 24, Miller 52, Jarvie 86.  
Attendance: 5,200
Venue: Baltimore Memorial Stadium, Baltimore
Baltimore Bays, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. (Friday, May 19, 1972)

Memorial Stadium / Attendance: 5,200

Prior to the May 19 match against the Dons, Baltimore Bays general manager and head coach Joe Speca said "We're not going to concentrate that much on defence, we're out to promote the game and the most important thing is to score." Those words would come back to haunt him: A vastly superior Aberdeen side would be facing a Bays squad that were playing their first game since 1969. It marked the start of the Bays' nine-game friendly schedule which would last until September - their final record would be three wins, two draws and four losses. Well-known opponents included Werder Bremen (0-0) and Birmingham City (7-2 loss).

The game was intended to showcase football in Baltimore after the disbanding of the original Bays squad. Bays president Jim Karvellas had predicted 10,000 fans would attend the game in the 48,000 seat Memorial Stadium, but only 5,200 ultimately showed up, perhaps mainly due to poor weather.
The conditions could indeed have favoured the Dons, as post-game reports detailed a downpour during the game. Aberdeen manager Jimmy Bonthrone told reporters that about 40 per cent of Aberdeen's training sessions and matches were held in the rain in Scotland. Meanwhile, Bays' midfielder Paul Scurti said "They (Aberdeen) always play in weather like this. They're used to it. We like sunny weather." Local newspapers described the day as the Bays getting rained on in more ways than one.
Aberdeen were just a few weeks removed from the end of the Scottish season and it showed as they were much more game-ready than the debuting Bays. Aberdeen were 3-0 up at half time. Joe Harper netted the first two goals: The first by taking the ball around full back Hector Martinez which brought goalkeeper Lincoln Philips off his line, with Harper winning the one-on-one. The second was a howler from Phillips as he overran the ball and left an open net once again for Harper to slot the ball home, extending his tour form to three goals in consecutive games and four goals overall in three games. The third goal of the game came ten minutes later from Jim Forrest.
Second half goals from Bertie Miller and Drew Jarvie made the score line 5-0. The Dons had 26 shots in the game, and despite some early errors Phillips ultimately made 14 saves, demonstrating the Baltimore keeper's damage control.
Conversely, it was a quiet day in net for Aberdeen's Andy Goeghegan, who didn't have to make a single save throughout the first half. Even Winsor Delano's penalty for the home side as a result of a Dons' handball late in the first 45 minutes rolled the wrong side of the post.
It was not all bad news for the Bays, however. Scurti, a local Baltimoreon, saved their blushes with a 20-yard strike making the score 5-1 in the 87th minute. According to the Baltimore Sun, the ovation he received was as though he had won the game for the Bays rather than scoring a late consolation goal.

It was a good start to the American leg of the Dons' tour, now with three wins from three games within six days. Aberdeen would move on to their four-game slate against UEFA Cup finalists Wolves, starting in San Francisco on Sunday, May 21.

Author: George Pirie

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