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Aberdeen 3 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Heart of Midlothian

Scottish Cup Quarter Final
Aberdeen scorers: O'Neil 44, Leggat 57, Hamilton 67.

13/03/1954 | KO: 15:00


A record 45,000 crowd is assured at Pittodrie for the Aberdeen-Hearts Scottish Cup-tie this afternoon but, judging by the demand for tickets, the game could have drawn a 60,000 crowd if the ground facilities had been available.
The hunt for tickets continued in Aberdeen yesterday. Hope among the searchers that Hearts might return part of their 8000 allocation were disappointed by the news from Edinburgh that the last handful of tickets there had been snapped up.

Source: The Bulletin, 13th March 1954

With all 45,000 tickets sold, a record crowd was assured for the Aberdeen v Hearts fourth round Scottish Cup-tie at Pittodrie Park, Aberdeen. The weather was dull but mild. More than 8000 Hearts supporters were there to cheer on their side.
Aberdeen won the toss and claimed a slight wind advantage. Two tries by Conn were blocked and then a great drive by Cumming was smartly tipped over the bar by Martin.
A header by Hather was safely held by Watters, following a corner kick by Leggat. A Conn effort gave Martin no trouble. A cross by Leggat had the Hearts defence anxious and harassed by O'Neil, Glidden was forced to yield a corner. Watters next had difficulty in holding a header by O'Neil and then the visiting keeper was tested with a powerful drive by Glen.
Wardhaugh and Bauld force their way through but Young cleared the danger. The "Dons" foced play and the Hearts defence cleared several dangerous situations at the expense of corner kicks. An overhead kick by Buckley was held by Watters at the post.

Disallowed for Hands

Hather had the ball in the net, but as he had used his hand in the process the score was chalked off. Play was held up when Hather was injured in a tackle with Parker. The crowd voiced their disapproval, and the man who ran on the field following the incident was removed by the police. Hamilton headed past from a Hather corner kick. Conn next put Souness through, but Martin had the winger's low drive well covered.

At the other end a shot by Hamilton lacked force and was easily held by Watters. O'Neil had a chance in a melee in the Hearts goalmouth, but he drove the ball against Laing. After that a nice header by Hamilton was safely held by Watters.
Bauld had a great chance from Souness cross, but his header went wide of the post.

Just on the interval O'NEIL accepted a pass from Hather, and his long range drive beat Watters all the way.

Half time: ABERDEEN, 1; HEARTS, 0

Source: Evening Times, 13th March 1954


It is not my intention to deprive Aberdeen of any of the glory to which they are entitled for a splendid performance at Pittodrie Park. Nevertheless, they can be certain that rarely will opponents wittingly or unwittingly contribute so much to their own defeat as on Saturday did Hearts.
After the third round of the cup I pointed out how close a player of another club came to losing a tie for his side through rash reprehensible foul as the result of which the offender, having been warned for his conduct, was so affected as to become a liability to his team.

Parker, Hearts' right back, was guilty of a similar indiscretion at Pittodrie, was similarly rebuked by the referee, for over an hour was the butt of the home crowd's disapproval, and could not - indeed was allowed not - to recover from his blunder. On this occasion, however, Parker, unlike the player previously mentioned - also captain of his side - did not have the consolation that the other members of his eleven played so well as to save his face.


There was no excuse for Parker's manner of retaliation against Hather as the winger fell after he had fouled the back and had been penalised. Indeed, I am sure that if the referee had seen the infringement Hearts would in less than half an hour's play have been a player short. As it was, the referee had to depend on the version of the linesman. Yet Hather's foul was not his first against the same opponent and it was far from his last. Furthermore, he made a most remarkable recovery after having rolled over the ground in paroxysms of agony.

Parker had thereafter to suffer various forms physical punishment in addition to the mental torture inflicted by the crowd, who went much too far in their condemnation. I have never heard even on the wildest Rangers-Celtic day such prolonged booing of a single player. Parker could do nothing about it, and in the circumstances Hearts might have been better off if he had been ordered off.

Aberdeen had been much the better side in the play that preceded the incident but when the first half had almost expired and they had no lead despite the fact that they had played with the wind their chance of winning appeared to be considerably reduced. Half a minute from half-time, however, and just after Bauld had headed grotesquely wide of the goal from a perfect cross by Souness, O'Neil took a short pass from Hather, sidestepped Laing neatly, and from 25 yards directed a left-foot shot high and into the net.


That fine goal gave Aberdeen no insurmountable lead, and Hearts must have been reasonably satisfied. With the wind in their favour, however, they deteriorated astonishingly, always, of course, lacking the inspiration that a normal captain would have provided. The tip-tapping of the inside forwards was lamentable, and when Leggat scored a second goal for Aberdeen in 59 minutes Hearts were surely out of the Cup. Hamilton's headed goal eight minutes later merely emphasised Aberdeen's superiority and Hearts' perturbation.

The second half dwindled into mediocrity, enlivened unfortunately by several instances of bad sportsmanship, the principal participants in which were Allister and Adie.

Martin, though he had not a quarter of the work of Watters, nevertheless had the save of the match when in the second minute he leaped from a crouching position and tipped over the cross-bar a full blooded shot from Cumming. He was stoutly protected by the outfield defenders, of whom Glen was outstanding. Every Aberdeen forward played a conspicuous part - the clever, elusive Leggat, the shrewd Hamilton, the eel-like Buckley, the calculating O'Neil, and the speedy Hather. Only Urquhart and to a lesser extent Souness were comparable forwards; Hearts' inside men were abject failure. The wing halves, Glidden, though he was sorely beset through the intelligence of O'Neil and Hamilton in giving Buckley the ball on the ground, and Watters were the only other players who retrieved some reputation from the wreckage that was Hearts.

Source: Scotsman, 15th March 1954


Supporters will still be able to visualize the packed arena of last Saturday. It was a great spectacle and the orderly behaviour throughout was a credit to all, spectators, stewards and police. Another amazing picture greeted those leaving the grounds after the crowd had gone home. One saw the empty terracing (empty, that is, of spectators!) absolutely covered with litter - miles and miles of terracing steps and hardly a yard without paper and the occasional bottle! ! The scene resembled a battlefield where paper (and bottles!) had been used as missiles!

Match Programme, 20th March 1954

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
Watters; Parker, Adie; Laing, Glidden Cumming; Souness, Conn, Bauld, Wardhaugh, Urquhart
Attendance: 45,061
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: H. Phillips, Wishaw
Next Match
27 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen