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SC QF replay | the history

March 11, 2018 10:39 pm Author: RedMatchday Team


Aberdeen have now met Kilmarnock on 10 occasions in the Scottish Cup, include the draw at Pittodrie last week. Of these games, the Dons have won 7 drawn 3 and lost 0. They have won all three games at Rugby Park.

On two occasions replays have been required to settle the ties. Both times the sides drew at Pittodrie, but both times Aberdeen came out on top at the second time of asking at Rugby Park.


You can imagine what the reaction of some managers in the modern era would be if they were faced with their team having to play three gruelling cup-ties in five days.

SC | Aberdeen v Dunfermline 1969 Hamilton scores

The Dons Scottish Cup campaign in 1969 was in stark contrast to a desperate and inconsistent season in the league.

Aberdeen eased past Berwick who famously dumped Rangers out of the cup in 1967. Next up were cup holders Dunfermline Athletic who were probably in the midst of their best ever period. The Scottish Cup holders were well placed in the league and also through to the last four of the European Cup Winners Cup. In the first clash at Pittodrie, a last minute goal from the visitors stunned Aberdeen.

With both teams facing a home quarter final tie on Saturday 1st March, the replay at East End Park incredibly came only 24 hours after the Pittodrie tie on Wednesday 26th February.

The general belief was that Aberdeen’s best chance had gone but two Dave Robb goals sent Aberdeen through to the last eight to stun the holders.

SC | Aberdeen v Kilmarnock 1969 Jimmy Smith goes close

Aberdeen had little time to prepare for the visit of Kilmarnock and the same Dons line up that beat Dunfermline were asked to get Eddie Turnbull’s side through to the semi-final.

Kilmarnock were also enjoying a successful period on the back of their league title in 1965 they had become regular campaigners in European football.

Aberdeen were evolving into a cup side of real quality but despite dominating for long periods they could not find a way through the Ayrshire defence. In what was a real game of attrition, Kilmarnock seemed happy to take the tie to a second game. The nearest opportunity came when Johnston’s effort came back off the bar (see photo). While the likes of Jimmy Smith tried to show his class, his efforts were thwarted by the close attentions of the Kilmarnock defenders.

SC | Kilmarnock v Aberdeen 1969 replay

Four days later in what was the Dons fourth cup-tie in nine days, the replay was a classic Aberdeen away performance of the time as a tough resolute defence stood firm and Aberdeen picked off Kilmarnock with relative ease. Goals from Dave Robb, Tommy Craig and Jim Hamilton sent Aberdeen through to the semi-final after an impressive 3-0 win that stunned the Rugby Park side.

In the semi-final at Celtic Park Aberdeen lost 6-1 to Rangers in arguably one of their worst ever results against the Ibrox side. That bitter experienced motivated the Dons to go on and win the famous old trophy a year later against Celtic in the final.


Back in 1984 Aberdeen were going for a quadruple and were also in the middle of their best ever spell in the Scottish Cup when Kilmarnock visited Pittodrie in February.

SC | Aberdeen v Kilmarnock 1984 goalkeeper McCulloch makes a spectacular save from Strachan

The Dons were undefeated in their previous eleven Scottish Cup ties as they were winners in 1982 and again in 1983. A remarkable treble was very much on but the Ayrshire side almost caused a major shock in the third round tie at Pittodrie on Monday 13th February 1984.

With Aberdeen blazing a trail at the top of the league and looking more like champions in every passing game, they were battling on all four fronts with the Scottish Cup and defence of their European Cup Winners Cup title as well as a League Cup semi-final to face against Celtic. With the European Super Cup already in the bag, these were heady days down Pittodrie way.

However, it was a punishing schedule and the Aberdeen squad was being stretched to the limit.

Aberdeen were hot favourites to see of Kilmarnock. The Dons were well clear at the top of the Premier while Kilmarnock were still outcasts in the First Division. The last thing Aberdeen wanted was a replay but that’s exactly what happened after a late goal from Kilmarnock’s Gallagher.

SC | Aberdeen v Kilmarnock 1984 Peter Weir shoots Aberdeen into the lead.

Aberdeen dominated the game but found the visitors a tough obstacle. The Rugby Park side came for a draw to take the Dons back to Ayrshire for replay. It was a frustrating night for the Dons who peppered the Kilmarnock rear-guard all night but could not find the breakthrough. The Kilmarnock defence was finally breached in 83 minutes when Strachan, Porteous and McGhee set up Peter Weir to score. It looked as though it was job done for the Dons but in the last minute Alex McLeish was caught out and Gallagher ran on to score a shock equaliser.

Alex Ferguson was not that disappointed at the outcome; “We should have seen the game through as we did the hard bit and managed to get our lead. It was frustrating that we could not see the game out; it was not like us but we will go to Rugby Park and look at them coming out a bit. That will help us as our form away from home is good. They will be happy as you could see from their reaction at full time. They have not knocked us out yet.”

SC | Aberdeen v Kilmarnock 1984 It’s equaliser time as Gallacher scores for Killie.

In the replay the Dons showed all of their class and game management by cruising to a comfortable 3-1 win. The tie was effectively over after 35 minutes. Gordon Strachan opened the scoring after a sublime passing move in 30 minutes. Willie Miller scored a second five minutes later and the Dons went on to go through to a meeting with Clyde at Shawfield in the fourth round only three days later.

Aberdeen won that game 2-0, they beat Dundee United 1-0 in a Quarter Final replay and then in the semi-final they knocked out Dundee after a 2-0 win at Tynecastle. The Dons won the final that year by beating Celtic 2-1 after extra time at Hampden.

Let’s hope history can repeat itself.


For the record, the other occasion the sides met at Rugby Park in the Scottish Cup was back in 1921 when Aberdeen knocked out the cup holders with a famous win. You can read more about this game by reading the match report on the AFC Heritage Trust website by clicking here

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