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AFC - Match Report
match report 1896-97 fixture list
Victoria United 3 - 8 The Aberdeen
Kick Off:           
Attendance: 5,000
Venue: Victoria Bridge, Aberdeen
A meeting of two local teams seldom fails to arouse interest, and yesterday?s match between the Aberdeen and Victoria United was well attended, some 5000 spectators being present. In view of previous encounters between these clubs this season, the defeat of the United by eight goals to three may surprise not a few, but the Aberdeen certainly deserved the win. They held the upper hand throughout the whole of the match, and their play was much better than they had previously exhibited this season. The result was popular with the crowd, and it has raised the hopes of the Chanonry team supporters, who had become somewhat disheartened at the successive defeats of their favourite club. The team was the strongest the Aberdeen have placed on the field for some time. It included Smyth, who has consented to rejoin the ranks of the Whites, the slight difference of opinion between him and the committee of the club having been arranged satisfactorily. Gibbons, the famous Queen's Park player, who is at present in the city on a holiday; and Milne, whose term of suspension has expired The players that took part in the game were: Aberdeen - Smyth; Catto, Gall; C. W. Mackie, Smith, Thomson; Gibbons, Milne, J. Mackie, Cadger, Still. United - Gillespie; Grant, Allan; Morrice, Davidson, Stopani; Wingrove, Burnett, Caie, Thornton, Ritchie. The referee was Mr Robert Turner. The opening stages of the first period were well contested, but the Aberdeen gradually manifested their superiority, and ultimately the United found it difficult to get beyond midfield. Much interest centred in the play of Gibbons, and occasionally that player treated his critics to a smart exhibition. Far too little attention was paid him however, in the matter of passes, and he therefore got few opportunities to demonstrate the excellent football knowledge he undoubtedly possesses. In the first half Milne shared honours with Gibbons as the most effective forward players, but this honour passed from Milne to Still in the second half. Taking the game all over the Aberdeen forwards gave a fine exhibition. There is little doubt that the presence of so prominent an exponent of the game as Gibbons had inspired the other members of the team, and it therefore follows that to the Queen's Park player the Aberdeen's creditable win must in a great measure be attributed. The members of the half-back line of the Aberdeen were somewhat unstable in their exhibition, but fortunately for them their opponents were far from formidable. Gall accomplished a deal of effective defensive work in his own easy-going style, but his partner was not so sure in his kicking. Smyth seemed determined to show that the reconciliation between the Aberdeen committee and himself was complete, for he was in the best of form. It would be difficult to indicate the weakest part in the United team, for in point of fact the whole eleven seemed to be more or less "off-colour. " In a disorganised state, and playing a losing game, they seemed by the latter end of the match to become utterly reckless, and the Aberdeen in consequence had matters pretty much their own way.

At half-time the Chanonry team were leading by 4 goals to 1; but as the United had the sun in their eyes during the first period, it was expected that in the latter half they would at least reduce their position in so far as to reduce their opponents' lead by at least two goals. But the second period proved almost as disastrous as the first, and, had the Aberdeen forwards exercised a little more judgment at times in their play in front of goal the defeat would have been even more decisive. While some may be content to explain away the defeat by saying that the United were in holiday form, the fact remains that the United were overcome by a vastly superior eleven on the afternoon's play. The remarkable success of the Aberdeen at the beginning of the second half of the season will lend additional interest to the subsequent meetings of local elevens. McColl, it may be mentioned, was also in Aberdeen yesterday, and was prepared to take his place in the Aberdeen team, but while thanking him for so placing his services at the disposal of the club, the Aberdeen Committee felt that they should rely as much as possible on their own players.

Source: Aberdeen Journal, 4th January 1897

Victoria United Teamsheet:  Gillespie; Grant, Allan; Morrice, Davidson, Stopani; Wingrove, Burnett, Caie, Thornton, Ritchie


The Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Smyth; Catto, Gall; C. W. Mackie, Smith, Thomson; Gibbons, Milne, J. Mackie, Cadger, Still


Referee: Mr. Robert Turner

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