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AFC - Match Report
match report 1897-98 fixture list
Northern League 
The Aberdeen 4 - 6 Victoria United
Kick Off:    Gray, Smith, Kennedy, Shiach       J. Ritchie, Burnett, Burnett, ?, Burnett, ? J. Ritchie  
Attendance: 3,000
Venue: Chanonry, Aberdeen
Tall Scoring at Chanonry.
Chanonry was the scene of an encounter between Aberdeen and Victoria United in the Northern League competition. Fully 3000 spectators were present, and the game proved a most interesting one. Owing to the heavy rain of the previous day, the ground was in a sodden condition, affording the players a very insecure foothold. The teams lined up as follows: Aberdeen - Smyth; John Davidson, Joseph Davidson; Henderson, Clark, Thomson; Kennedy, Milne, Smith, Gray, Shiach. United - W. Allan; McNeil, A. Allan; Morrice, Thornton, Craig; McPherson, Henderson, Burnett, J. Ritchie, R. Ritchie.

Aberdeen won the toss, and the Victoria kicked off towards the west goal. The Whites had the first look in, but McNeil returned. After some tricky play by the United forwards. Smyth had to fist out, and for some time the Aberdeen goal was in danger. End to end visitations became the rule, but the defence on both sides was evidently superior to the attack. Again the United made play, and R. Ritchie had a try at goal. Smyth saved, however, but J. Ritchie, catching the rebound, neatly placed the ball in the net, thus opening the scoring for the Victoria. On the kick-off the United forwards again took up the running, working their way slowly but surely toward the Aberdeen citadel. Burnett took advantage of an easy opening, and lowered the ground team's colours a second time. Hardly had the ball been set in motion again than the Blues quintette were hammering at Smyth's charge, and to a fine shot from Burnett, Smyth again succumbed. Matters were not looking very hopeful for Aberdeen, and the players made a determined effort to check the onslaught. The forwards soon got into close quarters, and a shot from Gray evaded Allan and brought the first goal to Aberdeen. The game was now being conducted at a tremendously fast pace. The Whites were conceded a foul near their opponents' goal-mouth, and from the kick by Thomson, Clark headed in a second goal. A penalty kick shortly afterwards fell to Aberdeen, and it was thought they would now get on level terms with their antagonists. Milne took the kick, but sent the leather outside the posts. The United then made their way to the other end, and after a few minutes pressure, put on a fourth goal for the Torry men. At this stage, Thomson twisted his left leg and had to retire from the field. Aberdeen afterwards came to the front, and from a corner secured a third goal, Kennedy giving the finishing touch. At half-time the score stood - Victoria United 4, Aberdeen 3.

In the second period, the Victoria were favoured with a strong breeze and early assumed the aggressive. McPherson initiated a fine run down, and passed finely to Burnett, who headed in a fifth goal. Henderson, who was now at half¬back in place of Thornton, was conspicuous by some fine fine play, and on the Aberdeen side Joe Davidson also put in some capital defensive work. The game toned down somewhat, the Victorians being evidently content to take matters easy, while the forcey play of Aberdeen also relaxed. Smyth, in attempting to fist out a rather easy shot, missed, and a sixth goal was thus placed to the credit of the United. Shiach, a Peterhead player who appeared for the first time in the ranks of the Aberdeen, was responsible for a fourth goal for the Whites.

Source: Aberdeen Journal, 18th October 1897

A very large crowd was attracted to Chanonry to witness the Northern League encounter between those old rivals, Aberdeen and Victoria United. Aberdeen had considerable alterations in their front line. Kennedy (of 'Varsity and Inverness) occupied outside right, while Smith and Shiach (of Peterhead) played centre and outside right respectively. The Whites were the first to get within shooting distance, and for a few minutes Allan had an anxious time of it. Vics, getting clear, soon were swarming round Smyth, whom they beat three times within seven minutes. Nettled at this, Aberdeen bestirred themselves and a grand goal, taken by Gray, was the result. Still pressing, a few corners were secured, but the defence prevailed. A lovely centre was headed through by Smith, and the Whites were only one down. A penalty was awarded for ducking and the kick entrusted to Milne, who, however, missed the posts altogether, much to the disgust of the Whites' supporters. After a spell of good work by the Whites' front line, the Vics broke away, and J. Burnett added a fourth goal for his side. Thornton wrenched his leg about this time and had to retire. Before half time Kennedy scored the third goal for Aberdeen from a foul in goal mouth. On resuming, Vics, who had only ten men, dashed through the home defence and Burnett put on a fifth. The Whites defence were kept continually on the move, but they rose to the occasion finely. Aberdeen's turn came soon, and they kept peppering Allan, but without success. J. Ritchie for the Blues tried a long shot, and to the surprise of everyone Smyth let it through. Not in the least disheartened, Aberdeen kept pegging away, and their efforts were rewarded by Shiach beating Allan for the fourth time. A fast and very interesting game finished - Vics 6, Aberdeen 4.

Short Kicks.

Saturday's gate at Chanonry amounted to over £40.
Kennedy would have turned out against Bathgate, but the letter requesting him reached Inverness after he had left.
Shiach and Kennedy played a grand game. Smith showed good form at times.
Milne supported Kennedy badly and a change will have to be made at inside right. Jenkins (Elgin City) may be prevailed on to fill this weak spot.
Bar Smyth the defence was safe. McVie should be put in goal.
Of the winners, Henderson was easily the best.
Thornton was displaying grand judgment, but his accident will likely necessitate a month's rest at least.
When their prospects in the league are so rosy it is most unfortunate the Vics should be without such men as Moffat and Thornton.
Every one of the Blues' front line let drive for goal when within anything like shooting distance, a lesson which the Whites might copy with advantage,
Allan in goal will soon spoil his reputation if he resorts to Saturday's tactics often. The back division was safe.
We were pleased to see Mr J. W. Mitchell at the match, and trust he will soon recover his usual health.

Source: Bon-Accord, 21st October 1897

The Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Smyth; John Davidson, Joseph Davidson; Henderson, Clark, Thomson; Kennedy, Milne, Smith, Gray, Shiach


Victoria United Teamsheet:  W. Allan; McNeil, A. Allan; Morrice, Thornton, Craig; McPherson, Henderson, Burnett, J. Ritchie, R. Ritchie



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