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AFC - Match Report
match report 1897-98 fixture list
Scottish Qualifying Cup Semi Final 
Orion 3 - 4 East Stirlingshire
Kick Off:    Webster, Webster, From Scrimmage       Alexander, Jardine, Alexander, McKie  
Attendance: 0
Venue: Cattofield, Aberdeen
Sackcloth and Ashes.
Alter successfully fighting their way through the various stages of the Qualifying Cup competition, Orion and East Stirlingshire met at Cattofield to decide which would enter the final to dispute the destination of the coveted trophy. The encounter had raised the greatest interest in the north of Scotland and in the midland counties, and no fewer than 300 supporters of the Stirlingshire team travelled north to witness the match. In Aberdeen the event had been the leading topic of conversation amongst the football public during the week. The afternoon was fine, although a stiff, cold breeze blew from end to end of the field. East Stirlingshire were the first to make their appearance. Orion followed shortly afterwards, both teams being received with rousing cheers. The players lined up as follows: East Stirlingshire: Shields, Steel, Johnston ; Fish, Paterson, Prentice; McQueen, McDonald, McKie, Alexander, Jardine. Orion: McBean; Ross, Scott; Currie, Low, Dawson; Webster, Grant, Thom, Wilson, Hogg. Mr Colville, Inverness, acted as referee. Losing the toss, Orion in the first half played up the incline with the sun in their eyes, and against a strong breeze. Thom started the leather, passing to Wilson, who, in turn, passed to Hogg, the ball, however, going out of play. From the throw in, Stirlingshire got down, but were not allowed to become dangerous, the half-backs relieving in fine style. Jardine and McQueen had good tries, but sent the leather behind. Orion managed to evade the visitors' forwards, Hogg rushing up the field and shooting across the goal. Webster touched in neatly, but Shields was on the watch and fisted out. The home team travelled perilously close to their opponents' goal, and it was only by some smart Manoeuvring on the part of Johnston and Steel that the ball was got away. The home defence was afterwards tested, but McBean and the backs proved equal to the occasion. Clustering around the Orion's citadel, the Stirlingshire's attacking line gave the Aberdeen men some trouble, McBean twice in succession saving shots from McDonald and Alexander. By some smart play on the part of the half-backs, the Aberdeen team compelled the visitors to act on the defensive. Shot after shot was directed towards Shields, but the southern custodian could not be beaten. A beautiful piece of combination brought the Stirlingshire forwards dangerously close to the home goal, and Alexander sent in a grounder, which evaded the backs. McBean, who was standing in the centre of the goal, had to run a few yards to save, and he was almost on the ball when he slipped and fell, the leather thus going into the net. This turn of events only served to incite the Orion to greater efforts, and immediately on the kick off, Hogg worked his way through all opposition towards the south goal. His parting shot was weak, however, and went behind. Shortly afterwards Jardine scored a second goal. Orion forced matters after this, and time after time experienced hard luck in front of goal. Hogg, Thom, and Webster all distinguished themselves. Half time was sounded with the play in Stirling territory, and the score standing East Stirlingshire 2, Orion 0.

No sooner had hostilities been recommenced than Orion took up the running, and a grand charge brought them into close quarters. All the forwards had a try for goal, and it must be said that on several occasions Shields was extremely lucky in saving. At last Orion's opportunity came. Webster neatly negotiated a pass from the centre, and beat Shields with a beauty, amid vociferous cheers. Encouraged by this success, the Cattofield men redoubled their efforts, but the ball seemed bent on going anywhere but into the net. The fast nature of the play was evidently proving too much for Orion, who relaxed their efforts somewhat. Seizing this opportunity, Stirlingshire, by a surprise movement, evaded the home players, and in a twinkling the forwards were banging at McBean's charge. Before the Stripes could recover themselves, Alexander had placed a third goal to the credit of the visitors. Another break away by the right wing allowed the Stirlingshire to come to close quarters, and after McBean had returned one or two fine efforts, McKie was successful in registering a fourth goal for the visitors with a long shot. Webster carried the ball along the wing, and with one of the finest shots of the afternoon, put in a second point for the home eleven. Amid tremendous excitement, Orion returned to the attack, and, after some hot work in front of goal, rushed the ball into the net a third tie from a scrimmage. With only a few minutes to go, it was too much to expect that Orion would be able to get the two points necessary for a win, and although they gallantly kept up their onslaught till the close, they were unable to obtain another goal, the strangers concentrating all their attention on saving their citadel.
The final now lies between East Stirlingshire and Port Glasgow Athletic. The "gate" at Cattofield on Saturday amounted to almost 100.

Source: Aberdeen Journal, 29th November 1897

Cattofield was taxed to its utmost to hold the enormous crowd which turned out to witness the semi-final. Winning the toss East Stirlingshire decided to play with the wind and brae in their favour. McBean's end was visited first, but Hugh Ross relieved, and Hogg had a try at Shields. Jim Thom was conspicuous for a grand run. He gave Hogg a good chance to score, but the left winger missed. The Shire did not relish this, and some long kicking enabled them to get down to McBean, only to find Orion's defence in their very best mood. Orion afterwards took up the running, and only the hardest of lard luck kept them from scoring. Alexander had to retire, but was able to resume in a few minutes. The home team were having quite as much of the game as their opponents, notwithstanding the strong wind against them. The first goal came through a misunderstanding. After the ball had been thrown in from touch, the referee blew his whistle for an infringement. Orion under the impression they were to get a free kick all went up the field, barring only the backs. The referee, however, awarded another throw to the visitors, and rushing through practically no opposition Alexander scored with a swift low shot. McBean would have held it had he not slipped. Jardine almost immediately afterwards scored a second one. McBean fisted out the first shot, but the second got past him. Orion up to half-time simply blockaded the visitors' goal, and rained in shots of every description, but through the ball would not go. Half-time-East Stirlingshire. 2 ; Orion, 0.

Playing downhill it was confidently expected Orion would soon make up the leeway, and there was every sign of this for the game had not well restarted when Webster scored. Jim Thom worked with a will and a number of corners were got. The strong wind spoiled the fine cross shots we are accustomed to get from Hogg. After a spell of pressing by Orion the visitors rushed up the field and McDonald scored a third for his team. Another surprise visit ended with McKie scoring by far the best goal of the match. It now looked all up with Orion, and numbers began to leave the field. They were rather previous, however, for Thom gave Webster a chance which was put past Shields. The excitement now was intense, and in response to the shouts of their supporters Orion scrimmaged through a third. The visitors did their best to waste time, and brought down heaps of abuse on their heads. It looked odds on Orion pulling the game out of the fire, but no, the whistle blew, and Orion's chance of the Qualifying Cup was lost by one goal.

Short Kicks.

With everything in their favour Orion failed to rise to the occasion on Saturday.
The strong wind had not a little to do with the want of success. Accurate cross passing was out of the question. Nevertheless, had a less efficient goalkeeper been between the posts for East Stirlingshire, Orion would undoubtedly have won handsomely.
They were beaten by one man, and his name is Shields. Call it luck or whatever you like, he brought off some miraculous saves.
The centre half was evidently told off to watch Thom, but Jim was too much for him on nearly every occasion.
Jim worked very hard, and the same must be said of Wilson. The right wine: were off colour, and Hogg did not shine so well as we have seen him do.
Dawson was weak at half, and John Low did not get in so much work as usual. Donald Currie was the best of the three.
Scott performed well at back. The sooner Hugh Ross is told to stay in his place the better. His wandering cost his side a goal.
McBean saved splendidly at times, but did not seem to be playing with confidence.
When Orion scored their first goal, the scene baffles description. Hats, sticks, etc., were waved in the air, and the howls might have been heard at Torry.
East Stirlingshire supporters were not by any means silent when their team put on the third and fourth points.
The home supporters at this period "wore a worried look."
The closing stages of the game were about as exciting as ever we witnessed. Only about a couple of minutes separated Orion's second and third points.
Had there been another five minutes to play Orion would have pulled the game out of the fire. They were, however, too late in making the effort.
The chance of the "pot" has gone for this season, but friend and foe must acknowledge Orion have fought a good fight.
Mr Colville's rerereeing gave entire satisfaction to all parties. His decisions were prompt and accurate.

Source: Bon-Accord, 2nd December 1897

Orion Teamsheet:  McBean; Ross, Scott; Currie, Low, Dawson; Webster, Grant, Thom, Wilson, Hogg


East Stirlingshire Teamsheet:  Shields, Steel, Johnston ; Fish, Paterson, Prentice; McQueen, McDonald, McKie, Alexander, Jardine


Referee: Mr. Colville, Inverness

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