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AFC - Match Report
match report 1923-24 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Hibernian 0 - 1 Aberdeen
Kick Off:          Thomson 82.  
Attendance: 18,000
Venue: Easter Road, Edinburgh

Hibernians Checked

A goal scored ten minutes from the end served to give Aberdeen full points at the expense of the Hibernians at Easter Road, Edinburgh, where 17,000 spectators saw a keen and exciting game. Due to injuries, Shaw and McGinnigle were absent from the Hibernian team, while their places were satisfactorily filled by Murray and Templeton, the changes no doubt affected the confidence of the side. On the run of play, however, Aberdeen were well entitled to their narrow victory. They survived in good style an opening onslaught, during which Blackwell made a splendid save from McColl, and later their forward play was much in advance of that of the Hibernians. Rankine, Smith, and Miller excelled in shooting, and even McBoyle and Jackson at half-back had a share in a good day's attacking. Harper's fine goalkeeping was a big asset to the Hibernians, but he was beaten rather softly in the end. A ball from the right tempted him out of goal, and before he could clear, Thomson got possession and headed over Harper's head into the net, Templeton making a futile effort to cover up. The Hibernian half-backs were too much harassed to be effective, and the wing players suffered in consequence. McColl, however, gave a vigorous lead at centre, and two of his individual efforts narrowly missed counting.

Source: The Scotsman, 27th August 1923

Aberdeen accomplished a capital performance at Easter Road, Edinburgh, where, in a game brimful of incident, they defeated Hibernian by one goal to nothing. This was the Hibernians' first home and Aberdeen's first away game of the season, and with both teams registering substantial victories a week before, it was not surprising that 18,000 spectators turned out. These were delighted with the play, and reflected their appreciation that both at the interval and at the close, the teams leaving the field were accorded an ovation.


Although the margin was so close, Aberdeen were distinctly the better of two clever teams, and that their victory was not more decisive was largely due to the brilliant saving by Harper, Hibernian's internationalist goalkeeper. He thwarted many fine efforts of the Aberdeen forwards to score, and that the winning goal was delayed until eight minutes from the close was due to his grand work. It looked as if Aberdeen's attacking efforts would be in vain, and a bloodless duel would be the result, until Smith, racing ahead, caught up a pass from Jackson to centre across the Hibernian goal. The ball just escaped the reach of Miller but Thomson, standing on the right of the goal area, fastened on and judiciously headed into the net over the top of Harper, who had left his goal to intercept. As the be passed underneath the bar, the Hibernian right back made a great effort to clear, but failed to reach it.


From start to finish both teams gave a display of very fast, accurate football, and if Aberdeen attacked more frequently and delivered more shots, it was by no means a one-sided game, the ball travelling from end to end with a rapidity that thrilled the spectators. From the Aberdeen side, Davidson, suffering from ankle injury, stood down in favour McBoyle at right half, and Hibernian had Templeton and Murray in place of McGinnigle right back, and Shaw left half, both on the casualty list.
Throughout Aberdeen's was an accomplished display of fast, nippy footwork and accurate passing by the attack and of sound defence on the part of the rear divisions, and the readiness to shoot when opportunity offered was a feature of the contest. Hibernian, if clever and speedy, did not show quite the cohesion in attack, and the half-backs did not give as much assistance to the men in front as that afforded by the Aberdeen trio. In a splendidly-balanced Aberdeen team every man approached his best form, so that it would be invidious to single out individual players but Harper for the losers was the outstanding man on his side, and but for his grand work in goal, Hibernian must have sustained a much heavier defeat.


Kicking off, Aberdeen were first dangerous, Templeton clearing a centre from Smith. Hibernian replied, and McColl shot wide, and Aberdeen returning to the attack, Miller shot on the run, bringing Harper to his knees. For a time the exchanges were in Hibernian territory, but the home defence prevailed. A breakaway by McColl culminated in his delivering a terrific shot which Blackwell brilliantly deflected at the expense of a corner. Subsequently the ball passed swiftly from end to end, and accurate passaged of triangular passing by the Aberdeen forwards led to Harper being tested first by Smith and then by Rankin, the latter subsequently sending the ball inches wide with Harper at the other end of the goal. Blackwell was again called into action, and shot out his foot to block a fast ball from McColl, Jackson eventually clearing from a bunch of players in front of the Aberdeen goal. Aberdeen again attacked, and Harper twice had to run out to the assistance of his harassed backs. For a time the visitors attacked wlth great determination, Harper holding swift shots by Rankin and MacLachlan. A clever movement by Thomson, who squared across goal, should have brought a goal, but again Harper came to the rescue when Miller headed in. The visitors would not be denied, and after Thomson had again crossed the ball in the goalmouth Grant scooped it into Harper's hands. Then followed a Hibernian rally, and Blackwell had to rush out and kick clear from Ritchie, and on returning to his goal had to save a ground shot from Dunn. Aberdeen attacked, and Harper was troubled to stop shots from McBoyle and Jackson, later having to run out and clear from Smith. Hutton repulsed another Hibernian raid, and at the home goal Harper left his charge and kicked away from Thomson after a desperate race between the two. At the other end, Walker centred, and Blackwell cleared from Dunn's head. Near the interval the game developed into a duel between the Aberdeen forwards and Harper. A tremendous shot by Miller from 40 yards' range was deflected for a corner by the goalkeeper, and Smith later crashed the ball against the outside of the side net. A most interesting period of play ended without a score being recorded.


The fast pace was maintained after the interval. Hutton pulled up Ritchie, and after a futile flag kick Hibernian came very near to scoring, a hard drive by McColl hitting the top of the crossbar for the ball to glance behind. After this, the game again took a turn in favour of Aberdeen, and after several raids had been repulsed and renewed, Harper just managed to get the tips of his fingers on a fast oblique ground shot by McBoyle. A corner resulted, and the Hibernian goal survived an exciting period. Clever leading-up play by Miller led to Thomson squaring along the ground, but the centre-forward just failed to reach the ball before it went over the line at the side of the goal. Smith for Aberdeen, and Miller for Hibernian shot high and in another Aberdeen attack the home goal had a wonderful escape. Following up Jackson's pass, Grant shot with great force against the upright, and Miller caught the rebound only to crash the ball against the goalkeeper. Again Miller got the rebound, but this time, but in his anxiety to put the ball beyond the reach of the keeper, he sent it inches wide. A well-placed flag kick by Smith again had the Hibernian goal in danger, and McBoyle delivered a terrific shot. Harper stopped, but dropped the ball, only to kick clear before Grant could reach it. A lovely centre by Smith was sent over the bar by Miller at close range; he must have scored had the ball been a matter of inches lower. After this the Hibernian right wing made play, and Aberdeen were stretched to shake off a determined rush following a free kick on the right of the goal. This they successfully accomplished, and it was following this that they obtained their well-deserved goal. In the closing minutes of the game Hibernian made desperate efforts to get level, but the Aberdeen defence was equal to all the calls upon it.

Source: Press & Journal, 27th August 1923

Hibernian Teamsheet:  Harper; Templeton, Dornan; Kerr, Miller, Murray; Ritchie, Dunn, McColl, Halligan, Walker


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Blackwell, Hutton, Forsyth, McBoyle, Jackson, MacLachlan, Thomson, Grant, Miller, Rankin, Smith.

Unused Subs:


Referee: H. Humphreys, Greenock

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