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AFC - Match Report
match report 1928-29 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Aberdeen 3 - 0 Queens Park
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Yorston, Merrie, Merrie.        
Attendance: 10,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Without their recognised right wing of Love and Cheyne, and with McLaren at left half, Aberdeen accomplished a smart performance at Pittodrie, where they defeated Queen's Park by 3 goals to 0.
There was an attendance of about 14,000, who saw a refreshing and keenly contested game, in which Aberdeen, if flattered by the decisiveness of their victory, well deserved the honours. Their defence was particularly strong, and against keen, rushing opponents they never got flurried. The half-backs and forwards, too, worked well together, and generally the team gave a finely balanced display that must inspire confidence for the future.
Queen's Park had a brilliant young goalkeeper in R. G. Peden, but the backs and half-backs lacked the steadiness of the home defenders, and while the amateurs' forwards were clever in midfield, they did not possess the nippiness and thrustfulness of the Aberdeen attack. The experiment of playing James Crawford, the outside right, at centre-forward, was not a success, and only J. B. McAlpine and W. S. Chalmers accomplished anything of note.


The amateurs' goal was early In danger, Yorston heading against the post from Wilson's centre in the first minute. Subsequently both goalkeepers were in action to balls that overreached the forwards. Merrie was given an opportunity, but Campbell dashed in and prevented a shot. After eight minutes' play, Wilson accepted from McDermid and after rounding Wiseman centred for Yorston to head into the net well out of Peden's reach. Aberdeen for a time had the better of exchanges, and saved an awkward header from Merrie. Queen's Park rallied, and McAlpine and Crawford shot wide before Blackwell held a terrific long range drive by the first-named. In a period of end to end play, Wilson and Merrie for Aberdeen, and Chalmers and Crawford for the amateurs, had creditable tries. Queen's Park maintained their attacking revival, and Blackwell had to save from Parry, Chalmers, Crawford, and McAlpine. On one occasion there was a prolonged scrimmage in front of the home goal until Nicholson sent wide.


Ultimately Aberdeen shook off the pressure, and from a centre by Smith Peden was fortunate to be in line with a back-heeled effort by Merrie. After further end to end play, Aberdeen got a second goal. Merrie broke away and when tackled sent out to Smith. The latter returned the ball to the centre and Merrie transferred to Wilson for the winger to cross accurately, and the centre-forward shot into the net. Towards the interval, Aberdeen applied vigorous pressure, and Yorston, Merrie and Wilson had shots blocked by Queen's Park defenders.


The amateurs were forced on the defensive when the game resumed, and a long shot by Black was headed over by Merrie. Clever bouts of combination by the visitors' forwards followed, and Chalmers nullified a nice movement by lifting the ball over Blackwell's goal from favourable position. Merrie gave the Queen's Park a deal of trouble, and frequently Campbell and Wiseman had to thank Gillespie for getting ball away. McAlpine and Chalmers often rallied the visitors' attack and these two had shots that were just off the home goal. On one occasion Jackson cleared from almost below the crossbar after Blackwell had been beaten, and Parry actually netted, but it was found that the ball had entered by the side net.


Subsequently Aberdeen took the game in hand. Merrie twice shot wide from close in and on one occasion Peden saved the situation by getting down on the top of the ball and retaining it until a free kick was given against an opponent for interference. The amateurs' keeper was frequently in action, and Nicholson and McAlpine usually brought relief. The left winger got across several dangerous looking centres which were wasted on McHale.
Three minutes from the end Merrie made the issue safe for Aberdeen by scoring a third goal, heading through from Yorston's centre. Aberdeen finished strongly, and just on time Peden effected a great save off a tremendous shot by McDermid.

Source: Press & Journal, 20th August 1928


How the Amateurs Were Beaten.

,b>Bright Goalkeeping at Pittodrie : Merrie Shows Big Improvement : A Weak Right Wing.

(By "Bonac"),/p> Aberdeen have made an auspicious start in the new season with three victories to their credit. Their latest success over Queen's Park was, I should say, more pronounced than the victory over Cowdenbeath. Yet the Dons might easily have lost both points to the Amateurs. I do not think anyone will dispute my statement when I say that Aberdeen were flattered by their half-time lead. They by no means deserved to be two goals ahead at the cross-over. There was a period during the first moiety when the visitors gave the impression that they would run the Dons to a standstill, and I am sure that everyone present enjoyed those rapier-like thrusts of the Amateurs. How the Aberdeen goal escaped is a mystery to me. For nearly twenty minutes in the first period the Dons were kept chasing after the lanky McAlpine and his men, and during that time Blackwell had one of the most trying experiences in his career as a footballer. The Aberdeen goalkeeper, however, never faltered under the heavy bombardment and it was principally due to his confident display that the heart of the Queen's attack was broken. After this bright period, however, the Amateurs' were a beaten team. They seemed to throw in the sponge.
In the second half they were a poor lot. The defence fell to pieces. There was scarcely a kick left in the backs, while the half-backs were a very tame trio. Only McDonald showed signs of life. The wonder is that the Dons did not win by six goals instead of three, but in all fairness it must be said that they had to contend with a young goalkeeper who distinguished himself at a time when the rest of the team were completely off colour. Peden may not be a Harkness yet. He, is a little crude in some of the things he does, but he should improve with experience. It is sufficient tribute to him to say that he succeeded in keeping down the scoring and defied the efforts Of the Aberdeen forwards in the second-half up to five minutes from time.

Fortunate First Goal

The Dons, however, were worthy winners, due mainly to their superiority after the interval. it was fortunate for them that they got the first goal, for I feel that if the Amateurs had net with an early success the score might have been reversed. Yorston headed the first goal very smartly while about ten minutes from the interval Merrie slashed home a Wilson cross. The centre-forward also got a second and his team's third five minutes from time.
I cannot say, however, that the team which represented Aberdeen on this occasion was a well-balanced one. The defence was all right up to a point. Blackwell needs no further praise. He did his part well. Jackson was, I thought, the best back on the field. He is not a stylist by any means, but he gives me the impression that he is out to keep his place, and if he can maintain Saturday's form, then he need have no fear that he will retain his position in the League team.
What I admire about Jackson is his whole- heartedness. He is fearless, has a good turn of speed, and is kicking with better judgment. On several occasions his speed enabled him to cut across in time to stop the fleet-footed Crawford. Livingstone did not play badly, but he again showed a weakness in tackling and appeared to be on the slow side. Still, his kicking was, as usual, clean and well-timed.
The half-back line gave me the impression of being slow and it was this department of the team which was at fault when the Queen's launched their vigorous onslaught in the first period. Black, McHale and McLaren could not keep pace with the Amateur attackers, but it is to their credit that they ultimately got the visiting van under control. Black was the best of the three, and his placing was timely and accurate. McHale was troubled by the speed of Crawford, but in the second half he adopted the right policy by keeping Crawford in front of him all the time. The centre-half was, as usual, conspicuous with his headwork, while he showed an improvement in his placing. McLaren did fairly well at left-half, but I am convinced, after his display on Saturday, that his place is on the right. It was, perhaps, fortunate for Aberdeen that Crawford was in the centre, for, if he had been in his usual place at outside-right, he would have left both Livingstone and McLaren far behind. McLaren is a fine player, but he will have to be accommodated on the right if the best is to be got out of him.


There was plenty of life in the attack, and I attribute this to the dashing methods of Merrie. I have criticised this player in the past and I contend that my criticism was warranted. Merrie did not come up to expectations last season, but I will say that there has been an all-round improvement in his play since the present season opened. He is energy personified. There can he no disputing that fact. And he can shoot. His biggest failing is in gathering the ball, but I think the other forwards, as well as the half-backs, could help him in this respect. If the ball is put in front of him he can do something with it. Merrie scored two splendid goals against St Johnstone, while his counters on Saturday were very smartly snapped up. His headwork is also very clever and on two occasions on Saturday he very cutely turned the ball goalwards from difficult positions. The left wing was far ahead of the right wing. McDermid did not settle down at inside-right. That was not altogether unexpected, for I don't think the captain has played on the right since he came to Aberdeen. Wilson did some very smart things in the first half, and it stands to his credit that the first two goals were got from his crosses. He certainly led Wiseman a merry dance before the interval.
Yorston was a greatly improved forward. He was much below his usual form against Cowdenbeath and St Johnstone. His goal against the Queen's was cutely registered, while he had a big say in the third one. He got the best out of Smith, who was very dangerous in the second half. Smith is just inclined to put too much pith behind his crosses, which are at times difficult to catch.
So far as the Amateurs are concerned, I would say that they would he a good team provided they were able to settle their centre-forward problem. Crawford is not a good leader, and never will be. The players who disappointed me most were Wiseman and Gillespie. They are not up to last year's standard.

Source: Bon-Accord, 25th August 1928

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Blackwell, Jackson, Livingstone, Black, McHale, McLaren, Wilson, McDermid, Merrie, Yorston, Smith.

Unused Subs:


Queens Park Teamsheet:  R. G. Peden (St Andrews versity); K. Campbell, W. Wiseman; J. McDonald, R. Gillespie, W. King; J. Parry, W. S. Chalmers, J. Crawford, J. B McAlpine, W. G. Nicholson


Referee: M. Quinn, Bellshill

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