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AFC - Match Report
match report 1931-32 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Aberdeen 1 - 1 Celtic
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Love 10.       Whitney  
Attendance: 28,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
ABERDEEN AND CELTIC IN GREAT STRUGGLE. Big Crowd Watches Drawn Game at Pittodrie.
Aberdeen and Celtic played a hard game at Pittodrie Park for their draw of one goal each. The result was a fair indication of the play, although the Aberdeen supporters in the crowd of nearly 30,000 spectators were hopeful to the very end that the home team would emerge victorious by repeating the form they had displayed in the opening stage when the right winger Love scored. It was Whitney, Celtic's left winger, who secured the equaliser before the interval. The second half was played in a dour and determined manner but neither side could secure the winning goal. It was the defence on each side which was outstanding - Cook, McGonagle, and McStay for Celtic, and Cooper, Jackson, McLaren and Hill for Aberdeen. R. Thomson, A, Thomson and Scarff were Celtic's best forwards, and Aberdeen found their leading attackers in Love, McLean and Yorston. There was an unfortunate incident in the match, well on in the second period, when the referee, J. Baillie, Motherwell, had occasion to stop play while he went to lodge a complaint with the officials against the conduct of a few youths in the crowd who manifested their displeasure against one of his decisions by resorting to stone throwing.

Source: The Scotsman, 24th August 1931

28,000 spectators saw a great duel between Aberdeen and Celtic at Pittodrie, where two goals were shared.

Half a loaf is better than no bread at all, and Aberdeen cannot complain of having to divide the spoils with Celtic, a goal apiece representing the run of play.
It was a grim and desperate duel, but neither side showed the consistency and thrustfulness expected of an eleven with championship ambitions.
Aberdeen were the more likely-looking combination in the first half, but the boot was on the other foot in the latter forty-five, when the home defence was sorely tried.
The honours of the day went to the Dons' half-back line, and in this department alone could Aberdeen be said to be superior to the Glasgow side.
Black and Hill were a pair of quick-tackling halves, who gave the much-vaunted Celtic attack little scope.
McLaren as a defensive pivot would be difficult to equal in Scotland. He kept Scarffe in his grip, and although his tackling was robust at times, he played a big part in the stopping of Celtic.
Smith was a very safe keeper, and although Jackson and Cooper came trough a trying afternoon with flying colours, they never appeared quite at ease.

Forward Failings

McMeekin was the weak link in attack. He was clever and tricky in front of goal, but he was slow in the outfield and his passes had a knack of falling short. He obviously lacks experience.
McLean also failed to touch the high spots against his old team-mates. Love, McDermid, and Yorston all played to form, but the last-mentioned was well watched by McStay.
Thomson (J.), Cook and McStay were outstanding in the Celtic defence, while in attack Thomson (A.), Thomson (R.). and Napier took the honours.
There was a rather regrettable incident in the second half, but fortunately it passed, off quietly.
One of the referee's decisions did not meet with approval, and a section of the crowd elected to throw stones.
The referee called on the management, and the appearance of Mr Travers and policemen had the effect of restoring order.

Description of Play

Celtic made the running at the start, and Smith flung clear, and Wilson missed narrowly. With a deft tap Love set the Aberdeen machine in motion, and from his pass Yorston's shot swerved wide.
The game was being played at terrific pace, and both A. Thomson and Black had to be attended for minor injuries.
Yorston was held up in the act of going through, and only a timely intervention by Cook kept McLaren from getting in his shot.
Aberdeen hearts missed a beat when Scarffe touched through in great style, but the Aberdeen defence made a gallant recovery.
With ten minutes gone the Dons, to the delight of the huge crowd, took the lead.
Smart work by McMeekin and McDermid led to shots by McLean and Yorston being blocked. Thomson ran out to clear the second effort, and before he could recover Love, with commendable promptness and coolness, had placed the ball in the net.
This goal gave Aberdeen confidence, and the defence, which had been a trifle nervous, settled down nicely.
Yorston, McDermid and McMeekln had shots. Thomson clutched a high one from the ex-Parkhead Junior, and on one occasion had to run to the edge of the penalty area to clear before the Aberdeen centre could get into position.
Working splendidly in midfield, the Celtic attack got little scope near goal, and Smith was not seriously tested.

The Equaliser

The visitors worked desperately for the equaliser, which they secured in the thirty-third minute. Black in attempting to clear, sent towards his own goal, and in punching the ball away Smith fell. Before he could recover Whitney had got his head to the ball and it was in the net.
From the kick-off Aberdeen swept downfield, and a great goal by McLean was chalked off for offside.
The Parkhead team retaliated, and Smith had to run out to kick clear from Scarffe.
Love time and again took Aberdeen on the attack, and Thomson had to look lively to hold a high shot from the winger.
A draw of one goal each at half-time was a fair reflex of the run of the game.

A deft sidestep by Yorston got in the first shot of the second half, but it was inches high. Only a save bordering on the miraculous kept a terrific shot by McMeekin from putting the Dons one up.
Celtic retaliated with vigour, and Smith cleverly cleared from R. Thomson. The Parkheadright winger drove past a minute later, and then Thomson held from Hill.
When the Aberdeen attack started moving, the Celts' defence knew all about it.

Hill Almost Counts

A shot by McLean grazed the cross bar. R. Thomson missed a grand chance when he lashed over an ideal cross from the left.
"Goal! " was on everybody's lips when Love broke through on the right, and, cutting in, passed to Hill. The half-back's shot flashed past the far post.
In another Celtic raid Napier sent past from an R Thomson cross.
Aberdeen might have taken the lead, when, with the Celts' defence spread-eagled, McLean put across for McMeekin to shoot past.
Play swung from end to end. At the the Aberdeen goal Smith fisted clear from A. Thomson, and at the other citadel Thomson fisted clear from McLean, and McMeekin headed over from a McDermid pass.
Cook, the Celts' right back, sustained a leg injury, and resumed limping badly,
Smith, in the Aberdeen goal, had had been playing well, and he earned the plaudits of the crowd when he ran out to tackle Scarffe fearlessly at a critical moment.
Celtic were all out, and the Dons ' defence were stretched to the breaking point to keep on terms of equality. Smith twice held from R. Thomson. Jackson and McDermid came by injuries, but were able to carry on until the finish.

Source: Press & Journal, 24th August 1931

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Smith, Cooper, Jackson, Black, McLaren, Hill, Love, McMeekin, Yorston, McDermid, McLean.

Unused Subs:


Celtic Teamsheet:  Thomson J; Cook, McGonagle; Wilson, McStay, Geetons; Thomson R, Thomson A, Scarff, Napier, Whitney


Referee: J. Baillie, Motherwell

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