Click here to go back to the AFC Heritage Trust Homepage Aberdeen Football Club Heritage Trust Logo  
AFC - Match Report
match report 1931-32 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Motherwell 3 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:    McFadyen 12, McFadyen 31, McFadyen 37        
Attendance: 7,000
Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell
DONS' FAILURE AT FIR PARK. Never in Game With Chance.
Aberdeen sustained their first defeat of the season at Fir Park, Motherwell. Fine weather favoured the game, and the attendance reached 7000. The prophecy that the Aberdeen side would constitute itself a challenger to the Western leadership of the League was rather rudely dispelled, for the time being at least, by their inability to rise above mediocrity in the game. The visitors, to be sure, played under strength, two regulars being missing in Hill and McLean, and it may fairly be assumed that the team was handicapped on that account. The issue was pretty well settled in the first half, when Motherwell scored thrice through McFadyen, and Aberdeen failed to count. There was no scoring whatever in the second half, and Motherwell found it comparatively easy to maintain their first half lead. There was a forwards punch about the play of the Motherwell side that was entirely lacking in the visitors; it was indeed in forward play that Motherwell won the game. The Aberdeen defence was soon overworked, and in the first half-hour the forwards could do little to relieve the defence. Motherwell's grip of the game might easily have been reflected in a bigger score. The Aberdeen defence seemed to tighten up latterly, but the game was won and lost by the interval.

Source: The Scotsman, 31st August 1931

Conditions at Fir Park, Motherwell, on Saturday were more suited to cricket than to football, and the players must have been thankful for the wind which blew across the field and lessened the heat. But the same wind often disconcerted the players as it blew the light ball from the intended mark at times and caused many shots at goal to swing outside the posts or high over the bar.
McFadyen, the home centre forward scored three goals in the first half, and they gave Motherwell victory. Aberdeen must have had an off-day - they never questioned the superiority of the home team and never put up a fight for the points. Motherwell's superiority was greater than the three goal lead would indicate, and during the first half in particular the home men missed many chances.

No Incentive

In the second half Motherwell treated the onlookers to some nice football, but they did not exert themselves, and Aberdeen could not get up enough steam to keep interest in the game. It was at half-back and in the forward line that the home team's superiority was most pronounced. Blair the Yoker recruit who deputised for Craig at centre half-back gave a display that proved him to be of First Division standard. Yorston seems to have changed his tactics. He was inclined to take up position and wait for the ball, and in that role he was far less effective than when dashing about after the ball and harassing the opposing defenders. On Saturday he got little support; his half-backs were unable to cope with the Motherwell attack and were unable to support their forwards. McDermid and Paterson tried to force the game, but they got little response from their wing men.
McMenemy and Ellis were the outstanding men on the Motherwell side; both seem to improve every game. The half-backs all played well, and Stevenson and Ferrier did some clever things, although both seemed to have left their shooting boots in the pavilion. Dowall, who deputised for Murdoch on the right, was a bit slow at times, but he gave McFadyen the chances from which he scored two of his goals.

Source: The Scotsman, 31st August 1931

Seven thousand spectators saw Aberdeen cut a poor figure at Fir Park, where Motherwell trounced them by 3 goals to 0.

Aberdeen were handicapped by the absence of Hill, McMeeken and McLean, for whom Ballantyne, Paterson and Galloway respectively deputised, while Motherwell had Blair for Craig and Dowall for Murdoch, both on the injured list.
In the first half Aberdeen had to contend with a strong breeze, while Motherwell were troubled by a strong sun. Practically from the start Motherwell assumed the offensive and never at any time during the game did Aberdeen look like saving a point.
By half-time Motherwell had built a 3-0 lead, and it appeared, in the second half, they were satisfied with this and did not have to exert themselves unduly to retain their advantage.

McFadyen's Hat Trick.

Stevenson sent a great drive against the upright early on, and only twelve minutes had gone when Dowall slipped past Jackson to square, and McFadyen netted easily from close range.
The second goal came after thirty-one minutes play, when McFadyen connected with another cross from Dowall and left Smith helpless.
McFadyen completed his hat trick eight minutes from the interval, when he headed through from another cross by Dowall.
In the period the Aberdeen forwards had several spasmodic raids, but were never really dangerous, and there was practically no co-operation between the middle and front lines. Galloway twice, Paterson and Love had McClory in action, but he did not have to deal with any really dangerous shots.
The same state of affairs existed practically throughout the second half, but Aberdeen's defence put up a much better fight. Smith's goal was often in danger, and he dealt with a number of good shots, but had the Motherwell forwards been less careless and rash in their finishing they must have scored more goals.
Aberdeen's nearest approach to a score was when Paterson dribbled through, and McClory had been drawn out, but the forward from an angle sent wide of the goal.

Weak Forwards.

Smith in the Aberdeen goal was blameless for the defeat. Cooper and Jackson, after being erratic in the first half, steadied later. On a half-back line that was more concerned with defence than attack, Black was best.
Not one of the forwards showed anything like his best form, this being due mostly to the lack of support from behind.
Motherwell were a splendid all round combination. McClory had an easy afternoon, and Johnman and Ellis both tackled and kicked strongly. Blair fitted in nicely at centre-half, and Wales was always prominent at right half. The forwards, especially McMenemy and Stevenson, served up brilliant football at times. Dowall was brilliantly effective at outside right, and McFadyen was a dashing leader and opportunist.

Source: Press & Journal, 31st August 1931

Motherwell Teamsheet:  McClory; Johnman, Ellis; Wales, Blair, Telfer; Dowall, McMenemy, McFadyen, Stevenson, Ferrier


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Smith, Cooper, Jackson, Black, McLaren, Ballantyne, Love, Paterson, Yorston, McDermid, Galloway.

Unused Subs:


Referee: A. H. Leishman, Falkirk

Related Links: