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AFC - Match Report
match report 1931-32 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Leith Athletic 1 - 2 Aberdeen
Kick Off:    Marshall       Love, Armstrong 46.  
Attendance: 1,000
Venue: Marine Gardens, Portobello
ABERDEEN'S GREAT FIGHT. Hard-Won Victory Over Leith.
Leith Athletic made a sturdy fight against Aberdeen at the Marine Gardens, Edinburgh, and it was mainly due to bad finishing that they failed to secure a draw. They were handicapped by an injury to Turnbull, who exchanged places with Johnston at outside-left, and was of little use during the second half. In a hard game on heavy ground, the Aberdeen players maintained good touch with each other, and while their supremacy was never strongly marked, they were the better side. A goal to each side within ten minutes quickened interest at the outset. Laidlaw, well supported from behind by McNeill, showed good running on the Leith right wing, and a cross from that quarter was flicked through by Marshall. In the retaliatory rush which followed Love equalised. After that the defences held sway, and both goalkeepers did good work in parrying high shots and coping with rush tactics. The winning goal was scored in the first minute of the second half. Aberdeen reopened with a sweeping raid in which McDermid hit the crossbar, and from the rebounding ball Armstrong scored. Marshall's long passes helped Leith Athletic in a fighting finish, but in the goal area the honours were with Aberdeen. Smith made some daring saves, and often retained his grip of the ball against odds. The best football in the game came from Love and McLean, on the Aberdeen left wing. They had a lively second half, but found worthy opponents in McNeill and Allan, the latter of whom made a promising first appearance at right back. Aberdeen were well served all round, though they had to play hard for success. The attendance was under 2000 .

Source: The Scotsman, 5th December 1931

Owing to heavy rain, conditions were not good at the Marine Gardens, Portobello, and before the game it was necessary to bale water off the pitch. Within eight minutes Marshall put the Athletic ahead by cleverly guiding a cross from the right past Smith. Defensive weakness let Love in for the equalising goal two minutes later. Immediately after the interval a shot from McDermid struck the crossbar, and Armstrong netted the rebound. To be on level terms at the interval was somewhat flattering to Leith, but their determined attacking in the second half entitled them to a point.

Source: Glasgow herald, 5th December 1931

Aberdeen accomplished a meritorious performance at the Marine Gardens, Portobello, when they defeated Leith Athletic by two goals to one.
After heavy rain the pitch, which is usually soft, was flooded, and a fierce wind from the south-west made the conditions deplorable. At one end the pitch was so sodden that the players were almost ankle-deep in mud, and it was surprising how they sustained the fast pace that was set up.
The honours of the game went to Aberdeen. They had the better of the game territorially, and while both goals ran narrow escapes, that applies more to Todd's charge.


In addition Aberdeen had a disallowed on the grounds of offside, a decision they strongly challenged.
It was a case of the team that adapted itself better to the conditions winning the match. There could be no doubt Aberdeen did that, but for the closing fifteen minutes, except the last, they were hard put to it to retain their lead.
Aberdeen had been making the running in the opening stages, but Leith were first to score. Laidlaw broke away, and from his cross Marshall neatly tipped the ball into the net. This reverse spurred Aberdeen to greater effort, and after four minutes had gone when, after several shots had been blocked in a fierce scrimmage in front Todd, Love dashed in to crash the ball into the net.
Subsequently Aberdeen made most of the running, and before the interval Armstrong netted again, but the point was disallowed for offside, and at half-time the teams were level at one goal each.

Winning Goal.

Only a minute of the second half had gone when Aberdeen took the lead. Warnock led off on the right, and his cross might have been accepted by Armstrong. They returned the attack, and after McDermid had hit the crossbar, Armstrong got the rebound to give his side the lead.
For a time Aberdeen had the better of the exchanges, and with a little more steadiness might have increased their lead.
The pace began to tell, and, on the lead, Aberdeen for time adopted a defensive policy. During that period Smith was often in action but refused to be beaten, and just before the close the Aberdeen attack again came away. Inside a minute Warnock, Armstrong, and McLean all had tries which just failed to count.

Team Spirit.

The result reflected great credit on Aberdeen, but the Athletic too must be given praise for the splendid fight they put up.
All the Aberdeen side played well and exploited the team spirit that is so essential to success.
Smith kept goal in brilliant fashion, and, while Cooper was the best back on the field, McGill did his part well. All three half-backs - Fraser, Falloon, and Ballantyne - were tireless and worked for a purpose. Forward, McDermid and Love were always outstanding, but McLean before sustaining injury was crafty as could be. Warnock and Armstrong were go-ahead and forceful raiders, but the centre-forward was not too fortunate in his finishing, a defect which could be excused in view of the conditions.

Leith's Best.

Leith Athletic were well served by their defence, especially Todd, Forrest, and Reid who were indefatigable. Forward, their best were Laidlaw and Marshall, but the attack did not have the same business-like look as that of Aberdeen. Attendance, 1000.

Source: Press & Journal, 7th December 1931

Leith Athletic Teamsheet:  Todd; Allan, Forrest; McNeill, Reid, Crawford; Laidlaw, Marshall, Nicol, Turnbull, Johnston


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Smith, Cooper, McGill, Fraser, Falloon, Ballantyne, Warnock, McDermid, Armstrong, McLean, Love.

Unused Subs:


Referee: J. C. Love, Helensburgh

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