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AFC - Match Report
match report 1938-39 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Motherwell 2 - 2 Aberdeen
Kick Off:    McCulloch 18, McCulloch 28       Hamilton 1, Biggs 54.  
Attendance: 7,000
Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell



IF the Scottish League awarded a medal each year for the best performance, Aberdeen would have a strong claim to the 1938 honour.

To take a point from Motherwell at Fir Park is a good performance at time, but to take a point from the Lanarkshire team after being down goal at the interval and playing for fifty-five minutes with ten players must come under the category of great performances.
Ten minutes from the interval the Dons lost the services of Armstrong, who received an injury in collision with Murray, the Motherwell 'keeper. It is feared that the Aberdeen leader has injured a cartilage or a ligament, and may be out of the game for several weeks. This is a bad blow, in view of the fact that the first of the Cup-ties is due on January 21.


The ground at Fir Park was iron-hard, and few of the players seemed really confident. In spite of this, however, the standard of the football was quite good, and Aberdeen impressed as the more polished company. Even when they were short-handed the Dons looked as likely to score the winner as Motherwell.
The Dons got off to a flying start. Ann strong kicked off, and the ball was in the net before a home player had touched it. From the kick-off the ball went to Hamilton and back to Nicholson. The centre-half swung it up the middle, and Hamilton beat Ellis to it and sent into the net.
Aberdeen were wise to Motherwell's offside tactics, and the home team were almost caught in their own trap when Strauss got through on the left. The South African drew the 'keeper, and then slipped the ball into the middle. Both Biggs and Hamilton made unsuccessful attempts to send into an empty goal.


The teams were level in eighteen minutes. Mathie dispossessed Nicholson and trailed the ball out to McCulloch. Johnstone could only push out the winger's drive, and McCulloch followed up to send past the 'keeper. Ten minutes later Aberdeen were in arrears. When Nicholson miskicked, Mathie again got the ball out to the left winger, and although Johnstone left his charge in an effort to narrow the angle McCulloch succeeded in finding the net.
Following this goal Strauss was injured, and had to be carried from the field. After an absence of about ten minutes he returned but no sooner had he resumed than Armstrong had to leave.
Aberdeen's ten men fought magnificently in the second half, and it was no more than their just reward when they got on level terms. Biggs got the goal in nine minutes. Strauss had temporarily moved over to the right, and when he sent across a low ball Biggs brought it under control and beat the 'keeper.


The Dons' defence came out of a trying ordeal with credit. They were often hard pressed, but they did not crack. Johnstone had no chance with the goals. Cowie at right back gave a polished display. He was the best back afield. His tackling and positional play were almost beyond reproach. Although lacking his partner's technique. Adey was as effective. He tackled and kicked resolutely.
Nicholson was not happy in the first half, but he atoned for his early mistakes by his second-half display. Both Dunlop and Thomson worked hard throughout, and the left half in particular showed a big improvement on recent displays.
Armstrong's injury is all the more unfortunate when it is considered that the centre showed every promise of returning to his best form. All the forwards were good at Fir Park. After he was injured Strauss came back to play a splendid game.


Hamilton was a clever ball player, and distributed play with skill and acumen, but the honours in attack go to Biggs. The Englishman worked like a Trojan throughout and was a continual source of trouble to the home defence. Warnock on the right kept Ellis fully employed.
Motherwell's rear lines were sound, but not brilliant. They had a good keeper in Murray and Wales was the more confident of the backs. Telfer was the best of the intermediate trio. The finishing of the forwards was poor. The Ogilvie-Bremner right wing partnership faded after a bright start, and McCulloch, although he scored two goals could not be written down as a big success. Mathie was a clever leader.

Source: Press & Journal, 2nd January 1939

Motherwell Teamsheet:  Murray; Wales, Ellis; Mackenzie, Blair, Telfer; Ogilvie, Bremner, Mathie, Stevenson, McCulloch


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Johnstone, Cowie, Adey, Dunlop, Nicholson, Thomson, Warnock, Hamilton, Armstrong, Biggs, Strauss.

Unused Subs:


Referee: R. G. Benzie, Irvine

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