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AFC - Match Report
match report 1938-39 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Aberdeen 4 - 0 Arbroath
Kick Off:  2:15 PM   Hamilton 26, Hamilton 46, Pattillo 68, Thomson 78.        
Attendance: 15,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen

Whack Arbroath Easily by Four Clear Goals to Start 1939 Well

PLAYING confidently as a result of recent fine performances against Celtic and Motherwell, Aberdeen got off to a great start in the New Year when they whacked Arbroath by four clear goals at Pittodrie yesterday.

At no time were the Dons stretched, and although Armstrong was undoubtedly missed as leader of the attack, the splendid play of Hamilton and Biggs, the inside men, provided problems for which the Gayfield defence had no answers.
In contrast to the conditions prevailing at Motherwell on Saturday, the pitch was soft, but the home team revelled in the mud, and for the most part Arbroath did the defending.
After an initial raid by the visitors, Aberdeen got into their stride, and Biggs was early prominent with two tries for goal. Both were with his head, but each time he was baulked by a great save by Robertson.
In twenty-six minutes Hamilton put the homesters ahead after a movement started by Biggs. From a neat slip by the inside man Strauss crossed, and the inside right headed the ball into the roof of the net with the defenders out of position.
The only real shot Johnstone had to save was try by Gould, and half-time came with Arbroath defending.
Only a minute of the second half had gone when Hamilton smacked home a second goal. Biggs again initiated the movement, and the finishing effort was a beauty. Arbroath kept pegging away, but it was no surprise when they lost a third goal in twenty-three minutes, Pattillo heading home from a corner by Hamilton.
A fourth goal followed ten minutes later, but it seemed that Robertson might have saved Thomson's shot from outside the penalty area.
From goal out Aberdeen were a confident lot, and they could find their man better than the opposition. Johnstone had little to do in goal, while Adey was the better back. For a long time Cowie was unable to find his feet on the greasy surface, but he improved later.
There was strength in the half-back line. Nicholson stopped everything which came down the centre, but best of the three was Dunlop, who excelled both in breaking-up and distributing the play. Thomson also showed up well, especially in attack.
Biggs was again the star man in attack. His confidence increases with every game. He was a continual menace to Arbroath, and was unlucky not to score. Hamilton was not far behind, but both Strauss and Warnock were kept quiet. Pattillo was not too impressive in the centre, and he would improve his play if he got off his mark quicker.
Apart from missing Thomson's shot, Robertson was a good 'keeper for Arbroath, and in front of him Fordyce, Becci and Gavin strove manfully to keep the home forwards out. Urquhart, until he went off injured near the close, was the better wing-half.
In the l attack McInally and Hughes did their best to open up play, but the quick tackling of the home half-backs prevented them becoming really dangerous. Gould was the better winger.






(By "MAC.")

ABERDEEN started the year in good style with a 4-0 victory over Arbroath at Pittodrie this afternoon. They thoroughly deserved the points.

Played on heavy and greasy ground, the game was maintained at a gruelling pace throughout. Considering the conditions some nice football was served up.
The Dons were unquestionably the better team. They could find their man better and moved with more rhythm and confidence.
Arbroath fought to the last, but were beaten by a superior team. Hamilton (2), Pattillo and Thomson were Aberdeen s marksmen. Biggs and Hamilton were the best home forwards.
ARBROATH were Aberdeen's "firstfoots" this afternoon. The "Red Lichties" took the place of Dundee, the usual New Year opposition.
Aberdeen were without Armstrong, who was injured, and Pattillo, the former Hall, Russell's player, led the attack. Arbroath fielded the same team as beat Queen's Park on Saturday
The weather was cold but dry, and although there was a sprinkling of snow on the pitch the ground looked soft. There was a crowd of about 15,000


Adams kicked off for Arbroath and they attacked strongly on the left, Urquhart forcing a corner. The flag kick was cleared and Hamilton sent the ball up the right to Warnock. Beccis failed to stop the winger, but his cross went behind before Pattillo could reach it.
Dunlop, Biggs and Hamilton set up a clever attacking movement. The inside right swept the ball into the middle and Pattillo was pulled up for charging the 'keeper.
The Arbroath left wing was full of life. A neat back-heel flick by Adams saw Hughes gather the ball but before he could shoot Adey came dashing in to clear.


The players were scrambling about on the greasy surface, and even the referee went to earth during one attack. This move came to an end when Pattillo was given offside as he accepted a pass from Biggs.
Hamilton and Warnock forced a corner on the right. Hamilton took the kick and placed it well. Biggs got his head to the ball and only a fine save by Robertson prevented a score. The ball was travelling away from the 'keeper. Another corner taken by Hamilton saw a fierce drive by Strauss blocked.
Robertson performed another prodigious feat when he turned another grand header by Biggs round the post for a corner. It was a splendid try and a splendid save.

The flag kick was cleared but the Dons continued to force the pace until McInally tried a solo dash for the visitors. He was forced to part to Gould and Adey cleared the winger's cross.
In twenty-six minutes the Dons took the lead, and a clever goal it was, too. Biggs started the movement. He sent the ball out to Strauss and the winger beat Fordyce before crossing.
HAMILTON rose to meet the ball with his head and sent it flying into the net.
Just as the movement started Christie was injured on the right touchline, but was able to resume after attention. Arbroath launched several promising attacks, but the home defence covered up smartly and Johnstone was not called upon.
A free kick taken by Adey put the Dons on the attack again and a long range try by Dunlop went past Robertson's charge.
Hughes made ground on the visiting left wing, and finished by swinging the ball over to the right. Gould gained possession, eluded Nicholson, and crossed for Johnstone to save.
A minute later the home 'keeper ran to the edge of the penalty box to clear a cross from Christie.


Biggs was forcing on play for the Dons, but the forwards could not open up the Arbroath defence. Pattillo passed to Strauss and the winger went after the ball. Robertson got there first and picked it up. The South African came charging in and was pulled up for a foul on the 'keeper.



A free kick by Adey put Aberdeen on the offensive in the opening minute of the second half, but they were quickly repulsed.
In one minute the Dons increased their lead. Biggs made ground and sent the ball out to Strauss. Across it came, and HAMILTON gathered the ball, swerved away from Fordyce and found the net with a grand drive.
Arbroath were game. They fought their way to the other end, and a foul against Adey for handling saw Hughes send the ball flashing narrowly past with Johnstone sprawling full length in the mud.
The exchanges were fast and fierce. Hard knocks were being taken and given, but the pace showed no signs of slackening.
Biggs set the Dons going when he swung the ball out to the left. Strauss started to cut in but was fouled by Fordyce just outside the penalty area. The South African took the " free," but the ball was cleared.


A neat slip through the centre by Hughes gave Adams a great chance, but the "Red Lichties" leader was overeager and shot past. He did better next minute when he dodged Nicholson and shot strongly for Johnstone to save.
Hamilton and Biggs combined to let Pattillo through. They succeeded, but the centre was offside.
The referee's whistle was almost continually on the go. The Dons were the smoother-moving and better-balanced side, but the Gayfielders were full of fight and were dangerous when they got going.


Johnstone cleared a corner on the right and a quick transfer from Biggs to Warnock ended in Becci conceding a corner.
Hamilton placed the flag kick well and PATTILLO headed it down and into the net. This goal came in twenty-three minutes.
The Dons quickly got on the move again and Pattillo slipped the ball out to Strauss for the South African to shoot over.
Nineteen minutes from the end Fordyce, the Arbroath right back was injured and had to leave the field. During his absence Aberdeen got a corner on the left but the ball was cleared.
The right back resumed during an Arbroath attack.


The visitors got a corner and first Adey and then Nicholson stopped dangerous drives. When Nicholson brought Christie down outside the penalty area Johnstone smartly held the free kick from Hughes.
Biggs had another great dribble in which he beat three men, but his cross was cleared by Gavin.
In thirty-three minutes came a fourth goal of the Dons.
THOMSON picked up a loose ball and from twenty-two yards' range beat Robertson.
The 'keeper seemed slow in getting down to it.
Warnock tried a shot after a corner by Strauss, but again Gavin got in the way. After Urquhart had had to go off injured Johnstone ran out to kick clear, with Adams rushing in. .

Source: Evening Express, 2nd January 1939

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

Unused Subs:


Arbroath Teamsheet:  Robertson; Fordyce, Becci; Vannet, Gavin, Urquhart; Gould, McInally, Adams, Hughes, Christie


Referee: R. E. Carruthers, Airdrie

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