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AFC - Match Report
match report 1938-39 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Raith Rovers 3 - 2 Aberdeen
Kick Off:    Cooper (o.g.) 2, Dunn 37, O'Keefe 48       Biggs 20, Hamilton 60.  
Attendance: 4,000
Venue: Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy



HAD a stranger walked into Starks Park. Kirkcaldy, on Saturday he might well have imagined that it was Aberdeen, not Raith Rovers, who were doomed to the Second Division.

The Fifers were a snappy, go-ahead side, and despite their unhappy position they played with spirit and determination that one could not but admire On this form it is difficult to understand how they ever landed at the bottom of the League table.
The Dons played like a weary team They had lost their sparkle. They uncertain in defence and stereotyped and unenterprising in attack. The points went to the deserving team, and the only pity is that they seem to have come too late to do the Rovers any good.
This defeat has practically blasted Aberdeen's hopes of finishing runners-up to Rangers. And what a chance they had, with Celtic and Hearts both beaten on Saturday!


Raith Rovers started in bright and breezy style against the Dons, and within two minutes were a goal to the good. attack came on the right. Kerr failed in attempt to backheel a shot by Glen, and Cooper, trying to clear, diverted the ball past his own keeper. With twenty minutes played Aberdeen got rather a lucky equalising goal.
Allan put an end to a break through down the middle, but Biggs fastened on to his clearance. The inside-left sent what was probably meant for a cross, and the Rovers keeper, evidently thinking the ball was going over, made no attempt to save, and it passed over his head into the net.
With eight minutes of the half left for play, Raith Rovers smartly regained the lead. Till took a free kick on the right and Dunn dived forward to head the ball into the net.
Three minutes after the restart the home team increased their advantage. A heading bout in the middle saw Kerr nod the ball out to O'Keefe, and the winger, taking it first time, sent it flashing into the net.
Hamilton reduced the leeway in fifteen minutes with a well-taken goal. He positioned himself cleverly when Thomson took a free kick on the left, and ran forward to guide the ball into the net with his head.
Rovers missed a grand chance to add to their total when Cooper brought Kerr down inside the penalty area. Allan took the spot kick, but sent straight to Kelly, and the keeper cleared well.


The Aberdeen defence had a bad day. They never succeeded in mastering the Kirkcaldy attackers, and were completely at sea in the first fifteen minutes Kelly in goal was in no way to blame for the defeat. He had no chance with the shots that beat him, and more than once only smart anticipation by the keeper prevented a score.
Cooper at right back had a poor game. He failed to get a grip of O'Keefe, and both his tackling and kicking were erratic. Glen gave Adey some trouble in the first half, but after the interval the left back did better.
Nicholson, too, was off form. He was often beaten by Kerr with the ball on the ground and was not so safe as usual. Both Dunlop and Thomson worked hard in defence, but were seen to little advantage in an attacking capacity.
With little support the forwards never struck a telling game. Strauss, who was tried on the right wing, did little of note, and Brady, on the other flank, was too impetuous. Armstrong got few accurate passes and threatened little danger. Biggs shone only in the opening stages and Hamilton failed to get into his stride.


There was more life about the Raith Rovers team. The defence was not brilliant. but it was generally sound. Allan and Peattie kicked and tackled well. The strong department of the team, however, was the half-back line. In Till they had the best half-back afield. This young player showed clever touches and invariably got the ball away to advantage.
Campbell, at centre-half, was trifle lacking in polish, but he was effective. O'Keefe and Whitelaw, the left wing pair, were the pick of the attackers. The extreme winger was clever and dangerous, and Whitelaw was strong, forcing inside forward, Kerr was a lively leader.

Source: Press & Journal, 10th April 1939

Raith Rovers Teamsheet:  Ferguson; Allan, Peattie: Till, Campbell, Gabrelli; Glen, Dunn, Kerr, Whitelaw, O'Keefe


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Kelly, Cooper, Adey, Dunlop, Nicholson, Thomson, Strauss, Hamilton, Armstrong, Biggs, Brady.

Unused Subs:


Referee: R. E. Carruthers, Airdrie

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