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AFC - Match Report
match report 1903-04 fixture list
Northern League 
Aberdeen 1 - 1 Stenhousemuir
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   McAulay.       Porteous  
Attendance: 8,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
The Opening Game
The new Aberdeen opened their first football season on Saturday at Pittodrie with a match against Stenhousemuir. The game was a Northern League fixture, and although the weather was gloomy and threatening, a huge crowd gathered to give the combined team a hearty send off. The home team, on winning the toss, elected to play towards the City. After some midfield play, Johnstone got away on the left for the White's, but his parting shot just missed. The Muir had now a look in, and they certainly made good use of their chances, for Barrett had to save one or two dangerous tries from their left wing. The homesters retaliated, and after a clever run down the wing, Johnstone sent in a terrific drive, which Wood turned aside with difficulty. Keeping up the pressure, their efforts were at last rewarded by McAulay accepting a pass from Mackie and scoring with a fast low shot. The ball was no sooner kicked off at centre, when Johnstone almost repeated the performance - Wood alone saving the visitors. A breakaway by the visitors' front rank looked dangerous, but McGregor relieving with a huge punt, let the home right wing have a try at the opposition goal. Both Strang and McKay had good tries, which deserved a better fate than to be caught and punted down the field again. Nothing short of the net would have satisfied the players for their efforts, and the home crowd their thirst for goals. On nearing the interval, the maroons made strenuous efforts, to equalise matters, but with no success, and when the whistle sounded the White's crossed over with a well deserved lead of a goal. We must admit that at this time our hopes of the Aberdeen winning, or even drawing the match, were not very confident, as the Muir seemed to he much fresher and less fagged out than the home eleven.

On resuming, the visitor began their task of making up the leeway, but they met a resolute defence, and had to turn their attention to defence once the White's got into stride. Nearly all the forwards had tries to increase the lead, but every kind of shot was treated alike by Wood, the visitors' custodian, who was playing a magnificent game for his side. McKay had exceedingly hard lines in not beating him on one occasion, in fact we hardly know yet how he managed to put the hall over the bar when in such a good position. With the first half of the second portion gone, the home team had still their lead of a goal, but after that the Muir took the game in hand, and Barrett was kept very lively. After negotiating some hard drives he had at last to own defeat from a try by Porteous, which struck the inside of the post; and rolled into the net. This was the equaliser, after which comes the winning point. Both elevens strove hard to gain that point, and although the White's did all they could, in answer to the shouts of the crowd, yet they could make little impression on the visitors' defence. On the other hand, the same could not be said of the Aberdeen defence, which caused the spectator no end of anxiety, and had it not been for Barrett, especially, they would now be mourning the loss of two points. On one occasion, when all seemed lost, he rushed out and picked the ball from an opponent's foot, as that player was about to shoot from close range. The homesters wakened up after this escape, and kept their goal intact until the finish, when the scores stood equal after a well contested game. Aberdeen, l. Stenhousemuir, 1


Points from Pittodrie.

We were glad to see such a large crowd at Pittodrie to witness the first game of the new club.
If the Whites did not win, still, the shareholders have the consolation that their pets were not defeated, and best of all that the gate totalled 106.
A few more gates like this will, we should think, help to make matters run smoothly.
If anyone were present who had doubts as to Aberdonians being enthusiastic, then they must have had these doubts dispelled as they heard the howl of joy when the home team scored.
The Aberdeen, no doubt, had the best of the exchanges during the first period, but it was their opponents' turn in the second half.
Another five minutes would have sufficed to give the Muir the major points, as they seemed better trained than the Whites.
Barrett gave a very fine display in goal, and should give the rest of the team a feeling of confidence.
His daring save about five minutes from time, fully deserved the applause it brought forth. It was a masterpiece.
Willox was the better back, and was much safer than his partner McGregor.
The latter has height, weight etc. to his advantage, but is sadly deficient in speed. We hope this can, and will be remedied.
The halves, all locals, were the surprise of the day. All played above their last year's best form.
Ritchie was the pick of the trio. We would, however, like to see them try a shot on their own now and again.
The forwards, considering that they are new to each other, combined very well together. Johnstone, we consider, is the catch of the lot, judging from Saturday's display. He is a dashing player, and if only he had a little more weight, would make an ideal left winger.
McAulay scored the goal, and fed his partner fairly well, but we must confess he was a little disappointing. He should not be so unselfish, but try one of his pot shots oftener.
If McKay had lain on the backs more in the first half, then his centre play would have been more effective. However, he opened out in the second period, and gave a finished display.
Strang worked hard, and was a very fair inside right, but if his true place is centre-half, why not put him there?
C. Mackie had a rather strong half against him, and did not shine in his usual brilliant manner, but one must excuse a lot for the opening game.
In Wood, a junior on trial, the Muir have spotted a "goalie" who bids fair to be a champion. He had more to do than Barrett, and did it well.
Their backs are strong kickers and resolute tacklers, not inclined to encourage fancy work either on their own or in their opponents.
Silcock was the best of a good going half line.
Their forwards did not combine well at first, but gradually came together, and will prove a dangerous Quintette to some teams.
Porteous and Shearer were the pick.
Mr. T. C. Hendry made a very efficient referee, and kept the game well in hand.

Source: Bon-Accord August 20 1903

Probably not since the Welsh International football match was played in Pittodrie Grounds in February, 1900, has such a large gathering been seen in what is now the home of the Aberdeen Football Club, Limited, as there was on Saturday. The football season opened on Saturday, and the new club made its debut on Pittodrie. The event was a Northern League fixture, and the opposition was supplied by the crack team in the provinces - Stenhousemuir. The teams were: Stenhousemuir: Wood; Fairley, Murphy; A. McNair, McBride, Weir; Buchanan, Porteous, J. McNair, Brown, Shearer. Aberdeen: Barret; McGregor, Willocks; Sangster, Low, Ritchie; C. Mackie, Strang, Mackay, McAuley (captain), Johnston. Referee: Mr J. C. Hendry, Dundee. Prior to the match, Aberdeen was photographed.

The locals won the toss, and defended the east end. Ritchie was early conspicuous in stopping a rush, and Aberdeen were down on Wood. The 'Muir forced their way east, but McGregor repelled in excellent fashion. Following some give-and-take play, McAuley shot behind. The defence of both teams was tried severely. A flying run by the home quintette culminated in a narrow squeak for the strangers' goal, Johnston, who had previously distinguished himself with a grand shot from the touch-line, missing the post by inches. At the other end, Barret averted a goal cleverly. The succeeding stages were rather tedious. After fifteen minutes' play, McAuley shot a smart goal in a scrimmage, and Johnston almost repeated the performance the next minute. Aberdeen's forward line's tactics, were upset by the dashing methods adopted by fine maroons,' back play. Aberdeen nearly added to their score - a magnificent cross from Johnston being lost almost, on the goal line. A moment later Strang made a splendid try from thirty yards out, Wood just saving. Barret then twice distinguished himself, and the 'Muir defence was again in hot water. Strang screwed the ball close over the cross-bar At the ground team's end Sangster was prominent for a clever clearance. End-to-end play ensued. A rare chance was presented Brown but Barret saved brilliantly. A moment later Johnston delighted the crowd by outwitting several players and crossing to McAuley. The inside man shot, swiftly, but Wood was too much on the qui vive. Play ruled from goal to goal, and there was no more scoring. Half-time: Aberdeen 1, Stenhousemuir 0.

The visitors had the better of the opening play, then the home left nearly beat Wood. The Whites pinned their opponents in for some time, but their goalmouth play was not rewarded as it deserved. First Wood saved grandly from McAuley, then Mackay grazed the cross-bar with an express delivery. Wood again saved his side by holding out a shot at, the post from Low at close range. Aberdeen's defence then shone. A rush in on Wood ended in the ball bounding over the bar with no one in the goal, and at the other end of the held the Muir were adjudged offsides. A prettily-combined run by the Aberdeen front line ended in a fine shot by Mackie from the touch-line, which Wood was not disposed to let past him. Stenhousemuir wore down, and an unexpected shot from A McNair, which struck the inside of the off-upright, and rebounded into the net gave the Maroons the equalizer. The Whites' goal was again in jeopardy, and Barret earned the gratitude of the crowd. Aberdeen was unfortunate at goal, several likely shots striking players by accident. As the end hove in sight, both teams wrought determinedly for the winning goal, but the whistle blew with the score - Aberdeen 1. Stenhousemuir 1. The money taken at the gate and stands amounted to 104, which with 80 to 90 worth of season ticket-holders, would give an attendance, including boys and ladies, of not less than 8000.

Source: Aberdeen Journal, 17th August 1903

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Barrett, McGregor, Willox, Sangster, Low, Ritchie, Mackie, Strang, MacKay, McAulay, Johnston.

Unused Subs:


Stenhousemuir Teamsheet:  Wood; Fairley, Murphy; A. McNair, McBride, Weir; Buchanan, Porteous, J. McNair, Brown, Shearer


Referee: Mr. J. C. Hendry, Dundee

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