Click here to go back to the AFC Heritage Trust Homepage Aberdeen Football Club Heritage Trust Logo  
AFC - Match Report
match report 1904-05 fixture list
East Scotland League 
Aberdeen 1 - 1 Leith Athletic
Kick Off:    Ellis.       Walker  
Attendance: 0
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
The Opening of the Season
Leith Athletics had the honour of opening the football season at Pittodrie on Monday last with the home team. The game was an East of Scotland League fixture, and attracted a goodly crowd of spectators. The "black and gold brigade," as the Aberdeen must now be termed, were represented by McFarlane, Murray and Willox, Halkett, Strang and Low, Robertson, Ellis, McNicol, McAulay and Ritchie. The custodian, in the absence of the McNicol acted as captain, and gave the locals a good start by winning the toss. Penman kicked off for the visitors, but the Aberdeen came away with a rush, and let the visitors have the first goal kick of the game. Keeping up the pressure the homesters made a determined attack on the Leith goal, but over-anxiety spoiled likely chances. McAulay and Strang had both good chances, but threw them away by wild shooting. At last a glorious opportunity came, which, however, was badly spoiled by Robertson using his hands to the ball instead of his head. The Athletics were at this time playing a fine steady game, and, led by Penman, made more than one determined attack on the home citadel. Bad finishing, however, was the cause of their non success. After some give and take play the homesters scored - Ellis doing the needful from close in. Not long after this same player sent in a grand shot which was as finely dealt with by Mailer. Even play followed until the interval, when the ground team crossed over with a lead of a goal. On resuming the Aberdeen made a strong effort to increase their lead, but found the visitors defence safe. The home custodian now came in for a spell of work, but none the shots sent in were of the brilliant order. The home team now began to show signs of fatigue, with the result that the defence got more than their share of work. Quarter of an hour from time the equaliser came MacFarlane having hard lines in not effecting a save. Towards the close of the game play brightened up considerably, but try as they could neither eleven could manage to gain the leading point. Aberdeen, 1, Leith Athletics 1.

Points from Pittodrie

It was indeed gratifying to see such a large crowd at the opening game.
Pittodrie was looking well, and the new turnstiles gave a merry click as if to greet every spectator when they passed through the narrow way.
Changes are many in "the auld hoose." Just fancy seeing the Aberdeen rigged out in black and gold jerseys. This in itself is enough to make the old Whites' supporters wrong in their mind. Rank desecration, some would term it.
Some of the old players and their ways are missing - McKay, Barret, and Shinner with his electric bursts and hard drive.
Monday's game was almost an exact duplicate of last year?s opening game with East Stirlingshire. On that occasion the visitors proved themselves the best lot by lasting the game and the pace better than the Aberdeen. The same thing was shown this year.

MacFarlane at once impressed the home crowd by his cool and confident style of saving. He certainly does not want experience. The skipper's big punts were badly wanted, and he is sure of a hearty reception when he comes north to lead on his men to victory, we hope.
We do not mean to infer that Murray and Willox did not play well, as that would be doing these men a great injustice. The former was fluky at first through nervousness, but when fairly set in his bearings played grandly. He possesses a fair turn of speed and is a fairly good kicker but above all he can tackle well. Willox made a very good partner to the new man and will come better into form as the season advances.

The half-back line was good, but never brilliant. Halkett and Low were the pick. It is perhaps rather unfair to criticise a player in his first game of the season, but we can hardly do otherwise in regard to Strang. For a centre-half he does not possess a great turn of speed and he is not by any means a good tackler. Until these points are remedied we are afraid Strang can never be termed an ideal centre-half.
The forwards were the weakest part of the team. There were no outstanding men in the quintette. Ritchie was just fair, while his partner - McAulay was wretched. These two will come yet, once they get an understanding between each other.
The centre - McNicol - lacks height, but is not awanting in dash or weight. Ellis has also plenty of dash, coupled with a good command of the ball. He might try to remember that there is such a man as an outside right. Robertson got little or no chance to shine.
The team as a whole, will do, and ought to make things hum to a certain extent once they come together to one another's play.
The visitors showed a surprising dash which was quite refreshing.
In the front rank Penman and Dow were the outstanding men but, as a whole, they were, if anything, behind the home quintette.
All three halves showed good form, and lashed the ball from wing to wing to some purpose.
Thomson and McRae played a good defensive back game, and as regards strong kicking, were ahead of the home pair. This was more evident when they adopted the wasting time game.
Mailer proved a very reliable custodian, who possesses a fine reach.
The referee, Mr, Dougary, was very fair in his decisions, although making one or two errors on the offside rule. The crowd, as per usual, were not slow to let him know his mistake.

Source: Bon-Accord, August 18, 1904

The season at Pittodrie opened last night when Leith Athletic provided the opposition in an East of Scotland League fixture. A large number of spectators witnessed the game. Both teams were strongly represented, the elevens being as follows:- Aberdeen: McFarlane; Willox, Murray; Halkett, Strang, Low; Robertson, Ellis, McNicol, McAulay, Ritchie.
Leith Athletic: Mailer; J. H. Thomson, Macrae; Moffat, "Smith," Gordon; Cuthell, Walker, Penman, W. Thomson, Dow.
Referee - Mr. James Dougray, Glasgow.

Aberdeen, winning the toss, elected to play towards the east end. With a strong breeze in their favour, they were soon in the vicinity of the visitors' citadel, but the defence prevailed, and the homesters were sent to the right about. Leith in turn took up the attack and forced a corner, which proved of no avail, although Smith, from far out, sent in a somewhat dangerous shot. Shaking off the pressure, the Pittodrie men made good progress, and several corners fell to them. As the result of one of these, McAulay got into a favourable position but he shot wildly over the bar. In a twinkling, however, the home front rank were back again on Mailer. Ritchie, after bringing the ball well up the left, crossed nicely to Robertson, who spoiled the most favourable of chances by sending the ball into the net with his hand. The free kick gave the Athletic more freedom, and, for fully ten minutes the play was almost solely confined to the midfield. A huge punt by Murray let Aberdeen well in, and a corner was conceded to them, but again with no result. Once again the homesters became the aggressors, and for a time they monopolized play. A well-judged cross by Ritchie was the means of again giving the right wing an opening, and the ball, aided in its passage across the goalmouth by McNicol, was seized by Ellis, who directed it into the net. Encouraged by this success, Aberdeen continued to give a spirited exhibition, and just before half-time sounded, Ellis made the crossbar rattle with a lovely shot from far out.

On resuming, the home lot became conspicuous by a well-combined run towards Mailer, but a pass by Robertson was intercepted by Macrae, and the ball sent well up the field. The visitors forced a corner, but Strang relieved, and for a considerable time after this, Aberdeen kept their opponents confined to their own territory, where another corner was conceded. About ten minutes from the close, the Athletic quintette got away, and from about 30 yards out Walker drove hard and low into goal. McFarlane got hold of the ball, but, in doing so, he fell, and, slipping out of his grasp, the leather rolled into the net, thus making the teams level. The homesters tried hard to force matters, but, finding themselves in difficulties, the Athletic defence did not scruple to send the ball out of play, and the game ended Aberdeen 1, Leith Athletic 1.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 16th August 1904

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  MacFarlane, Murray, Willox, Halkett, Low, Strang, Ellis, McAulay, McNicol, Ritchie, Robertson.

Unused Subs:


Leith Athletic Teamsheet:  Mailer; J. H. Thomson, Macrae; Moffat, "Smith," Gordon; Cuthell, Walker, Penman, W. Thomson, Dow


Referee: Mr. Dougary, Glasgow

Related Links: