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AFC - Match Report
match report 1903-04 fixture list
Northern League 
Arbroath 4 - 1 Aberdeen
Kick Off:    Black, Salmond, Willocks, Middleton       Strang.  
Attendance: 1,500
Venue: Gayfield Park, Arbroath
The Downfall

All Aberdeen and the proverbial twal mile round it should by this time he convinced that, as far as regards football, the Arbroath club is its master. For our own part, we have recognised this for some time, but we know many who, while admitting that they were excellent exponents of the game, pinned their faith to the Whites on Saturday last. They are sadder, if not wiser, men to-day. Saturday last was the third time the teams had met this season, and on each occasion Arbroath have triumphed, twice in Northern League games, and once in the Qualifying Ties. That the Aberdeen were hopeful of winning on Saturday goes without saying, and we admire them for showing such a spirit. But they reckoned without the Arbroath. The defeat to the Aberdeen means more than the loss of two points. In a short time they will be making application for admission to the Scottish League, and their season's record will not look the brighter with a 4-1 defeat at practically the end of it. All sorts of excuses will be told of the Aberdeen defeat, but the one and only cause of it is that they found the Arbroath for the third time the better team. McNicoll, we are told, was not playing, and we are asked to believe that this was the cause of the Aberdeen's downfall. We quite admit that McNicoll is the best back in Aberdeen, but we refuse to believe that his absence made all the difference in the score. And another thing, is it not asking too much of us to believe that a club that has such aspirations as the Aberdeen have not a reserve man of about equal merit to put in his place. McNicoll is a good man, but his presence in the field on Saturday would not have turned the defeat into a victory. We have already stated in these columns that it is to their Eastern League record, and not to their Northern League one, that the Aberdeen will have to rely on when making their application to the Scottish League. Up to the present it is not a bad one, and if in the remaining fixtures they can improve their position, all the better for them. For our part, however, we should have preferred had the Aberdeen?s application been backed up by being in the proud position of champions of the Northern League. It would have been a season's record, and we do not require to point out here that the East of Scotland League is got up to fill in the card at the end of the season, after the serious work has been finished. The defeat of Saturday is indeed to be lamented.

Source: Bon-Accord March 24, 1904

The Aberdeen team travelled to Arbroath on Saturday to play the Arbroath team in a Northern League fixture. Considerable interest attached to the match, as the Arbroath had already twice this season defeated the Northern team. Aberdeen were unfortunate in that McNicol and McAulay, their finest back and forward, were unable to play.
Teams:- Arbroath: Strachan; Clark, Ferguson; Johnston, Murray, R. Petrie; Black, Middleton, Willocks, Brown, Salmond. Aberdeen: Barrett; Mackie, Hannah; Willox, Strang, Ritchie; Bonnar, Shinner, Mackie, Mackay, Johnston. Referee ? Mr. W. Philip, Dunfermline.

Aberdeen lost the toss, and kicked off against the wind. Arbroath, with the wind, pressed. A shot from Ferguson, taken from a foul, was safely negotiated by Barrett. A likely run by Aberdeen was spoiled by Bonnar being ruled offside. Arbroath got the first goal in a scrimmage, Black finding the net with a fine shot. The visitors made determined efforts to equalise, and from a corner Johnston lost a fine opportunity by shooting high over the bar. The game continued to be stubbornly contested for some time, but Aberdeen failed to penetrate the local defence. Arbroath in one of their raids on the Aberdeen goal secured their second point, Salmond doing the needful. For a time Aberdeen besieged the Arbroath goal, but they failed to score. Shinner had several fine shots for goal, two of which the Arbroath custodian had considerable difficulty in clearing. The remainder of the first half was very stiffly contested, but there was no further scoring., at half time Arbroath crossing over with a lead of 2 goals to nil.

Barrett had a hot shot to hold early in the second half, and for a time he had to put in all he knew, so continuously did Arbroath press. When the Aberdeen defence had repelled the attack, the forwards, ably supported by the half-backs, made determined efforts to score, but they had to face a very resolute and grand defence. From a foul Low tried Strachan with a hot shot. Strachan, in saving, gave away a corner. A magnificent shot by Johnston grazed the uprights. Bonnar lost a grand chance by kicking wildly past. Willocks scored the third goal for Arbroath, and Middleton the fourth, while Strang was responsible for Aberdeen?s first and only goal.

Source: Aberdeen Journal, 21st March 1904

Arbroath Teamsheet:  forward, were unable to play.
Teams:- Arbroath: Strachan; Clark, Ferguson; Johnston, Murray, R. Petrie; Black, Middleton, Willocks, Brown, Salmond


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Barrett, Mackie, Hannah, Willox, Strang, Low, Bonnar, Shinner, Mackie, MacKay, Johnston.

Unused Subs:


Referee: Mr. W. Philip, Dunfermline

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