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AFC - Match Report
match report 1938-39 fixture list
Aberdeen 2 - 2 Everton
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Williams, Hamilton 20.       Stevenson, Lawton (Pen).  
Attendance: 17,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen



Everton's visit to Pittodrie was a gratifying success both from a financial and a playing point of view. The English side were ahead of Aberdeen in football skill, but they could not complain about the result.

Aberdeen, with all four backs on their books on the injured list, fielded somewhat makeshift team, Donald and Thomson playing at back, but they fought grimly, and were a big improvement on their showing at Easter Road.
Everton, playing copybook football, and finding their men with machine-like precision, threatened to sweep the Dons off the field early on, but later in the game they were fighting hard to keep level. Mercer, their right half, gave a brilliant display, and was the star man afield.
Aberdeen's chief failing was in the forward line, where there was again that lack of finish which has characterised their matches this season.
In the early stages it looked as if Aberdeen would be over-run. The Liverpool side made ground rapidly and had the defence in a tangle, but Bentham twice shot wide of the mark from favourable position, while Lawton had one terrific drive brilliantly parried by Johnstone.


Aberdeen dashed to the other end and Sagar dived full length to push out a cross shot by Smith, with Williams rushing in to connect. The Dons unexpectedly took the lead in twenty minutes, when Hamilton gained possession out on the left. He swung round and sent in a high ball, which Sagar stopped but could not hold, and the ball dropped over the line.
It did not take the English side long to equalise. Mercer swung the ball over from the right, and Stevenson hit it first time into the back of the net a lovely goal. Aberdeen had another spell of attack, and a grand header by Hamilton left Sagar helpless but passed wide.
Williams restored Aberdeen's lead, when he found the net with a perfectly placed header from a cross by Smith. Everton had another narrow escape after this when Greenhalgh kicked clear on the line from Williams with Sagar out of his goal.
It seemed that Aberdeen would go into the pavilion at half-time with a 2-1 lead, but close on the interval Gillick shot in a goalmouth melee and Thomson handled the ball. Lawton flashed home a terrific shot from the spot.


Play was quieter in the opening stages of the second half, but Hamilton led Aberdeen to the attack. He passed to Armstrong who shot on the run for Sagar to bring off a flying save. Immediately after this, as the result of a corner, Williams was unfortunate not to find the net, Greenhalgh heading clear with Sagar beaten.
Everton made a big effort, but Aberdeen were dangerous when they got going. Smith missed once with only Sagar to beat, the winger trying to place the ball instead of shooting first time. Later Hamilton had hard lines with another flying header.
Everton might have taken the lead when Bentham blazed the ball wildly over after Stevenson had had a try blocked. Lawton, ever dangerous with his quick thrusts, caused the home defence some anxiety with some tricky headers, but the end came with Aberdeen holding their own.
Johnstone was safe in the home goal, and Donald and Thomson, pitchforked into the back position, did remarkably well. They were puzzled at times by the Everton players' constant changing position, but Thomson in particular tackled well.
There were no failures the halfback line. None of the three was brilliant, but all got through a tremendous amount of work. Nicholson could cry "quits" with Lawton, while Dunlop and Taylor were always in the thick of it.
The latter, who is now recognised as the reserve centre-forward, has a sound chance of maintaining his place in the side on this form.
Smith and Hamilton comprised a good right wing, the winger crossing some fine balls, while he thrived on the support given him by Hamilton. Armstrong was off colour, and seldom outwitted Jones. McKenzie, clever on the ball as usual, had not much punch when it came to finishing, but he worked hard in defence after the interval. Williams took his goal well and kept Cook busy.


Everton's teamwork was far ahead of Aberdeen's, and there was only one weak link in the side. This was Gillick, who was evidently determined to regard the match as a friendly and put little zest into his work. Sagar had some grand saves, and Cook and Greenhalgh showed that they know the duties of a full-back to the full.
But the star of the Everton side was undoubtedly Mercer. He is a brilliant footballer, and was seen to advantage both in defence and attack. At times he could beat three or four men in the course of one movement, and he seldom sent his passes astray. Jones and Thomson were not so prominent, but the latter saved himself a lot of running by his "heady" play.
Gillick, as stated, was the one weak link in the Everton side, and the result was that much of Bentham's foraging went for naught. Lawton. Stevenson and Boyes were constantly changing position, and caused the home defence plenty of trouble.
Although only a boy of seventeen years, Lawton is a great player, and he is not slow to profit from the brainy play of his colleagues. Stevenson is the "brains" of this clever Everton attack, while Boyes is extremely clever at working the ball. His fondness for roaming over the field does not detract from his effectiveness, and he several times had tries for goal from the inside right position.

Source: Press & Journal, 27th September 1938

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Johnstone, Donald, Thomson, Dunlop, Nicholson, Taylor, Smith, Hamilton, Armstrong, McKenzie, Williams.

Unused Subs:


Everton Teamsheet:  Ted Sagar, Billy Cook, Norman Greenhalgh, Joe Mercer, Tommy Jones, Jock Thomson, Torry Gillick, Stan Bentham, Tommy Lawton, Alex Stevenson, Wally Boyes.


Referee: J.M.Martin, Ladybank

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