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AFC - Match Report
match report 1905-06 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Aberdeen 2 - 2 Port Glasgow
Kick Off:    McNicol (Pen), Lennie.       O'Rourke, Graham  
Attendance: 7,000 (Visitors: 900)
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Played at Pittodrie on Saturday before 7,000 spectators. Aberdeen pressed most of the first half but could not get through, and a break away by the Port ended in O'Rourke scoring. The player repeated his performance in the second period, after Aberdeen had done everything but beat Ward. From a penalty against Robertson, McNicoll scored for Aberdeen and within a few minutes Lennie equalised. Result:- Aberdeen, 2; Port Glasgow, 2. Gate, 173.

Source: The Scotsman, 23rd October 1905

One of the most exciting football matches played at Pittodrie the season was that on Saturday between Port-glasgow and Aberdeen; not that the game could be described as exciting all through - it was extremely dull during the latter part of the first half - but on account of the finish when Aberdeen, after being two goals down, by plucky and determined play managed to draw. Port-Glasgow, by defeating the Airdrieonians at Airdrie on the previous Saturday had established for themselves a reputation which made the supporters of the Aberdeen team more apprehensive as to the result of the meeting of the Port with their favourites than they were a few weeks ago. Notwithstanding recent rain, the pitch on Saturday was in fairly good condition, but the bright autumn sunshine and moderate north-westerly breeze gave the team playing towards the sea a slight advantage. The teams were:-
Aberdeen: Macfarlane; Murray, Gault; Halkett, Strang, Low; Robertson, Edgar, McNicol, McAulay, Lennie.
Port-Glasgow: Ward; Robertson, Ritchie; Mainds, Ross, Allan; Roberts, Cunningham, Graham, O'Rourke, McNeil.
Referee - Mr. James Baillie, Edinburgh. Linesman;- Messrs Phillip, Edinburgh, and Adams, Grahamstown.


Macfarlane, the Aberdeen captain, with his usual good luck, won the toss, and played towards the sea. From the kick off Graham broke away. Strang intercepted the pass to the right and placed to McAulay, who, although tackled, managed to scramble clear and passed to Lenny, and the outside left centred neatly to McNicol. The burley centre sent the ball over the line. The Port-Glasgow forwards retaliated by dashing off to the other end, but the ball was sent too far ahead, and Macfarlane, running out, cleared. Lennie at the east goal struck the side of the net with a long shot. The outstanding player was McAulay, his clever footwork and brainy tactics in making openings and drawing out the defence were highly praised by even the Port-Glasgow supporters. In the first 15 minutes the Aberdeen forwards combined cleverly and run through the opposing defence coolly and apparently at their ease. Brilliant as were McAulay and Lennie, they were not much ahead of Edgar and Robertson, and McNicol in centre worked the wings with skill and precision. The Port-Glasgow tactics contrasted strangely with the clever movements of the ground team. The Port game was punt and gallop, and take the ball and beat your opponents by fair means off foul. McNicol was tripped near the penalty line, and from the free kick Halkett with a great shot almost netted the ball. If the Aberdeen forwards were at the top of their form in the first quarter of an hour, the same cannot be said of the defence, Halkett being the only man who shone. Strang and Low were decidedly off colour, and the back was shaky, Murray's tackling and kicking particularly being weak. It was a slip by Strang, after Halkett had been beat, that let off McNeill, who shot and struck the side of the net. Wonderful to relate, although Aberdeen were making rings round their opponents, Port-Glasgow opened the scoring in the softest manner possible, their success being due to the shakiness of the Pittodrie defence. Gault got the ball in an attack, and after beating Cunningham, was rocked by Graham, who sent across. Halkett and Strang made a dash back, but they were late, for the ball struck, and rebounded off, Murray, and O'Rourke, pouncing upon it completely beat Macfarlane with a slow, rolling shot. The goalkeeper threw himself full length across to goal, but his fingers just tipped the ball as it rolled into the net. After this unexpected misfortune, the play of the Aberdeen team lost some of its polish, but taken all over Aberdeen still maintained a marked superiority over their opponents, only their attack had no sting and failed at close quarters, the Port-Glasgow backs repulsing attack after attack in resolute fashion. The Port-Glasgow half-backs were strong and forcible, but, barring the left half, they made little or no attempt at placing. "Bang ahead and trust to luck," seemed to be their motto. The whole of the Port-Glasgow team had plenty of running in them, but they showed a contempt for footwork and close combination which, it must be admitted, was justified by its results. For Aberdeen, Edgar, after tricking several opponents, struck the side of the net; then McAulay shot in strongly, but high, and Robertson caused Ritchie to give away a corner. In the scrimmage which followed, the ball went to Halkett, who slipped when about to shoot. Regaining his feet quickly, Halkett shot over the bar. The Aberdeen forwards were continually near the Port-Glasgow goal, but score they could not. McNicol, on one occasion, had a race with Ward for the ball, but the goalkeeper got there first, and in the collision McNicol fell and hurt his leg, with the result that he was lame for a time. In the sustained pressure the Port-Glasgow left back displease a section of the spectators by deliberately kicking the ball out of play. Robertson gave Ritchie a heave which took the wind from the Port-Glasgow back, and stopped play for a time. Fouls were of frequent occurrence and when the referee failed to notice a nasty back charge on McNicol near the penalty line, he had his attention called to the infringement by the crowd, and after consulting the linesman he gave a free kick, from which Strang lost a likely chance by shooting high. For a few minutes the Port-Glasgow goal was bombarded, but the defence managed, by strenuous efforts, to keep the ball out of the net. Lennie had a clever run, in the course of which he tricked three opponents, but was tripped on his way goalwards. At the other end Roberts ran passed Gault, but he muddled his shot, which was intercepted by Murray at the expense of a corner. Macfarlane fisted out, but the ball was sent in again, and catching it he committed the unpardonable mistake of playing it across his own goal almost at Graham's feet. It was more by luck than good management that the goalkeeper got the ball away. Barr the "swoops" of the Port-Glasgow forwards, Aberdeen did nearly all the pressing, but the local forwards cut things too find, and by weak finishing in front of goal let many opportunities slip. Near the end of the first half Strang suddenly wakened up, and ran right through the Port-Glasgow defence, but, as usual, his parting shot was high. From this point onwards, however, Strang played with a dash and purpose that marked him out as the best half-back on the field, and had the forwards taken a leaf out of his book, and gone straight for goal every time, Port-Glasgow would have gone home lamenting two points lost.


Early in the second half Port-Glasgow were penalised, Allan putting that hold known in catch-as-catch-can wrestling as the half-Nelson upon Edgar, a trick the Port half-back was again penalised for repeating later on. From the free kick the ball was sent to Edgar, who shot straight and true for the net, Ward just tipping the ball over the bar, and giving away a corner. Lennie also forced a corner when tackled by Robertson. Strang was in dashing form, but his placing to McNicol at times was faulty. Aberdeen's stout centre forward, who was carefully watched, was too slow in his movements, and frequently hindered instead of forwarding progress. Lennie and McAulay continue to play with wonderful cleverness, but in Robertson they had a stiff obstacle to surmount. To the dismay of the Aberdeen team's supporters, Port-Glasgow again scored from a break-away. Roberts slipped past Gault, and made off towards Macfarlane, all the Port-Glasgow forwards running down in line. Roberts crossed close in, and with all the Port forwards up, and Murray beaten, Macfarlane had no chance to save, Graham banging the ball into the net. Even after this second reverse the Aberdeen forwards hung too long on the ball in their endeavours to effect the artistic, but their finessing was viewed with impatience by their supporters, who hungered for goals. With a much improved half-back line, Strang, Halkett, and Low all playing with dash, the Aberdeen forwards were continually moving westward, but they failed to pierce the Port defence at close quarters. McAulay lost a little chance by heading over the bar. Strang twice burst through all opposition in his anxiety to score, but his elevation was always the same - two or three feet too high. McAulay from 20 yards out tried a long shot, which was inches wide. Graham at the other end was almost through, but Murray cleared. Effective wing work by McAulay and Lennie was nullified by McNicol, who failed to shoot in time. At last, after sustained pressure, Aberdeen got a goal, almost in a present. Robertson, the Port-Glasgow right back, handled, apparently quite accidentally, within the penalty line, and the referee, after consultation with the linesman, gave Aberdeen a penalty kick. McNicol took the kick, and beat Ward. The cheering of the crowd at the success, after such a prolonged period of disappointment, might've been heard a mile away. From this point to the end of the game the excitement of the crowd was intense, the supporters of both teams - and there were about 900 Port-Glasgow excursionists around the arena - yelling encouragement to the players. The Aberdeen team lashed the ball ahead, and the Port-Glasgow defence was shaken by the fierce attack. Robertson missed a pass close in. Then Halkett sent in a fast shot which Ward diverted, only to place the ball at Lennie's feet. Lennie, few yards from the goal, sent past, to the chagrin of the Aberdeen section of the crowd. Lennie a few minutes later sent in a high shot, which Ward tipped over. The equaliser came from a free kick. Halkett took the kick, and placed beautifully to Lennie, who, without hesitating, shot with tremendous force, the ball darting into the net high up, Ward being beaten all the way. This was the best goal of the match, and was well-deserved on play. With only 7 minutes to play, the game was fought out to the end in a white heat of excitement. The Aberdeen players now romped about in irresistible style, and all but scored again. Robertson raced up the wing, and passed to Edgar, who shot. Ward threw the ball out, and secured momentarily relief. Back again the ball was sent, and in the scrimmage one of the Port-Glasgow half-backs kicked McNicol, who at once threw himself into a fighting attitude, and for a few moments it seemed as if a pugilistic encounter, in addition to the wrestling bouts already witnessed, was to contribute to the varied character of the game. The incident arose out of the Port's keeper being rushed by the Aberdeen forwards when he was about to fist a high shot. The whistle blew shortly after. The divisible gate money was 150, and the stands 23 - a total of 173.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 23rd October 1905

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  MacFarlane, Boyle, Gault, Halkett, Strang, Low, Robertson, Edgar, McNicol, McAulay, Lennie.

Unused Subs:


Port Glasgow Teamsheet:  Ward; Robertson, Ritchie; Mainds, Ross, Allan; Roberts, Cunningham, Graham, O'Rourke, McNeil


Referee: Mr. James Baillie, Edinburgh

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