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AFC - Match Report
match report 1908-09 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
19/12/1908
 
Aberdeen 0 - 2 Celtic
Kick Off:          Hamilton, Lonie  
Attendance: 10,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
At Aberdeen, before 10,000 spectators. Play ruled fast, Aberdeen having the better of matters in the opening stages. After thirty minutes had gone, Hamilton got in a soft goal, Mutch seeming to lose hold of the ball. The best goal came shortly after when, from a corner, Lonie headed past. Adams was always on the spot when Aberdeen were in shooting position, though their play deserved some recognition in the shape of a goal. The second half was keenly contested and there was no scoring. Result :- Celtic, two; Aberdeen, nothing.

Source: The Scotsman, 21st December 1908

 
The visit of Celtic the Aberdeen never fails to draw out a large crowd at Pittodrie, and as on former occasions northern followers of the game looked forward with great expectations to the event of Saturday, when the crack Glasgow team oppose to Aberdeen in a League fixture. The weather over Friday night and throughout Saturday four noon was hard, and the nip of frost firmed up the pitch to such an extent that its conditions were regarded as very favorable for the Aberdeen style of play. Both elevens were announced previous to the match at full strength, but at the last moment Celtic played Moran for Kivlichan on the right wing. From an early hour the crowd poured into the enclosure, and when the teams turned out as follows, there would be fully 10,000 present:-

Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Halkett, McIntosh, Low; McEchern, Simpson, McNair, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Celtic: Adams; McNair, Weir; Young, Lonie, Hay, Moran, McMenemy, Quinn, Somers, Hamilton.
Referee - Mr. D. J. Liddell, Glasgow.

To the start was made a few minutes after the advertised hour, and from the kick-off, Halkett let the right wing away, but McNair was offside. Hamilton pelted off on the Celtic left, and made a dangerous cross, which was cleared in front of goal. Once more the home right wing came down, and although McEchern was hard pressed by Muir, he centred nicely, and a touch resulted on the left, where O'Hagan had a bout with Lonie. The winger ultimately sent behind, and from the free-kick, Hamilton and Somers worked up on the right. A shot by Hay forced Mutch to concede a corner, but Halkett headed out nicely, and the ball was carried up to the mid-line. O'Hagan and Lennie danced round young, and a lanky half-back had to kick out. McNair played a fine defensive game for the Celts, but he could not prevent the home front line from pressing. The Aberdeen pressure was great at this stage, and after a couple of corners, Simpson had a well-directed try, which bounced off the bar and over. There was a spell of outfield play after this, in which Low distinguished himself with neat tackling, and then letting the left wing off. O'Hagan crossed to the other side, and Simpson and McEchern tried to get through, but were blocked by Lonie. The Celts were not showing to great advantage, except at defence. O'Hagan tried a long high shot, which was rather strong, and then McEchern travelled up on the right, but by a misunderstanding in the centre, Young cleared with a huge punt. An abortive run by the Celts was made, and then a series of touches ensued at the Irishman's end. Halkett ended this with a brilliant shot from long range, which Adams caught in his arms. Keeping to it, Aberdeen had a great chance to Lennie, but the wingers shot was blocked by Young, who diverted the flight of the ball behind. McEchern had a great shot, and then Hamilton trotted up on the left, and, after some passing work with his partner, drove low and straight for goal. Mutch looked like saving easily, but there was a spin on the ball, and the run over the custodians arm. The short look simple, but there was a deal of work on the ball. Celtic pressed after this, but the venue was changing rapidly and first one defence and then the other had to punt hard. Quinn tried in vain to get off, for McIntosh hung on his heels and allowed the Irishman no liberties. Moran had are rare long drooping shot, which went over. At this stage a severe hailstorm came on, and it looked as if darkness would settle down early. Well supported by the middle line, Celtic forced the ball up on the left and a corner was forced. This led to the second downfall of Mutch's goal, for Hamilton placed beautifully, and Lonie getting his head on the ball directed it into the net, without giving the custodian a chance. The players were bunched on the goal line, and when the Celts had scored, he was seen to be in difficulties. That transpired that he had collided with one of the Aberdeen defence, but he was able to resume in a minute's time. This second reverse put Aberdeen on their mettle, and they invaded straight away. A high shot dropped the ball in front of Adams, and it looked as if Lennie was bound to score. Young obstructed, however, and Adams got hold of the ball and cleared. Yet again tricking work on the Aberdeen left brought the Celtic defence on the qui vive, and a howl of division rose from the crowd when young kicked wildly into touch as Lennie was running past. The Irish men appeared to be taking it easy in the attack, and the home defence generally managed to clear without difficulty. Halkett opened out the game in great style, and it was from a find clearing effort of his that the front rank made a brilliant flight towards Adams. The Celtic halves were circumvented by O'Hagan, McNair, and Simpson in turn, and then McEchern banged across to the extreme left. Lennie and dashed in, and drove for the corner of the goal, but he had too little space to work upon and his shot landed the ball in the side net. More pressure by Aberdeen culminated in brilliant play by Lennie on the line. He completely outwitted young, and then, racing in, tried for a point. His shot travelled across to goal front beating Adams all the way. A few inches would have brought a goal, but as it was the ball scraped the off post and skimmed behind. At the other end Somers tried a find strong drive, but his direction was high. Lennie was in great form, and he initiated a spell of hot work by the Aberdeen van and halves. So heavy was the pressure that the Celtic middle line had to fall back on the defensive. The ball hovered about in the penalty area, but none of the attacking force could get a shot in kill Simpson stepped forward. The inside right showed rare judgment, and the ball just dropped on top of the Barr and went behind. McNair did some tricky work before the interval, but Hay blocked Simpson and drove to midfield, where the game rolled when the whistle sounded.

It was quite apparent on the resumption that Aberdeen meant to make a strenuous effort to reduce the leeway, and a promising run on the left caused the Celtic defence to look lively. The two winners swung the ball well up, and then centered to McNair, who in turn tried to lash the ball across to the right, where McEchern was uncovered. Weir, however, intercepted the cross, and almost immediately the venue was changed. The Celts' invasion looked bad for Aberdeen, but Mutch fisted out, and then the tension was relieved by Somers, who sent in a flashing shot, which carried the ball behind. McEchern was in great form, not only on the run, but also in shooting, and the most dangerous tries Adams had to deal with came from the student. Simpson, too, was troublesome when potting at goal, but it was only occasionally that he got the right direction on the ball. Halkett was prominent in the middle line, and along with his confreres worried the Celtic forwards, who only got off at rare intervals. Quinn tried to introduce his dashing play, but when McIntosh was not in attendance, Colman held the cracks centre admirably. Indeed, up to this stage, Quinn had not been prominent, but it seemed as if he was to get a goal when McIntosh missed his kick. The Celtic pivot was off like a deer, and shot hard for goal. Colman was in the way, however, and succeeded in diverting the ball behind, the resultant corner proving of no advantage. The game was fast enough, but it was seldom that real tries were made at goal. Somers came near notching a third point with his head, and Mutch's return was picked up by McNair, who raced up the centre until he was blocked by the backs, when the ball once more swung down towards the Aberdeen goal. Following a great try from the margin by McEchern, Quinn, and Somers tried a bit of combination, which was neatly blocked by Colman. The same couple returned to the attack again, in conjunction with McMenemy. But few tried to force their way through, but Halkett came to the assistance of the backs, and the bout ended when Colman and Quinn both came to earth. Lennie and O'Hagan, who had been doing little for some time, came away with renewed vigour, and the little winger diddled young in delightful fashion, what while his work was effective, his colleagues were weak in front of goal. McNair and Weir were playing a robust game, and were seldom in difficulties. A foul not far out was kicked by Hay, and Quinn almost guided the ball into the net with his head. Mutch picked up on the line when he was tackled by Quinn, who received a word of warning from the referee. The Celtic attack seemed to become careless, and there was a long spell of uninteresting play towards the finish. Darkness was fast settling down, and interest fell away, the players seeming to realize as well as the spectators that the game was won and lost.

The general feeling was one of disappointment with regard to the class of football. The Celtic forwards were not brilliant, and their main strength lay in their defence, with a good bustling middle line. McEchern was the best forward on the field, with Lennie running close for the honour. O'Hagan and Simpson showed flashes of good play at times, and while McNair was a occasionally smart, his distribution of the play was not always judicious. All the halves worked hard, while Colman was the better of the two backs.

Drawings, 312.

PRESENTATION TO TRAINER SIMPSON

At the close of the match, Trainer Simpson was met in the pavilion by a large number of friends, when he was presented with a purse containing solvents, on the occasion of his marriage. The gift was handed over by Mr. James Phillips, manager of the Aberdeen club.

Source: Aberdeen Journal, 21st December 1908

 

The Game of the Season.

The popularity of the Celts as exponents of the great winter game will remain so long as they play football in the manner they did on Saturday. Early starts have the effect of militating against large attendance, but this could not be urged far on Saturday, though we are assured there would have been more than 12,000 present had the kick-off been an hour later. Arriving on Friday night, the Celts put up at the County Hotel, and employed Saturday forenoon in doing the "sights" of the city. Punctual to time Referee Liddell got the men out, the pitch being in first-class order.

Aberdeen having lost the toss, set the ball in motion. The early movements betokened that the players were to have and give no quarter. Momentarily we expected to see Adams beaten, but settling down, the Celts' halves gave of their best, and had play transferred to the other end. For about fifteen minutes the home forwards worked the ball better, eluded the halves frequently, and shot for goal to the delight of their partisans. It came as a surprise and a shock when Hamilton, shooting from quite 20 yards, opened the Celts' account. Mutch failed to get a proper hold of the leather, which seemed to glide up his arm, over his shoulder, and into the net. The goalkeeper lacked judgment here, and let his side down badly in an effort he ought to have succeeded in keeping out. Shortly after the second goal was put on from a corner well placed which Lonie got his flapper on and beat Mutch, who made a great effort to save. Aberdeen ought to have been level before half-time, Lennie shooting past the wrong side of the posts with only Adams to beat, and Simpson following suit with a perfect centre from MacEchern shortly after. Half-time came without further scoring, and really the most bigoted partisan could not have grudged the Celts a one-goal lead and no more.

Hope was raised immediately the game resumed by some smart work on the home right wing, and but for dallying on Simpson's part, the cross should have materialised. Aberdeen's luck deserted them, and, work the ball as they liked, they could not finish or get through the solid defence put up by the Celts. It was a treat to watch the defence on both sides. McNair and Weir were ever on the alert, while their height and weight staved off Aberdeen's light weights easily. No artifice could elude them, and they kept their goal intact, aided by Adams behind them. Mutch made up for his mistake by saving a couple of marvellous shots in this half, one from Quinn and another from Hay, that were more worth scoring than any that had found the net. Coleman and Hume were splendid in this half, which ended without further scoring. Celts gained their first victory in the League at Pittodrie by 2-0, though on play a draw would have been a fitting result.

Play and Players.

Aberdeen players now, know, if they did not before, what it is to run up against a strong, powerful, resourceful defence like what the Celts possess. We have not seen a better. game on Pittodrie this season than that of Saturday. Clean football was shown by both sides and enjoyed by the spectators, and we could be doing with more games of the same kind. The winners owe their success more to the fine work of their defence than to the skill of their attack. Had McNair or Weir failed at any portion, Adams would have been hopelessly beaten. These backs are the best pair we have seen this season on Saturday's play. They never made a mistake, and were never at a loss as to how to get the ball away. The halves were also good, thouhh MacEchern could leave Hay almost every time. The forwards as a line did not show nearly so good football as the home side, but they put some sting behind their, shots. Quinn was too well watched to get away on his own, while Somers and Hamilton got more freedom than did McMenemy and Moran. Mutch made one great mistake by letting through the first goal, while we give him credit for being alive to saving many better shots that would have done his reputation no harm had they passed him. Coleman, despite his illness, was great; while Hume was not far behind. Macintosh had a special mission which he performed without reproach; while Low held a dangerous wing well in hand. Halkett was weak at times, and played considerably under form. MacEchran was the best forward on the field, followed closely by Lennie, and O'Hagan seemed under a cloud all the time, and wandered too much at times, while Simpson was not nearly so nippy as usual, nor nearly so deadly in his shooting.

Chatty Bits.

Celtic are always on the outlook for new records, and they made one on Saturday, when they beat Aberdeen for the first time in a League game at Pittodrie.
No one will deny that they did not deserve a win, for their defence was of the stone-wall order.
Aberdeen had the consolation of having a nice fat gate. The divisable portion was 255, and in all, the total amounted to over 315.
That the Celts were pleased with their win, was quite evident, but they all recognised: they had to fight hard for it, and put in all they knew to get there.
What impressed several starangers we spoke to, was the absence of any rough or dirty play. The game was free from blemish on both sides, and was a marked improvement on what we saw at Dens Park.
Ere these notes appear, Charles O'Hagan will know what the Referees' Committee think of the incident of the at Dens Park.
To a player of O'Hagan's temperament, the fact that he was put off has weighed heavily on him, and it had a very bad effect on his play on Saturday.
This week will see both the new players engaged by Aberdeen undergo their baptism of criticism.
Aberdeen A had a new player with them to Fraserburgh on Saturday in Macconnachie, late of the East End. He is credited with playing a great game.
Blackburn was in a new role on Saturday, when he played at centre. He was a trifle fast for some of them, but he scored a couple of good goals.
It seems hat Woolwich Arsenal have improperly proached W. J. Boure, of the Queen's Park, and the matter has been put before the International Board.

Source: Bon-Accord, 24th December 1908

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Mutch, Colman, Hume, Halkett, McIntosh, Low, MacEchern, Simpson, McNair, O'Hagan, Lennie.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Celtic Teamsheet:  Adams; McNair, Weir; Young, Lonie, Hay, Moran, McMenemy, Quinn, Somers, Hamilton

Bookings:

Referee: Mr. D. J. Liddell, Glasgow

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