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AFC - Match Report
match report 1892-93 fixture list
Northern League 
The Aberdeen 3 - 3 St Johnstone
Kick Off:    F. Watt, Black,Hay       Buttar, Burnfield, McFeat  
Attendance: 0
Venue: Chanonry, Aberdeen
Honours Equal at Chanonry.
Chanonry was en felt on Saturday. The matches which had already taken place in Aberdeen have been sufficient to whet the appetite of the football populace of the city, and give a relish for the many tasty items which form the bill of fare of our leading clubs for the season. In this frame of mind, then, a fair crowd wended its way Chanonry-wise in the afternoon, expectant of a game which would reward them for their trouble. The St Johnstone (Perth) were booked to meet the representatives of the premier club of the city in the Northern League contest. Peculiar interest attached to the match. From the position which both teams occupy in the League - not what can be described as a very distinguished one, as along with the Fair City Athletic they bring up the rear, none of the trio having been able to secure a win - the struggle partook more of desperation than ambition to gain the ultimatum of a place on the table. With this object in view, the most capable talent available was pressed into the service of the Chanonry combination. The team that was at first selected to represent the Aberdeen was as follows: Goal - Cobban; backs, Ketchen and Wood; half-backs, Ross, Ewing, and Thomson ; forwards, Black, Hay, Ramsay, Masson, and "Watt." Unfortunately Key, who has formed, if we be allowed the expression, the "key-stone" of the forward rank of the Aberdeen eleven with so much credit to himself and assistance to the eleven, was unable to leave home at Montrose. The St Johnstone do not possess a brilliant record for the season, having been beaten by the Arbroath, and last Saturday by the Johnstone Wanderers, The team they intended to do service with was : Goal - Tulloch; backs, Robertson and Elliot; half-backs, G. Burnfield, Winton, and T. Macfarlane; forwards, McFeat, Swan, A.Buttar, D. Burnfield, and Macfarlane. The weather was not all that could be desired for the more tenderly nurtured games, but for a foot¬ball match, it was perfectly ideal. A somewhat chilly breeze blew from the west, but not sufficient to interfere with the play on either side. While the crowd was still few in numbers, the visitors were the first to make their appearance, and headed by T. Macfarlane bounded lightly into the field, being greeted with cordial applause. The first Aberdonian to take the field was Colin Ross, and, until the remainder of the team turned up a few friendly kicks were engaged in. Several changes, it was seen, had been effected in the Aberdeen team, the forward and half-back lines being composed of - Ross, Ewen, and Thomson; Black, Hay, F. Watt, Frank Watt, and Masson.
Fully ten minutes past the advertised time for starting the referee, Mr Jas. Smith, of Montrose, blew his whistle, and Fred Watt kicked off for Aberdeen, who were playing from the east end. Play was immediately forced in the centre, but the St Johnstone forwards were soon on the ball, and McFeat with a good rush beat past Wood like a flash, but the ball was taken from the goalmouth before the forward MacFarlane could do anything dangerous. Alec Wood soon after called forth approving shouts of applause by his clever relieving kicking. The St Johnstone contrived to harass the Aberdeen defence, who took their task with lightsome spirit. A run by Thos. Thomson baffled the visitors' forward line, and the elder Watt sent a raking shot, which, however, just missed the horizontal, and passed harmlessly over Tulloch's head. The strangers were not to be dismayed, however, by these futile efforts of the Aberdonians, and were within another minute hammering away at the Chanonry stronghold, much to the discomfiture of Alec Wood, and Ketchen, who however, along with Colin Ross preserved an impenetrable front. Ramsay was tempted from his post by a kick from McFeat; Alec. Wood kicked out, and Macfarlane sent in a warm shot. The first foul was given against Aberdeen. The younger Watt then tried the St Johnstone defence, and passing to Masson, the latter sent in a difficult kick, but Tulloch saved. In attempting to free his line Ketchen conceded a corner, and the kick being well placed, Buttar scored a soft goal, the ball being fumbled by the two backs and Ramsay. The Aberdeen's retaliation was only temporary, and they were only saved by an "offside" being got against the strangers. Aided by Thomson, the two Watts made another attempt to transfer hostilities, but high kicking again spoiled their chances. Play became very equal, until a magnificent piece of play resulted in Aberdeen scoring. By a splendid rush along the right, near the touch-line, Black centred when near the goal line. The pass was beautifully taken by the elder Watt, who transferred to his younger brother, and the latter waded through amid loud shouts of applause. The successful player seemed to volley his body against the ball, and he seemed lost for a moment amid the dust and chalk of the goal line. Encouraged by this success for the Aberdeen played with considerably more spirit. For fully several minutes nothing but punting was engaged in by the forwards, and the short scientific pass was entirely abandoned. Eventually the Aberdeen prevailed, and after a series of brilliant passes, prominent among the players being Frank Watt, a decidedly easy-looking goal was secured by Black, who "screwed" when the ball was just crossing the line. For a short time St Johnstone pressed, and finally a foul was granted them off the younger Watt. Colin Ross was the means of saving a "daisy-cutter," and after Ramsay required all his wits to save a high delivery. Continuing to press, the strangers were successful in scoring, Burnfield doing the needful. With the score once more on an equal footing, keener energy was infused into the game, which was not altogether without symptoms of rough play. A foul was granted off Fred Watt, but the advantage from this was soon reversed, and the Aberdonians assumed the aggressive. Within the last ten minutes of the period play was uninteresting, being confined mostly to the centre of the field. Tom Ketchen was the means of a little amusement, by the cool way in which he sent a St Johnstone player into touch. Just before the close, however, the game became interesting, and two splendid rushes were witnessed. Black was successful in forcing home a finely concerted attack, but relief was given, and then it fell to the visitors to attack. This they did in splendid style, but Ramsay saved a hot shot from Buttar. The Aberdonians had a temporary look in, but the St Johnstone was again at work in the Chanonry men?s territory, and from a pass from Buttar, McFeat scored a third goal. Half time almost immediately afterwards sounded with the score: St Johnstone, 3; Aberdeen, 2

The interval had been spent in duly counting over the chances of the Aberdeen, and although they were a goal in the leeway, playing with the wind they were distinctly in the running. The strangers kicked off against a fairly strong head wind, and Ramsay was early conspicuous by an amazingly fine bit of defence. Although the ball was for some time in the Aberdeen territory they appeared to be resting on their oars, for all at once the elder Watt broke off down the field with a lightning like rush, and along with his brother and Black, gave the St Johnstone defenders unlimited trouble. A corner was granted them, which, however, proved result-less. Tom Ketchen was then called to exchange courtesies with the entire left section of the "stripes'" front rank, but he bore himself with credit, and won the favour of the spectators. The next most important feature of the game was the fine high kicking of Macfarlane at back, a stray shot finding its way uncomfortably near the representatives of the press. The Aberdeen were now warming to their work, and were giving the Perth players any amount of trouble. A spirited rush by Colin Ross and Hay completely baffled Tulloch, equalising amid enthusiastic cheers. The strangers' citadel was again assaulted with nerve, and Watt, senior, all but scored. McFarlane headed behind, but the corner which followed was resultless. A perfect fusillade was for some time kept up on the Perth goal, until a foul on Colin Ross gave them relief. Ramsay was called upon to defend his charge, and this he did in fine style. His fist out was the means of giving the Aberdeen left wing charge of the ball, and play was immediately transferred to the other end of the field. A result-less corner followed, and long kicking was the feature of the game for some time, Ketchen, and McFarlane being the most conspicuous on their respective sides. The Aberdeen at last prevailed, Colin Ross, Ketchen, and Wood sending in serviceable shots, but in the case of the first two their feeding was not taken advantage of by the forwards. After Buttar had made a futile attack, the Aberdeen forwards were again in evidence, Masson on the left being invaluable. A warm interchange among the halfs was at last put an end to by a goal-kick. A narrow escape, due more to luck than good judgment, was next witnessed at the Aberdeen goal. Ramsay was able to heel out a low shot from the centre just in time. The advantage now lay alternately on both sides, and play swayed backwards and forwards, both goals being placed in imminent danger. A foul against the Aberdeen gave rise to some dispute, and when nothing came of it more spirit was infused into the game, and the "whites" had the best of the subsequent attack. A foul off Black gave general dissatisfaction. Ketchen gave a fine exhibition of saving, and as the game drew near a close the play waxed very exciting, but all that the Aberdeen could do, they could not break down the splendid defence of the St Johnstone backs. While engaged in a warm struggle at the Perth goal, time was called, leaving the game a draw. Final result: Aberdeen, 3; St Johnstone, 3.

Source: Aberdeen Journal, 19th September 1892

In cricket phraseology, the Aberdeen and Perth St Johnstone made an effort to break their duck's egg in the Northern League Championship, which they managed to do with equal honours - 3 goals each. The visitors were fully represented, but Cobban is still an absentee from the whites, and Willie Key being unable to come north, a rearrangement of the locals was resorted to, Frank "Watt" going centre, while chubby little Fred of that ilk took the inside left position, and Ramsay resumed his old place at goal. There was a good attendance, and the spectators were treated to some excellent football on both sides, and an intensely exciting game throughout. There was little to choose between the teams, and a draw correctly represented the play. Both goalkeepers were good, and the backs most excellent. Robertson and Elliot are a capital pair, but Alec Wood and the evergreen Captain Tom, took a slight lead. The visiting halves were superior as a line to the local trio, but Colin Ross was the pick of the lot, playing in a dashing and taking style, his tackling being positively brilliant. Thomson did some clever things, but was spasmodic, and Ewen - well, be lagged terribly, and failed to do justice to himself. Black played a pretty game, and together with Burnfield, and Buttar shared the honours forward. Frank ?Watt? played a wear and tear game in centre, and for a first start in this onerous position he did fairly well. His brother knows the game thoroughly, and ought to improve with a fair trial. Masson were not a success, though the latter outwitted the backs once or twice rather cleverly .

Source: Bon-Accord, 24th September 1892

The Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Cobban; Ketchen, Wood; Ross, Ewen, Thomson; Black, Hay, F. Watt, Frank Watt, Masson.


St Johnstone Teamsheet:  Tulloch; Robertson, Elliot; G. Burnfield, Winton, T. Macfarlane; McFeat, Swan, A.Buttar, D. Burnfield, Macfarlane


Referee: Mr. Jas. Smith, Montrose

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