A match between the Victoria United and the Raith Rovers, Kirkcaldy, was played at Wellington Grounds. There was a very large attendance of spectators, and despite the heavy snowstorm of Friday the ground was in splendid condition. The following were the teams: Victoria United: Smith; McKeown, Ririe ; Morice, Ross, Ritchie; Murison, Benzie, Sutherland, Annand, Ferries. Raith Rovers: Grieve; Neilson, Thomson; Lambert, Mackay, Cooper ; Walker, Dall, Walker, Neilson, Soutie.
The toss was won by Raith Rovers, but no sooner was the ball set in motion than it was fouled by one of the Vics. From the free kick the Rovers rushed up the field, and in about a minute the first goal was scored by the strangers. This was a big surprise. Smith was more successful when the next attack was made upon him, he very smartly fisting out the leather. But the ground could not be cleared, and once again the home custodian had occasion to clear his lines. McKeown, with a strong kick, drove the ball to midfield, and by dint of combination the United were very soon swarming around the visitors' goal. Grieve and the backs made a capital defence, and the forwards then getting on the sphere were not long in reversing the scene of hostilities. A beautiful pass by Sutherland to Murison was warmly cheered, but Neilson and Soutie were ready, and they, with comparative ease, returned the leather. Soutie then attempted a run, and although McKeown made a determined attempt to overtake him, he was unable, and for the moment a second goal looked inevitable. But the only outcome was a behind. Smith, by the goal-kick, sent the ball to midfield, but a throw in by the Rovers was sufficient to counteract this, and for the time being the visitors pressed the United considerably. Soutie had hard lines in seeing a well-directed kick carry the ball over the cross-bar by inches. In a twinkling Murison was speeding up the right wing, but when within shooting distance he was outnumbered by the strangers, and was thus deprived of doing what seemed to be a likely thing. When in the course of the play a similar chance offered to the visitors, which was very soon afterwards, they wrought well together, and the result was the scoring of a second goal. At this time the Vics were certainly being outplayed. A few minutes from the registering of the point just mentioned, the Raith forwards again got up the field, and it was just by the sheerest good luck that the ball tipped the cross-bar instead of passing through. Do as they might, the home team could not keep their ground clear for any length of time. Murison and Sutherland on one occasion succeeded in crossing the line, but the visitors smartly retaliated. A succeeding try was followed with greater success. The ball was got up to the goalmouth in spite of a strenuous opposition, but no passage could be found between the posts, and play latterly centred in neutral territory. It was now about ten minutes from half-time, and things were not looking particularly rosy for the United. But they continued to play with unflagging enthusiasm; and encouraging applause was not lacking, At length they made a splendid attack upon the Rovers' citadel. The ball was taken down the right, and then passed to centre. Thence the entire force of the team rushed it into the goal mouth. Again bad luck seemed to stick to the ground players. From a spectator's point of view the ball seemed certain to pass the goalkeeper, but after an unusually exciting scrimmage the leather was carried by the strangers to a safe distance. Before long the Vics returned to the attack with redoubled vigour, and Murison, amid a tremendous scene of enthusiasm, scored the first goal for his eleven. When half time was announced the scores stood: Rovers 2, United 1.
The second period opened evenly, both goals being attacked in succession. After the first few runs the Vics were brought to task in front of the Rovers' goal for fouling the leather, but this repulse seemed to animate the invaders with greater spirit. They gained a corner, and although nothing worthy of note occurred as an immediate result, the United continued to harass their opponents. Ririe crushed in the bud a run which looked dangerous, but this only served to delay for a few minutes a combined attack by the visitors. When once in the Vics' territory the aggressors gave the defenders no little trouble Smith, however, managed to keep his charge intact, and with the greatest rapidity the home forwards, with Benzie as a leader, made a rush for the Kirkcaldy goal. A brief tussle ended in the inside right equalising the scores, but it was not destined that the teams should remain long on the same footing. A brilliant run up the field by the Rovers, initiated at the kick-off, proved fatal to the Vics. Walker, the centre forward, with little or no opposition sending the hall spinning past Smith. As now developing, the game was of a give-and-take character, the United attacking the Kirkcaldy goal, and vice-versa, in quick succession. This gave plenty of scope for the practice of combination, and in this the one team was almost as good as the other. A couple of fouls which fell to the United were a considerable advantage, and the Wellington men showed that they could well appreciate their favourable position, Sutherland, with wonderful alacrity, shot for goal, and it was with no little chagrin that the spectators saw the leather rebound from the cross-bar. This disappointment only spurred the United to put forth further exertions, and but for the splendid defence of Wilson and Thomson a goal would undoubtedly have been the reward of the play in which the Vics were now engaged. Murison, and then Sutherland had "tries," the ball each time being cleverly negotiated, and then came the turn of the visitors, A dashing run quickly carried the hostilities into the ground of the United, and Soutie taking the sphere in charge registered a fourth goal. A corner had also to be conceded to the invaders before they could be repulsed, and then the Aberdeen men came into close quarters with Grieve and his two splendid backs. Nothing could be made of the defence offered, and the game ended with the Rovers pressing. The result was: Raith Rovers 4, Victoria United 2.
Source: Aberdeen Journal, 20th March 1893