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Aberdeen 2 - 0 Gala Fairydean

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Gala Fairydean

Scottish Cup Second Round
Aberdeen scorers: Wright 50, Connon 85.

07/02/1920 | KO:

Lost Chances at Pittodrie

Losing their goalkeeper five minutes after the start, after a collision with an Aberdeen forward, Gala Fairydean did well, only to fall by 2-0 at Pittodrie, where their tie attracted 17,000 spectators. The score rather flatters the Galashiels team, since they were defending throughout, but the grand work of centre-forward Forrest, who went in goal, and Frame at centre-half had much to do with the paucity of goals. Aberdeen practically attacked throughout, and, while Forrest effected many brilliant saves in unconventional manner, the home forwards lost chance after chance to score. Half-back Wright shot the first goal after fifty minutes' play, and the second was obtained by centre-forward Connon just before the final whistle went. The Aberdeen defence had an easy passage, the goalkeeper only handling on three occasions.

Source: The Scotsman, 9th February 1920

Gala Fairydean's Account of the Match

A Day Trip to Pittodrie

Having qualified for the main draw in the Scottish Cup in 1914, Gala Fairydean had to wait until 1920 to play their opponents. The wait was ultimately worth it when they were drawn at home to the mighty Aberdeen in the second round at windswept Mossilee, where they were based at that time. The club took the pragmatic approach of conceding home advantage in favour of gate receipts and travelled to the Granite City to face their lofty opponents.

The Fairydean side was D. Nicol, Mabon, Richardson, Borthwick, Frame, Mercer, Wilson, Eckford, Forrest, Sinclair and Heard but within minutes of the kick off they were reduced to ten men when goalkeeper Nicol was injured in a collision with Aberdeen's Wyllie and had to leave the field. Indeed the injury was so serious that Nicol did not play again that season. Forrest went between the posts and was faced with an Aberdeen onslaught although they were inclined to be a bit too fancy and found it hard to score or even get a shot on goal. It took Fairydean twenty minutes to break into Aberdeen territory such was the home side's superiority. Frame played a magnificent game in defence and as a result of his and the rest of the teams' efforts the score was amazingly goalless at half time.

The situation remained the same at the start of the second period with the Aberdeen attackers unable to break down the resistance of the heroic ten man Fairydean team. After ten minutes the Aberdeen half backs lost patience with their forwards and took a hand in proceedings and it was Wright who sent in a fast ground shot that gave stand in keeper Forrest, no chance.

Aberdeen continued to hold the upper hand and although leading could not subdue the Fairydean team that played a terrific defensive game and cleared their lines again and again. Forrest, the stand in goalkeeper, made some remarkable saves and was cheered by the home fans as his antics provided much amusement. Playing almost the entire match with only ten men it was not surprising that the Fairydean players eventually began to tire but the Aberdeen forwards continued to squander chance after chance. The Fairydean forwards made the occasional break away but were never of any danger to the home goal.

With only a few minutes remaining Conon, who had taken up a central position, scored a fine goal for the home side who although victorious were never able to truly subdue the heroic ten men from the Borders. This was the Fairydean's first foray into the main draw of the Scottish Cup producing an astounding display and a creditable result but this was only the first of many ventures into this great cup competition.


At Pittodrie 15,000 spectators saw Aberdeen defeat Gala Fairydean in a game which was one-sided in everything but scoring, by 2 goals to 0. In the opening ten minutes the Galashiels team had the misfortune to lose the services of Nicol, their goalkeeper, who had to retire with a leg injury after colliding with Wylie, the home inside right. Forrest, the centre forward, kept goal for the remainder of the game, and gave a remarkably successful display, if rather unorthodox in his tactics. From start to finish Aberdeen monopolised the pressure and while the visitors were seldom over midfield, Anderson, the Aberdeen goalkeeper, never had a shot to save, and only had one bye-kick. The game was one long chapter of missed opportunities on the part of the Aberdeen forwards. While Forrest frequently brought off fine saves, the inside men repeatedly had the goal at their mercy, but they either delayed to shoot or sent wide or high of the mark from advantageous positions. Fairydean crowded all their resources on defence, and aided by some good fortune, they were able to be equal at the interval, when the scoresheet was blank.

In the matter of lost chances by the home forwards, the second half was a repetition of the first period, and it was left to a half-back - Wright - tp open the scoring five minutes after the interval. Play had been confined to the visitors' end when the right half got possession, and smartly eluding an opponent, drove hard and true into the net from twenty yards' range. Subsequently, Connon, Macdonald, Wylie, and Wilson all lost favourable chances of augmenting the score, and try as Aberdeen might to increase their lead, individual misjudgements, coupled with the sterling defence of Forrest in goal and Frame at centre half, nullified their efforts. Four minutes from the end, following upon a cross by Wilson, Connon concluded the scoring in a game which Aberdeen might quite easily have won by a double figure margin. The home defence was never really tested, and without either being brilliant, Wilson and Archibald were the best of the forwards. On the Fairydean side that was hopelessly outplayed, Forrest and Frame were outstanding, and at the close hundreds of spectators showed their appreciation of their efforts by flocking on to the field and congratulating these players.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 9th February 1920

Gala Fairydean Teamsheet
D. Nicol; Mabon, Richardson; Borthwick, Frame, Mercer; Wilson, Eckford, Forrest, Sinclair, Heard
Attendance: 15,500
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: D. Dye, Dundee
Next Match
06 Dec 2023 / 19:45 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen