With nothing save the question of which was
to occupy the fourth petition in the league
hanging on the issue, the Victoria United
and the Arbroath met at Torry Grounds before between 1500 and 2000 spectators. Neither team was fully represented, the Arbroath being without its usual goalkeeper and a back, and the United being without the valuable services of Forsyth, who, it will be regretted, is indisposed. Generally speaking, the game may be said to have been slow, but not uninteresting. The miserably soft condition of the grounds told heavily upon the players, who, before the close, were quite fatigued. In the first half there was little to pick and choose between the players, the United having slightly the superiority. That period ended in a draw of two goals each, and its principal features were the fine play of Annand, the left half back of the United; the smart runs of the forward left wing of the Arbroath, including Stewart, an ex-United player; the bad judgment of the United front rank in front of their opponents' goal, and the rather disappointing exhibition by Burnett. In the second half the United obtained the only goal that was scored, and thus annexed the two points. If the United were bad at shooting in the first period, they were ten times worse in the second, and, while a little must be allowed for the heavy condition of the ball, nothing but recklessness on several occasions prevented goals being scored. McNeil, the new back of the United, is somewhat slow, but his debut was quite successful. Some of the decisions of the referee were adversely criticised, although to many he appeared to be most impartial.
Source: Aberdeen Journal, 15th February 1897