The Aberdeen-Dundee meeting Dens Park proved a scrappy and patchy affair, the football never really touching a high standard. Dundee were slightly the more aggressive side, but Aberdeen did well to draw on a ground where few teams are likely to improve upon even equal their performance. Throughout the game was marked by dourness, and seldom had any pretentions to brilliance. In midfield and Dundee forwards were nippier and faster than the Aberdeen defence, but the latter displayed qualities of resolution and determination which would not be denied, and it was their stubborn play which enabled their side to share in a division the points where at one period it seemed odds against their doing so. Playing against a strong wind, Dundee started off in promising style, and in the first minute Anderson had to first clear from Macdonald. The home left was early prominent, and the Pittodrie defenders were hard put to it to keep their goal intact. A run by the Aberdeen left brought relief, and Fisher had a header cleared by Gibbons. The Dundee left wing was repeatedly dangerous, and in nine minutes, following a throw in, from a centre by Slade, Bell headed past Anderson to give Dundee the lead. Dundee continued to have the better of the exchanges, but their right wing lost several opportunities. The first corner of the match was forced by Middleton, and Gibbons had to fist clear. Aberdeen showed improvement, and Fisher had a creditable try from a difficult angle. Other two corners fell to the Aberdeen right wing, but both were cleared, and Fisher had another try which went high. Grosert under pressure conceded first corner to Dundee, who for a period were repeatedly dangerous, but their efforts at locating the goal were wild. On both sides the attempts at combination, except in the case of the Dundee left, were none too successful, and the game developed into a scrappy and dour struggle. Aberdeen maintained pressure for a period, the most danger coming from the right wing, Middleton getting over a particularly dangerous cross which Gibbons fisted clear. There were numerous interruptions for fouls, and Aberdeen were handicapped by an injury to Hannah, who, though limping, played pluckily, and repeatedly saved the situation in trying moments. The Dundee forwards had one pretty combined run, but Troup nullified their efforts by shooting high, and on another occasion lost a favourable opportunity by kicking wildly over. Another fruitless corner fell to Aberdeen, who towards the interval showed much improvement, even if there was a lack cohesion. Two minutes from half-time Thomson, the Dundee left back, foolishly gave away a corner. Middleton placed the flag-kick to perfection, and in the melee in front of goal the Dundee custodian missed the ball, which struck Nicol on the shoulder, and by sheer weight and force was through the goal, Fisher applying the finishing touch. Encouraged by the success, Aberdeen returned to the attack, and Wright had sent high from a good position before the whistle announced the interval.
A Dour Struggle.
Dundee resumed in promising style, and for a time it seemed odds on their again taking the lead. It was not to be, however. Philip sent wide from a good position, and Bell did likewise after slackness on the part of, the Aberdeen defenders. For the first ten minutes Dundee were much in the picture, but their shooting, if strong, lacked the essential element of direction. Ritchie forced a corner for Aberdeen, but in the ensuing melee this was cleared, and Thomson executed a clever dribble which was not productive. After clever individual work Troup sent in the best shot of the period, but Anderson cleared finely. The Aberdeen goalkeeper also saved brilliantly from a free kick. An opportune pass from Wright enabled Middleton to centre accurately, but Rait averted the danger. Aberdeen hopes were raised by a bewildering run and dribble by McLaughlin, but his shot, which appeared to be beating the goalkeeper, went just outside of the post. There was give-and-take play in the closing stages. After a cross by Troup, Macdonald lost one of the best chances of the game by shooting high, and the match resulted in a draw. Had the Dundee forwards taken their opportunities they might have given victory to their side, but it was a game in which neither team really got settled down, and the honours of the match must go to the respective defences, who, if not innocent of mistakes played with great determination in a game which provided a poor display of football. Aberdeen were best, served by Anderson, Hannah, Wright, and Milne in defence, none of their forwards playing up to expectations, and the best for Dundee were Raitt. Irvine, Jackson, and Troup.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 23rd August 1920