The goalkeepers took a leading part in the game at Pittodrie, where 15,000 saw Aberdeen and Ayr United finish up with a goal-less draw. A troublesome wind tended to inaccurate play, and added to the difficulties of the defences, but even so, it was a somewhat indifferent display, Aberdeen's form being in striking contrast, to that against Clyde a few days earlier. Even allowing that Aberdeen failed at a penalty kick, they were somewhat fortunate to finish on level terms, as the visitors were the nippier and better-balanced side. Both defences were seen to advantage, but the play of the Ayr forwards was better than that of the Aberdeen five. In the first half Aberdeen faced wind and sun, and the exchanges were fairly even. At the end of half an hour Hunter in the penalty area fisted down a shot by Middleton for the home team to be awarded a penalty kick. Middleton took the kick, but his straight drive was cleverly saved by Hamilton, an Ayrshire junior who made a successful debut in the Ayr goal. Subsequently both goals had narrow escapes, Thomson and Middleton for Aberdeen, and the two Scotts, Richardson, and Young having creditable tries for the United.
An injury to Fisher, the home centre-forward necessitated a rearrangement of the Aberdeen forward line in the second half, but the new formation was neither better nor worse than the old. Ayr came the nearer to scoring in the period, Scott the inside-right, hitting the Aberdeen uprights, and later having what looked to be a counting shot finely saved by Anderson. On the Aberdeen side Middleton was the only forward who really mattered, and most of the clanger to the Ayr goal came from him. On one occasion, from one of Middleton?s many fine crosses, Rankine shied from good position. The Aberdeen goalkeeper was repeatedly in action, saving from the visitors' extreme wingers, who, finely let away by Richardson, did not hesitate to shoot from long range.
The play of both defences was good, although the wind accounted for many inaccuracies, but the shortcomings of the home rear divisions play in their tendency to sky the ball, thus leaving their forwards with too much to do to get possession. The Ayr team work more harmoniously together, and that their forwards were so much in the picture was largely due to the fine leadership of Richardson, there internationalist centre-forward. Aberdeen were best served by Anderson, Hannah, Forsyth, Milne, Robertson, and Middleton, and Ayr by Hamilton, Smith, McCloy, Gillespie, Scott, Richardson, and Young.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 13th September 1920