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Aberdeen 0 - 3 Partick Thistle

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Partick Thistle

Div 1 (Old)
Partick Thistle scorers: Salisbury 25, Blair 65, Blair 75

25/12/1920 | KO:

Aberdeen Finish Badly.

Partick Thistle gained a victory over Aberdeen at Aberdeen before 12,000 spectators. It was twenty-five minutes after the start before Salisbury, outside left, opened the scoring for the Partick Thistle. Up to the interval the pace was very fast, with Aberdeen generally attacking. Aberdeen continued the pressure in the second period, but failed at goal. Then Blair, the outside right, beat Sutherland on two occasions from well out. Partick Thistle were value for a win, but scarcely to the extent indicated by the scores. The best men for Aberdeen were Forsyth, A. R. Grosert, MacLachlan, Middleton, and Flanaghan; and for Partick Thistle, Campbell, Bulloch, Hamilton, McMullan, Blair, and Kinloch.

Source: The Scotsman, 27th December 1920

The result at Pittodrie, where Partick Thistle defeated Aberdeen by 3 goals to 0, was a staggerer to the home crowd, the figures being in direct contradiction to the run of the game. Indeed, had Aberdeen won, the result would only have been in accordance with the pressure exercised by the home team. It is no exaggeration to say that three-fourths of the attacking was done by Aberdeen, but they were held up at the critical stages by their own fecklessness, by the sturdy opposition of the Thistle defence, and the greatest factor of all ?the magnificent goalkeeping of Kenneth Campbell, the Thistle's international custodian. Heavy rain previous to the start and during the first half adversely affected the attendance; nevertheless, there were 13,000 present, and these saw a game which, despite on ground on the heavy side and a greasy ball, did not lack in pace, thrills, and sustained interest. Aberdeen started off as if they were carry all before them, and Campbell was only just able to reach a header from Rankine, while later he stopped a couple of dangerous drives by Middleton, and on several occasions his great coolness and resource were evidence when he cleared from a host of opponents.
The Aberdeen goal was not altogether clear of danger, and two occasions Sutherland saved in the time with Kinloch and Harper in close attendance. A miskick by Hutton, who sent the ball to Salisbury's foot, paved the way for the opening goal after 25 minutes? play. The left-winger squared in front of goal, and Sutherland was just able deflect the ball to the right. Kinloch returned It, and again Sutherland got in the way, but several home defenders failed to get the ball away, and Salisbury, rushing in, opened the scoring. Fine work on the left, finely supported by McMullan, almost led to the lead being increased, but Sutherland held the half-back's shot, and later Salisbury just missed with a fast drive. From then until the interval Aberdeen exerted strong pressure on the Thistle goal, but the visitors' defence was equal to all calls made upon it. Several likely openings came the way of the Aberdeen forwards, but they were lost through hesitation, and a tireless defence never afforded a second chance. Had the scores been level at the interval it would have been a very fair reflection of what the game was worth, but that Aberdeen were in arrears was solely due to the ineptitude of the forwards, who, while not lacking in dash, did not show these qualities of combination which alone will take effect against defences of the sturdy, robust type which did duty for Thistle in this match.

Brilliant Goalkeeping.

If the interval score belied the run the game the first half, it was nothing to what happened in the second period. In it Sutherland, the Aberdeen goalkeeper only handled the ball on but four occasions, and on two of these it was to pick it from the net. On the other hand, danger always lurked in the vicinity of Campbell, who in the period was the dominating personality on the field. He effected many brilliant saves?indeed, some of the balls would have beaten any goalkeeper of average abilities, and although he was not without a slice luck on occasion, he probably has not been seen to better advantage this season than on his first appearance at Pittodrie, where he won the wholehearted admiration of the spectators. In the hope the attainment of better results, Rankine and Macdonald changed places in the home attack at the interval, but if the line was more aggressive it cannot be said that it was any more dangerous than the original formation. Time and again the Thistle goal seemed on the verge of downfall, but on the part of the home inside forwards there was an absence of snap which proved disastrous. With many of the balls that came his way Campbell ought not have had a chance, and there were occasions when a deft touch at the critical moment must have seen the internationalist beaten. With all their faults, it can be said that the home forwards were distinctly unfortunate, for seldom has a team exerted pressure without material result as Aberdeen did in this game. The fates were against them, and it seemed that, while everything went right for the visitors, everything equally went wrong with the home side. In the course of a fierce attack just after the interval Middleton netted what would have been the equaliser for Aberdeen, but the point was disallowed by the referee for some reason not altogether apparent, although it is understood the official ruled that Campbell had been fouled in the immediately preceding scrimmage. Shots high and low and headers from long and short range were rained in on Campbell, but to him nothing went amiss, and several likely efforts were blocked by Thistle when it seemed the goalkeeper would have no choice save.

Snatch Goals.

If the absence of goals to Aberdeen was largely due to the sterling work of Campbell, the decisiveness the Thistle victory was no less due to the opportunism of Blair at outside-right, who had the second and third goals to his credit. There was irony in the fact that just at the periods when a count seemed imminent for Aberdeen, Thistle broke away and scored. The second goal came when twenty minutes the second period had gone, Blair catching up across from the left, and shooting on the run, found the net from twenty yards' range, Sutherland. who had not previously handled the ball, being obviously taken by surprise. The third goal came some ten minutes later, when the visitors' right winger, showing a fine burst of speed, repeated his performance, his terrific shot on this occasion giving Sutherland little chance to save. In the closing stages, during an exciting attack by Aberdeen, Hamilton, the Thistle centre-half, and Campbell, the goalkeeper, collided, and as a result the half-back had to be assisted to the pavilion, while Campbell, who was also hurt, pluckily carried on, and right up to the end defied all the Aberdeen efforts to beat him. In the closing minute he had one particularly fine save when he tipped a header from Macdonald over the bar for a fruitless corner.
The result came as a big disappointment to the crowd who braved the elements in the earlier stages of the game, but the happenings supplied only one more instance of the glorious, and frequently inglorious, uncertainties of the great winter pastime. It was a match which was decided by goalkeeping, and had Campbell been on the Aberdeen side, it was an odds on chance the result would have been reversed.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal 27th December 1920

Partick Thistle Teamsheet
Campbell; Borthwick, Bulloch; Harris, Hamilton, McMullan; Blair, Kinloch, Kerr, Harper, Salisbury
Attendance: 13,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: J. A. Martin, Clydebank
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead