Source: The Scotsman, 26th September 1922
Game of Thrills for Holiday CrowdIn a thrilling game at Pittodrie yesterday, Aberdeen defeated Celtic, the Scottish League champions, by 3 goals to 1. Sol well did the home team play and delight the 23,000 spectators that it could not even be said they were flattered by the two-goal margin. In the first half the champions were nearly run off their feet, and if they recovered after the interval and gave occasional glimpses of good form, they were always losing the points. With the exception that Smith reappeared at outside left, Aberdeen fielded the same team as drew at Falkirk, but Celtic had two alterations from the side that proved victorious at Dundee. The veteran McNair came in at right back in place of McStey, and McMaster was at left half, Macfarlane goingto outside left. It reflected the straits of Celtic that the left wing formation was changed three times during the game. At the start Macfarlane was on the extreme left, later he changed places with Murphy in the inside berth, and In the second half, McMaster appeared at outside left with Murphy as partner and Macfarlane went to left half.
Milne's Grand GoalRight from the start Celtic were in trouble, and when Milne from 25 yards' range scored with a great drive after 3 minutes play, the joy of the homes team's supporters knew no bounds. The goal heralded a prolonged period of Aberdeen superiority. Repeatedly the home forwards had aid the Celtic defences, and it was due to the watchfulness of Shaw and the steadiness of McNair and Hilley that further scoring was delayed. It was in vain that the Celtic inside forwards sought to make headway, the breaking-up tactics of Milne and the tenacity of Grosert and MacLachlan spoiling their every move. On several occasions Gallacher dribbled cleverly to let McAtee away, but the latter responded poorly. Once the visitors' inside right wormed his way into the Aberdeen goal area, and was about to shoot when overtaken and dispossessed by Milne, who in the period was the outstanding player on the field. Aberdeen repeatedly attacked, and although they got few chances of shooting, Shaw had many anxious moments. Thomson lost a fine opportunity by shooting wide on one occasion, and several times the Celtic goalkeeper had to leave his charge and go to the assistance of his backs. His best saves in the period were a hard drive from Milne, and from a fast low shot from Smith which she deflected past the upright.
Surprises for CelticAberdeen's second goal came at a time when it was well deserved. Off a free kick taken by Middleton, Shaw saved at the expense of a corner. The ball was splendidly placed by Smith, and Rankine headed past Shaw. So well had Aberdeen played in the period that the 2-0 lead at the interval did not accurately reflect their superiority. Aberdeen teams had previous experience of Celts drawing level after an interval deficit of two goals, and yesterday's eleven were out to make victory absolutely certain. In the very first minute after resuming, following clever play by Middleton, Miller got through to draw Shaw out of his goal and scored and clever fashion. The league might have been further increased shortly afterwards but for a misunderstanding between Thomson and Miller, as it was Shaw at full length, was just able to push a way a weak header from Thompson. Subsequent to this Celtic showed a fine recovery, and, confident in their lead, the Aberdeen attack eased up considerably. It was largely due to the latter fact that the star of the losers became in the ascendancy. Cleverly led by Cassidy, their attack executed several nice combined movements, and on more than one occasion the home goal was endangered. Cringan and McAtee especially showed a great improvement on their first half display, and it was from moves initiated and developed by these two players, and Gallacher, the most danger came. Gallacher frequently attempted to much, but he started a movement which led to Cassidy scoring for Celtic. Dribbling cleverly he gave to McAtee, and that player crossed to Cassidy for the latter to outwit Hutton and beat Blackwell from close range. Celtic frequently attack later, but there was always more danger in the raids by the Aberdeen forwards. Three times in quick succession Miller had great drives, the ball on each occasion passing narrowly over Shaw's charge. Aberdeen had no great difficulty in keeping their lead, and in the end they were left very deserving winners.
Milne BrilliantThe spectators were delighted with the form shown by the home team, and had every reason to be. In the first half they were immeasurably superior to their opponents, and that was the real trying. Of the game. And the man of every division in the team contributed to quote was a glorious victory, and if one player stood out conspicuous above his fellow's, it was Milne, the Aberdeen centre-half. In the first. He was simply irresistible, and it was his sterling play and tremendous energies that "killed" the Celtic attack. He was not quite so prominent in the second half, but even then was a big factor in the game. Nor was his value confined to destructive play. At different periods he sent out many delightful ground passes to the wings. The whole team had great credit by the result, but it provided, nevertheless, a personal triumph for the Aberdeen centre-half. He had two brilliant co-operators in Grosert and Maclachlan. The first-may and had his opposing wing bottled-up throughout, and Maclachlan excelled in forcing play, which brought the visitors' goal in danger. Blackwell in goal had a comparatively quiet time, but in what he had to do made not the slightest mistake. And full-back, Hutton and Forsyth were masters at covering-up, and it was the practice of a well-nigh perfect understanding that pulled them out of tight corners. Lusty kicking and quick anticipation of the opponents passes by Hutton, accurate tackling and covering-up by Forsyth where the features of the individual play.
Effective ForwardsTo Pierce a defence like that of Celtic on three occasions is an accomplishment of which any team might be proud, and when it is remembered that Celtic have conceded but four goals in their five previous league games, the performance can be better appreciated. Aberdeen's was a fast-moving forward quintette. Probably they did not attain the same high standard of football as the Celtic attack developed at periods in the second half, but their work was always more effective. At close quarters Miller has often been seen to better advantage, but his distribution of the ball - the specially his non-stop passing in the first half - had a lot to do with the success of the Aberdeen forwards. The team without an midfield leader is not of much use, and he filled the role admirably. Some of his touches were very clever, and it was rank bad luck that he did not score from at least one of his three great shots in the second half. Rankine's play has improved immensely this season, and the fact that he has headed three goals in two successive matches shows where he is remedied what was previously a defect in his game. Apart from that, Rankine's footwork yesterday was a times brilliant. Repeatedly he forced to play to some purpose, and as a brainy inside forward he was the best on the field. Middleton, too, played exceedingly well. Practically every centre he sent over had a mission, and if there were occasions when he failed to get the ball away and knocked it against opponents, there were times when he got in his cross when the odds seemed all against his doing so. Thomson got through a deal of clever work that was not always so apparent as that of several of his colleagues, but it was they are all the same. Smith showed that he had lost none of his confidence, and in the first half of any rate made a highly successful appearance.
Celtic Form ReviewedAberdeen spectators have looked on at many better Celtic teams than was so well beaten yesterday, but the Parkhead combination is still one of the best in the Scottish League. Probably the team was still feeling the effects of the gruelling game with Dundee two days in earlier, but Aberdeen had no easier a passage with Falkirk, show that the teams were on equal terms in that respect. Shaw is still a capable goalkeeper, one but frequently he took too many risks yesterday. The veteran McNair and young Hilley were really the strongest part of the team, and in the critical period of the first half it was largely due to them that a Celtic debacle was prevented. What McNair lacked in pace was compensated for in skill; and Hilley's all-round play stamped him as a really great back. Not until the second period did the Celtic half-backs find their form. Then Cringan took the eye with brilliant all-round play, and when he joined the middle division, Macfarlane was seen to advantage in forcing play. The forwards were disappointing, and not until the half-backs struck their game were they much in evidence. Cassidy was easily the best in the line, his distribution and nippy footwork being admirable. Gallacher was individually tricky, but attempted to much, and if McAtee was dangerous in the second half, he plotted his sheet by his indifferent play in the earlier period. The left wing was disappointing throughout, that could do little against a defensive combination of Grosert and Hutton.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 26th September 1922