Source: The Scotsman, 23rd October 1922
ABERDEEN ECLIPSED, CLEVER PLAY BY MOTHERWELL FORWARDSThe most glaring example of form being upset was provided at Motherwell, where by 3 goals to 1 the local team, who occupied the bottom place on the league table, brought about the downfall of Aberdeen, who filled the role of league leaders. The score did not flatter Motherwell, whose forwards were rampant in the second period, and in the later stages at any rate repeatedly harried the Aberdeen defence. This is the first occasion this season upon which the Aberdeen defence has been three times pierced, and on the actual happenings of the game, the Pittodrie team had little reason to complain. Motherwell's superiority was solely in attack. Finely led by Ferguson, the home forwards were to keep the ball, and thus cover up obvious weakness their rear division, that after the opening ten minutes always held the issue safe. At times the forward play the touched a high level, and the blending of individual and collective trickery and dash completely upset the usually reliable defence of Aberdeen, whose forwards on the other hand, opened well, but afterwards were patchy in the extreme.
Flattered to Deceive.In the opening stages Aberdeen flattered to deceive. The first raid of the game was made by Middleton, whose cross was deflected to the left, and Smith dropped in a centre which Brown only pushed to Rankine's foot for that player to beat Rundell at close range. Aberdeen continued to attack, but only three minutes had elapsed when Brown, the home centre-half, manoeuvred for position and send in a fast, low shot, which Blackwell, at full length, would probably have saved but for having his view interrupted. Following this there was a period of about ten minutes when Aberdeen repeatedly attacked, but they finessed too much, and although the Motherwell backs gave them several loopholes, they failed to take advantage of these. Milne, MacLachlan, Forsyth, and Smith had tries for goal, but just when it seemed Aberdeen would take the lead they actually fell in arrears. Lennie got away and switched over a fast cross for Ferguson to breast the ball down and run through to shoot, with great force. The ball struck Blackwell, but Ferguson, following up, netted when almost under the bar. Motherwell were a transformed side after the success, and, brilliantly led by Ferguson, they repeatedly had the Aberdeen defence in difficulties, Blackwell's charge having several narrow escapes from shots that passed just wide of the goal. Aberdeen rallied towards the interval, but apart from a brilliant long-range shot by Swan, did not look like scoring, Motherwell deserving their 2-1 lead.
Aberdeen Outplayed.In the earlier stages of the second half the Motherwell forwards again ran riot, and it was not surprising that the Aberdeen goal fell again at the end of ten minutes' play. It was an unusual sort of goal that fell to Motherwell. Following a corner kick, Hutton only partially cleared, and Ferrier drove in with terrific force. Blackwell had no chance to save, but Forsyth below the bar at the far end of the goal endeavoured to head out. He only succeeded in sending it into the top of the net, and was temporarily stunned by the force of the shot. Following this the Motherwell forwards were particularly lively, especially Ferguson, but that player in quick succession lost two excellent chances of scoring. Once he allowed Hutton to recover, and later he almost missed his kick, so that it was only a rolling ball Blackwell had to gather. When Aberdeen did ultimately attack, the forwards were disjointed, and in any case their play lacked the push and snap of the home five. Rankine and Grant changed places, but this brought about no improvement, and in the later stages of the game the Aberdeen defence was overrun. Ferguson hit the upright with a hard drive, and a shot from Reid found the crossbar. Near the end it was only the brilliant goalkeeping of Blackwell that prevented a further score. On the Aberdeen side Blackwell, Forsyth, and MacLachlan were best in defence, and Smith and Rankine were the most prominent forwards. For Motherwell, Brown, Ferguson, Lennie, and Ferrier were outstanding.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal 23rd October 1922