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Celtic 1 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Celtic 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Celtic scorers: Cassidy 12
Aberdeen scorers: Rankin, Thomson 17.

06/01/1923 | KO:


Celtic Surprised

On a soft pitch a fine game was witnessed at Celtic Park, Glasgow, where Aberdeen triumphed over Celtic after being a goal down. Celtic began well, and in the early stages it looked as if they would win easily. Blackwell, in the Aberdeen goal, had several fine saves before he was beaten by Cassidy. Up to the interval Celtic did most of the attacking, but a resolute Aberdeen defence kept them from increasing their lead. When the second half was resumed, Aberdeen, who had been very poor in the first half, developed a strong game, and within ten minutes the scores were levelled, Rankine beating Shaw, following a free kick. Celtic fell away now, and the visitors were masters of the situation. The Celtic half-backs could not hold the sprightly Aberdeen forwards, and with fifteen minutes to go Thomson beat Shaw with a fine drive. Hutton, Milne, and Shaw were the outstanding Aberdeen men, and in a disappointing Celtic side, McStay, Cringan, and McLean were best. The attendance would be 8000.

Source: The Scotsman, 8th January 1923

Aberdeen's 2-1 victory over Celtic at Glasgow was the outstanding performance in the Scottish League on Saturday. Not only was it the first victory ever recorded by an Aberdeen team on the ground, but the result squashed any hopes that remained for the losers retaining the league championship. Recent failures sustained by Celtic, and the distress prevailing in a big industrial part of the western metropolis, contributed to the poor attendance, there being less than eight thousand at the game, and a big proportion of these took advantage of the gates for the unemployed.
Ona ground that was soft and greasy after frost, and was cut up as the result of a heavy shower during the first half of the game, it was always an interesting struggle. In the first period Celtic were the better team, and played clever football, but while Aberdeen put up a stubborn defence, the champions did not make the most of their chances; still they led by the only goal at the interval. In the second half the circumstances were reversed. Aberdeen played up in style, and after drawing level and eventually taking the lead, played even brighter football than Celtic had displayed earlier. Smith, at outside left for Aberdeen, was the best forward on the field, his brilliant play eliciting the admiration of the crowd. Connon was a thrustful and clever leader, and initiated the majority of the movements that put Aberdeen on the offensive. Rankine too, played well in the second half, but the wing suffered by comparison with the left. All three Aberdeen half-backs played finely, and the backs, after getting accustomed to the soft and slippery surface, played splendidly, while Blackwell in goal was brilliant in the first half, when his side was often in a tight corner. On the Celtic side Shaw was faultless in goal, and McStey did well at back, Murphy being weak and unable to cope with Smith. Cringan was easily the best half-back, and of the forwards McLean, Cassidy and Connelly were seen to advantage in the first half only, but Celtic owed their defeat largely to the inability of their attackers to clinch matters near goal.

The Game Described.

Celtic first attacked, Blackwell clearing with difficulty from McLean, with and Cassidy and Cairney harassing the keeper. A flag-kick for Celtic brought no advantage, and on Aberdeen's first break-away Smith shot over after clever wing play. Aberdeen kept on the offensive, and Cannon, by forcing play, obtained a comer off Murphy. The ball, was finely placed by Smith from the flag, and, off Rankine's head, Shaw just managed to tip the ball over the bar for another corner, which McMaster cleared. At the other end Blackwell averted disaster by running out and kicking clear from Cassidy. Quickly on the attack the Aberdeen forwards moved well. Thomson sent a long pass to Smith, and the latter centred almost below the bar, but Celtic got relief when Connon was penalised for charging Shaw, who mis-fielded. At this stage a heavy shower of rain fell, and the conditions became very bad. Aberdeen were gradually forced on the defensive. Clever play by Connolly let Cassidy through, and, with Hutton slipping when about to tackle, the Celtic centre-forward slipped the ball into the net past Blackwell, who had left his goal to intercept. This happened after twelve minutes' play. On the slippery surface the Aberdeen defenders found it difficult to retain their footing, and for a time Celtic attacked vigorously. Blackwell saved finely from McLean, but that player and Cassidy twice shot badly from favourable positions. Smith raised the siege with a long run, but Rankine delayed to shoot. The latter came near to counting later, when Cringan blocked his terrific drive. Blackwell, close to the upright, stopped a fast shot from Connelly, and at the other end Shaw had to gather a ground shot by Connon. There was a period of about ten minutes which produced a great duel between the Celtic attack and the Aberdeen defence.

Blackwell's Saves.

McLean, who showed much individual cleverness on the home left, was again at fault with his shooting, but in a brief period off thrills Blackwell fisted away quick succession from Connelly, Cairney, Cassidy, and McLean and on two occasions oblique shots by McLean and Cairney swept across the Aberdeen goal to roll harmlessly behind. With an improvement in the conditions, the Aberdeen attack again came into evidence. Connon had long run, which finished with a fine pass out to Middleton, but the winger misjudged his centre. Smith, Connon, and Rankine combined well, but the left winger's centres were turned aside by a sound defence, in which Cringan exceed. In a breakaway by Celtic, Blackwell saved brilliantly from McLean, who, along with Smith for Aberdeen, were the outstanding raiders. Near the interval, off a judicious pass by Conon, Middleton centred brilliantly, but Rankine, after steadying himself to shoot, lifted the ball over the bar with only Shaw in front. In the period Celtic were the more aggressive side, but, while they did not finish too strongly, they found the Aberdeen defence improving as the game progressed.

Aberdeen Revival.

The opening play in the second period favoured Aberdeen, and Smith looked like getting through when he was charged over, and following the free kick McStey cleared from almost under the bar, with Thomson ready to clinch matters. For a period of about ten minutes Celtic were kept defending. The Aberdeen half-backs, now quite comfortable in the conditions, kept plying their forwards judiciously, and it was only by concentrating in front of goal that Celtic were able to retain their lead. McStey cleared a centre by Smith, and Hutton, who had gone to assist in the Aberdeen attack, mishit what he had obviously meant to be a terrific drive for goal. Slackness by the Aberdeen backs let Cassiday away, and when a goal seemed certain he shot hard against the upright.

Goal for Rankine.

After this let off Aberdeen settled down to really clever football. Smith shot wide after a bout of passing with Connon, and later when dribbling through Just to the left of the penalty area the Aberdeen outside left was badly fouled by Gilchrist. The winger took the kick, and although he obviously meant to drive for goal, the ball slithered away to the right in front of goal, and cannoned off Cringan to the foot of Rankine, who, without hesitating, shot a brilliant goal from twenty yards' range. Greatly heartened by this well-deserved success, Aberdeen subsequently settled down to clever football. Their defence was repeatedly harassed by Smith, with whom the Celtic defenders could not cope. Milne eluded two opponents to shoot hard, and Shaw, who got down on his knees to it, was lucky to recover possession after the ball had struck him on the chest, Connon just missing the rebound. In two isolated raids by Celtic, Cassidy and Macfarlane shot wide, but Shaw had to save from Robertson and Smith.

The Winning Goal.

Seventeen minutes from the end Aberdeen obtained the winning goal. Smith broke away, and after beating Gilchrist passed to Rankine, and that player slipped the ball along to the right. Connon who was covered, 'cutely allowed it to travel to Thomson and latter, without stopping, crashed the ball into the net at great speed. Following this the Aberdeen left wing, in conjunction with Connon, served up brilliant combination, tip-tapping the ball to each other with delightful accuracy, and Murphy, and McStey were repeatedly hard pressed to divert Smith's crosses. Later the Aberdeen right wing took a lease of life, and for a time Aberdeen gave a repetition of the form displayed against the Rangers at Ibrox a week before. The Celtic attack seldom got going, although Cassidy and Connelly did their best to make headway, but at all points the champions were well held. Connelly once shot narrowly past, but apart from that until the last two minutes of the game when Celtic came away with a late and futile rally the honours of the period easily went to Aberdeen.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal 8th January 1923

Celtic Teamsheet
Shaw; Murphy, McStey; Gilchrist, Cringan, McMaster; Connelly, Cairney, Cassidy. Macfarlane, McLean
Attendance: 15,000
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow
Referee: Tom Dougray, Bellshill
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