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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Forfar Athletic

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Forfar Athletic

Scottish Cup First Round
Aberdeen scorers: Rankin 22.

13/01/1923 | KO:


Aberdeen get a Surprise

Aberdeen scraped through their Scottish Cup tie at home by defeating Forfar Athletic by the only goal scored, a header by Rankine in the first half. The visitors played gamely throughout, and rather surprised about 13,000 spectators, who had scarcely expected such a close result. Dinnie and Braid were good in defence, Horsburgh the best half-back, and in attack Herron and Lamond were prominent. The Forfarians were captained by Wyllie, a former Aberdeen player. Aberdeen's best were the backs, Hutton and Forsyth, A. R. Grossert and Dr Milne at half, and Smith, Connon and Middleton in the forward line. The gross receipts came to £730.

Source: The Scotsman, 15th January 1923

There were fully 13,000 spectators at Pittodrie, where Aberdeen gained a narrow victory over Forfar Athletic by the only goal. The all-important point came along after twenty-two minutes' play. Middleton swept over a high centre, and both Connon and Rankine jumped to meet it. With his superior reach, Rankine just managed to head the ball downwards past Bruce, who gave a sterling display in the Forfar goal.
On the whole it was a disappointing game, almost devoid of thrills and excitement yet marked by all the dourness and earnest striving usually associated with a cup-tie. So far as their share in attacking went, Forfar Athletic might be accounted unfortunate to lose, yet Aberdeen gave the impression that they held something in reserve.
The dourness of the Athletic backs, the worrying tactics of their half-backs, and the cleverness of their two extreme wing forwards upset the balance of the Aberdeen team. Repeatedly the home forwards initiated what looked like maturing into clever combined movements, but they were as often worsted by a set of defenders who stuck closely to their opponents, never knew when they were beaten, and co-operated splendidly in covering up without leaving gaps in their armour.

Players in the Eye.

Blackwell in the home goal had several anxious momenta, his best save being when he left his goal to gather a cross by Herron just as the Athletic centre-forward was about to meet it. Hutton and Forsyth at back played well towards the close, but earlier Hutton's kicking and Forsyth's tackling were not up to their usual standard. Milne was the best of the home half-backs and in a forward line that never flattered Connon and Rankine were best.
On the Forfar side, Bruce effected some brilliant, saves, one from Rankine in the first half being a particularly clever bit of work. Braid and Dinnie were typical cup-tie backs, and along with Bruce, constituted the backbone of the team. Horsburgh was the pick of a worrying half-back line, but there was a tendency to resort to unfair tactics. Herron at outside right for the Athletic was the most dangerous forward on the field, and it was by him and Lamond on the other wing that the Aberdeen goal was most frequently threatened.

Run of the Play.

Aberdeen were first to attack, and Thomson shot wide, and, quickly at the other end Black was also off the mark has finishing effort. For a spell Aberdeen kept up the attack, and Hutton sent over from a free kick, followed by Connon heading wide and Smith to shoot wildly from Middleton's flag kick. Clever play by Connon looked like producing a goal, but Thomson failed to gather his pass when well-placed for shooting. Herron and Langlands transferred play, and for a time the Athletic pressed without Blackwell being called upon. Bruce brought off a fine save from Robertson, and later Smith centred behind. Herron, who showed much cleverness on the Athletic right, was fouled near the corner flag, and off the free kick Blackwell had to fist clear with Wyllie dashing in. The visitors kept up the attack, and after Herron had forced a corner, Hutton blocked a scoring-like shot by Wyllie. For Aberdeen, Thomson and Connon carried through a clever movement, but the first-named shot wide, and then, after 22 minutes had gone, Middleton swung over a high centre for Rankine to jump high in the air and head the ball downwards into the net. Following this success, Aberdeen kept up the attack. Bruce saved from Rankine and Robertson shot high. The Athletic attack again got going, and Herron met a miskicked clearance by Hutton to test, Blackwell with a fast ground shot. Aberdeen again took up the attack, and a terrific shot by A. R. Grosert hit the Forfar crossbar. Rankine met the rebound to shoot hard, but Bruce brought off a remarkable save near the bottom of his left-hand upright. Again Aberdeen attacked, and Connon's header from a Middleton cross was splendidly saved by Bruce. From a free kick against Dinnie Rankine misled the goal with an excellent shot. Near the interval Herron, who in the period was the best of the Athletic forwards, crossed accurately along the ground and Blackwell literally picked the ball from Anderson's toes to avoid the inrushing forwards and clear smartly. Taken all over, Aberdeen deserved their half-time lead.

Dourness in Second Half.

The Athletic made a very promising restart. Three corners in quick succession fell to their lot, and previous to the third one the Aberdeen goal was fortunate to survive a scrimmage. Later Blackwell had to save from Lamond. A free kick taken by Robertson was well saved by Bruce, but the Athletic refused to be shaken off, and repeatedly the home half-backs - and even the forwards - were back assisting their colleagues in rear. Smith on the home left made many clever attempts to make headway, but was repeatedly baulked, the Athletic defenders being often unceremonious in their tackling. Thomson just missed the goal with a capital try, and Herron replied with a long individual burst which was nullified by a colleague getting offside. Blackwell had to field from Lamond, and Bruce was called upon to hold a bouncing ball following a huge punt by Hutton. Herron was very nippy on the visitors' right, and on one occasion off an accurate centre by that player, Milne brought off a timely clearance. Aberdeen after this again took up the attack. Smith had a flag kick off which Rankine headed over, and Milne, after eluding several opponents, shot hard, Bruce, on his knees, just being able to fist the ball clear of Connon. Later Smith and Milne both had shots blocked. One of the best tries came from Connon, who, after working out to the left, shot accurately, but Bruce was able to deflect the ball over the bar. Anderson, for the visitors, appeared to have an opportunity to equalise, but shot high at comparatively close range. Near the end Connon sent just wide of an empty goal after Bruce had left his charge and muddled at attempt to kick clear.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 15th January 1923

Forfar Athletic Teamsheet
Bruce; Braid, Dinnie; Horsburgh, Wyllie, Smart; Herron, Langlands, Anderson, Black, Lamond
Attendance: 13,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: A. G. Weir, Stenhousemuir
Next Match
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20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride