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Aberdeen 2 - 0 Airdrie

Scottish Cup Second Round Replay
Aberdeen scorers: Rankin 57, Smith 80.

31/01/1923 | KO: 15:00


Aberdeen Worthy Winners

Aberdeen deservedly secured their entry to the third round of the Scottish Cup ties by defeating Airdrieonians by a couple of goals at Pittodrie Park, Aberdeen. The 14,500 spectators included a number from the north-east of Scotland towns and villages, and the divisible gate money amounted to £504, while a crowded stand yielded an additional £1723. The match was closely contested throughout a goalless first period, but only five minutes of the second half had gone when, as the result of persistent pressure, Aberdeen scored from Rankine who accepted a fine pass by Smith. It was the Aberdeen left winger who was directly responsible for the second goal, which practically decided Aberdeen?s entry to the third round. Smith played an excellent game throughout. He was ably assisted by the fine combination in the Aberdeen forward line.

Source: The Scotsman, 1st February 1923

At Pittodrie Park yesterday Aberdeen worthily earned the right to figure in the third round of the Scottish Cup competition, when they defeated Airdrieonians in a stirring game by 2 goals to 0. On a wet afternoon there were nearly 16,000 spectators, including ticket-holders. There have been few more strenuous contests on the ground, and during the game enthusiasm reached a high pitch.
Both goals were scored in the second half. Twelve minutes of the period had gone when Smith got away on the left, and, steadying himself, centred accurately for Rankin to head the ball well out of Shortt's reach. The second goal was delayed until ten minutes from the end, when Middleton got away on the right to beat McQueen and square. The ball ultimately went to Smith who, finding himself uncovered, shot for goal, and the ball glanced into the net off McQueen's boot.

A Typical Cup-Tie

It was a truly titanic and it could not be said that any period the game was more critical than another. Both goals had their escapes, that of Airdrie having the greater share, but, although Aberdeen deserved to win by the recorded margin, it was never at any time a one-sided struggle. Each team had its periods during which the defenders were sorely stretched, and, on the other hand, each set of forwards had its sessions of activity.
It was a game which was typical of what the popular cup-tie between evenly-matched teams should be, and it may be that the Scottish Cup winners were view in the contest. Certainly, if that triumph should ultimately be achieved by the Aberdeen club, the players will not have to strive any harder to attain it. There was not a player on view in either team but who strove his utmost to bring victory to his side, and if there were mistakes these were pardonable, being incidental to the human failings which must be exposed in such a nerve-trying and physical test as the game provided.
To-day the teams must have a very healthy respect for the prowess of the other. Aberdeen won because, solid in defence, they had a punch in attack. Airdre were similarly well equipped behind, but they lacked the power of the home attack to push home their advantage at such times as they got near the goal.

Hefty Encounter.

In many respects it was a hefty encounter. Where teams are level in ability, these cup-ties often, resolve themselves into a semi-physical clash. This is unavoidable. Players, keen and eager to do the best by their side, are impetuous. Often the accidental infringement appears to the onlooker as being the result of deliberate intent. In such a hotly-contested game as yesterday's this was often the case, and yet there occasions were upon which the referee appeared to err in his discretion in allowing certain things to pass. But would stretching the point to say the foul's perpetrated upon Connon, the Aberdeen centre-forward, by McQueen, the Airdrie left back, were accidental. Considering the pace and the excitement of the game, the tie was, on the whole, fought in a clean, sporting spirit, and if there were other transgressions of the laws, the lapses of the players referred to were the exception rather than the rule.

Football Thrills.

In such a game the first goal counts for much. At the very outset the game Airdrieonians had the chance of the day, but failed to take it, Sommerville, from a few yards off, driving hard over bar. What that miss meant for Airdrie and Aberdeen will never be known. Later the Broomfield forwards were often in good position, but the more danger that threatened the better were the qualities of the Aberdeen defence revealed. The Airdrie forwards acquitted themselves well in midfield, and opened out the game more than on Saturday, but just as on the occasion of the previous meeting, they took too long to shoot, and the hesitation allowed the Aberdeen defenders to pounce in and either block their efforts or dispossess them. All the same, Blackwell was stretched more than once. On one occasion he brought off a brilliant ground save from Howieson and emerged successfully from a crowd of players with the ball in his hands, and at another time the Aberdeen goalkeeper saved at short range from Howieson again. Often in these Airdrie attacks it was neck or nothing for the Aberdeen defence getting the ball away.

Narrow Escapes.

The thrills, however, were not all at one end Many an exciting bout did Connon have with the Airdrie backs, who defended splendidly in the period. Shortt was in luck's way when, off Middleton's brilliant centre, Rankin headed against the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten, and, from the rebound, Connon headed the ball on to the top of the net. On another occasion Thomson shot hard across the goal and Shortt was just able knock the ball down. It bounced in front of him, and Connon made a desperate leap, only to shoot against the goalkeeper's body, and McQueen ultimately relieved. On yet another occasion the Airdrie citadel came near to falling. Connon ploughed his way through and resisted the effort efforts of McQueen and Macdougall to dispossess him. He got to within five yards of the goal when Shortt advanced to meet him, and, just as the Aberdeen forward shot, he was charged, the impact affecting the accuracy, and the ball passed just wide of the goal.

Excitement Sustained.

At the outset of the second half Airdrieonians had another chance to score, when a clearance by Hutton gave Russell possession, but the forward hesitated and the opportunity was gone. The Airdrie right wing was sprightly, and centres by Reid gave trouble without Blackwell being called upon. Having snatched the lead, Aberdeen were content to adopt defensive tactics for a time. Airdrieonians resorted to the on-back game. Middleton got away to bear this on one occasion, and Macdougall cleared when another goal seemed likely to accrue. Subsequently Aberdeen again opened out, and Shortt had to save off Rankin's head before Thomson came near to converting a centre by Smith. In this period there was only one real thrill at the home goal. This was when following a corner kick, Bennie shot with great force. Blackwell was able to stop the ball but not to hold it. He got down to recover possession, and an opponent's foot, meant for the ball, got him on the body. The keeper had to be attended to and the whistle for a free kick gave Aberdeen relief at a trying time. Middleton, on the home right, was particularly lively, and before and after his team got their second goal, Shortt's charge had narrow escapes as the result of the right, winger' raids and crosses. Connon, who was often rather roughly treated by the visitors' backs, and by McQueen in particular, harassed the Airdrie defence, and once was badly fouled on the fringe of the penalty area. It was a thrilling and stem struggle from start to finish, the honours going to the better of two really good cup-tie teams.


There was not really a weakling on the Aberdeen side. Hutton, Forsyth and Milne were brilliant defenders, and, in a fast-moving attack, Middleton, Connon and Rankine were best. On the loser's side, Dick and McQueen were grand backs. Macdougall and Bennie were other stalwarts in a defence whoss two lapses - failure to cover up - cost them the game. In the forward line Russell and Howieson were best.

£ s d of the Tie.

The receipts at the game amounted £898 0s 6d, and the number of persons who paid for admission was 14,500. The net divisible gate amounted to £504. A collection taken on behalf of the "Evening Express" Fund for the Bairns amounted to £26 15s 1d.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal 1st February 1923

Airdrie Teamsheet
Shortt; Dick, McQueen (captain); Neil, MacDougall, Bennie; Reid, Russell, Gallacher, Howieson, Somerville
Attendance: 14,500
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Andrew Allan, Glasgow
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride