Hibernians Convincing WinAt Easter Road, Edinburgh, the Hibernians secured their entry into the Scottish Cup semi-final by a convincing win over Aberdeen. A sensational score in the first minute did much to inspire the home men and unsettle the visitors, but it was a hard game all through, and the Hibernians, although generally superior, were not safe until the end, Blackwell, the Aberdeen goalkeeper, turning the ball into his own goal. Dunn, the Hibernian inside right, was very smart in snatching the opening goal. His first shot was fisted upwards by the Aberdeen goalkeeper, and a rebound from the crossbar gave him a second chance, which he turned to account. Recovering after a shaky opening, Aberdeen divided the honours pretty well in the first half. Their defence stiffened up effectively, but the forwards shot at far too long range, and were often rounded off by the resourceful Hibernian full-backs, among whom Shaw was very conspicuous. The only tries of note were those of Rankine and Thomson, and Harper dealt with them smartly. Play was much livelier in the second half. McColl made strong running for the Hibernians, and Ritchie had several fine crosses that, through impulsiveness, were badly taken up. The Hibernians found themselves straining for a "safety" goal one minute and staving off an imminent equaliser the next, a shot by Milne especially causing Harper some trouble. In the end, however, Hibernians pressure prevailed, a well-placed corner by Ritchie reaching the net in a mix up between the goalkeeper and several opposing forwards. The winners were sound in defence, and good understanding was shown between backs and half-backs. The forwards were not impressive as a line, but each had snatches of dashing play, and the team pulled together with apparent confidence. It was an uphill battle for Aberdeen, and the chances are that they did not do themselves justice. The forwards were seldom allowed to settle, and the honours went to Milne and Robertson at half and Hutton at Back. The attendance was 28,000, and the gate drawings amounted to £891, with £137 more taken at the stand.
Source: The Scotsman, 26th February 1923
FIRST HALF DESCRIBED.The teams went "all out" right from the start, and after Aberdeen's initial burst had been repulsed, the ball went out of play near midfield on the left. Following the throw-in Halligan centred, and Dunn got through to give Hibernian a sensational early goal. Taken aback, Aberdeen were down, and Smith had a centre cleared at the second attempt by Dornan. The ball was quickly transferred, and Walker, after cutting in, had well saved Blackwell. Hibernian showed the better form, and after Kerr had rattled the side-net, Blackwell had to field a dangerous centre by Walker. Strong kicking by the Aberdeen backs brought Harper's charge into the danger zone, but twice only byes resulted when quicker anticipation by the Pittodrie forwards might have given them possession. For time Hibernian were kept defending, but it reflected the fine qualities of their defence that Harper was not tested. Even Forsyth, from back, had a shot, but he sent high over. McGinnigle on an occasion nearly put through his own goal. He misjudged his pass back to his goalkeeper, and it was only by a great effort that Harper was able to recover. Rankin had Aberdeen's first really accurate try for goal, Harper catching the ball just under the bar. Dornan conceded a flag kick off a cross by Middleton, and later Harper had to clear from the Aberdeen right winger. Aberdeen continued to exert pressure, but got few shooting opportunities, although Connon just missed with a first-time attempt. There was an exciting passage when Harper, out of his goal, twice lost possession-through being harassed by Connon, but the goalkeeper recovered. Thomson beat two opponents to shoot high, but ultimately the Hibernian defence, augmented by several of the forwards, shook off the pressure. Dunn got through to hit the outside of the Aberdeen net, and following a centre by Ritchie, Hutton gave Aberdeen much-needed relief. A ground shot by Walker off Ritchie's centre was only inches wide of the Aberdeen goal, and Blackwell effected a smart save from Dunn, who was the best forward on the field. Towards the interval Aberdeen again attacked, and Rankin had a shot blocked but generally little danger was threatened to Harper's charge.
Second Half Play.The Aberdeen defence was early in trouble on resuming. Ritchie and Dunn, on the right wing, were lively, but Aberdeen got relief when Robertson took a free kick, which he sent wide of the goal, and Connon was neatly dispossessed by McGinnigle when forcing his way through. There was an exciting moment when Hutton kicked the ball against Halligan, who followed up the rebound and was in the act of shooting when Hutton, by a wonderful recovery, got up and was able to deflect the shot. McColl fell in the penalty area when hustling the Aberdeen backs, but the referee refused the Hibernian appeal for a penalty kick. Consequent to this Blackwell saved an awkward ball off Walker's head, and later that player swept the ball over the bar from favourable position. Hibernian maintained the attack, and Walker, in front of goal, shied badly off Ritchie's ground cross, an incident which was repeated shortly afterwards by the same player. It was in vain that the Aberdeen defence and attack attempted to strike an understanding. Milne had his team's first direct try for goal since the interval, and although the shot lacked power, Harper required two attempts to clear. Connon followed with a shot taken on the run, but the direction was wrong, and Milne had Aberdeen's best try with a shot from twenty-five yards, which Harper cleared. For a time Aberdeen kept up pressure, but repeatedly the ball was sent too far ahead, with the result that the Hibernian backs had no difficulty in clearing. With six minutes to go Hibernian obtained their second goal from Ritchie's flag kick. Even then Aberdeen rallied, and MacLachlan, in a desperate effort to burst through, was pulled up a few yards from Harper. Towards the end Hibernian again attacked, and in the last few seconds of the game Blackwell effected brilliant save from Halligan. On Aberdeen's part it was a rather inglorious exit from the competition for the national trophy.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal 26th February 1923