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Aberdeen 0 - 0 Dundee

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Dundee

Div 1 (Old)

01/09/1923 | KO: 15:00


No Goals at Aberdeen

Aberdeen and Dundee had the keenest of fights at Aberdeen, and shared the points. There were 20,000 spectators, including several hundreds who came by special train from Dundee, Arbroath, Stonehaven, and other places. In a match in which defensive play was a feature, Aberdeen did more attacking in the first half. Fotheringham was frequently tested, but always rose to the occasion, and sometimes brilliantly. On the Aberdeen side, the internationalist, Hutton, and his partner, Forsyth, were stalwarts, especially in the second half. A continuous downpour of heavy rain, which commenced before the kick-off, told against the forwards' lines getting going properly. There was no scoring in the game.

Source: The Scotsman, 3rd September 1923

The weather conditions were deplorable at Pittodrie, where Aberdeen and Dundee had a goalless battle in their first League encounter for the season. An hour before the start there was a thick drizzle, but just as the teams took the field the rain fell in torrents, and continued practically throughout the match, so that the conditions for spectators and players alike were wretched; indeed so badly drenched were many of the onlookers that they took their departure at the interval, when the teams changed into dry strip. There was an attendance, of about 19,000.
On the whole it was a disappointing and towsy Derby. The defences on both sides indulged in spoiling tactics and, covering up as they did, seldom allowed concerted attacking moves to mature. At times the play was over-robust, and the tendency of both teams to indulge in shady tactics was frequently pronounced, so that there were many stoppages, which irritated the spectators and detracted from their enjoyment of the game.


On the run of play, a draw was a fitting result, although had Aberdeen accepted their scoring chances a home victory must have been recorded. In the first half, Aberdeen accounted for the greater amount of attacking done, but in the second half Dundee fully held their own in this department, so that over the period of the game they were entitled to the point extracted from it. Throughout defence was master of attack, but the greasy ball and the wet surface prevented really good football being seen.
Both goalkeepers came through the game with credit, and of four good backs on view, Hutton and Brown were seen to most advantage. The half-back play on both sides was above the average. Both sets engaged in worrying tactics, and it was largely their policy that decided the nature the tussle. Rankine and Ross for Dundee, and Davidson and MacLachlan for Aberdeen, were most prominent. On the move the Aberdeen forwards worked more harmoniously than those of the visitors, but they repeatedly misjudged passes and did not make the most of their opportunities for shooting, so that the individual dashes by such as McLean and Halliday for Dundee were always as effective as the more concerted efforts of the home quintette.


Aberdeen enjoyed a brief spell of attacking at the start, and a free kick taken out the right by Hutton was cleared by Ross, who let Knox away. The Dundee raid was repulsed by Forsyth, and for a time the play ruled in midfield, neither claiming advantage. Thomson raised the hopes of the home supporters with a fine sprint along the right, but Fotheringham went out and met his centre. Strong tackling by Rankine, the visitors pivot, let McLean away, and the centre-forward had a strong, breast-high drive from 25 yards' range, Blackwell saving close to the post. A run by Rankin and Smith endangered the Dundee goal, but Brown cleared under pressure, and later Jackson shot over from a free kick. Aberdeen maintained pressure at this stage, and Miller delivered a shot from close range which struck Fotheringham, and the ball was deflected to the left of the goal for Thomson to complete the clearance. Another burst by the home right looked like producing a goal, but Thomson's centre was headed away by Ross. Smith was grassed when going through, and Miller, in attempt to net off a pass from the ensuing free kick, completely missed the ball. Aberdeen were unfortunate not to have taken the lead at this time. Thomson sent a high centre almost along the goal line. The ball was missed by Fotheringham and Miller, but was cleverly returned by Smith for Fotheringham to get possession, and the whistle brought the goalkeeper relief from an exciting duel with Grant, Thomson, Davidson, and Jackson. Towards the interval the Dundee attack came more into view, and from a free kick, taken by McLean, Blackwell brought off a magnificent save, despite his vision being partially obscured. Another free kick against Aberdeen just outside the penalty area again had the goal in danger, but Davidson cleared. Following a determined rush by the home forwards, Miller had an opportunity to score off Grant's pass, but failed to get his foot properly behind the ball, and Fotheringham easily cleared, half-time arriving without a score being registered.


On resuming, Dundee were first to attack, but McDonald handled, and relief was given the home defence. Fotheringham had to leave his goal to clear a centre from Smith, and Blackwell was called into action to field a ball which McLean had sent too far ahead. Both defences exploited the offside theory effectively, and with the half-backs displaying great tenacity, the forwards on both sides were well held. Grant got up to shoot wide, and tested Blackwell with an awkward ground shot. Off a centre by Thomson Aberdeen looked like taking the lead, but Miller from close range only shot the ball into Fotheringham's hands. A free kick taken by Miller was deflected wide by a defender's head, and following the kick a shot by Jackson was blocked. After this, the Dundee attack came into view. Halliday shook off the attentions of Hutton to land the ball on the top of the net, and subsequently McLean made a great effort to burst through, but harassed by Hutton had to steer a course to the left of the goal. He, however, was able square, and it was with difficulty that Blackwell got possession to clear. McLean was again in the picture when he sent in a terrific shot from 25 yards' range, and Blackwell was just able to knock the ball down and clear. There were frequent bursts by the forwards on both sides, but the defences continued to hold the upper hand. A flag kick taken by Halliday led to Blackwell again being tested, this time by Bird. One of the few thrilling incidents in the game was when Halliday got through to deliver a terrific shot, but Blackwell jumped and by a fine effort with one hand managed to deflect the ball over the bar. Aberdeen rallied after this escape, and during a raid by the left wing had a claim for a penalty for handling disallowed by the referee. Near the close McLean was injured and changed places with Halliday in the Dundee attack. In a rousing finish Aberdeen strove desperately to secure the lead, and Fotheringham did well to dive at a ground cross by Thomson and clear from a host of opponents. The end came with the defences unbeaten.

Source: Press & Journal, 3rd September 1923

Dundee Teamsheet
Fotheringham; Brown, Thomson; Ross, Rankine, Coyle; Knox, Bird, McLean, McDonald, Halliday
Attendance: 19,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: J. Rennie, Dalmuir