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Aberdeen 0 - 2 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 1 Celtic

Div 1 (Old)
Celtic scorers: McLean 10, McLean 60

29/09/1923 | KO: 15:00


The Celtic were worthy winners at Aberdeen where 19,000 spectators saw them beat Aberdeen by two goals to nothing. McLean, the outside left, was the scorer on both occasions. He obtained his first goal after 15 minutes. Working into an inside position, he shot hard, and Blackwell, at full length at the foot of one of the uprights, allowed the ball to slip through his hands into the net. McLean's second goal came in the second half, when he improved upon a cross from McAtee. On another occasion, a minute or two later, McLean crashed the ball against one of the posts. Those represented the best attempts at scoring during the game. The losers, while attacking quite as much as the Celtic, were not so penetrative, and their disjointed individual efforts were rather easily countered. The Celtic indulged in nice combination, and while their goal was frequently in danger, they won without calling on any reserve power. McNair, Hilley, and W. McStay, were strong defenders, and forward the Celtic were well served by a crafty line in which McLean, Cassidy, and Thomson were seen to most advantage. Aberdeen were strong in the rear, Hutton, Forsyth, and Jackson doing well in that department, although there was a tendency to sky the ball. The forwards did not work well together, but good individual efforts were made by Grant, Moir, and Mutch .

Source: The Scotsman, 1st October 1923

Aberdeen sustained their third defeat of the season, Celtic beating them at Pittodrie by 2 goals to 0. After rain in the early afternoon, the weather cleared, and there were about 18,000 spectators. Victory went to the better team, as while Aberdeen attacked as much as their opponents, they never revealed the same skill and method in attack as the winners. McLean, outside left, had both goals to his credit, and if he was fortunate to open the scoring, he was unlucky when the upright prevented him from getting a third goal. He scored his first goal ten minutes after the start, at a time when Aberdeen were having the better of the exchanges. He got possession and worked to an inside position, beating Hutton en route, to finish with a fast, low drive close to the upright. Blackwell threw himself full length at the ball, and appeared to knock it against the upright, off which it eluded his grasp to lodge in the side net. The second half was about, fifteen minutes old when McLean, lying close in, accepted a cross from the right to drive the ball past Blackwell, high into the net and round off the scoring.


Both defence played well, and considering the craftiness of the Celtic forwards, the Aberdeen rear divisions did well to afford so few scoring chances. Blackwell was unfortunate to have a hand in the loss of the first goal, and could scarcely be blamed for its concession, as he did remarkably well to reach the ball at all. Forsyth was the steadier back, and played a wonderful game considering that he had been indisposed and in bed until Thursday. Hutton, too, played well, but at times was erratic. Jackson was the most prominent half-back, and MacLachlan was little behind, but Davidson was slow and easily beaten. There was, too, a tendency for the line to concentrate on defence, to the neglect of the forwards, who were often set to chase up balls they had no chance of catching. It was forward, however, where the Aberdeen failings were most apparent. The line never worked satisfactorily, and a rearrangement in the later stages of the second half, when Moir (outside right) and Thomson (centre-forward) chanced places, did not lead to increased effectiveness. Very title shooting was indulged in, and the rushing individual tactics adopted were easily countered by the Celtic defenders. Grant and Moir were most effective, but this department of the team did not compare favourably with the Celtic attack.


The winners were a much better balanced side, and if they owed their victory largely to the opportunism of McLean, there was always a superior understanding between all departments. Shaw was never seriously tested, and tries by Grant and Davidson, which lacked proper direction, represented the best efforts of the home team to beat him. He was well protected by McNair and Hilley, especially the latter, who played very strongly and kicked accurately throughout. In the half-back line, W. McStey was outstanding, in fact he was the most conspicuous member of the Celtic defence, and was chiefly responsible for the eclipse of the Aberdeen attack. J. McStey was a vigorous tackler, and Macfarlane excelled in constructive play. Although Gallacher occasionally lapsed into close individual work, in which he overdid the trickery, the general policy of the Celtic forwards was to keep the game open. Cassidy and Thomson especially excelled in these tactics, and McLean improved upon them. McAtee on the extreme right was slow, but his colleagues continued to ply him with the ball in advantageous positions, and his centres were always very dangerous.


The game will not rank as one of the most attractive between the teams. There was more desperation than science in the efforts of Aberdeen, and, although shaky in the opening stages Celtic after they took the lead gave the impression that they could have pulled out a bit more had it been necessary. There were not many thrills in the game, and it was probably expressive of their disappointment at the home team's display that so many spectators took their departure long before the finish. There was one exciting incident worthy of mention in which Aberdeen may be considered to have been unfortunate in not being awarded a penalty kick. Mutch, with the ball at his feet, was wriggling his way through the Celtic defence, when he appeared to be roughly upset in the penalty area. From the press box it seemed a glaring case for a penalty kick being awarded, but the referee evidently satisfied, over-ruled the appeal.

Source: Press & Journal, 1st October 1923

Celtic Teamsheet
Shaw; McNair, Hilley; J. McStey, W. McStey, McFarlane; McAtee, Gallagher, Cassidy, Thomson, mcLean
Attendance: 18,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: J. Binnie, Falkirk
Next Match
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen