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Aberdeen 3 - 1 Motherwell

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Miller 7, Miller 54, Miller 89.
Motherwell scorers: Ferrier 2

27/10/1923 | KO: 15:00


Miller's "hat trick" which enabled Aberdeen to win their match with Motherwell, was heartily welcomed by about 10,000 spectators at Aberdeen. He seems to have recovered all his old form since his accident last year. Motherwell's only goal was scored by Ferrier, the outside-left, early in the game. Aberdeen's defenders were very steady, and Ferguson, the Motherwell centre-forward, got few opportunities.

Source: The Scotsman, 29th October 1923

Aberdeen enjoyed a welcome return to winning form at Pittodrie, where they defeated Motherwell by 3 goals 1. All the winner's goals were scored by Miller, whose "hat trick" delighted the home spectators, and the improvement in his play generally suggested a regaining of confidence which augurs well for the future of the team. Heavy rain throughout the earlier part of the day, and the unsettled state of the weather just previous to the kick-off, deterred many who would otherwise have attended, and it is estimated that only 7000 witnessed the game. Aberdeen's rearranged side easily gave the best display of a Pittodrie team at home this season, and the victory was in every way well played for and thoroughly deserved.
Blackwell in goal had very little to do, so well was he protected by his half-backs and backs. Hutton was a great power at back, but Forsyth, if less spectacular, lost nothing by comparison. In the half-back line, Jackson was outstanding; indeed, he was one of the most successful players afield. Not only did he defend with great skill, but by no means neglected the constructive side of the game, and was the master of Ferguson, Motherwell's prolific goal-scorer, who never once tested Blackwell throughout the game. MacLachlan, too, excelled as a defender and attacker, and Grant, in a new role at right half, gave a creditable account himself. The attack moved with much harmony. Moir, at outside right, was the outstanding forward on view. He never failed to make ground at top speed, and his centres were splendidly judged. Miller at centre-forward, was more than once unfortunate in not adding to his total, but while he shot with precision, he distributed the ball well. The left wing got through much clever work, and Rankin had several good shots parried. Mutch and Smith, not so conspicuous as their colleagues in the line, also paid their way.
Although well beaten, there was considerable merit in the display of Motherwell. Rundell played very soundly in goal, and saved many dangerous shots. At back, Little was to be preferred to Newbigging, although both wavered occasionally under persistent Aberdeen pressure. Reid was easily the best of the half-backs, but neither Johnman nor Stewart touched his game. The visitors were none too well served on the extreme wings, but their inside trio accounted for clever work in midfield, White and Rankine especially taking the eye with crafty play.


Motherwell sprung a surprise the start, when, after two minutes' play, Ferrier, from near the corner flag, sent over a ground ball which found the net just inside the post, Blackwell evidently thinking a "bye" would result, making effort to save. Aberdeen took some time to settle down, and subsequently but for dour defending, might have fallen further into arrears; as it was, a shot by Ferguson only just missed the goal. After seven minutes' play Aberdeen equalised. Moir got away to race past all opposition, and, squaring accurately along the ground, allowed Miller to take the ball in his stride and beat Rundell from close range. After this play ruled almost entirely in favour of Aberdeen. Off another cross by Moir, Miller failed to get a hold of the ball with an open goal in front, and for a time the visiting defence was sorely tried to keep their end up. A centre by Smith was blocked by Newbigging, and subsequently Rundell twice fisted the ball into the air, and it was only cleared with difficulty. Two fine shots by Rankin were fielded by the Motherwell goalkeeper, and he fisted away from Miller's head following another accurate centre by Moir. In a Motherwell rally a shot by Ferguson was deflected for a corner, but Aberdeen returned to the attack and a free kick against Rankin for charging the goalkeeper gave Motherwell relief at a critical time. Towards the interval Aberdeen attacked with renewed vigour, and were unfortunate not to hold a lead at half-time.


The opening of the second half saw Motherwell attacking, and Jackson, Hutton, and Forsyth put in some telling work in defence A free kick taken just outside the penalty area should have been improved upon by Miller who completely missed the ball with only Rundell to beat. After this the game again turned in favour of Aberdeen. Miller shot strongly but high, and Rankin was wide with an attempt at a back-heeled goal. A raid by the visitors' front rank was repulsed by MacLachlan, and after Miller had shot narrowly past at the visitors' end, Blackwell had to field from Ferrier. With nineteen minutes gone Miller gave Aberdeen the lead with a characteristic goal. Jackson sent the ball out to Smith who headed it back to the centre, and Miller catching it on the drop, crashed it into the net, Rundell touching but failing to stay its progress. After this success it looked as if the visitors' defence would be overwhelmed, but they stuck pluckily to their task. Moir caused Rundell to fist into the air, and there was a prolonged scrimmage until Jackson shot high over. Twice Rankin tested the Motherwell goalkeeper, who had subsequently to fist away in quick succession from Rankin and Mutch, and Miller was wild with an attempt to improve upon a centre by Moir. After these escapes Motherwell rallied, and from two free kicks just outside the penalty area the home goal was endangered, a corner resulting but Jackson finding relief. Grant finished a clever run by shooting against the side-net, and, off a shot by Miller, the ball found the comer of the crossbar to rebound behind. Ferguson, White, and Rankine pressed the Aberdeen defence in a vain effort to save a point in the closing stages, but Blackwell was never in serious trouble. In the last minute of the game Smith sent high ball over towards the right, and Miller, getting possession - and although at an awkward angle - beat Rundell with a fast, low shot to complete the hat trick with the final kick of the game. The whistle sounded for "time" before the ball could be centred again.

Source: Press & Journal, 29th October 1923

Motherwell Teamsheet
Rundell; Little, Newbigging; Reid, Johnman, Stewart; McFadyen, Rankin, Ferguson, White, Ferrier
Attendance: 7,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: J. M. Dickson, Glasgow