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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Raith Rovers

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Raith Rovers

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Rankin.

01/12/1923 | KO: 14:30


An interesting game at Aberdeen resulted in a narrow victory for the home team, who beat Raith Rovers by 1 goal to 0, the Fifeshire men thus sustained their first reverse for eight weeks. The extremely hard ground was not conducive to good football, but the play was fast and interesting all through, with Aberdeen taking the most risks. On this account they probably deserved just to win, though it must be said that the Rovers came very near equalising on several occasions, notably when Morris hit the bar from a well placed corner by Bell. No scoring took place in the first half, but ten minutes after the resumption Rankine scored for Aberdeen, heading through from a corner. Immediately following this, Collier had to leave the field injured, but, although finishing the game with ten men, the Rovers fully held their own, and made a series of dashing but unsuccessful attacks on the Aberdeen goal. Hutton and Forsyth did extremely well at back for Aberdeen, Davidson at half, and of the forwards Moir and Rankine were best, the latter shooting well all through. The Rovers failed to produce their best form, and several of them were obviously not at home on the hard turf. Brown was safe in goal; Moyes the better back, though overworked after Collier's injury; and Raeburn best at half, with Morris little behind. Among the forwards, Miller and James were most prominent in outfield play, but Jennings and Archibald had the best attempts to score. The attendance was good, about 14,000 spectators being present.

Source: The Scotsman, 3rd December 1923

Despite a treacherous ground following rain and frost, it was a most interesting game at Pittodrie, where Aberdeen gained a meritorious victory over Raith Rovers by the only goal. Recent performances of the Rovers and the successes of Aberdeen at Pittodrie over higher placed teams evidently increased the appeal of the fixture to the public, and considering the early start, an attendance estimated at 14,000 was gratifying to the home club in view of the recent decline in "gates.
Even if they had to struggle hard for it, Aberdeen deserved their success, although the fact that they were without the assistance of Collier (left half), through injury, for the last half-hour of the game would appear to show Raith Rovers in the light of unfortunate losers. Despite the adverse conditions, both teams played good football, the accuracy at times being surprising in view of the slippery nature of the ground. Raith Rovers, if anything, were the cleverer side in midfield exchanges, but their forwards lacked something of the go-ahead dash that characterised the play of Aberdeen, and, even if the home attackers did not prove adept at snatching opportunities, they were always more dangerous in front of goal, and it would only have been in accordance with their general superiority in effectiveness had the margin in favour of Aberdeen been doubled.


Brown in the Rovers' goal had much more to do than Blackwell, but both proved safe goalkeepers. Aberdeen had the better back division, Forsyth especially taking the eye with many fine clearances, and generally the partnership of the home pair was ahead of that between Inglis and Moyes, the latter proving more sure than his colleague. Both sets of half-backs showed up well. Jackson was a spoiling pivot for the home team, and MacLachlan and Davidson carried through some clever moves in conjunction with their forwards. None of these, however, touched the standard of Morris at centre-half for the Rovers, who, after Collier had left, did that player's work and his own too. The Rovers forwards were tricky individually, but were never quite able to get the better of the home backs. Miller at inside right feinted and dribbled very cleverly, but Bell, his partner, was unequal to making the best of the chances afforded him. Jennings was a clever and dashing leader who might have been better supported, and Archibald, though very clever on the left wing, frequently wasted balls by shooting behind instead of squaring.
In a home van that worked well and made ground rapidly, Rankin and Moir were outstanding, but Miller, Grant, and Smith all paid their way, although the treacherous ground often beat them when it came to availing themselves of chances.


A splendid pace was set and maintained throughout. First Archibald and then Bell had the home defence in difficulties at the start, Blackwell having to clear from the right winger, who later forced a corner off Forsyth, Jackson heading clear. The Aberdeen right wing made play afterwards, and first Inglis and then Brown had to clear from Moir. A free kick from outside the penalty area was sent wide by Miller, and Rankin just missed with a capital shot taken on the run. The Rovers' goal survived an exciting period of play, and good work by Miller transferred play for Archibald to force a fruitless corner off Hutton. Archibald placed nicely from the flag, and Aberdeen were in luck's way when Bell shot the ball against Blackwell's body. Subsequent to this the Aberdeen forwards had a concerted run, which culminated in Smith shooting over. Jennings, for the Rovers, made creditable attempts to get through, and on two occasions Forsyth took Aberdeen out of difficulties when the centre-forward threatened danger. Grant and Archibald at either end had good shots from long range and Brown had to field from an overhead shot by Smith. Towards the interval Aberdeen proved superior in attack, but Morris, Inglis, and Moyes defended stubbornly, and once Archibald, after a clever bout of passing with James, got through to shoot wide for the Rovers. A goalless draw at the interval was quite a fair reflex on the run of the play.


On resuming, Aberdeen's Miller had Inglis in difficulties, but just failed to dispossess him on the goal-line, and at the other end the Aberdeen goal was endangered as the result of a free kick, taken by Collier from just outside the penalty area. The ball was got away after a scrimmage, and good combination by the home forwards transferred play, hesitation shoot on the part of Smith losing a chance. Following this, Archibald sent the ball against Blackwell's side net, and Smith repeated the performance at Brown's end. After thirteen minutes Aberdeen took the lead. Moyes deflected a shot by Miller wide of the goal, and from the ensuing flag kick Moir placed the ball accurately for Rankin to jump high and head the ball downwards for it to bounce into the net. But for a fine save by Blackwell, off Morris, following a flag kick, Rovers would have equalised right away, and the Aberdeen goal had another narrow escape during a scrimmage until Jackson relieved. At this stage Collier had to retire as the result of injury, and was unable to resume. Shorthanded, the Rovers attacked with rare determination, and Hutton and Forsyth were kept busy. Following a rush by the Aberdeen forwards, it looked as if a penalty should have been awarded against Rovers for a handling infringement, but evidently the referee failed to observe the incident. Aberdeen again took up the attack, and Rankin twice headed over from crosses by the extreme wingers. A miss by Inglis let Miller through, but he shot straight at Brown, and Grant failed to take advantage of another chance which followed. The Rovers responded in game fashion, and once Jennings appeared to head against the crossbar. The closing stages favoured Aberdeen. Grant just missed the goal with a fine overhead try, and, following a cross from Smith, shot wide with only Brown in front. In a game in which the players never spared themselves, interest was maintained from start to finish.

Source: Press & Journal, 3rd December 1923

Raith Rovers Teamsheet
Brown; Inglis, Moyes; Raeburn, Morris, Collier; Bell, Miller, Jennings, James, Archibald
Attendance: 14,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: J. A. Martin, Clydebank