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Heart of Midlothian 0 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Heart of Midlothian 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Miller.

08/12/1923 | KO:


Aberdeen Defence Prevails

So good were both defences at Tynecastle, Edinburgh, that few opportunities of scoring fell to either side, and of these few the only one accepted was by Miller, the Aberdeen centre-forward, who, twenty five minutes from the end, took up a cross from Moir when on the run, and beat W. White from close in. Coming at a time when the Heart of Midlothian were keeping the Aberdeen at full stretch, it was an unexpected and undeserved score, but it proved sufficient to enable the visitors to take away both points, for which performance they had mainly to thank their defence. There was nothing between the sides during the first half, but afterwards the Hearts' forwards improved, and for most of the second half they did most of the attacking. They failed, however, to beat down the Aberdeen defence, in which Blackwell, Hutton, and Jackson were outstanding. Aberdeen had an element of luck in keeping their goal intact, and particularly so just before their forwards broke away and scored, but there was no denying the soundness of their rear ranks, whose hardest work lay in keeping Williamson and MacLean in check. This they did successfully and thus kept a lead which their forwards had stolen. The attendance was about 14,000.

Source: The Scotsman, 10th December 1923

Aberdeen accomplished fine performance at Tynecastle, when they defeated Hearts by the only goal of a strenuous game, and thus registered their second away victory of the season, both at the expense of Edinburgh clubs.
After heavy rain in the forenoon the pitch was in a soft state, and there were about 15,000 spectators. In some respects, Aberdeen were a trifle fortunate to take both points, although the magnificence of their defence alone merited the victory. In the first half the exchanges were equally divided, although White in the Hearts goal had much more work to deal with than Blackwell, who in the period did not have a, single direct shot to hold, so well was he protected by his colleagues. In the second half the circumstances were reversed. Hearts repeatedly attacked with great persistence, but a brilliant Aberdeen defence defied all their efforts to score. Midway through the period, Moir burst away on the right, and after cutting inwards, lobbed the ball forward and to the left of the Hearts ' goal, and Miller, on the run, caught it on the drop to crash it into the net. Hearts never got over the surprise, and afterward, although they often attacked, their play lacked the "fire" of their earlier efforts.


In the first forward raid of the game, Grant got through to test White with a fast ground shot. Miller got in the way of a hard return by Wilson, and receiving the ball full in the facie, had to be treated at the edge of the field. Hearts took up the attack, and, clever initiation by Wright brought their right wing into prominence, Forsyth twice pulling up Murphy when that player threatened danger. MacLachlan conceded a corner to the home right winger, and later Smith also gave away a flag kick in endeavouring to clear from Murphy. Off the second flag kick Ramage headed over. A slip forward by Smith allowed Miller to get away on the left, but no colleague was up to catch the cross, which was kicked clear by White. Aberdeen maintained pressure for a spell, and Smith worried Crossan, who gave away a flag kick, and Rankin's header was only inches high of the goal. Mainly due to the clever work of Wright, most danger to Aberdeen came from the Hearts' right wing, and several times the Pittodrie defence was hard put to it to get the ball away. Hutton on one occasion miskicked in front of goal, but fortunately for his side Blackwell was on hand and cleared. A combined run by the Aberdeen forwards resulted In Grant just missing the mark with a capital shot. A finely placed corner by Moir was headed past by Rankin, and Grant had another shot which was slightly wide. End to end raids were the order for a time, but while the Hearts' forwards could not get into touch with Blackwell, the Aberdeen raids always threatened danger to White's charge. Smith almost beat White with a fast ground shot, and MacLachlan, after a long solo run from near midfield, shot only inches high. In the period the teams had an equal share of attacking, but Aberdeen were always more dangerous, and were a trifle unfortunate not hold a lead at the interval.


Blackwell was early in action in the second half. First he had to field a high centre from near the touchline by Murray, and twice had to go to the assistance of his backs when they were harassed. A breakaway by Moir almost resulted in a goal for Aberdeen, Smith sending the ball against the sidenet. Jackson, Hutton, and Forsyth performed prodigies in the Aberdeen defence, and for a period of about ten minutes the ball was seldom far away from their penalty area. Blackwell, at full length, brought off a brilliant save from John White, and clung to the ball until the whistle brought relief for his being fouled. From a well-placed corner by Murray, Blackwell effected another save, and in a series of scrimmages in front, the Aberdeen goal had several narrow escapes. Forsyth, under the bar, breasted the ball out when a goal seemed certain, and, later, Hutton injured himself when he made a desperate but successful effort to stop a shot from Mclean with Blackwell beaten. It seemed that Hearts were bound to take the lead, when the unexpected happened and Miller actually put Aberdeen ahead. The reverse appeared to dishearten the Hearts attackers, for although they frequently assailed the Aberdeen goal afterwards, they were never again rampant as they had been earlier. On the other hand, Aberdeen, maintaining their open tactics, came near to increasing their lead. Miller and Smith shot behind off centres by Moir, and at the other end Blackwell, at close range, stopped a fierce shot by White. Near the close, Grant had a drive blocked by Crossan, and White tipped a high shot by Jackson over the bar for a fruitless corner.
Fought on cup-tie lines, it was one of the most strenuous games seen at Tynecastle this season. The spectators were loud in their praises of the Aberdeen defence, whose display was the feature the game. Blackwell, Hutton, Forsyth, and Jackson were brilliant, and in attack the honours went to Grant, Rankin, and Moir. Hearts were best served by Wilson, Wright, and Ramage in defence, and by White, Murphy, and Murray in attack.

Source: Press & Journal, 10th December 1923

Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
W. White; Crossan, Wilson; Wright, Ramage, King; Murphy, McLean, John White, Williamson, Murray
Attendance: 18,000
Venue: Tynecastle, Edinburgh
Referee: J. Bell, Dundee
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