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Aberdeen 0 - 0 Hibernian

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Hibernian

Scottish Cup Semi Final Replay

26/03/1924 | KO: 16:00


The Hibernians and Aberdeen, who played a drawn game on Saturday in their Scottish Cup semi-final tie, met again at Dens Park, Dundee, yesterday, and though an extra half hour was played no decision could be arrived at. There was no scoring, and thus the teams have played three and a half hours of football without a goal being obtained. The football folks of Dundee did not turn out well for the replay, and only about 13.,000 people were present, the gate drawings being £442, against £636 on Saturday.
The outstanding feature of the game was the indifferent shooting of the forwards on both sides. They had not many opportunities owing to the good defences that were against them, and when chances did come, and there were few that might and should have yielded goals, they were allowed to go abegging. Yet both goalkeepers had to make some fine saves. Harper and Blackwell did soundly in goal, and the best thing that Harper did was to pop a ball from Grant over the bar, and Blackwell saved smartly from Walker, who, after beating Davidson and Hutton, found himself close in on goal with only the goalkeeper in front of him. The left-winger, from a difficult angle, made a good bid for a score, and shot accurately enough, but the goalkeeper was too quick for him. The Hibernians had rather the better of the game as far as pressure went, but their finishing was weak, and all over, the more likely shots came from the Aberdeen men for whom Grant was the best marksman. He was, indeed, the most dangerous man in the game.

It was a keenly contested match, but lacked the usual excitement of a Cup tie, and early in the play one got the impression that goals would be hard to obtain, and that if there was to be any scoring a stray shot would settle matters. That stray shot, however, never came, and the stirring efforts of the halves, the soundness of the goalkeepers, and the sure play of the backs were largely responsible. It was the good form of the backs most of all that brought about the no-scoring result, and it was noteworthy that, as on Saturday, the least outstanding of the four defenders was Hutton, the international man. He was frequently beaten by Walker and Halligan, who made the best wing on the field. The back had the better of Walker in the early stages, but later the Hibernian forward had the advantage repeatedly. Forsyth was a great defender for Aberdeen, and McGinnigle and Dornan were both very good, notably the former.

Both sets of forwards, and especially the Hibernians, were good in the open, but poor in finishing. It was comparatively seldom that a forward found himself with a real opening. McColl, the Hibernian centre, could not shake off Jackson, who was again a valuable man for Aberdeen at centre-half. Miller the Aberdeen centre-forward, was more in the game than on the occasion of the first match, but his shooting was never on the mark. The half-back play was good all round.

A draw, as on Saturday, was a fair result. There was very little between the sides. An effort is to be made to have the second replay fixed for Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Source: The Scotsman, 27th March 1924

Three meetings will now be necessary before it is decided which of Aberdeen or Hibernian will oppose Airdrieonians in the final of the Scottish Cup in Glasgow on April 19. The teams have now played for three and a half hours without attack being able to get the better of defence. Following Saturday's goal-less draw at Dens Park, they battled for two hours at that venue yesterday to register again a negative result. It was a game characterised by all the dourness, and grimness which marked Saturday's encounter, with this difference that whereas Hibernian had rather the better of the exchanges on the first occasion, the position was reversed yesterday. Aberdeen were handicapped by an injury to Smith, sustained early in the first half, and considering his crippled condition and the consequent dislocation of the left wing, it was highly creditable to the Pittodrie team that they not only kept their end up but came very near to winning the tie. As score indicates, it was a game in which the defences excelled. At the same time, the attack of neither side displayed the science and finishing ability expected of teams figuring in such an advanced stage of the competition.
Although dry, the atmosphere was cold and the pitch greasy on top after rain, and with the conditions more favourable than on Saturday, both teams relied on the identical elevens that did duty then. Nearly 1000 supporters travelled from Aberdeen, and with a similar number of Hibernian Club followers, it was rather surprising that only 13,000 looked on, a fact which suggests that Dundee is not a popular venue for a semi-final.

Aberdeen Handicapped.

As an exhibition of football, the game was a big disappointment, yet for sheer expenditure of energy and earnest endeavour to win on the part of the respective teams, it will rank as one of the stiffest contests in the competition. In the first half, Hibernian claimed advantage in that they exhibited the more methodical tactics, and, against a spoiling defence, endeavoured to play football. To a certain extent they succeeded, but they lacked ability to shoot, and Aberdeen levelled up matters in their spasmodic raids, in which they frequently had the Edinburgh defence spread-eagled.
A different state of affairs existed in the second period. In it, neither side had much pretension to playing football. Yet, if it was scrappy and often a scramble, the play was brimful of interest because of the marked equality of the teams and their ability to return thrust for thrust. What Smith's injury meant to Aberdeen it would be difficult to estimate. As it was, the ball was often on that wing, and if Aberdeen could be accused of mistaken tactics, it was in asking a disabled player to respond when he was quite unable to do so. The game was marked by much end-to-end raiding; dour, aimless kicking in midfield, the motto being "defence first, and let attack look after itself." It was obvious that the teams were afraid of each other lest they should concede an advantage which they could not recover, with the result that constructive play stopped short at the beginning. This policy recoiled on the rear divisions, who constantly found themselves with more to do than would have been the case had the normal atmosphere of a league game pervaded the occasion.

Few Good Shots.

Despite the superiority of defence over attack and the absence of craft and penetrativeness on the part the forwards, the game was not without its thrilling moments. Frequently during desperate onslaughts it was neck or nothing for defence prevailing, and more than once each goal experienced hairbreadth escapes. The number of scoring-like shots delivered by either team could be counted on the fingers. Of these Aberdeen had the majority. As on Saturday, both teams had their scoring chances and both let them slip, but it was Aberdeen who came nearer qualifying for the final.

Run of the Play.

Aberdeen's first change came after two minutes, when a shot by Miller developed into a pass to Grant. Ritchie had the first opportunity for Hibernian, but Hutton charged down his shot. Following this, forcing play by Rankin resulted in his shooting badly from close range whilst harassed. After Walker had shot wildly from about 40 yards' range, he tested Blackwell with a fast ball along the ground. That was scarcely a missed chance, but it reflected bad shooting. A Miller-Paton movement let the latter through, but he swept the ball over the bar from a favourable position. There was a claim for penalty against Hibernian when Smith was grassed in the area, but, although it looked a flagrant case for the full award, the referee decided otherwise. It was at this stage - about 20 minutes from the start - that Smith sustained the hurt that handicapped both himself and his team for the remainder of the game. The best try for goal up to this stage was from a long-range free-kick from Hutton, Harper just clutchlng the ball beneath the bar. The first real Hibernian thrust was by Ritchie, who from near the touchline brought Blackwell into action with a raking shot, which the keeper saved in his best style. These were the outstanding incidents of the first half, and if Hibernian impressed as being the better-balanced team in the period, their ascendancy was counteracted by the slightly greater effectiveness of Aberdeen in the matter of getting in more telling shots.

Blackwell's Fine Save.

In the opening stages of the second half Hibernian had the opportunity to win the game. For a brief period, the Aberdeen defence wavered, but the efforts of the Edinburgh front line to put in a shot were positively atrocious. Ritchie, from the front of the area, had an effort, and the ball actually went behind near the left comer-flag. That was the only period in which the Hibernian attackers could be said to have had the upper hand of the Aberdeen defence. The Pittodrie team took courage, and, entering into a new lease vigour, came nearer clinching matters. Paton had a shot which, unfortunately for him, hit Rankin on the back. Subsequently several flag-kicks fell to Aberdeen, and, Following these, Rankin's head was always in evidence. Practically without exception he got the bail, and in particular met a clearance by Harper, only to head narrowly over with the goal at his mercy. Grant delivered a terrific shot, which brought an equally brilliant save by Harper. The thrills, though few, were not all at one end. Walker slipped past Davidson and Hutton to lob a ball into the Aberdeen goal, and it seemed that Blackwell, slightly out his charge, would be beaten, but he shot up his fist to deflect the ball as it passed overhead. Ritchie met it, and returned it in front of goal. Blackwell leapt into the air above a crowd of players to fist clear. Grant, from close range, sent wide at the other end, but near full time, in what had been a raid for some period, Harper tipped over the bar the two best shots of the game, delivered by Grant and Rankin.

Extra Time.

The extra half-hour resolved itself into a desperate struggle. Ritchie had a drive turned over the bar by Blackwell, and Miller, for Aberdeen, made a poor attempt to shoot when presented with a fine scoring chance. Smith, however, came nearer with a fierce drive, which went over. In the closing stages Grant missed narrowly with a first-time shot, and Blackwell saved an awkward ball off Halligan's head. Time was called with the goalkeepers still unbeaten.
The game will be re-played next Wednesday, according to present arrangements, at Dens Park.

Source: Press & Journal, 27th March 1924

Hibernian Teamsheet
Harper; McGinnigle, Dornan; Kerr, Miller, Shaw; Ritchie, Dunn, McColl, Halligan, Walker
Attendance: 18,000
Venue: Dens Park, Dundee
Referee: W. Bell, Hamilton