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Falkirk 2 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Falkirk 2 - 0 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Falkirk scorers: Neilson, Hunter

16/08/1924 | KO:


Falkirk began the season well by taking full points from their meeting with Aberdeen at Brockville Park. The victory was fully merited on play. From the outset Falkirk seemed to have the measure of the opposition, and clever play by the forwards kept the Aberdeen defenders ever on the alert. For close on thirty minutes Hutton and Forsyth withstood repeated attacks of the home front line, but eventually Gowdy let Neilson away for the left winger to cut in smartly and open the scoring with a beautiful drive. The ball entered the net after striking the underside of the crossbar. Immediately afterwards Aberdeen were seen operating in close proximity to the Falkirk goal, and a close range volley from Paton was only prevented from counting by a marvellous save executed by Ferguson. Falkirk, however, were still the smarter side, and when John Hunter increased their lead it was no more than their play warranted. Of the Aberdeen forwards, only Smith and Paton showed to advantage, and Ferguson had to deal with several good tries by the former. In the second half the exchanges were again fought out mostly in Aberdeen territory, though in a closing rally the visitors came very near to reducing the leeway through a fine effort by Smith. Falkirk owed their victory to a decided superiority at forward and half back. All four newcomers played well, while Puddlefoot, Townsley, Dougal, and Scott were also outstanding. Best service to Aberdeen was given by Blackwell, Hutton, Forsyth, McLachlan, Smith, and Paton.

Source: The Scotsman, 18th August 1924

Weakness in the attack was chiefly responsible for a 2-0 defeat being the lot of the Aberdeen team in their opening league game of the season with Falkirk at Brockville Park. Notwithstanding heavy rain, there was an attendance of 10,000 spectators, and soft and on a greasy pitch these were treated to a hard and fast game. For periods in the first half, the Falkirk forwards played beautiful football, and it was all that the strong Aberdeen defence could do to stave off a score for half an hour. Now and again the Pittodrie attack got going, but although frequently dangerous, it never moved with the same dash and precision as the home van. At the interval Falkirk held a lead of 2-0, which was deserved. In the second period, Aberdeen accounted for as much attacking as their opponents, but they were never able to clinch matters, and could not improve upon several chances that came their way of balls crossed from the wings.
On the Aberdeen side, Blackwell, although having an anxious time, was not overburdened. Hutton and Forsyth put in much hard and good work at back, and MacLachlan was always outstanding at half-back with Jackson next in order of merit. In a forward line that lacked finishing ability, and indulged in over elaboration, Paton and Smith were best. Falkirk were the better balanced team between attack and defence. Ferguson was not greatly troubled, and in a sound set of defenders, Scott, Harris, and Dougal were always prominent. It was to their attacking superiority that Falkirk owed their victory, and in this department Puddefoot, Gowdy, and Hunter were outstanding.

Run of the Game.

The game opened quietly, and a long drive by McNair, which was saved by Blackwell, was the first incident of note. The Aberdeen left made headway, and Smith's accurate centre was kicked away by Harris. For a time the defences dominated the game, both sets of backs indulging in strong kicking. Neilson, for Falkirk, forced the first flag kick of the game, and Hutton cleared. Falkirk, however, would not be denied, and a free kick against Forsyth near the corner flag for a foul on Puddefoot had the Aberdeen goal in danger, Blackwell being in position to grip a shot taken in his stride by Gowdy. For five minutes the Aberdeen defence was sorely tried, but ultimately Paton brought relief with a long run which ended with his being dispossessed by Harris when about to shoot. The Aberdeen right wing returned to the attack, Grant shooting high over. A close passing bout between Paton and Miller let Smith away, and the winger's centre from the corner flag was fisted away by Ferguson. Shortly afterwards Rankin centred from the same place and on this occasion Ferguson required two attempts before getting the ball away.

Goals for Falkirk.

A pass back by Scott to Ferguson was nearly intercepted by Miller, but the goalkeeper just managed to avert disaster. After this escape, Falkirk returned to the assault, and subsequently the Aberdeen defence had a gruelling time. Puddefoot and Laird both shot wide, and Pirie cleared off a flag kick by Wilson. At the end of half an hour Falkirk pressure was rewarded. Forsyth went out to meet a ball from the right, but it beat him and went to Goudy. The latter was "covered," passed to Neilson, who was unmarked on the left of the penalty area, and, taking deliberate aim, drove into the net, the ball glancing in off the underside of the crossbar. Aberdeen were unfortunate not to immediately draw level. A combined run resulted in Paton shooting, and the ball eluded Ferguson's grasp and appeared to be going into the net when Scott cleared from under the bar. Aberdeen maintained the offensive for a brief period, but frequently got off-side. Then came another goal for Falkirk. From a free kick on the left the ball appeared to be travelling behind on the right, but Puddefoot, following up, caught it just in time and squared. A scrimmage followed in front of the Aberdeen goal. Hunter shot into the net from close range. A minute later the same player dribbled through but failed at the final obstacle, Blackwell saving his shot from point blank range.

Forwards Without Punch.

On the game resuming, Laird shot wide from good position for Falkirk, and after a corner forced Gowdy, Puddefoot failed to keep the ball in play from the flag. An Aberdeen revival followed. Smith and MacLachlan figured in some clever combination, but offside spoilt more than one movement which suggested possibilities. Paton wriggled past the Falkirk defence to centre, but Townsley got the ball away before Miller could reach it. Smith followed with a run and a high centre. Ferguson, out of his goal, failed to gather, but Scott came to the rescue, and then Jackson shot wide before the keeper could get back to his charge. MacLachlan, in a desperate effort to force his way through, had a shot blocked, and an effort by Rankin shortly afterwards met a similar fate. There was an extensive period of midfield play after this, both defences resorting to offside tactics. Paton, who was Aberdeen's most prominent forward, worked into position, and Ferguson did well to clear his effort. A raid by the Aberdeen right resulted in Grant lobbing over a centre, but off Smith's deliberate shot the ball went across the goal to slip behind just wide of the post, with Ferguson not in a position to save. Hunter and Neilson occasionally interrupted the Aberdeen pressure, but were baulked before they got within shooting range - an experience which was repeatedly the lot of the Aberdeen attackers at the other end. Near the close a high ball sent in by Puddefoot was not cleared by Blackwell, but in the subsequent scrimmage in the Aberdeen goal Hutton saved the situation by forcing the ball behind, and Falkirk got no advantage from the subsequent flag kick. It was a hard, dour game throughout, with the brightest football exhibited in the first half by Falkirk.

Source: Press & Journal, 18th August 1924

Falkirk Teamsheet
Ferguson; Scott, Harris; McNair. Townsley, Dougal; Puddefoot. Laird, Gowdy, Hunter, Neilson
Attendance: 10,000
Venue: Brockville Park, Falkirk
Referee: T. Small, Dundee
Next Match
Heart of Midlothian
09 Dec 2023 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen