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Aberdeen 0 - 4 Celtic

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 3 Celtic

Div 1 (Old)
Celtic scorers: McLean 5, McLean 14, Thomson 35, McLean 55

06/09/1924 | KO: 15:00


Celtic's four goals' victory over Aberdeen is a record for that team at Pittodrie Park. The win was deserved in every respect. In defence, as in attack, they were the superior team, and their fine combination at times roused 23,000 spectators to enthusiasm. McLean, their smart left winger, was a great opportunist, and his "hat trick" was the outcome of powerful shooting. It was also a nice pass of his that led to the fourth goal, Thomson having to simply let the ball strike his head for it to reach the inside of the net. Gallacher cooperated well with McLean, and was the star artist on the field. In defence the Celtic were capably served by the younger McStay and Hilley. There was not a weak link in their team. Aberdeen's defence were not up to the usual standard. The backs were not always dependable, and the half-backs, with the exception of Maclachlan, were weal in tackling. In attack, only the two brothers Jackson, "A." And "W.," were prominent, and they were not consistently good.

Source: The Scotsman, 8th September 1924

Aberdeen were beaten and outclassed at Pittodrie, where an attendance of 23,000 saw Celtic emerge victorious by 4 goals to 0. The result flabbergasted the home team's supporters, but there was general agreement that Celtic were incomparably the better team, and well deserving of their record victory at Pittodrie. After flattering in the opening three minutes of the game, Aberdeen fell away. Not only did method and combination disappear from their efforts, but an early goal for Celtic appeared to unnerve the team, and although often dangerous afterwards, they were disjointed in the extreme, and were made to look worse than mediocre by the brilliance of the visitors, whose display compared very favourably with those the greatest Celtic teams of the past. For the second week in succession an opponent registered the "hat trick" against the Pittodrie defence, McLean, the Celtic outside left, emulating the feat of Mackenzie of Ayr United by scoring three brilliant goals, in addition to being mainly responsible for the fourth.


Aberdeen's poor display, which was made to appear worse than it actually was by the superlative brilliance of the winners, gave great disappointment to the club's supporters, who, following the improvement shown against Rangers and Ayr United, had expected better things of the team. The defence was not nearly so reliable as usual. Blackwell appeared to misjudge the first ball that beat him, and failed to prevent the fourth goal after reaching the ball. The backs, too, were unreliable. Hutton was never equal to holding McLean, and if Forsyth's play was better than that of his partner, he too was shaky, especially in the first half of the game. James Jackson and MacLachlan defended tenaciously, but did not excel as constructors, and Armstrong at right half was the weakest link In the team. After the opening three minutes, the forwards accomplished nothing of note. They failed to combine, and even allowing they were badly supported from the rear, their individual work was crude compared with the work of such as Gallacher and McLean in the Celtic van. A. Jackson at outside right, and his brother Walter at centre forward gave indications that they would have paid their way had they received more support. Miller failed to strike his game, and on the loft wing Rankin and Smith was always well held.


Celtic gave a brilliant exhibition, in which individual and combined effort were blended in an admirable degree. Shaw was sure and resourceful in goal, and at back W. McStey and Hilley were not seriously troubled to repel the disjointed invasions of the home attack. J. McStey proved a wonderful pivot, and along with Wilson and Macfarlane constituted a half-back line that maintained the balance of the whole Celtic team. Forward, Gallacher and McLean vied for honours in an attack that served up delightful football, but Connelly, McGrory, and Thomson were only second to the two already mentioned because of the individual brilliance of the inside right and outside left. Celtic's display was easily the best given by any team - visiting or home - at Pittodrie for many years.


Aberdeen set the pace at the start. Alec Jackson centring finely for his brother Walter to head into Shaw's hands. Tricky play by Gallacher led to Connelly centring at Blackwell's end, and the keeper had to field a dangerous header from McGrory. Forcing work by Walter Jackson allowed his brother to get away, and the leader met his centre to head in with great force. Shaw fisted the ball against the bar, but cleared at the second attempt. Gallacher's brilliance again set Celtic attacking, and McLean, getting possession near the left far corner of the penalty area, easily tricked to Hutton beat Blackwell with a fast ground shot. This was after five minutes. Play again turned in favour of Aberdeen, and three flag kicks availed them nothing. W. Jackson had a shot deflected by a defender's arm. Forsyth under pressure conceded a corner at the home goal, but the ball was got away. The relief was only temporary however, as with 14 minutes gone Connelly swung over a beautiful centre, and McLean, meeting the ball "first time," flashed into the net. The second reverse obviously upset Aberdeen, and when Blackwell palmed down another centre by Connelly, Armstrong just got the ball away before McLean could reach it. Aberdeen after this repeatedly invaded Celtic territory, but although he was kept busy they were not dangerous balls with which Shaw had to deal, but on one occasion he had go full length to ward off a fine shot by Walter Jackson. With 35 minutes gone Celtic obtained a third goal, and practically settled the issue. McLean beat Armstrong and with ridiculous ease sent the ball right underneath the bar, and Thomson, having followed up, had an easy task to head into the net.
After this the Celtic forwards harassed the home defence, and Hutton was reproved by the referee for his attitude towards McLean. Near the interval Aberdeen rallied again, and a free kick by Walter Jackson resulted in Shaw fisting over bar, and following the flag kick the Celtic goalkeeper saved from Rankin. Celtic retained their lead of 3-0 at the interval.


Celtic did not force matters on resuming, and for a time their backs were kept busy, without Shaw however, being tested. McLean got away to force a corner for the visitors, and in a scrimmage in front of the home goal, players of both sides missed the ball until finally MacLachlan got it away. Harassed by Miller, Hilley by passing back conceded a corner, but it brought no advantage to Aberdeen. They continued to be aggressive however, but could make no impression on a solid defence. After ten minutes McLean got away to complete his hat trick. He easily beat Hutton, and cutting in let go a fast shot, the ball bouncing into the net off Blackwell's body. After this fourth reverse, Aberdeen rallied. Rankin had a shot deflected over the bar by Shaw, for what ought have been a corner, but the referee failed to see the goalkeeper handle. In another rush by the Aberdeen forwards, Rankin appeared to be brought down inside the penalty area, but again the referee evidently failed to observe the incident, and a section of the spectators clamoured loudly for a "penalty." After a flag kick forced by Smith, W. Jackson headed over, and a great shot by MacLachlan resulted in Shaw flipping the ball over for another corner. Following the flag kick, there was a melee in front of the Celtic goal. Shaw on the ground clutched the ball for fully half a minute, with opponents around him, and the incident closed unsatisfactorily for the home team when the referee penalised an Aberdeen forward - probably for dangerous play. Celtic again came away near the close, and a great shot by Thomson swerved only inches wide of the Aberdeen goal.

Source: Press & Journal, 8th September 1924

Celtic Teamsheet
Shaw; McStey (W.) Hilley; Wilson, McStey (J.), Connelly, Gallagher, McGrory, Thomson, McLean
Attendance: 24,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: J. S. Dougray, Barrhead