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Airdrie 0 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Airdrie 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)

14/02/1925 | KO:


Aberdeen were at full strength for their League game with Airdrie, bar Jackson, who played against Wales, but the Airdrieonians not only wanted Gallacher and Bennie, who were in the International team, but also McDougal and Somerville, who were injured. Even then, in all save defence, which was often more than robust on the part of the Aberdonians, the Lanarkshire team were by far the cleverer lot, and on the run of play might well have been goals up instead of getting only one point out of a goalless game. The ground was in a terrible state, and rain fell relentlessly throughout. The Airdrieonians were much more aggressive going forward than the Northern team. The game ought never to have been started, a fact which was evident from first to last, as the ball often floated in water or stuck in mud. Play was farcical to a great extent.

Source: The Scotsman, 16th February 1925

Aberdeen accomplished an excellent performance at Broomfield Park, where they took from Airdrieonians a point that may be vital to the latter in their effort to annex the championship and will undoubtedly prove valuable to themselves in their struggle to get away from the relegation zone. A deluge of rain continued throughout the game, and the pitch was in a deplorable state, in fact there was much surprise when the referee, on inspection, declared it playable. In parts it was completely under water, and the centre the field resembled a morass. Despite the adverse conditions, play was of a wonderfully high standard, although mistakes were common. If only for their magnificent defence, Aberdeen thoroughly earned their draw. The game was fought out with all the fierceness and pace of a cup-tie, and it was obvious that the players on both sides appreciated what the winning or losing of the game meant to their club. Especially in the first half, Airdrieonians were much more aggressive, and it was then that the fine qualities of the Aberdeen defence were best demonstrated. The second half was a testing time for pluck, endurance, and stamina, with which both teams were well endowed. In this period more was seen of the Aberdeen attack, and, although most of the thrills were at Blackwell's end, there were several occasions when Aberdeen came very near to pulling off a victory.


Blackwell showed fine judgment and very accurately handled a heavy and greasy ball, and at back, D. Bruce and Forsyth put up a stubborn resistance, the latter being the best back on view. The outstanding player on the field was Hutton at centre-half for Aberdeen. This player appeared to be endowed with limitless energy, revelled in the mud, and time and again, in addition to smashing up repeated attacks of a skilful trio of Airdrie inside forwards, often cleared when a goal seemed imminent. In addition, he frequently forced home the attack, and was the most dominant player on the field. On the flanks, Edward and MacLachlan also put in a telling afternoon's work. The most dangerous of the Aberdeen forwards were Smith and Pirie. The first-named showed fine speed, and, while shooting well, got over several good balls which troubled the Airdrie defence. Pirie was seen to advantage with good distribution and in hustling tactics. More than once he had likely shots charged down, and against a less reliable defence must have continued his career as a scorer. Of the others. R. Bruce repeatedly took the eye in individual bursts, but these, while making ground, generally came to grief and a more open game might have led to better results. Jackson worked hard in defensive attack, and his shots, while strong enough, were lacking accuracy. Main, who deputised for A. Jackson at outside right, found the conditions against him, and consequently did not shine.
On the Airdrie the side, Ewart, like Blackwell, was very safe in goal, but had less to do. Dick and McQueen were a pair of reliable and lusty-kicking backs, and, in a strong half-back line, Gordon showed many fine touches, but Preston and Heeps were little behind. The Airdrie forwards did not make the most of their chances, but all the same revealed much craft and cleverness, both in individual and combined work. Russell was outstanding, and next in order were Neil and McPhail. Altogether it was a capital performance the part of Aberdeen, and the result suggests that the northern club will yet take a much higher position in the league.


Until the players became familiar with the conditions the game showed a tendency to be farcical. When the ball landed in the water players in the vicinity received a bath, and the same thing happened when an effort was made to kick clear when the ball lay stationary. Repeatedly calculations were upset through passes failing to carry and on account of the ball lying "dead" where it found contact with the pitch. There was a humorous incident shortly after the start when Blackwell, in clearing, sought to bounce the ball on the ground while beset by opponents. It failed to return to him from the water-logged pitch, and it was only by a great effort that he recovered possession and cleared. Airdrieonians were early in the row attackers, Hutton stopping Russell at the expense of a corner, following which Forsyth prevented a goal by kicking out from under the bar. A determined rush by Aberdeen might have led to success, but Pirie and R. Bruce got in each other's way when in front of Ewart. Although R. Bruce was prominent with some neat dribbling, Airdrie were a much more dangerous side. A centre from Reid was headed inches wide by Neil, shortly and afterwards, following a slip by D. Bruce, Blackkwell literally kicked the ball from Russell's feet. A raid by the Aberdeen left resulted in Smith shooting hard into Ewart's hands, and Jackson nullified a likely chance by shooting over. At the other end Weldon was being well plied with the ball, bat was negativing the good work of his colleagues by centring behind. Forsyth again staved off disaster when he kicked away from Neil, who had only Blackwell to beat, and following this the Aberdeen goalkeeper had to go full length in the mud to save from Weldon, who ought to have scored. Ultimately Aberdeen shook off the pressure, and Smith had Ewart in action with a stinging shot, Hutton later sending past from long range. Towards the interval play was of an end-to-end nature. Blackwell fisted away from Russell at the expense of a corner, and Pirie, at the other end, was a trifle high with a fierce drive. After Blackwell had saved from Russell at one end and Jackson had shot over to the other, Smith forced a corner, following which the home goal had a narrow escape, Pirie sending the ball a matter of inches wide of Ewart's charge. At the interval neither team had scored.


Before play resumed the markings on the pitch were renewed and the players changed into dry clothing. Airdrie were early aggressive, and after Preston had shot past, Neil negatived a dribble by shooting against the side of the post. Following a corner, Blackwell effected a smart save off a first-time shot by Weldon. Aberdeen ultimately got away, and, accepting from Smith, Pirie dribbled through to shoot from close range. The effort lacked sting and Ewart easily saved. Following this the Aberdeen defence was again kept busy, but all the wiles of the clever home forwards failed to find a crack in their armour. Hutton had one great forward push, beat in which he beat several opponents, and when he found his way barred judiciously gave to Smith, whose centre was flashed behind by Main. In another Airdrie attack Neil headed the ball from Reid's centre, and later, in a scrimmage in front of Blackwell, Hutton effected a wonderful clearance. An Aberdeen rally followed, and twice Pirie was only prevented from getting in shots by the strong tackling from Dick and McQueen, but Ewart was not neglected, and had to save from Smith and R. Bruce. Free kicks just outside the penalty area had the Aberdeen goal in danger. Hutton relieved in one instance and Blackwell saved cleverly from McQueen in another. In the closing stages Aberdeen played up strongly, Pirie and Smith making great efforts to put their team ahead. They were foiled, however, and a strenuous game ended with the teams still on level terms.

Source: Press & Journal, 16th February 1925

Do You Remember?

Saturday, 14th February, 1925 - Scottish Cup, third round - Aberdeen v. Motherwell at Pittodrie Park. Aberdeen's colours were worn by Blackwell; D. Bruce and Forsyth; Edward, Hutton and McLachlan; A. Jackson, R. Bruce, Pirie, W. Jackson and Smith, and the result was a goal-less draw. The replay took place at Motherwell the following Wednesday and the Dons made one change - J. Jackson replacing Edward at right half. The result - Motherwell 1, Aberdeen 2.

For those of you who were interested in football 20 odd years ago, the above names must conjure up memories of many stalwarts who did honour to the club.
Harry Blackwell, Duff Bruce, Jock Edward and Bert McLachlan are citizens of the Granite City and are probably watching the game to-day. Duff lost an eye in an accident and was thus lost to football, but is still a force to he reckoned with in golf circles.
Matt Forsyth and Jock Hutton did a worthwhile job during the war at Scapa Flow.
Alex. Jackson and Jimmie Smith are no longer with us, but will always be remembered in Aberdeen as thrustful wingers and colourful personalities. Alex. Jackson's fame, of course, spread far beyond Aberdeen, but the club can take credit for bringing out the best in this wonderful outside right - probably one of the best the game has ever seen. His death, as the result of a car accident in Egypt, came as a shock to us all.
Jimmy Smith - the enigma! One week brilliant then barracked by the crowd the next. For 85 minutes he'd never put a foot right, then go on to score a miraculous goal. Remember the cup-tie at Airdrie in 1923? Aberdeen a goal down with only a minute to go. The ball centred and kicked to Jimmy. Off he went like a greyhound (and could he go!), past man after man, almost to the corner flag. Whether he intended to cross or shoot was never decided, but that deadly left foot of his connected and the ball flew like a bullet, seemed to swerve and in it went without an Airdrie player having touched it.
Tom Pirie, ex-Queen's Park centre half, was tried out at centre forward in 1925 cup-ties to add punch to the attack. When he gave up the game he became a road gerveyer in the West Highlands.
Bobby Bruce was transferred to Middlesbrough, but for many years came back to spend his holidays in Aberdeen.
Walter Jackson suffered through the brilliance of Alex., and will be best remembered as Alex. Jackson's brother. The Jackson at right half was James Jackson - a stuffy player - fit as a fiddle, and ready to play for a 190 minutes if necessary. He later studied for the Church and became a minister in the Isle of Man.

Source: Match Programme, 22nd February 1047

Airdrie Teamsheet
Ewart; Dick, McQueen; Preston, Gordon, Hope(?); Reid, Russell, Neil, McPhail, Weldon
Attendance: 4,000
Venue: Broomfield Park, Airdrie
Referee: W. F. Campbell, Dundee