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Aberdeen 2 - 3 Raith Rovers

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Raith Rovers

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Jackson, Pirie 50.
Raith Rovers scorers: Ritchie, Jennings (2)

28/02/1925 | KO: 15:00

ABERDEEN SURPRISED BY ROVERS. OPPORTUNISM OF JENNINGS.

About 8000 spectators were present at Pittodrie, Aberdeen in miserable weather conditions, where Raith Rovers scored a clever, if somewhat undeserved, victory over Aberdeen by 3 goals to 2. The Rovers took the lead after 25 minutes' play through Ritchie, Blackwell, Aberdeen's goalkeeper, being badly at fault. Five minutes later W. Jackson equalised smartly after a good individual effort, and at half-time the score was one goal each. Play had only been in progress for seven minutes after the interval when Pirie scored for Aberdeen, following some specially good play by McLachlan, their left half-back, who left the actual scorer with very little to do. From this point until ten minutes from the end Aberdeen appeared to have the game well in hand, they having slightly the better of the exchanges and coming near adding to their lead more than once. There was always danger in the quick dashes of the Rovers' forwards, well led by Jennings, and with ten minutes to go Raith's leader went clean through the Aberdeen defence, to level the scores with a particularly good goal. One minute later Jennings repeated the performance, and enabled the Rovers to bring off a somewhat sensational victory, after looking a beaten side for fully half an hour. Mathieson, Barton, Raeburn, Marchbank, Bell, and Jennings were the best of the Rovers, and for Aberdeen, Hutton, J. Jackson, W. Jackson, and Smith were most prominent.

Source: The Scotsman, 2nd March 1925

As the result of the defeat by 3 goals to 2 suffered at the hands of Raith Rovers on Saturday at Pittodrie, the Aberdeen club is faced with an awkward situation in its effort to avoid relegation from the First to the Second Division of the Scottish League. The game took a surprising turn near the end. Until ten minutes from the close Aberdeen led by 2 goals to 1, and looked fairly certain of victory, indeed the play suggested that the lead would be increased. At this juncture, Jennings, Rovers centre-forward, broke away on the right, and after making ground finished with a fast oblique shot that eluded the reach of the outstretched Blackwell, and the scores were levelled. Two minutes later, a shot on the run by Jennings was saved at the expense of a corner by Blackwell, and following the taking of the kick, and hesitancy to clear on the part of the Aberdeen defence, the Rovers' centre-forward ran through to shoot what proved the winning goal. In the closing stages Aberdeen made desperate efforts to equalise, but the Rovers defence held out, and the Fife team were left conquerors in a game which at no time did they look like winning.

UNPROFITABLE TACTICS.

The game was played in a torrential downpour of rain, and pools of water gathered on the pitch, so that the overhead and underfoot conditions for the players were atrociously bad. On the run of the game and taking into account the amount of pressure they brought to bear on the Kirkcaldy team's defence, Aberdeen ought to have emerged comfortable winners, and that they failed was due first to mistaken tactics on the part their attackers, and secondly, lapses in a usually reliable defence. While the conditions favoured individual effort to some extent, the forwards repeatedly stuck too long to the ball, and there was an absence of shooting power, which was alarming to the club's supporters in view of its precarious position in the league, and the fact that it is still interested in the Cup competition. The defence, if playing well at times, did not cover-up as effectively as usual, and with the forwards adopting an unprofitable policy, the half-backs formed the division of the Aberdeen team that derived most credit from the game.
Raith Rovers gave anything but a convincing display, even allowing for the wretched conditions in which the game was played. Their backs made numerous mistakes, and, while the halfbacks tackled well, the forwards, with the exception of Jennings and Bell, were seldom prominent. The first-named was the most dangerous forward on the field, and it was entirely due to his opportunism that Rovers were enabled to claim a sensational and rather undeserved victory.

A SURPRISE GOAL.

The first incident to was when Paton met a clearance by Barton to shoot over, and, after more pressure by Aberdeen, Mathieson fielded a touchline ball from Smith. Following a free kick for a foul on W. Jackson, there was a scrimmage in front of the Rovers' goal until the ball was ultimately shot behind by J. Jackson. After W. Jackson had centred. R. Bruce had a shot cleverly deflected over the bar by Mathieson, Moyes clearing from the flag-kick. A long range shot by Hutton was blocked by Barton and play continued to rule in favour of Aberdeen. A drive by MacLachlan was stopped by Mathieson, and, after Hutton had another shot headed out by Barton, J. Jackson shot over. Consequent to this, the Rovers made a raid on the left, and this resulted in their taking a lead which was all against the run of the play. R. Bruce in clearing, transferred to the foot of Deuchars, and that player lobbed the ball in front of the Aberdeen goal, where it bounced then skidded into the net over Blackwell's outstretched arm. It was a very simple looking goal, which should had been averted. Stung by the reverse, Aberdeen renewed the attack and forced a corner on the left, but nothing tangible resulted. Play continued to favour Aberdeen, and they had been 15 minutes in arrears when Jackson equalised. Receiving a pass from Hutton, he cleverly rounded Hilley and Moyes to finish with a capital shot, which found the net. Subsequently Aberdeen maintained the pressure, but few shots were sent in, and the Rovers' defenders were equal to countering the individual efforts of the attackers. Following a raid by Bell, Deuchars headed narrowly over the home goal, and at the other end Smith shot behind from good position after a bout of passing.

SHOCKS FOR ABERDEEN.

Both teams changed into dry attire at the interval, After an individual effort by Paton had been baulked, Marshall lost a chance for the Rovers by running the ball behind. At the end of five minutes Aberdeen went ahead. MacLachlan forced his way forward, and finding his way barred for a shot, he passed to Pirie, who shot a good goal from, about fourteen yards' range. A thrust by the Rovers left ended in Blackwell saving from Deuchars, and in a determined attack by Aberdeen, Hutton and J. Jackson both had strong shots blocked by defenders. A long passing bout by the Rovers' forwards was negatived by Blackwell clearing shot from Bell. At the other end Moyes, when pressed, passed back to Mathieson, but the ball stuck a pool water, and in a desperate race between Pirie and the goalkeeper the Aberdeen player reached the ball first, but his shot for goal was deflected by the keeper for what should have been a corner, the referee signalling a bye-kick instead. A miss by Barton allowed Smith to centre, and Paton's shot was deflected round the post. The flag kick was cleared, and off another, shortly afterwards, a lightning header by Pirie passed inches over the bar. Aberdeen continued to attack, and it only seemed a question of time ere they increased their lead. Mathieson Mathieson just beat Hutton in a desperate rush for the ball, and James and Walter Jackson were both dispossessed after delaying to shoot. With nine minutes left, Jennings got away on his own and equalised, and quickly followed with what proved to be the winning goal. In the closing stages Aberdeen made futile efforts to draw level. Bruce shot over and the final whistle sounded when was the act of taking a corner kick with the Aberdeen players crowding the Rovers' goal.

Source: Press & Journal, 2nd March 1925

Raith Rovers Teamsheet
Matheson; Barton, Moyes; Raeburn, Marchbank, Hilley; Bell, Ritchie, Jennings, Deuchar, Turner
Attendance: 9,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: T. Robertson, Glasgow