Source: The Scotsman, 9th March 1925
A SPECTACULAR FAILURE.As a spectacular display the game was a failure, and it was a matter for regret that the sportsmanship exhibited left much to be desired. There were numerous fouls which could easily have been avoided, and at times the contest was as much of a physical duel than as a test of football skill. After having taken the lead, the Academicals persisted in time-wasting tactics which greatly irritated the spectators. The winners were never in a hurry to recover ball after it had gone out of play, and they never hesitated to send it over the touch lines. On the Aberdeen side only two members ? Blackwell and Hutton - showed anything like their best form. The goalkeeper effected several excellent saves in the first half, and could scarcely have been expected to save the shots that beat him. Neither D. Bruce nor Forsyth were reliable at back, the first named especially being erratic in his tackling and poor in his clearances. Forsyth's play was affected by the aggravation early in the game of an ankle injury sustained in the match with St Mirren on Tuesday. At centre-half, Hutton put in a strenuous afternoon's work, and, if the others had played like him, Aberdeen would probably have still been interested in the competition. MacLachlan was fairly successful at left half and frequently forced the game, but J. Jackson at right half had an off day. The forwards were never seen to advantage. The extreme wingers were very disappointing, and, of the inside trio, only R. Bruce took the eye with occasional individual bursts. The line failed as schemers, and seldom sought to open out the game so that the Academicals' defence could be drawn away from their goal. The Academicals overdid the time-wasting, but gave a most whole-hearted display, showing as they did a better appreciation of the requirements of the game so far as tactics were concerned. Sommerville gave a splendid account of himself in goal, and showed great resource and coolness when dealing with the desperate rushes of the home attackers in the second half. McCormack and Johnstone, especially the first-named, were dour defenders, but were inclined to be over-robust in their tackling. Hunt was easily the best of the half-backs, and put in a telling afternoon's work. In attack, Miller and Murphy were outstanding, the first-named for crafty scheming and the latter for speedy dashes along the wing and accurate centres. Dr Bell, too, at outside right put in some very effective work.
THE GAME.The game had a quiet opening, but Academicals were first to attack, executing some clever individual work. Pirie made headway for Aberdeen, but McCormack stopped his progress, and, following this, Miller had the home goal in danger. He lost possession, however, before he could shoot. Aided by the wind, the visitors continued to hustle the Aberdeen defence. Dr Bell forced a corner off MacLachlan, Hutton afterwards heading clear. A sustained attack by the Academicals was ultimately repulsed after a series of miskicks, and W. Jackson got up to shoot from long range, Sommerville clearing easily. A free kick by Hutton was sent against a defensive wall, and in a raid by the Aberdeen right A. Jackson was brought down just outside the penalty area. Off the free kick the ball was passed along in front of the Academicals goal, and was missed by several players before McCormack ultimately found relief. At the other end Blackwell was troubled to deal with a free kick taken by Hunt. Pirie led an Aberdeen raid, and off Smith's centre headed into Sommerville's hands. Shortly afterwards, following a free kick for a foul A. Jackson, the Aberdeen centre forward headed narrowly over. An exciting passage followed in front of the Aberdeen goal, and with players of both sides miskicking, the spectators were kept edge. At this stage there was tendency for the game to become rough, and several Hamilton playors were cautioned by the referee. Another free kick for Aberdeen resulted in the ball going to A. Jackson, who centred, but none of his colleagues were in time, and McCormack got the ball away. An effort by Dr Bell resulted in another flag kick far the visitors, and Hutton headed clear. Towards the interval the Academicals brought considerable pressure to bear on the home defence. Blackwell ran out and fielded with several opponents rushing in upon him, and it was with difficulty that he ultimately threw the ball out. Later he saved at close range from Gibson, after J. Jackson had miskicked. Miller lobbed the ball forward, and Blackwell, harassed, again threw out. Off a free kick at the other end R. Bruce turned the ball in, and Somerville lost possession, but the whistle came to his relief when Bruce rushed him. Then there was another exciting incident at the Aberdeen goal. Hampered by an opponent, Blackwell failed to gather, and the ball was rolling into goal when D. Bruce cleared. Blackwell and Brown were both injured, but were able to resume. Near the interval Miller sent in a terrific shot from a free kick, and Blackwell saved brilliantly. Shortly afterwards the Aberdeen goalkeeper again saved his side when, beset by opponents, he managed to throw the ball into touch. Aberdeen were fortunate to be level at half-time.
GOALS FOR ACADEMICALS.The adoption of offside tactics helped the Academicals to keep the Aberdeen forwards in check on resuming. Hunt shot wide following a corner kick for the visitors, and J. Jackson cleared off a centre by Dr Bell. Following this Aberdeen set up a vigorous attack. Smith centred, for Somerville to fist the ball away. A. Jackson retained it, and again the goalkeeper cleared with Pirie on top of him. R. Bruce shot over after executing a clever dribble, and at the other end Blackwell ran out and cleared from Dr Bell. J. Jackson followed with forcing play, but an infringement by Pirie kept it from materialising. Smith forced a corner off McCormack, but the ball was got away, and off a pass by Smith, Pirie had a header stopped by Somerville. Aberdeen kept up the attack, and R. Bruce slipped past two opponents to rattle the ball against the outside of the net. With 16 minutes played, Aberdeen fell into arrears when they looked like taking the lead. Murphy got away and centred, and the ball was misheaded by an Aberdeen defender to the foot of Bell, who, standing unmarked, crashed it into the net from 18 yards range. Aberdeen retaliated in a body, but were beaten back, and at the other end Blackwell saved at close range from Murphy, who had got past the backs. Crosses from the Aberdeen left were headed away by the Academicals defence, and Somerville held a shot by MacLachlan. A corner forced by A. Jackson was cleared, and Hunt got in the way of shot by J. Jackson. At this stage Hutton and Pirie changed places, and subsequently the Hamilton defenders were stretched to stem the desperate rushes of the new centre forward. He headed from beyond the penalty area, but Somerville saved. R. Bruce had another dribble and shot which Somerville countered, and a corner kick by A. Jackson was cleared after a scrimmage in front of the visitors' goal. An effort by Smith was tipped over the bar by Somerville, and the ensuing flag-kick was cleared. At this stage all the Aberdeen team except Blackwell were in the role of attackers, but their efforts were in vain. Two minutes from the close Murphy got away from a suspiciously offside position, and with a clear field centred to Brown, who was also unattended, and the latter ran on to put the ball past Blackwell from close range. Aberdeen made a last desperate effort after this, but the Academicals defence held out.
Source: Press & Journal, 9th March 1925