Over 8000 spectators were grievously disappointed at Pittodrie yesterday, when Aberdeen succumbed to Ayr United in a Scottish League game by the only goal. The result may have serious consequences to Aberdeen, who are now placed in a dangerous position so far as the relegation problem is concerned. On the run of the play, Aberdeen might have won with something in hand, and while a goalkeeper's mistake actually lost the match, it might have been well won but for the old story of weakness on the part of half-backs and forwards.
The game opened quietly, but Ayr were first to get busy so far as attack was concerned, and first Brae and then Kelly had tries, Blackwell saving well from the latter. Two corners fell to the United, but these were cleared.
Subsequently the Ayr backs were hard pressed, but Smith and McCloy kicked strongly and their resolute defence saved their side. A free kick taken by Hutton knocked McCloy over below the bar, but the ball was got away. Subsequently Nisbet saved brilliantly from Smith with Pirie rushing in upon him. Aberdeen continued to hold the upper hand, and Hutton just missed the goal with a fierce drive. W. Jackson, R. Bruce, and Hutton followed with efforts which just missed the mark.
All the play favoured Aberdeen at this stage. Alec Jackson centred behind, and later R. Bruce accepted a pass from Pirie to shoot hard. The ball struck Nesbit on the leg, and off the cannon, McCloy got it away. A raid by the Ayr forwards had the home goal in danger, and Blackwell had twice to save from Tolland. End-to-end play followed, with both defences showing up well. Alec Jackson centred behind when well placed, and at the other end D. Bruce headed away from Miller at the expense a fruitless corner. Ayr came more into the argument, and McKenzie had Blackwell in action to a fine, direct shot, following which Tolland shot past.
Aberdeen had numerous sallies into Ayr territory, but could not get into direct touch with Nisbet. Ayr, on the other hand, were more dangerous when they got going, and such as Tolland and MacKenzie were always ready for a pot at goal. Pirie provided a good scoring chance for Aberdeen when he worked out to the right and then screwed the ball back for W. Jackson to head inches wide. Following this W. Jackson worked into position and crossed accurately, but Pirie, handicapped by McCloy, only shot wide. In another raid by Aberdeen, Pirie and A. Jackson forced a corner, following which R. Bruce headed into Nisbet s hands. Subsequently Nisbet had to ran out on several occasions to help his backs, but neither goal was seriously endangered, although there was much that was keen in the exchanges, and at the interval the score sheet was blank.
Aberdeen set up a furious attack on resuming. After a scrimmage in front of the United goal, W. Jackson shot past. A. Jackson was prominent for Aberdeen but shot weakly when well placed. In another Aberdeen attack Pirie had a good chance but having gathered the ball delayed to shoot and was successfully tackled. Further Aberdeen pressure followed, but Smith and McCloy were on top form. A rush by the United ended with Miller shooting narrowly past. Ensuing play favoured Aberdeen, but while the outside wingers were dangerous, their inside supports could not create shooting opportunities. The United were seldom at the Aberdeen end, but, although Aberdeen were oftener attacking, their efforts carried no punch. A combined movement between W. Jackson and Smith resulted in Nesbit saving from A. Jackson's head.
When Aberdeen looked likely to score, the opposite occurred. After 25 minutes' play, Cunningham lobbed a hall in front of goal, and Blackwell, caught off his balance, missed with his foot, with the result that it found the net. It was a simple goal which should have been averted. Following the reverse, Aberdeen went all out in attack. Nisbet and Pirie had a great tussle on the ground, the goalkeeper emerging victorious. Subsequently the United goalkeeper was all out to save from R. Bruce and A. Jackson, but the best attempt to score was to the credit of J. Jackson, whose shot went narrowly over. Off a free kick at the home end, Blackwell was almost beaten by Tolland, following McLeod's lob forward. Aberdeen got back to the attack, and off a corner by A. Jackson Pirie just missed with his head. Aberdeen forced a vigorous offensive in the closing stages, but could not break down a determined defence.
Source: Press & Journal, 19th March 1925