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Cowdenbeath 2 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Cowdenbeath 2 - 1 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Cowdenbeath scorers: Devlin 2
Aberdeen scorers: McDermid.

09/01/1926 | KO:


About 4000 spectators saw Cowdenbeath secure their first 1926 victory at Central Park. Aberdeen were the victims, and, though they made strenuous efforts to take at least one point from the game, the northern players were by no means an impressive company. Cowdenbeath also have frequently played with more dash and fire than they did against Aberdeen. Combination was not nearly so good as usual, and, even allowing for a troublesome wind, placing was frequently uncertain. However, the Fifers did the bulk of the aggressive work, and when Aberdeen were making a bold bid for an equalising goal in the second half they met with stern resistance. All the scoring was done in the first half. Puller, who was in sprightly form, provided several good openings, and from one of these Devlin scored. Later, the Fife centre was enabled to run right through between the Aberdeen backs and he had no difficulty in scoring again. Immediately thereafter, Aberdeen had a sudden raid, in which, following a corner kick, McDermid and Jackson, between them, netted. Protests that the ball had been "palmed" into the net were disallowed. After the interval Aberdeen had many efforts to equalise, but the forward play was rather ragged, and Falconer, in the Cowdenbeath goal, proved equal to all the demands made upon him. Hutton was a dour defender for Aberdeen, and Blackwell brought off some very fine saves. Forward, R. Bruce and McDermid were the most effective Aberdeen players. For Cowdenbeath, Hopewell played a robust defensive game; McDonald and Smith, two reserves, were satisfactory substitutes up to a point, and Devlin and Pullar were the most enterprising forwards.

Source: The Scotsman, 11th January 1926

Aberdeen were the worse of two bad teams at Cowdenbeath, where the home side won by 2 goals to 1. On a cold afternoon, there were only about 3000 spectators. Aberdeen were without MacLachlan injured, and had Spencer at left half, while Cowdenbeath were without Murray and A. Rankin, fielding reserves at right back and centre-half. In the first period Cowdenbeath had an advantage from a strong breeze and were the more dangerous side. In second half Aberdeen quite failed to turn the conditions to account, and Cowdenbeath were again the more dangerous side.
The game could not be said to have provided a spectacular treat. It was a keen, hefty struggle with both goals having numerous escapes, but Cowdenbeath had the pull, especially forward. This division of the Aberdeen teem never really got going, and there was a tendency the part of the inside forwards of both teams to lie too far back. There was little combination in the game which provided a mixture of kick and rush tactics, and often too much indulgence in individual effort. From start to finish the Aberdeen defence was nearly always in trouble, and it was due to its great efforts that Cowdenbeath did not win by a more decisive margin. Compulsory concentration on defence told against the Aberdeen rear division being of much assistance to their forwards, and in consequence the efforts of the Pittodrie team in attack were disjointed almost to extreme. Both seemed to be more intent on the prevention than on the scoring of goals, but this does not apply to Devlin, the Cowednbeath centre-forward who had the credit of both counts for his team, and was the most dangerous forward on the field. On the Aberdeen side, Blackwell saved many good shots, yet different tactics on his part might have prevented the two goals registered against him. In the case of the first, he left his goal obviously to kick out a swift shot by the Cowdenbeath outside right, but Devlin appeared to touch the ball first and deflect it past him. In the case of the second goal, Devlin got away from suspiciously like an offside position just over the middle line to run close and tap the ball into the net. On this occasion Blackwell might have gone out to meet the forward, but instead stood still and made Devlin's task the easier of accomplishment. Hutton and D. Bruce got through a powerful afternoon's work, but while they defended with great zest, they did not kick at all accurately. Edward and Cosgrove played well at half-back, but Spencer did not make an impressive debut. McDermid alone of the forwards played well and that despite an ankle injury, but had to forage too much for the ball and was often back in rear when he should have been in more forward position. Jackson often raided the opposing defence, but got little support and Bruce while dribbling well did not part to advantage, and the line lacked a strong and accurate shot. Cheyne and Smith on the extreme wings were seldom in the picture, and the team as a whole gave a most disappointing display.
Cowdenbeath were only a little better, and that because they had a virile leader and a crafty inside forward in Rankine. Falconer was nearer seriously tested, and McDonald and Hopewell were the masters of the Aberdeen forwards. Glancy was the best of a line of spoiling half-backs.


Facing the wind in the first half, Aberdeen were immediately thrown on defence. Edward, Hutton, and Cosgrove all effecting smart clearances. Off a run and cross by Smith, Hopewell headed clear, and Cowdenbeath returning to the attack, Blackwell had to fist away from Pullar. Subsequently Cowdenbeath applied strong pressure, and a number of shots were blocked or charged down by an active set of Aberdeen defenders. In a retaliatory raid by Aberdeen, Jackson and McDermid both had shots blocked. Following this Devlin burst through between the Aberdeen backs to smash a terrific shot against Blackwell's crossbar, and Hutton cleared from the rebound. Following this Blackwell did well to stop a fast turn-in by Leonard. Before he could get the ball away the goalkeeper was knocked over, but never lost possession, and ultimately emerged from a prolonged scrimmage, and was able to throw the ball over the touchline. Aberdeen were kept on the defensive, and after twenty minutes' play Pullar crossed a fast ball which Devlin deflected past Blackwell as the goalkeeper endeavoured to kick clear. After an Aberdeen raid had been thwarted, Cowdenbeath again attacked, and Blackwell saved a great drive by Leonard, and tipped the ball over the bar from a fast shot by Rankine. After this Aberdeen forced a corner kick, and practically all the team went forward and left the defence open. The ball was cleared to Devlin, standing as it appeared in an offside position just over the middle line. He gathered quickly, and outpacing his pursuers, ran close in to tip the ball past Blackwell. Aberdeen got a goal immediately by McDermid following up a high ball and catching it practically under the crossbar to force it over the line. He was hurt in his effort, but was able to continue. Aberdeen warmed up for a brief period, and Falconer saved from Jackson, but towards the interval the game entirely favoured Cowdenbeath. Devlin again burst through, but on this occasion Blackwell ran out to meet him and the forward shot against him. Later Blackwell saved from Leonard, and Rankine just missed with a fast shot. It was largely due to the resolute work of the Aberdeen defence that Cowdenbeath only led at the interval by 2 goals 1.


Aberdeen the second half in promising style. McDermid working through to shoot wide. Retaliation followed, and Blackwell had to fist clear from a free kick taken by Wilson, following which Rankine was wide with a shot. Jackson endeavoured to get Aberdeen on attack, but his efforts lacked backing, and were unsuccessful. Once, however, he got up to test Falconer with a header, and the keeper had to save a shot from R. Bruce. The game developed an element of roughness, and numerous free kicks were awarded both teams. Hutton twice blocked shots that might have beaten Blackwell, and on another occasion the goalkeeper only saved at the expense of a corner. For a time Aberdeen kept up a desultory attack, but Falconer had little of a serious nature to deal with. Once, however, he had to dive at the foot of the post to save from Cheyne. Off a free kick by Spencer, R. Bruce shot weakly into Falconer's hands. Ait the other end, a shot by Leonard was tipped over the bar by Blackwell, whose- goal was often in great danger. Near close Hutton ploughed his way forward and passed out to Cheyne, whose return was "first-timed " high over by Edward from a good position. On another occasion D. Bruce roamed ahead, but his pass into the centre was intercepted. In the game Cowdenbeath had chances to increase their lead and Aberdeen had opportunities to equalise.

Source: Press & Journal, 11th January 1926

Cowdenbeath Teamsheet
Falconer; McDonald, Hopewell; Glancy, Smith, Blake; Puller, Rankine, Devlin, Leonard, Wilson
Attendance: 5,000
Venue: Central Park, Cowdenbeath
Referee: J. Binnie, Falkirk
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride