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Aberdeen 0 - 0 Falkirk

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Falkirk

Div 1 (Old)

16/01/1926 | KO: 14:40


Falkirk's magnificent defence, particularly in the first half, enabled them to take back from Aberdeen one of the two points which Aberdeen so greatly coveted and worked so strenuously to secure. The fact that there was no scoring is the best indication of the dour nature of the match. It was not without its excellent play on each side and the 10,000 spectators certainly saw some excellent football. Ferguson, the Falkirk goalkeeper, gave a brilliant exhibition in saving many likely shots. Allan, at centre half; Scobie, the right back; Gowdy, the right half-back; and Cox, the centre forward, were also prominent. For Aberdeen, the outstanding players were Hutton, right back; D. Bruce, left back; Pirie, left half; and Edward in the centre-half position, with McDermid, R. Bruce, and Smith in the forward line. It looked as though Aberdeen would secure both points in a vigorous attack in the closing minutes of the match, but once again the defence proved impregnable.

Source: The Scotsman, 18th January 1926

After having accounted for by far the major share of the attacking done during the game, Aberdeen had to be content to share a goalless draw with Falkirk at Pittodrie. Eleven thousand spectators attended in a cold, wet, and bleak afternoon, and while these were regaled with a game that never lacked for pace and robustness of effort, the football throughout was poor. Aberdeen experimented with McLeod at outside right, and had Pirie at left-half in MacLachlan's absence through injury. In the game Aberdeen had numerous chances to score, but while they made ground fast, their finishing was lamentably weak, even allowing that Ferguson in the Falkirk goal performed prodigies. Falkirk, too, had opportunities to open their account, but in the matter of finishing they were as bad the home attackers. On the general run of play, and considering the strong pressure brought to bear on their defence for prolonged periods, Falkirk were fortunate to save a point, but the Aberdeen forwards were far from being blameless for the state of affairs existing at the finish.


The game had an exciting ending. In a desperate rush by the home forwards, it was claimed that the ball had been forced over the goal line, and that the goalkeeper had pulled it back and pushed it round the post. The home players clamoured for a goal, but the referee signalled a free kick against them, apparently for the goalkeeper being charged. The decision annoyed a section of the crowd, and they voiced their opinion in a hostile demonstration against the referee.
On the home side all the defenders played well, and so adequately was Blackwell guarded that he had little cause for anxiety. Hutton and Bruce (D.) were two strong and reliable backs, and in the middle division Pirie and Edward were always prominent. In the attack, Bruce (R.), McDermid, and Smith performed with a certain amount of credit, but McLeod and Jackson disappointed. In the course of the second period Bruce was injured, and for a time changed places with McLeod, who met with more success in the inside position than on the extreme wing.
For Falkirk, Ferguson saved his side from defeat by his exceptional judgment and fisting. Thomson was outstanding at back, and in the half-back line Gowdy and Allan got through, a tremendous amount of work. At times the visitors' attack moved very sweetly, and were ahead of the Aberdeen quintette as a combination, but, like the latter, their finishing left much to be desired. Dougall and Patterson took the eye most.


Pace was developed from the start. Cox wormed his way through, but was baulked by Blackwell running out and picking up. Jackson followed with a rush to the other end, but lost possession, and the ball going to Smith that player let it go for a bye. Off a centre by Paterson at Blackwell's end Pirie almost put through his own goal, the ball passing just over the bar. The corner kick being cleared, Smith raced away and centred, and Jackson placed the ball for R. Bruce to shoot, but he only sent weakly to Ferguson, who easily gathered and cleared. A period of end-to-end play ensued. Ferguson rushed out and met a high centre from McLeod, and in another Aberdeen raid McDermid shot wide from Pirie's pass. At the other end Blackwell had to use his fists to a ball from Dougall. Ferguson saved from an overhead try by Jackson, and after R. Bruce had forced the goalkeeper over the line for a comer, Cosgrove just missed the goal, the ball glancing off his foot and passing inches wide with Ferguson beaten. Aberdeen maintained the attack, and several chances of shooting were lost by Jackson, who failed to gather the ball and this enabled the Falkirk defence to recover. A run and centre by Paterson gave Falkirk a chance, but Cowan over ran the ball. Off a free kick by Allan, Blackwell effected a fine save and following this the game again turned in favour of Aberdeen. A great shot was fisted out by Ferguson, the ball just evading several in-rushing Aberdeen forwards. Twice in succession the Falkirk goalkeeper, with R. Bruce in attendance, fisted away from Smith, and the 'keeper showed fine judgment in meeting a header by the home inside right from Smith's cross. Off another centre by Smith, Bruce shot wide from good position, but shortly afterwards Ferguson had to sprawl at the foot of the post to prevent a header from the little Aberdeen forward from reaching the net. In a rally by Falkirk Hutton got in the way of a fierce shot by Dougall, and later McNair, from a free kick, sent the ball against the outside of the net. Towards the interval Aberdeen returned to the attack, and Ferguson fisted clear from Jackson with R. Bruce rushing in upon him, and the 'keeper regained his place in time to stop a fine shot by Pirie. Falkirk were fortunate be level at half-time.


In the second half Blackwell was early called upon to leave his charge and assist Bruce in repelling a raid by the Falkirk right. McNair was injured in collision with R. Bruce, and had to retire. A shot by Gowdy went wide, and following a run by McDermid, Bruce endeavoured to rush ball and goalkeeper through. He was injured in the effort, and had to be assisted off. McNair resumed for Falkirk, and Aberdeen, with ten men, nearly fell into arrears, Cowan sending wide when well placed a few yards from goal. When Bruce resumed he went outside right, and Aberdeen again took up the thread of attack, a header by Jackson off a centre by Smith swerving wide of Ferguson's charge. McLeod brought out Ferguson's ability with a capital shot from long range. Then Cox broke away, but when he looked like getting through to shoot Hutton dispossessed him very neatly. The ball was quickly back at Ferguson's end, and the goalkeeper lost possession after saving from Jackson, but Scobbie cleared. McLeod and R. Bruce reverted to their original placings, and the Falkirk goalkeeper had to save from the winger from near the touchline. Later, R. Bruce shot narrowly over with a first-time' effort. Cox again broke away for Falkirk, but hampered by defenders he shot against the side net. Near the end Aberdeen made desperate onslaughts on Ferguson's charge, and it was during one these that the incident occurred which the home players based their futile appeal for a goal.

Source: Press & Journal, 18th January 1926

Falkirk Teamsheet
Ferguson; Scobbie, Thomson; Gowdy, Allan, McNair; Cowan, Mulhall, Cox, Dougal, Paterson
Attendance: 11,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: D. Calder, Rutherglen
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead