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Hibernian 2 - 3 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Hibernian scorers: Dunn, MacLachlan (o.g.)
Aberdeen scorers: Hutton (Pen), Bruce, Bruce.

28/08/1926 | KO:


Losing Halligan through injury midway in the second half, the Hibernians were handicapped if plucky losers in their match with Aberdeen at Easter Road, Edinburgh. The accident had an apparent effect on the game, for the Hibernians looked like wearing down their opponents at the time, and it was after Halligan's retirement that R. Bruce scored the winning goal. It was doubly unfortunate that Halligan's injury should be the result of unfair play. He was brought down heavily by Hutton, Aberdeen's stalwart back, and while there was obviously no intent to cause injury, the incident raised a noisy demonstration on the part of the crowd.
In the circumstances, the visitors could be accounted fortunate to take both points, although as far as play went generally they gave a sound exhibition, and were not inferior to their opponents in any department. Throughout it was a game of thrills, of quick end-to-end play, and with no lack of work for the goalkeepers. Four of the five goals were scored in the first twenty five minutes. It was good play on Halligan's part that led to Dunn heading through the first goal for the Hibernians. Four minutes later Hutton converted a penalty kick foolishly given away by Dick, who handled when not very hard pressed, and when he was no more than inside the penalty area. R. Bruce gave Aberdeen the lead with a cleverly taken shot, and in a hard fought second half the same player, who seemed at the top of his form, won the game with a fine goal at twenty yards.
Apart from Bruce, the visitors got excellent service from their two outside wing players. Reid and Smith, who seldom dallied, but swung the ball in with telling effect. The half-backs were hard workers, and the backs a sturdy couple, who scarcely merited the disapprobation their play invoked. Blackwell, like Robb at the other end, did some fine work in goal. The Hibernian man had a lot of scope, and his play bore the touch of the practiced hand. Dick was the best of the Hibernian half-back line, in which Macfarlane played another promising game. Ritchie, Dunn, and Halligan were the outstanding forwards, although Bradley did surprisingly well against a back like Hutton. There were 16,000 spectators.

Source: The Scotsman, 30th August 1926

Aberdeen richly deserved their 3-2 victory over Hibernian at Edinburgh, where 16,000 spectators watched a thrilling struggle for the mastery. The game was brimful of incident and was hotly, even fiercely, contested. Raid was countered by raid, and two dour sets of defenders had to grapple with clever and dashing forwards. Aberdeen were on top during the greater period of the first half, and in the closing twenty minutes, but in the intervening time, there was a terrific duel between the Hibernian attack and Aberdeen defence. On the run of play Aberdeen were just value for their narrow lead, and they appeared stay to the pace better.
Every member of the team comported himself well, but the player who contributed most to the Aberdeen victory was R. Bruce, who played one of his best games for the first eleven. He was the most elusive forward on the field, and repeatedly changed the phase of the game from defence to attack. He was, too, in excellent shooting form, and it was fitting that the second and winning goals should come from his boot. All the forwards worked well together, and Bruce was outstanding in a line that was always dangerous. MacLachlan was easily the best of the Aberdeen half-backs, and D. Bruce excelled at back. Hutton did not touch his best form until the second half, but in that period was brilliant.
On the Hibernian side Robb effected many fine saves, especially in the first period, and McGinnigle and Murray were the best of the other defenders. Among the forwards, Ritchie and Dunn were most conspicuous, the former being a constant source of danger to the Aberdeen defence.


In a spirited opening R. Bruce shot just wide for Aberdeen, and in the first five minutes that player had np fewer than live attempts for goal, Robb doing well to save on two occasions. Hibernian were first to score, however. From a breakaway on the left Halligan centred, and Dunn headed well out Blackwell's reach into the net. Subsequently, centres by Ritchie and Bradley had the Aberdeen defence in trouble, but the scores were soon levelled. Reid broke away and centred, and Dick handled in the penalty area, for Hutton to subsequently crash the ball into the net from the spot. Following this, Aberdeen maintained strong pressure, and Robb required two attempts to clear a high ball from Reid. A dour struggle developed, with the play changing quickly from end to end. Blackwell was penalised for carrying, and Dunn sent high from the free kick. Then Aberdeen went ahead. Bruce got possession near midfield. and, running right through the Hibernian defence, finished up by scoring a brilliant goal. Robb at full length got his hands on the ball, but could not stay its progress. For a time Aberdeen looked like increasing their lead, Robb on one occasion knocking a hall from Smith against the crossbar to catch the rebound and clear. At the other end, Blackwell stopped a shot by Bradley at the foot of the upright. In another Aberdeen attack the Hibernian goal was fortunate to escape downfall, when Robb stopped a ball that was deflected off McGinnigle after Reid had centred. Aberdeen lost their lead in an unfortunate fashion. Ritchie, who had all along been a source danger, cut inwards, and finished with a shot that struck MacLachlan and the ball was deflected to the left of the Aberdeen goal. Blackwell made a praiseworthy effort to save, and at full length got his hands on the ball, only help it into the side net. On equal terms, Hibernian attacked for a time, and forced two comers, from which nothing materialised. Miller got away, and beating the home backs, was left with only Robb in front. In an attempt to place the ball out the 'keeper's reach he misjudged, however, and Robb was able to bring off a fine save on the ground. Subsequently the Hib's goalkeeper was busy with shots from Smith, R. Bruce, and Reid, and Miller was unfortunate when he wheeled round to send in great shot, off which the ball caught the top of the upright and went for a bye. Hibernian were again dangerous near the interval, when Blackwell had to save from a free kick by McFarlane. There was no more scoring in the period, however, and the teams crossed over on level terms.


Aberdeen were thrown on the defensive when the game resumed, but shook off the pressure, and subsequently corners were conceded at both ends, but gradually Hibernian hemmed Aberdeen on defence. D. Bruce twice intervened when Dunn looked to be set for scoring, and on another occasion Blackwell ran out and practically picked the ball from off Walker's toes. The defence weathered the storm, and after a combined run McDermid just missed the goal with Robb badly placed. In another raid by Aberdeen, the Hibs' goalkeeper dropped a shot by Reid, but recovered possession. Hibernian returned to the attack, and Hutton was badly barracked when he accidentally kicked Halligan, who was injured and required attention. For a time the Aberdeen defence were kept on the stretch, and Ritchie, who frequently wandered into the centre, just missed the goal with a headed effort. Ultimately Aberdeen again took up the thread of attack, and R. Bruce catching on to a clearance shot a fine goal from twenty yards' range, the ball finding the net off Robb's right hand post. For a time Aberdeen looked like going further ahead. Robb fielded a header by McDermid, and shots by Miller and Smith were only inches off the goal. In a rally by the Hibs Walker sent the ball against Blackwell, but Aberdeen at this stage were accounting for the bigger share of attack. Following a free kick by Hutton, Robb stopped a header by McDermid, and the goalkeeper did well to dear a fierce effort by Miller delivered from the right. Near the end both goalkeepers conceded corners, and after Blackwell had fisted the ball down, Hutton brought off a timely clearance with Dunn about shoot. Aberdeen were attacking when the game finished.

Source: Press & Journal, 30th August 1926

Hibernian Teamsheet
Robb; McGinnigle, Dornan; Dick, McFarlane, Murray; Ritchie, Dunn, Walker, Halligan, Bradley
Attendance: 16,000
Venue: Easter Road, Edinburgh
Referee: R. Innes, Glasgow
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