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Rangers 3 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Rangers 1 - 2 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Rangers scorers: Cunningham (pen) 32, McKay 65, Shaw
Aberdeen scorers: Miller 30, McDermid 31.

25/09/1926 | KO: 15:00

ABERDEEN'S GREAT FIGHT AT IBROX. Fateful Decisions of Referee.

It was a very fast and interesting game between the Rangers and Aberdeen at Ibrox Park, in which the visitors sustained the first defeat of the season. There was not much between the teams, but on their second half display, the Rangers deserved the points, although Aberdeen could have forced a draw. The Rangers started well, and several times came very near to taking the lead in the first few minutes of the game, but the visitors' half-backs steadily got a grip of the Ibrox attacks, and soon swung the game round. Miller opened the scoring for Aberdeen after half an hour's play, and a minute later McDermid added a second. Two minutes after this the Rangers were awarded a penalty kick, which Cunningham converted. Aberdeen continued to force the game for some time after this, and after the interval their forwards began to get more of the ball. After 25 minutes, McKay equalised, and the Rangers, having drawn level, made a great effort to gain both points, Shaw scoring the winning goal 15 minutes from time. The attendance was about 20,000.

Source: The Scotsman, 25th September 1926

Aberdeen had n exasperating experience at Ibrox, where by 3 goals to 2 Rangers inflicted upon them their first defeat of the after season after the Pittodrie team had led at one stage by two goals. Twenty-three thousand spectators were thrilled by a terrific struggle, and if on the run of the play Rangers held a slight, superiority, Aberdeen by reason of certain incidents that proved vital were distinctly unfortunate to lose their unbeaten record.
For the final twenty minutes Rangers practically monopolised the attacking, and they had the same experience for a time in the second period when their play touched a high standard, but Aberdeen were not at a great disadvantage by comparison. Their defence, especially that of Blackwell, Hutton and MacLachlan, and at times McHale, was superb, and their forwards, if not as clever those of Rangers as a combining force, were always nippy and dangerous, R. Bruce and Reid being best.
For Rangers Hamilton had several faulty but many good saves, and in front of him Gray and Shaw were brilliant. Cunningham was the most outstanding forward on the field, and Fleming among the Rangers' quintette was next best.


Aberdeen had to face a fairly stiff breeze in the first half. They were soon on the defensive, and it looked in the opening stages as if Rangers would carry everything before them. Fleming cut in, and sent a ground ball across the Aberdeen goal for the pass to be missed by players of both sides. Ultimately Morton got possession, and returned to Fleming, who shot hard but high over from close in. Rangers continued on the offensive, and Hutton effected some fine clearances when his goal was besieged. Ultimately Smith broke away for Aberdeen, and from his cross R. Bruce shot high. After another Rangers' attack had been repulsed, Reid got away for Aberdeen, and his terrific shot the run passed just over the Rangers' goal. Rangers returned to the offensive for a time, and only brilliant tackling by the Aberdeen rear divisions denied them success. Craig and Cunningham both had good tries saved by Blackwell, and the first-named and McKay had efforts that were off the goal. While Rangers were concentrating on attack, R. Bruce broke away and after feinting to pass carried right on. On reaching the penalty area he steadied to shoot, but with only Hamilton in front sent past when a goal appeared certain. Following this escape, Rangers renewed their efforts in attack, and there was a series of exciting scrimmages in front of Blackwell. On one occasion Craig back heeled the ball against an upright, and later Cunningham finished a brilliant individual effort by shooting over. The Aberdeen defence was proof against a succession of determined assaults, and ultimately were able to shake these off and reverse the situation.


A flag kick forced by Reid was cleared with difficulty, and then, after half an hour, Aberdeen scored. Smith shot hard, and Hamilton fell on the ball, but failed to hold it. An exciting scrimmage followed, and Smith again got possession, to pass it along in front of the home goal. R. Bruce shot from point blank range, but Hamilton, by a great effort, threw himself at the ball and knocked it out. Before the goalkeeper could recover, however, Miller dashed in and crashed it onto the back of the net. This sudden change in the fortunes of the game obviously disconcerted Rangers, and in another minute Aberdeen increased their lead. McDermid on the left cut in and beat Hamilton with a fast ground shot, delivered from a very sharp angle. It was destined to be a game of sensations, as only another minute had elapsed when Rangers got a very unsatisfactory penalty goal. McHale, just inside the penalty area, appeared to be pushed from behind by Marshall, and as the Aberdeen player claimed a foul the ball bounced and found contact with the point of his elbow. The referee, to the surprise of most people who saw the incident, immediately awarded a penalty kick, and Aberdeen's protest being of avail, Cunningham proceeded to net from the spot, Blackwell touching but failing to stop the ball as it flashed over his head. From this stage until the interval the pace, which had already been tremendous, increased, and there were thrills at both ends. For a time Rangers hammered at the Aberdeen defence, but Smith, Reid, and Bruce gave them relief. The first-named two had shots that were just off the mark. At the other end Blackwell brought off a great save off a brilliant shot by Marshall. In a combined run by the Aberdeen forwards Hamilton only saved Rangers by throwing himself at Miller's feet. Just on half-time, Morton was left with practically an open goal for Rangers, but dallied, and Hutton dashed and cleared, and Aberdeen led at the intermediate stage by 2 goals to 1.


Play in the opening few minutes of the second half favoured Aberdeen. Clever individual play by Smith gave R. Bruce a chance, but he was taken by surprise, and failed to connect, and before he could appreciate the situation Gray cleared. For a time after this Rangers maintained a vigorous offensive, Cunningham doing brilliant work. Following a corner, he headed over, and later McHale and Hutton got in the way of powerful shots from the same foot. The Aberdeen forwards were not idle, however, and off a centre by Reid Miller swept the over Hamilton's charge. Shortly afterwards the centre forward brought the Rangers goalkeeper to his knees. At the other end, a cross by Morton evaded attackers and defenders alike, and there was a fierce scrimmage until the danger was cleared. Rangers continued a persistent offensive, and quite a number of shots were blocked and charged down in front of Blackwell. On one occasion Fleming swung over a high centre, and from Cunningham's header Blackwell brought off a wonderful save low down at the post. After 20 minutes' play Rangers drew level. A fierce shot by Cunningham glanced off D. Bruce against the upright, and McKay dashed in to meet the rebound, and equalised. For a brief spell after this Aberdeen again went out on attack, and Miller negatived a good combined effort by shooting high. Shortly afterwards, R. Bruce sent in a terrific shot which Hamilton knocked against the post and Gray cleared.


A raid the Rangers' right wing led to Aberdeen falling into arrears, almost as unsatisfactorily as they had surrendered their first goal. Fleming had a shot kicked away by Bruce, but before this it was claimed the ball had gone over the goal-line for a bye. The referee was of a different opinion, however, and although Aberdeen protested, Rangers were awarded a corner. The flag kick was well placed, and Shaw ran in and headed into the net, Blackwell getting his left hand to the bail, but failing to prevent it reaching the side net. Shortly afterwards only the brilliant full-length save by Blackwell prevented Cunningham giving Rangers another goal. The Aberdeen forwards again came into prominence, and a stoppage for injury to Gray gave Rangers relief at a critical stage. Aberdeen made desperate efforts to draw level, and actually had the ball in the net, but a goal was denied them. Reid cut in and passed to R. Bruce, whose close range effort was knocked out by Hamilton lying at full length. The ball returned to Reid, and the latter shot into the net just as the whistle sounded for offside against R. Bruce. In the last minute of the game Aberdeen were swarming in front of Rangers' goal, and Hamilton brought off saves from R. Bruce and Smith, but they just failed to draw level.

Source: Press & Journal, 27th September 1926

Rangers Teamsheet
Hamilton; Gray, Weir; Craig, Meiklejohn, Shaw; Fleming, McKay, Marshall, Cunningham, Morton
Attendance: 23,000
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: A. Allan, Glasgow
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead