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Aberdeen 6 - 5 Heart of Midlothian

HT Score: Aberdeen 5 - 4 Heart of Midlothian

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Love, Miller, Reid, MacLachlan, MacLachlan, Bruce 90.
Heart of Midlothian scorers: J. White 3, Murray, Henderson, Murray, J. White (pen) 49

20/11/1926 | KO: 14:30

Attacks run riot at ABERDEEN. Eleven Goals Scored

To score five goals and suffer defeat was the experience of the Heart of Midlothian at Pittodrie Park, Aberdeen, the home team going one better with what was almost the last kick of the match. Of the eleven goals scored, nine were counted in the first half. The first came in three minutes to give the Hearts the lead, but in two minutes more Aberdeen had got level, and in fifteen minutes the score stood at 3-2 in favour of the home side. Such a spate of scoring usually denotes weak defence, but on this occasion it was rather the result of really brilliant forward play. Both forward lines played dashing football, with the northern side the more persistent. They were always shooting hard and true, and while the Edinburgh goalkeeper might be blamed for two of the goals, he did much good saving. This applies to the first half especially, for in the second the respective middle lines had a better control of matters. The Edinburgh side got their first three goals on what were the first four occasions they got to close quarters, but on the change of ends, though their outfield play continued of a high standard, they were not allowed to get too close in. The great advantage held by Aberdeen was in the middle line, who were always an attacking force. Too often the Hearts half-backs were concentrating on defence, for first King and later Forrest were not too steady.

For most of the second half the Hearts played like winners, but towards the close Aberdeen made a great effort to regain a lead they had thrice lost, and in the closing minute Reid cut out the work for R. Bruce to win the points. J. White opened the scoring, but this was the only time the Hearts were on the lead, Love equalising with a clever goal, and Miller putting Aberdeen ahead by following up smartly. Before the interval Reid and Maclachlan (two) had scored for the home side, and Murray(two) and Henderson for the Hearts. Early in the second half J. White took full advantage of a penalty kick, and thereafter good scoring chances fell to both sides before R. Bruce got the deciding goal. The attendance was 14,000.

Source: The Scotsman, 22nd November 1926

There was extraordinary at Pittodrie where Aberdeen defeated Hearts by 6 goals to 5. No fewer than seven goals were scored in the opening 20 minutes of the game, and the half-time total of nine constitutes a record for a Scottish First Division match. The prolific scoring kept the spectators spellbound and goals came so fast in the first half that it was with difficulty many could enumerate the scorers. Although there had been heavy rain overnight and in the forenoon, it was dry when the teams took the field, but the pitch was soft and the ball greasy. Near the interval heavy rain fell and the wind increased in force, but there were about 14,000 spectators, which was satisfactory in view of the conditions Aberdeen had some assistance from the wind in the first half, but after the interval they were at a disadvantage in having to play into the face of the rainstorm which was heavy while it lasted. In the circumstances they played exceedingly well, and it was to their credit that in the period they made the most of the running.
In a peculiar game which lent itself more to attacking than to defensive tactics it could scarcely be said the defences of either side acquitted themselves with credit. The majority of the goals were simply taken and several would have been prevented by more efficient defences. There was not a great deal of disparity between the respective divisions of either team, but Aberdeen deserved to win because they pushed home the attack more resolutely than Hearts, and nearly every shot they sent in - and there were many - was on the mark. On the home side MacLachlan and Edward in rear showed exceptionally good form, and in a superlatively clever forward line Reid, McDermid, and Love were outstanding. On the Hearts side Slaven and Johnstone in the half-back line and Henderson, Murray, and White (J.) were the most effective players.


Hearts' goal was first endangered, a fine shot by Bruce (R.) being knocked against an upright by White (W.), and subsequently the ball scrambled clear. In three minutes Hearts went ahead. Murray carried the ball along, and after several Aberdeen defenders had missed his cross, the bail went to White (J.), who sent into the net from close range. Aberdeen were quick to reply, and after Miller had forced a corner, and the ball had been sent upfield. Love got possession, to dribble past King and score with a rising shot. Aberdeen subsequently kept up a vigorous attack. White (W.) at full length, pushed away a great shot by Cosgrove, and several efforts at shooting were blocked or charged down by the Edinburgh defence. Another goal followed quickly. Miller, slightly to the left got through, and when almost on the goal-line, cleverly tapped the ball into the net between the Hearts' goalkeeper and the post. Only a minute more had elapsed when Murray, breaking away on the Hearts' left, sent in a shot on the run, and the ball glanced into the net off Blackwell's right-hand post. Following this the Hearts' goalkeeper saved from Bruce (R.) and Love, the shot bringing out a corner kick, which was cleared. Then Reid broke away, and rounding three opponents in brilliant style, shot a brilliant goal with an oblique ground shot.


For a brief period it looked as if Aberdeen would go further ahead, and Miller just failed to count with a shot that went inches high from a difficult angle. Hearts were only three minutes in arrears. Smith broke away, and his centre found the Aberdeen defence in a muddle. Ultimately the ball went to Murray, who gave Henderson little to do to shoot into the net. Another minute produced yet another goal. MacLachlan sent in a high shot, and the Hearts' goalkeeper, harassed by Miller, allowed the ball to find the net over his upstretched arms. Hearts disputed the award of a goal, but the referee was satisfied, and turned down their clamorous appeal.
This goal brought the total to seven in 20 minutes, and the spectators were flabbergasted. A long shot by Edward was deflected into goal by Bruce (R.), and the Hearts' goalkeeper had to throw himself to avert another goal. While Aberdeen were concentrating on attack, Hearts drew level. Murray got away, and working close in resisted tackles by the Aberdeen backs to place the ball out of Blackwell's reach. With the scores at 4-4, a terrific duel ensued. Free kicks became fairly numerous, and from one of these MacLachlan shot a fifth goal for Aberdeen, the goalkeeper evidently having his vision interrupted. Subsequently Aberdeen had the better of the exchanges, and McDermid, Miller, and Bruce (R.) all had shots which came close to counting. The Hearts' forwards, however, were not idle, and Blackwell twice distinguished himself with grand clearances, once throwing himself at Henderson's feet. Considering they had to face the second half, Aberdeen's lead of 5-4 at the interval did not appear at all formidable.


The teams made a spirited resumption, and Aberdeen went on the offensive. Love and Miller had centres which troubled the Hearts' defence to dispose of, but in this they were successful. Only four minutes had gone when Smith, on the Hearts right, broke away and centred. Henderson, in endeavouring to convert, was adjudged to have been fouled in penalty area, and although Aberdeen disputed the award, the referee gave a penalty kick. White (J.) took the kick, and easily netted. Following this there was tendency for tempers to become frayed, but the referee kept a firm grip. On a raid by Aberdeen, Miller appeared to fouled in the penalty area, but the presiding turned official turned down Aberdeen's appeal. The home side kept up a vigorous attack for a time, and following a well-placed free kick by Cosgrove, White (W.) did well to save from McDermid's head. Following a free kick for a foul for which Ritchie was cautioned, Slaven for Hearts shot wide. MacMillan and MacLachlan both came by minor hurts, but were quickly able to resume, and the game continued to be fought out at a great pace. In a desperate rush by the Hearts, Murray had the ball in the net, but the referee adjudged that Blackwell had been interfered with by Henderson, and disallowed a goal. Miller shot just wide for Aberdeen, and following this Murray was high with a good effort. Hearts were on top at this time. Murray was off the mark from favourable position, and Henderson had an effort deflected for a corner by MacLachlan. At this stage the rainstorm was renewed, but Aberdeen battled bravely, and again took up the offensive.


A free kick by Cosgrove was saved by White, but before he had cleared he was forced to concede a corner, and he saved direct from Love's flag kick. Aberdeen made desperate efforts to get the lead, and Bruce (R.) and McDermid twice had the Hearts' goalkeeper in action. Following another free kick by Cosgrove, McDermid headed in, and the ball hit White on the chest, following which there was a scramble, and another fruitless corner for Aberdeen. Reid cut in to send narrowly over, and in a raid by Hearts, Smith shot against the upright. When everybody was prepared for a drawn game, Aberdeen secured the winning goal in the last minute of play. They attacked on the right, and Miller had a shot which rebounded off the goalkeeper, and Bruce (R.) running in met the ball to crash it into the net. Immediately the ball had centred, the "cease fire" sounded. It was a thrilling finish to a thrilling game, and as they retired both teams got a well-deserved ovation.

Source: Press & Journal, 22nd November 1926

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Blackwell, Ritchie, Bruce, Cosgrove, Edward, MacLachlan, Reid, Bruce, Miller, McDermid, Love.

Bookings:  Ritchie.
Heart of Midlothian Teamsheet
White (W.); Reid, Forrest: Millar, Johnston, Slaven; Smith, White (J.), Henderson, McMillan, Murray
Attendance: 14,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: W. Bell, Motherwell