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Aberdeen 4 - 2 Helensburgh

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Helensburgh

Scottish Cup First Round
Aberdeen scorers: Bruce 43, Cheyne 46, Bruce 59, Bruce.
Helensburgh scorers: Smillie 20, Cowan 88

22/01/1927 | KO: 14:45


Aberdeen's victory over Helensburgh was deserved, but it will doubtless be told for many a day to come how Helensburgh held the Pittodrie Park team for about half an hour in the first half by Smillie, the inside left, scoring the first goal. It was a clever shot, and their play up to that time made the visitors worthy of their unexpected lead. It was only a minute or two from half-time when the equaliser came from R. Bruce, the centre forward. The football, it is true, was not up to the usual standard, and that was due to the frost-bound ground making shooting for goal difficult. In the second half Aberdeen swung the ball about more, and first Cheyne, inside-right, and then R. Bruce, the centre forward, scored, the later twice. Helensbugh's persistency was rewarded with a second goal when Cowan, the right-half, headed the ball into the net following a well-placed corner kick. Wallace, the Helensburgh goalkeeper, played a strong game, and with the backs, Thomson and McLellan, had plenty to do in the second half. Forrester, the centre half, Barr, the centre, and Smillie were the best men. Cheyne and R. Bruce were outstanding in the Aberdeen front line. Maclachlan and Edward were prominent at half-back. Neither of the backs, Jackson and D. Bruce, was altogether comfortable under the ground conditions. The 17,000 spectators (including season ticket holders) enjoyed the match, with its uncertainties, though the football was not of the best. The official returns showed that 12,994 paid for admission. The total drawings, inclusive of stands and tax, amounted to £718, and the gate, exclusive of tax, to £604.

Source: The Scotsman, 24th January 1927

Although, winning comfortably enough in the end by 4 goals to 2, Aberdeen did not greatly distinguish themselves against Helensburgh at Pittodrie. The tie attracted fully 14,000 spectators, and the receipts, inclusive of stand drawings and Entertainments Tax, amounted to £718.
The ground was in the grip of frost, and despite the liberal use of sand the surface was very treacherous. In these circumstances, the players experienced much difficulty in retaining their foothold, and the play suffered in consequence. There were times when the game was very one-sided, but with the failure of the home team to locate the net early, and the fact that Helensburgh were first to score, appeared to unnerving effect on Aberdeen. They equalised just on the interval after having been in arrears for twenty minutes. Immediately following the resumption they took the lead, and from that stage onwards never looked like losing the tie. The ground conditions probably accounted largely for the poor form shown by Aberdeen, but the visitors' defence must be given credit for a whole-hearted display of spoiling tactics. On the home side, Jackson, Edward, Spencer, Reid, and R. Bruce were best. The last named missed one or two easy chances, but he atoned for this by scoring three of his side's goals. Outstanding for Helensburgh were Wallace, Thomson. McLelland, Forrester and Smillie.


Aberdeen made the running at the start, and R. Bruce dribbled through to shoot over from 20 yards' range. In a breakaway by the visitors Peter sent weakly past from good position. Although Aberdeen at this stage were doing the bulk of the pressing Helensburgh were quick to make ground, Smillie in particular showing up well. After clever play by Reid and a feint by Cheyne, R. Bruce netted for Aberdeen, but an offside infringement nullified the score. Aberdeen were keeping up the pressure, and R. Bruce had a shot off which the ball hit Wallace on the foot and rebounded over the bar. Following this the little centre-forward twice just missed with headers. After 20 minutes' play, while R. Bruce was off injured, Helensburgh were awarded a free kick, and Forrester lobbed the ball forward for Smillie to head out of McSevich's reach. After this reverse Aberdeen attacked with greater determination than ever. Reid dribbled through to have a shot blocked by Wallace. Several corners fell to the home team, but these were scrambled clear and a number of shots came very near taking effect. Close on the interval Reid forced a corner, and following the flag kick R. Bruce netted the equaliser from close range.
Consequent upon an injury to Spiers, Helensburgh re-arranged their team in the second half for the earlier stages of which they were short-handed. Aberdeen took the lead right away, Cheyne accepting a pass from R. Bruce to score cleverly. Subsequently Aberdeen played with confidence and Wallace was kept busy. He saved in quick succession from all the Aberdeen forwards, R Bruce skied badly from close in. After 14 minutes' play, R. Bruce increased his team's lead with a low shot. After this Helensburgh rallied, and Peter shot narrowly over from near the touchline. Subsequently play ruled in favour of Aberdeen, and R. Bruce obtained a fourth for his team and his own third after he had missed at least one good opportunity. Near the close Helensburgh rallied and off a corner kick by Peter. Kesson headed past McSevich.

Source: Press & Journal, 24th January 1927

Helensburgh Teamsheet
Wallace; Thomson, McLelland; Cowan, Forrester, Wilson; Spiers, R. K. Barr, Smillie, Peter
Attendance: 14,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: J. A. Martin, Clydebank
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead