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East Fife 1 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: East Fife 1 - 1 Aberdeen

Scottish Cup Second Round
East Fife scorers: Wood 12
Aberdeen scorers: Lawson 44.

05/02/1927 | KO:

ABERDEEN'S EXCITING TIE WITH EAST FIFE. Goalkeeper's Curious Experience.

Aberdeen survived their visit to Methil, and live to fight another day, largely because of the smiles of fortune. They were opposed by an East Fife team who played far above their usual form, and whose football was superior. The Aberdeen men set the pace at the start, and easily beat the Methil halves. But not for long did that state of matters hold good. Russell and Robertson times their tackling and passing well, and gradually young Hope also steadied up. McSevich had been kept very busy before Nairn crossed the ball into goal, and it was snapped out of the goalkeeper's hands and placed in the net by Wood. Each eager dash by the Aberdeen forwards, well led by Reid, was as cleverly countered, and it was a soft shot which, in the same minute as the half-time signal was sounded, gave Lawson the credit of scoring. East Fife had much the worse of the play in the hard knocks, and three of their players were crippling. As a result the team were reshuffled for the second half. Again Aberdeen got going with spirit, but the home defence prevailed, and the Methil club's forwards swarmed all over the visitors. Time and again hard luck attended their shooting, the post and the bar intervening three times. Aberdeen had to struggle hard to save themselves, and in the end were relieved to escape with a draw of one goal. Gilfillan, Heart of Midlothian, got little to do in Methil goal, and the halves and forwards excelled. The First Division League team were best served by Jackson and Ritchie, Edward, Maclachlan, and Reid, with McSevich, however, the hero of the side. The attendance came to 8500, and the gate to £500, including stands.

Source: The Scotsman, 7th February 1927

Aberdeen came very near to saying "goodbye" to the cup competition at Methil, where they divided two goals with East Fife in a desperate struggle. If the football was lacking in quality there was no dearth of excitement, and thrills abounded. Both teams went all out from start to finish, and considering the heat and pace of the game it was not surprising there were casualties, which were the outcome more of accident than deliberate rough play. On the run of the game Aberdeen were fortunate to escape defeat. They should be equal to winning the replay, but to do so will have to give a vastly improved display.
Heavy rain on the eve the match restricted the attendance of 8000, and there was heavy drizzle while the game lasted. In consequence the pitch was slippery and greasy, and the ball heavy.
East Fife, playing with surprising dash and resolution, opened the scoring after eleven minutes' play, and the reverse had the effect of unsettling Aberdeen, who never really found their feet during the game. In a scramble they secured the equaliser in the last minute before the interval, but were lucky to do so. In the second half both sides carried cripples, and re-arrangement of the teams tended to disorganisation. The exchanges in the period favoured East Fife, who came very near to snatching victory on at least two occasions, and the Aberdeen goal had a miraculous escape near the finish. Both teams gave a whole-hearted display, and at times the exchanges produced extreme excitement. Stoppages for injuries to players were numerous, and frequently the trainers of both teams were on the field at one time.


McSevich, the Aberdeen goalkeeper, had a curious experience. Early in the game he was injured in effecting a daring save, and while suffering great pain, became sick and dazed. He refused to leave his post, and at the interval had to be assisted to the dressing room. He pluckily carried on in the second period, when, despite his dazed condition, he effected many fine saves, the executing of which aggravated his injuries. He had again to be assisted off at the finish, and it was not until some time after the game that he became aware that Aberdeen had equalised. Cheyne and R. Bruce also came by injury, the former sustaining a leg hurt shortly after the interval and going to outside right, but in his crippled state he was of no assistance to his team. Nor did the East Fife players escape. Wood, the right back, strained himself in the first half and went to outside left in the second period, but while the Methil team's rearrangement entailed more shifts than Aberdeen's, their handicap was obviously not as great as that under which the First Leaguers played.


But for his dazed state McSevich would probably have averted the goal that was surrendered by Aberdeen. He effected many thrilling saves throughout the game, and can claim a large share of responsibility for Aberdeen living to fight another day. Jackson gave a fine display at back, his tackling being a feature. Edward was easily the best of the Aberdeen half-backs, and if he fell away somewhat in the second period Lawson was the best of the Aberdeen forwards. The others, Reid and Bruce in particular, also did well in the outfield, and worked exceedingly hard, but their shooting generally was wild, more particularly in the first half.
East Fife gave a spirited display. Gilfillan was brilliant in goal, and others who excelled in defensive play were Wood (W.), Gillespie, and Robertson. In a dashing attack, Wood (J.) and Weir were outstanding. The official returns show that 8000 persons paid for admission, and the drawings, exclusive of tax, but including stands, amounted to £350.


Aberdeen began as if they would overwhelm the home team. In a clever run Cheyne was fouled just outside the penalty area, and MacLachlan shot wide from the free kick. After some mid-field play, East Fife attacked on the left and from Nairn's centre Wood was through when McSevich dived and deflected the ball, in saving, the Aberdeen goalkeeper was accidentally kicked and there was a longish stoppage until he was treated. When he resumed it was seen he was limping badly and in distress. Following the clearance of a corner, Aberdeen again attacked and Lawson shot wide, but East Fife soon again took up the role of aggressor and McSevich saved fast shots by Barnett and Wood. For a time play ranged from end to end. Clever work by Lawson led to Love centring, and when the ball was returned to him in a scrimmage the left winger swept it high over from favourable position. After this "let off," East Fife attacked on the left, and when Nairn centred high in front of goal, McSevich dived, but Wood (J.) rushing in at the same time got the ball first and turned it into the empty goal. This was after twelve minutes. After this reverse Aberdeen locked like taking the game in hand. Gilfillan went full length to deflect a long shot by Bruce, and two corners in quick succession were scrambled clear by the home defence. Bruce and Cheyne both shot over from good positions, the latter doing this on two subsequent occasions. Bruce, after dribbling through, wheeled round to shoot from point-blank range and Gilfillan brought off a wonderful save. At the other end, a pass back by Spencer almost beat McSevich, who just managed to reach the ball and throw it into the "corner." Subsequently Aberdeen forced two flag kicks, Gilfillan fisting away from one, and Bruce heading narrowly over from the other. Paterson relieved the pressure with a clever run, which finished by shooting wide, and at Gilfillan's end Reid, Lawson, Cheyne, Love, and Bruce all had shots blocked. Wood, the home right back, was injured and required attention, but was able to continue. Following a free kick by Robertson, McSevich saved from Wood's head. Close on the interval Aberdeen came away with another spurt. Love forced a corner, and in a desperate scrimmage Lawson, after several players of both sides had missed, got in an indecisive kick off which the ball rolled into the net out of reach of the outstretched Gilfillan. Thus Aberdeen drew level. Half-time arrived immediately afterwards.


The second half proved no less thrilling than the first. East Fife re-marshalled their forces, Wood (W.) going to outside left, Robertson to right back, and Barrett to centre half. Gilfillan was easily in action to a long shot by Cheyne, but East Fife were soon at the Aberdeen end, where, after Wood had centred, McSevich had to dive at Paterson's feet to avert disaster. Stoppages for injuries to players became fairly frequent, and the referee had to exercise a restraining influence. In the course of a sustained attack by East Fife, Nairn shot past a crowd of players for the ball to hit the foot of an upright, and Edward dashed in and cleared. At this stage Cheyne was crippled, and after receiving the trainer's attention changed places with Reid. For a time there was a tremendous duel between the home attack and the Aberdeen defence, and several shots were blocked and charged down in front of McSevich, who was being splendidly protected by his backs and Edward. The Aberdeen forwards again came into prominence, and off a pass by Love. Bruce had Gilfillan in difficulties. Later the home goalkeeper did well to clutch a dangerous header from Love, who jumped high to meet a centre by Reid. A ding-dong struggle continued, with East Fife responsible for most of the aggressive work. Jackson missed his kick and let Wood (J.) through, but the back recovered to prevent a shot. Wood, however, slipped the ball along in front of goal, and after several players had missed it Paterson ran it against the post. The Methil forwards, finely led by Wood and Weir, maintained a relentless attack, and Aberdeen's goal was repeatedly in jeopardy. McSevich fisted away from Weir, and Barrett and Wood (J.) both sent wide following scrimmages in front of McSevich. Near the close Aberdeen got back on attack, but an injury to Bruce further handicapped them, and Gilfillan was not troubled. The final whistle came as welcome relief to two tired and distressed elevens.

Source: Press & Journal, 7th February 1927

East Fife Teamsheet
Gilfillan; Wood, Gillespie; Hope, Robertson, Russell; Weir, Paterson, Wood, Barrett, Nairn
Attendance: 8,000
Venue: Bayview Park, Methil
Referee: D. Calder, Rutherglen
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