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Kilmarnock 2 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Kilmarnock 2 - 0 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Kilmarnock scorers: Cunningham, Cunningham
Aberdeen scorers: Bruce.

07/01/1928 | KO:


Under miserable weather conditions Kilmarnock and Aberdeen provided a fast and exciting game at Rugby Park, and the stronger finishing power at the home men carried them through by the odd goal in three. Jack was as good as his master in the opening period, and Aberdeen certainly had reason to grumble about finding themselves two goals down at the interval. Both points were scored by Cunningham, the home centre, who demonstrated once again his usefulness to his side by his readiness to take full advantage of the slightest opening. For a period after the game was resumed Kilmarnock held the upper hand, and that they did not increase their lead was due in large measure to the fine goalkeeping of Blackwell, who got through a great amount of work with outstanding ability and confidence. An unexpected but cleverly-taken goal by Bruce put a better complexion on the game from Aberdeen's point of view, and from then till the end there were many near things at both goals. The Dons put forth a great effort to draw level in the closing stages, but Kilmarnock's defence held out. There were little more than 3000 spectators present.

Source: The Scotsman, 9th January 1928

On the run of the play Aberdeen should not have been beaten at Rugby Park on Saturday. Many Kilmarnock people admitted, at the close of the game, that a draw would have been a good result.
I do contend that when Cunningham scored the winning goal for the home team he was in an absolutely offside position. He stood practically under the bar waiting for the ball to come to him. Nevertheless, Aberdeen could have won both points had the inside forwards finished better, and unless they are prepared to shoot more often there is not much hope for the team surviving the first round of the Scottish Cup at Kirkcaldy.

Sound Defence

The defence can be relied upon. Once again it proved its worth in this game. There can be no denying the fact that Harry Blackwell has completely recovered his confidence. He could not be blamed for the loss of either goal at Kilmarnock, yet I would have found an excuse for him had he allowed some of the other shots to beat him. His clever fielding of high balls was a feature of his display, while on one occasion he dealt with a terrific low drive from Weir in a masterly fashion. Jackson and Livingstone have struck a good understanding now. The right back made few mistakes in Saturday, while his kicking was strong and reliable. Livingstone has many admirers, particularly for his clean and accurate kicking. It has been noticeable in recent games, too, that there is a big improvement in his tackling. His present form, at any rate, is good enough to keep him in the team.
I would not say that the half-backs were just so good as they were over the New Year period. Nevertheless, they succeeded in keeping a good grip on the opposing forwards. Black once more proved a fine constructive half-back. He had a hot handful in Ramsay, but the honours between the two were pretty even. McHale did a lot of fine forcing work. He has not played a bad game since he was reinstated against St Mirren at Paisley. The fact that he has been playing so well has given confidence to the other members of the team. Willie Ross has also justified his inclusion. He had to wait a long time before he got another chance in the League eleven, but it is agreed by all that he has done exceptionally well. He may have found the heavy ground at Rugby Park a big handicap, but nevertheless he performed very satisfactorily.

"Bobby" Not a Centre

Frankly, I do not like the Aberdeen attack as at present constituted. Bruce is always a dangerous little player, no matter what position he occupies, but the best is not being got out of him at centre. Still, under the present circumstances, he is the only player who can impart anything like thrustfulness as a leader. That is the principal reason why he is playing at centre. McDermid was the weakest man in the forward line, but I don't think he had quite recovered from the strain of the last few weeks. Cheyne did many clever things, but his finishing left much to be desired. Love was again a good wing man and got over many dangerous crosses. There can, however, be no doubt about it that Smith was in his element in his native countryside. There were many people from Darvel present at this game, and they were greatly impressed with the play of the Dons' outside left. In fact, I will go the length of saying that Smith played his best game of the season at Rugby Park. He did not shirk a tackle in this game, and thus his play benefitted all the more. He waltzed round the opposing half and back quite merrily at times, while that great drive of his in the first half was worthy of a goal.
Kilmarnock are a well-balanced team. They have one of the best pivots I have seen this season, while Cunningham is certainly one of the most enterprising leaders in the League.

Source: Bon-Accord, 14th January 1928

The voice of a waggish spectator reverberated all over Pittodrie on Saturday. Evidently the game had been too dull for him, for in the second half he shouted in stentorian tones - "When's this game beginning?"


Source: Bon-Accord, 14th January 1928

Aberdeen were more than little unfortunate to leave two points with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, the Ayrshire team winning by 2 goals to 1. It rained heavily during most of the game, and the field cut up badly. Play was keen throughout, but never really touched a high level, although Smith, on the Aberdeen left, had many dashing runs and centres. Both goalkeepers had busy times, and the defenders stood up resolutely to attacks, but the state of the ground was against accurate passing.
Aberdeen attacked first, and from Smith's cross Bruce had a shot deflected for a corner. Subsequently Kilmarnock also forced a flag kick and Cunningham headed past Blackwell after seven minutes play. For a time Kilmarnock had the better the exchanges, and Cunningham might have scored again, but missed the goal.


Following this, Blackwell, full length, saved finely from Cunningham, and at the other end Clemie effected a good save from Smith, and Love shot against the outside of the net. Aberdeen continued to improve, and Smith had a terrific shot which hit the crossbar and rebounded into play. Following a corner for Aberdeen, Smith had a shot blocked, and Clemie later brought off a good save from Love. Smith, on the Aberdeen left, was showing good form, and once Clemie completely missed a centre by the winger, but the ball evaded the other Aberdeen forwards. Aberdeen were on top at this stage, but they could not get in a decisive blow, and just when the scores looked like being levelled, Kilmarnock scored again. Connell broke away and centred almost below the bar to Cunningham, whose header gave Blackwell on chance. There was a suggestion that the scorer was offside, but Aberdeen's appeal to the referee was unsuccessful. Towards the interval Aberdeen were attacking, Clemie fisting out from Smith, but later Blackwell. at full length, just managed to deflect a shot by Thomson. Subsequently McHale headed out a ball that might have beaten the Aberdeen goalkeeper.


Play in the early stages of the second half was marked by equality, but Aberdeen were the more dangerous side. McLeod cleared when Bruce made an effort to connect with Love's centre, and subsequently Smith appeared to be brought down in the penalty area, but the referee made no award. Kilmarnock ultimately again took up the attack, and Cunningham shot over an untenanted goal after Blackwell had fisted out. Aberdeen were at last rewarded, when Bruce at close range scored off a centre by Smith. Aberdeen kept pegging away, and Clemie was several times in action assisting his backs, but the visitors were fortunate when Cunningham shot over an empty goal. A centre by Weir was fielded by Blackwell, and at the other end Clemie practically lifted the ball from Bruce's feet. After a run and centre by Smith, Nibloe saved the situation with a desperate tackle of Love. In the closing stages Aberdeen were responsible for most of the attacking, and several times came near to equalising.

Source: Press & Journal, 9th January 1928

Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Clemie; Robertson, Nibloe; Morton, McLeod, Connell, Weir, Cunningham, Ramsay, Thomson
Attendance: 4,500
Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Referee: R. Innes, Glasgow
Next Match
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen