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Airdrie 2 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Airdrie 2 - 0 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Airdrie scorers: McDougall 3, Muir 20
Aberdeen scorers: Love 65.

07/04/1928 | KO:


Why is it that Aberdeen invariably leave their best efforts until after the interval? This has been their practice in most games since the New Year. At Airdrie on Saturday they gave a very poor display in the first period, but in the second mostly they were decidedly the better team.
The 'Onians were worthy of their two goal lead at the interval. There can be no disputing that fact. They played the better football and were the better balanced. Yet I thought they were fortunate to get their goals in the manner in which they were scored. The first point, to my mind, was a fluke. McHale was penalised just outside the eighteen yards' line. Personally, I could not detect anything wrong in the manner in which the Aberdeen pivot tackled an opponent on this occasion. At any rate McDougall, who took the free kick, drove the ball past Livingstone and into the net. When the homesters got their second goal, I thought McSevick was very badly protected. Yet the Aberdeen goalkeeper, who had a chance to save Muir's effort, stood still and watched the ball pass over his head. Thus Airdrie were given two very precious gifts.

A Suggestion

After the interval, the Dons gave a whole-hearted display, and the home defence experienced a very trying time. The shooting of the Pittodrie attack was feeble, and it was left to Love to dash in from the wing and head through from a cross by Smith. The ball which Smith sent over on this occasion reminded me on Alan Morton?s cross at Wembley, when Jackson scored Scotland's first goal. Why the Aberdeen wing men do not adopt this policy more often is difficult to understand. Both are very dangerous shots, no doubt, but Love and Smith show a tendency to shoot too often from difficult angles when a nice lob would bring about a better result. Love is very accurate with his head, but Smith seldom scores with his upper cranium. Yet the outside left could easily prove his worth in this respect through sheer practice. In this connection, I remember when Andy Rankine joined the Pittodrie club he could not take a ball in the air, but the big inside left soon got over the difficulty. Through assiduous practice during training hours he mastered the problem, and at the time when the ex-Banks o' Dee player left Aberdeen for Cowdenbeath there was no forward on the club's books who could use his head with greater effect and judgement.
That, by the way, however. The play of the Aberdeen team after the interval at Broomfield was in accordance with previous second-half displays this year, but when it came to the all-important question of drawing level and eventually securing the lead, they were beaten.

Shaky Defence

Taking the whole game into consideration, however, I cannot say that the Aberdeen defence was impressive. In fact, the unsteadiness in the rear had a good deal to do with the poor display given by the team before the interval. McSevick was none too confident. He appeared to be windy, while it was late in the game before either Jackson or Livingstone really settled down.
The half-backs were often at sea in the first period. Black and McDermid were too often chasing opponents to be comfortable, and, as neither is blessed with a good turn of speed, it was only natural that they should be left behind. Yet these two players showed a big improvement in the last half-hour and supported their forwards very efficiently. Throughout the game, McHale was a tower of strength in defence, being particularly effective with his head.

Lopsided Attack

The attack was lopsided, due more or less to the poor work on the ball by Merrie and Cheyne. The inside right was very much off colour. He played his worst game of the season, and I must admit that when Cheyne is out of gear the effect on the attack as a whole is only too plain. He is a moody player, and will require to be more consistently good next season to be of real value to the team. Had he been on his right game in this match, Aberdeen would in all probability have saved a point at any rate. I must say I admired Merrie for his pluck and energy, but otherwise he did little to convince me that he is going to solve Aberdeen's greatest problem. Here is a case where I think the player ought to engage in practicing how to get the ball under control. His failure to gather the ball is Merrie's greatest sin. Once he is able to do this, I am positive that his effectiveness will be enhanced. He certainly harassed the Airdrie defence in a fearless manner, and Crapnell will not forget his many encounters with the Aberdeen centre. Of the other forwards, Yorston was a willing worker, but he was wild in his shooting in the first half. For a little player, he knows no fear. Smith was the better wing man. He got more of the ball than Love, who was practically starved during the opening forty-five. It would have been a more profitable policy to have given the outside right more to do.

Source: Bon-Accord, 14th April, 1928

Aberdeen sustained their third defeat since the New Year, Airdrieonians beating them at Airdrie by 2 goals to 1. On a cold, raw afternoon, there were only three thousand spectators, and these saw a dour but not inspiring struggle, in which Airdrieonians held the upper hand in the first half, and Aberdeen were superior in the second.
The honours of the game went to the respective defences, but both sets were fortunate not to concede more goals. The forwards of both teams were clever in their midfield play, but their efforts at net-finding were crude, and the respective goalkeepers had a comparatively easy time.
On the Aberdeen side Jackson, McHale, and McDermid were best in rear, and Love, Smith, and Yorston were the most prominent forwards but the team work was not so good as on the two preceding Saturdays.
Airdrieonians were best served by Crapnell. Heaps, and Bennie in defence, and Neil and Muir in attack.


Winning the toss Aberdeen had the assistance of slight breeze in the first half, but they failed to make good use of it. They fell into arrears after only three minutes' play. A free kick was given against McHale just outside the penalty area, and when McDougall took the kick the ball struck Muir, and was deflected out of the reach of the Aberdeen goalkeeper. Airdrieonians subsequently had the better of the exchanges for a time, and McSevich saved from Neil. When Aberdeen got going Currie stopped a fine shot by Yorston. Play again veered in favour of Airdrieonians, whose extreme wingers were lively, and McHale, Jackson, and Livingstone were kept busy getting rid of centres. After a raid by the Aberdeen left Yorston sent wide.


It was not against the run of play when Airdrieonians got a second goal after 20 minutes' play. Mui got through from a pass by Neil, and after resisting a challenge from Jackson, beat McSevich with fast ground shot from close in. Several Aberdeen attacks followed, but Currie was not seriously troubled, although Love missed the goal with a shot that had the keeper beaten. A free kick was sent high by Neil, and Muir was inches wide with a smart header. Later Bennie had a fierce drive deflected over the bar by Livingstone.


Aberdeen lost a great chance when Merrie after getting away with a clear field shot wide with only Currie in front. Shortly afterwards, when similarly placed, the Aberdeen centre-forward completely missed his kick. Following a run and cross by Smith, Currie averted disaster by diving at Merrie's feet. Towards the interval Airdrie again attacked in determined fashion, and from a cross by Murdoch McHale almost breasted the through his own goal. On the whole, Airdrieonians deserved their lead of 2-0 at the interval, but Aberdeen had had as many scoring chances.


Airdrieonians forced the game after the resumption. and McSevich saved finely from Murdoch before Neil nullified pressure by "ballooning." Following this, Aberdeen improved, and Smith centred in rear. A long shot by McHale was fisted out by Currie, and from a free kick by Smith McDougall headed clear. Aberdeen maintained the offensive, and a fierce shot by Smith was deflected by Bennie for a corner. In a breakaway Airdrieonians almost increased their lead, the ball rolling harmlessly behind after a misunderstanding between Livingstone and McSevich. Subsequently Aberdeen forced corners on both sides of the field, and from a cross by Smith Merrie sent wildly over. At the other end his feat was emulated by Muir. The only shot of note for time was by Cheyne, whose effort went straight to Currie.


After 20 minutes' play Aberdeen pressure was rewarded when Smith centred strongly, and Love rushing in headed the ball into the net at a great pace. Subsequently Aberdeen had the better of the exchanges, but were weak near goal. Smith went near with good shot, and a header by Merrie was not far off, while Currie dived to the foot of the upright to save from Love. Airdrieonians were hemmed in for quite a long time, but in the period nothing serious reached Currie. A breakaway by the home forwards took the Aberdeen defence by surprise, and Murdoch shot against the upright. In the closing stages Aberdeen pressed, but they lacked penetration and just failed to draw level.

Source: Press & Journal, 9th April 1928

Airdrie Teamsheet
Currie; Crapnell, Heaps; Preston, McDougall, Bennie; Murdoch, Neil, Wood, Somerville
Attendance: 3,500
Venue: Broomfield Park, Airdrie
Referee: D. Calder, Rutherglen
Next Match
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen