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Aberdeen 4 - 2 Cowdenbeath

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Cheyne, Yorston, Love, Smith.
Cowdenbeath scorers: Lindsay, Lindsay

11/08/1928 | KO: 15:00


The Dons started the season in a promising manner by defeating Cowdenbeath at Pittodrie by four goals to two. One would naturally take it that, judging by the score, there was a fairly substantial difference in the quality of the play of the two teams. That, however, was not the case. Cowdenbeath were the equals of the winners in midfield. Their chief deficit lay in front of goal, the forwards failing to take advantage of the many scoring chances. As a line I preferred the Cowdenbeath attack. They were nippier and controlled the ball better, while I thought the respective defences were pretty equally balanced. The Aberdeen forwards were certainly more dangerous than the opposing five, but they did not show the same understanding.

Improvement Needed

This victory was, no doubt, welcomed by the Dons' followers, but I question very much if they were satisfied with the display of the team as a whole. Of course, they knew what to expect owing to the fact that the eleven players had all done duty last season, and many people will be prepared to make allowances on that account. To be frank, however, the team is no better than it was last year, and there will need to be a decided improvement if a respectable place is to be kept on the League table. Of course, I am convinced that the present lot will not win the championship, and there are thousands more of the same opinion as myself. Everyone is agreed, however, that the present team has a good foundation. All that is necessary is that at least two players, experienced men, should be secured to strengthen the team in the weakest positions. If this were done I am certain that Aberdeen would be able to hold their own with the best. As a typical example of this one has only to think of the Hearts, who, now that they have in their ranks such players as Harkness, Bennie and Battles, are already being regarded as the likeliest challengers to Rangers. It may be, that once those promised new players arrive, the outlook will be considerably more promising.

The Immediate Trouble

This week may see a settlement of the immediate trouble, in which case Aberdeen will likely bag their quota of the players from that quarter. It is quite safe to say that nearly all the clubs in Scotland and a great many in England have representatives practically living in Glasgow awaiting a settlement of the intermediate problem. The moment a satisfactory agreement is announced I fancy all the taxi cabs in Glasgow will be brought into immediate use, and I know the club which will have a representative practically hanging onto a taxi-driver's arm in case he should get out of sight.
I have digressed a little bit from the match, but the point I want to make clear is that new blood is needed at Pittodrie. I admit that there are many really promising players in the Intermediate League, but if they were not to be got during the close season, then the search for talent should have been directed to other quarters. Enough for the meantime, although I express the hope, for the benefit of football generally, that an agreement will be arrived at soon, although I am none too hopeful.

How Players Fared

To return to the encounter at Pittodrie, everyone will agree that it was a very keen game. In fact at times the tackling was very robust, and it is a wonder there were not more casualties.
The rear three of the Aberdeen team stood the test quite well. Blackwell, although he did not get a great deal to do, saved his charge very cleverly at times. He had little chance with the first goal, while he could not have prevented the second. Of the backs, I preferred Jackson. He may not be such a clean tackler as his partner, but his tackling was sound. Livingstone played a fine game in the first half, but a weakness in tackling after the interval was very conspicuous. If Livingstone could tackle as he can kick, then he would undoubtedly be one of the best backs in the League.
I was not altogether pleased with the play of the half-backs. Black was disappointing and was very often out of position. It would be better, too, of he and Jackson came to a better understanding about the outside man. Very often on Saturday, particularly in the first half, the Cowdenbeath outside left was unmarked. McHale worked very hard throughout. He was grand in defence but a little wild in his placing. McDermid put in an excellent afternoon's work. Rankin and he had many interesting duels and the Aberdeen captain more than held his own.
The only forwards who impressed were Cheyne and Smith. Both were in excellent form, but the former showed a tendency to hang back when an opposing defender was in possession. Love was erratic and wild in his shooting. Merrie was a trier in the centre, and it could not be said that he got the right kind of support. Yorston was clever at times, but he was inconsistent and was not always up with the rest of the forwards.
Once the Cowdenbeath forwards can improve in their shooting, better results will be achieved. The visiting defence was very reliable, although it was noticeable that Dixon tired in the second half. Glancy, I thought, was the best half-back on the field. The backs gave little away. McLean is a young goalkeeper of promise, but he cannot hope to oust Falconer.

Source: Bon-Accord, 18th August 1928

An attendance estimated at 16,000 saw Aberdeen open with a 4-2 victory over Cowdenbeath at Pittodrie. It was a hard and fast encounter throughout, the players going into the game with refreshing vigour, but there was a tendency at times to be more keen than is commiserate with the safety of opponents. Aberdeen were deserving winners, their forward play being much superior to and better executed than that of Cowdenbeath. When put to the stretch neither defence was too reliable, and mistakes were common, but in this department too, Aberdeen were ahead of their opponents, whose general team work was not so good.
On the Aberdeen side, Jackson, Livingstone, McHale, Love, Yorston, and Smith were best in a good all-round team that was not brilliant but was workmanlike. For Cowdenbeath, Moyes, Glancy, and in a less measure Dixon, in defence, and Rankin, Lindsay, and Pullar in attack were best.

Cowdenbeath Score First.

Aberdeen quickly made headway, and Merrie had a chance from Smith's pass but the shot went towards the corner flag. Maintaining pressure, Aberdeen had the Cowdenbeath defence in difficulties, and from a free kick, McHale just missed with a terrific shot. Cowdenbeath retaliated forcing corner, Thomson failing to keep the ball in play, but after eight minutes the visitors took the lead. Lindsay dribbled past McHale, and Jackson, and working close in, neatly tapped the ball past the advancing Blackwell.
Aberdeen were only seconds in arrears. Love and Cheyne worked the ball along the right and Cheyne got over an awkward cross shot, for the ball to strike Dixon and be deflected past McLean. Subsequent exchanges were even for a time, but the Aberdeen goal had a narrow escape when Blackwell allowed a high ball from Thomson to bounce in front of him and the keeper just managed to evade the onrushing Lindsay. Following this fright, Aberdeen developed a powerful attack, and Merrie and Love both had shots that went wide.Goal for Yorston.

With twenty minutes gone, Aberdeen took the lead. Yorston manoeuvred on the left and then swung the ball out to Love, who centred finely, and Yorston jumped up to head into the net. For the ensuing few minutes, Aberdeen were rampant and there were many exciting passages in front of the visitors' goal. Merrie netted from Smith's cross, but the goal was disallowed because of "hands," and shortly afterwards Cheyne rattled in a tremendous shot which McLean helped into the net, but "offside" against Yorston, nullified the point. Further success for Aberdeen was not long delayed. Love sent a fierce drive which McLean saved, but the winger followed up, and while the goalkeeper was endeavouring to avoid Merrie, Love kicked the ball out of his hands into the net.

Keen Exchanges.

Intermittent raids by the Cowdenbeath forwards kept the game from becoming one-sided. Rankin and Chalmers had shots that were too high, and at the other end McLean, after pulling down a close range effort by Merrie, stopped a fierce by Smith, the ball hitting the keeper on the face and stunning him. Towards the interval the exchanges became rather spirited, and the referee had to intervene between Yorston and McDonald, and later administered a caution to Dixon. At half-time Aberdeen well deserved their lead 3-1.

A Cowdenbeath Success.

Thomson and Chambers changed places the Cowdenbeath team after the interval. The first shot of note was by Smith, whose effort from 30 yards was finely saved by McLean. Later McDermid and Smith combined cleverly, and Love just failed to reach his captain's centre before it went for a "bye."
Cowdenbeath improved, and Glancy tried a long shot, which Blackwell took up position to save when the ball accidentally struck Lindsay, and was deflected out of the goalkeeper's reach.
Aberdeen retaliated with spirit, and after Merrie had sent high, several shots were blocked by the hard-worked defence of the visitors. A fierce shot by Smith went past, and then McLean at the foot of the upright pushed away from the Aberdeen left winger alter Love had crossed. A shot on the run by Merrie was saved by McLean, who later with one hand deflected a great try by Cheyne. Lindsay, Pullar, and Rankin were prominent in raids by the visitors, and McHale on one occasion did well to block a tremendous shot by Rankin.
From a pass by Love, Merrie sent the ball against the foot of a post, and later McLean saved well from the Aberdeen centre forward.

Fourth for Aberdeen.

A series of tussles in front of the Cowdenbeath goal led to a fourth count for Aberdeen. Merrie and Cheyne each had shots returned, and Smith, catching on to a rebound, sent hard into the net. The closing stages were marked by keen end-to-end exchanges, with a fierce pace being maintained until the finish.

Source: Press & Journal, 13th August 1928

Cowdenbeath Teamsheet
McLean; Macdonald, Moyes; Glancy, Dixon, Chambers; Puller, Rankin, Lindsay, Allison, Thomson

Bookings:  Dixon
Attendance: 16,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: R. Morrison, Falkirk
Next Match
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen