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Hibernian 4 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Hibernian 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Hibernian scorers: Halligan 25, Halligan 55, McColl 56, Bradley
Aberdeen scorers: Cheyne 58.

25/08/1928 | KO:


At Easter Road, Edinburgh, the Hibernians upset general calculations by their sweeping success over Aberdeen. There was no fluke about the win, which was the work of a lively, enterprising attack, backed up by defenders who, if not showy, had the merit of being sound. The losers, on the other hand, could hardly claim to be sound in any department save goal, where Blackwell, although beaten four times, was not a great deal in the game until the issue was practically settled. The defeat necessitated an extensive writing down of Aberdeen stock. The team began well, and might have been a goal or a couple of goals to the good in the first twenty minutes if Merrie had been a more alert centre-forward. Struggling through, the Hibernians scored after twenty-five minutes through Halligan, who headed into the net following a free kick well in. The goal lead at half-time flattered the Hibernians, but a scoring spate within fifteen minutes of the restart put them in a safe position, and revealed unsuspected weaknesses in the Aberdeen defence. The goals came in a rush, scores by Halligan and McColl being followed by a good one to Aberdeen from Cheyne, one of the best visiting forwards. Six minutes later Bradley got the ball through a crowd of players for the Hibernians' fourth goal, giving a lead which a determined rally by the visitors did nothing to shake. The Hibernians owed a lot to the fine leadership of McColl, whose craft seemed to keep the opposition in doubt. Halligan supported him well, and Bradley showed improved form. A right wing composed of Frew, of Niddrie Thistle, and Finlay, no more than paid their way. Dick was outstanding at centre-half, both backs played well, and Robb, who had as much handling as the other goalkeeper, gave nothing away. Blackwell, Jackson, McHale, Smith, and Cheyne were best in an Aberdeen side whose defending lapses were heavily punished. About 10,000 spectators were present.

Source: The Scotsman, 27th August, 1928

Had it not been for the intervention of the police, an ugly scene might have occurred at Easter Road on Saturday. There was a loud claim for a penalty against Jackson, but the referee paid no heed to it. A spectator jumped the barricade and ran on to the field. He acted in a very threatening manner towards the referee, but a policeman intervened just in time, and with the assistance of another constable escorted the man to the pavilion, and then, I suppose, to safety.

Source: Bon-Accord, 1st September 1928

Anyone present at Easter Road on Saturday did not require a telescope to locate the weaknesses in the Aberdeen team.
In my notes on the Queen's Park game last week, I commented on the lack of speed in the middle division, and his failure was also very apparent against the Hibs. The Dons during the opening twenty minutes played good football. They ought to have taken the lead through Merrie, who foozled a cross from the right when he was about two yards from Robb. Had the centre forward scored then, the result might have been more satisfactory from an Aberdeen point of view. Instead of the Pittodrie team taking the lead, Hibs drew first blood. After that Aberdeen were a very third-rate company against what was, in my mind, a very moderate opposition.
Aberdeen should have been capable of beating this Hibernian team comfortably, but after the Hibs scored through Halligan, the Dons cracked up, and never looked like winning. The Hibs added further goals in the second half through Halligan, McColl, and Bradley, while Aberdeen's only point was notched by Cheyne.


The Dons were a very unsettled combination in the second half. There was little or no understanding in their ranks. The backs were unsteady, the half-backs lost, and the forwards more or less in a wilderness.
One naturally looks to an attack to supply the goals, but when a forward line is not supported in the proper way by the men behind them, they cannot be expected to deliver the goods. Chief blame for the defeat must be shouldered by the half-backs. They were slow on the heavy ground, and appeared to experience difficulty in turning once they were beaten. McDermid tried hard to rally his men after the interval, but "Bob" was forced to fall back into the same rut as the others. During the greater part of last season the Dons gained a reputation for being a team which reserved its best efforts for the second period. They did not live up to this reputation on Saturday, but if they are to do so in the future, then I am convinced that speedier wing half-backs are necessary. Several of the Aberdeen players showed signs of distress towards the finish, and it may be that they are not yet quite up to concert pitch.
Taking the whole game into consideration, Robb had probably more to do than Blackwell, but the work thrown on to the Hibs' goalkeeper was comparatively easy, and the only time he was really tested was when he saved at full length from Cheyne. Blackwell's duties were more trying. Harry was hardly so confident as usual, particularly in the second half, but it may be that the unsteadiness of those in front of him made him uneasy. I thought he might have saved the first and fourth goals.


As a pair, the Hibs' backs, once they recovered after a shaky start, were superior to Jackson and Livingstone. Jackson had a hot handful in Halligan and Bradley, but it must be said in fairness to him that he got very poor support from Black. The right back, however, did none too badly under the circumstances. I cannot put Livingstone down as a success. He was often beaten on the run, and he ought to have done better, considering he was opposed to the weaker of the Hibs' wings.
It will be recalled that when Black joined the Aberdeen Club several weeks passed before he really came up to expectations. He was drafted in to the team right away, with the result that he was not able to do himself justice. So far he has been unable to come up to the standard of last campaign. He is slower, and is by no means so good in his tackling. Black has the ability, but a little more quickening-up would help him considerably.
I was disappointed with McHale in this match. He was not the tower of strength he generally proved to be. His principal fault was that he invariably mis-timed the ball, and on several occasions I noticed that he allowed it to bounce in front of him when he should have got his head to it. A veteran like McColl should not have been given so much scope.
I am afraid a heavy ground takes too much out of McDermid, more specifically when he is played in the middle.
Cheyne was easily the best of the for¬ward. He manoeuvred well, and was the only one who made real efforts to beat Robb. Wilson was passably good, Merrie, however, was given few chances. He was well shadowed by Dick. Yorston is far from being the Yorston of last season, and does not appear to be able to cover the ground so quickly. Nor is his passing too accurate. Smith was a mixture of good and bad. There is no doubt that the Aberdeen attack has missed Love in the last two games. He seems to put life into the forward line.
In McColl the Hibs have a wily old leader. He is slow in movement, but he knows how to take up position.

Source: Bon-Accord, 1st September 1928


Aberdeen sustained a nasty shock at Easter Road, Edinburgh, where 10.000 saw them beaten by 4 goals to 1. The ground was soft after heavy rain, and there were showers during the game, which made the ground conditions worse.
On the day's showing Aberdeen were well beaten. In the first half their combination was superior, and they were frequently more dangerous than Hibernian, but in the second period their defence gave way, and the play of the wing half-backs was weak. They failed as tacklers, and were unable to give their forwards sufficient support. The latter, too, faded out, and while they frequently played well in midfield, they did not have the punch of the winners' attackers.


The first attack of moment came from the Aberdeen left, McGinnigle clearing from Smith after clever play by Yorston. A retaliatory movement by Bradley followed, and Jackson was prominent in the Aberdeen defence. Merrie ploughed his way past the Hibs defenders, and after getting the better of McGinnigle was left with only Robb to beat, but the keeper at full length just managed to reach the ball. Frew and Findlay raided for Hibs, and then, following a pass by Cheyne, Merrie completely missed the ball in front of an open goal.
For a time Aberdeen were more dangerous, and after wing-to-wing play McDermid shot wide from long range. Following this, Blackwell ran out and intercepted a long pass forward to McColl, and at the other end Merrie swept the ball over from Cheyne's pass, and the Aberdeen inside right shortly afterwards brought the Hibs keeper to his knees with a fine shot.
There was claim for a penalty against Jackson, when Bradley was grassed, but the referee ignored this. After Smith had forced a corner, McGinnigle blocked a header from Cheyne that would have counted. Hibs, who had not been quite active in attack, came more into evidence, and a terrific free kick by Stark was tipped over the bar by Blackwell. From the corner kick, McHale headed out from Dick, and then Murray sent wide with a lightning shot. A surprise shot by Yorston was fielded by Robb.


After 25 minutes Hibs took the lead. A free kick on the left was finely placed by Bradley, and Halligan netted in a scrimmage. Aberdeen protested that the player had used his hand to pilot the ball through, but the referee decided the goal was legitimate. At the other end McGinnigle handled apparently inside the penalty area, but the free kick was given on the 18 yards line, and McHale's shot was deflected for a corner, after which Smith sent wide. Aberdeen continued to press, and a shot by Cheyne was pushed round the post by Robb.


Following a duel between Jackson and Bradley a spectator rushed on to the field and made as if to strike the referee. The intruder was immediately seized by players of both teams and escorted off, whereupon he was taken into custody by the police. The exchanges were even until the interval, near which Blackwell had to go full length to stop a ball deflected by Halligan, and Hibs retained their lead at half-time.


When play resumed Aberdeen took up the running, and Robb had to field a long shot by Black. The Aberdeen attack continued to harass the home defence for a time, but Robb was not seriously tested. Hibernian later took up the offensive, and a shot by Findlay was deflected by McDermid for a corner, after which Blackwell saved at close range from McColl. In Aberdeen attacks Yorston shot wide, and Robb tipped over the bar from Wilson.
After ten minutes Hibs went further ahead. Frew centred, and Halligan turned the ball into the side of the net. Immediately afterwards McColl finished a brilliant passage of play by resisting a challenge by both Aberdeen backs to get close in and tip the ball into the net past the advancing Blackwell.
Only two minutes later Aberdeen replied with a goal. Smith broke away and centred accurately for Cheyne to shoot into the net. This belated success did not appear to encourage Aberdeen much, and after they had again been forced on defence Bradley dribbled through to beat Blackwell from close in. At Robb?s end Cheyne was wide with a drive, and the keeper pulled down an awkward ball from Smith. Cheyne and Yorston both had weak shots, and Wilson twice centred, but the Hibs defence was playing with confidence, and were not really in difficulties. McDermid and Smith carried through a clever movement on the left, but it was negatived by Dick clearing the winger's cross.


Hibs came near to increasing their lead in the closing minutes. Blackwell at point blank range tipped over the top from Bradley, and after a misunderstanding with Jackson the Aberdeen goalkeeper kicked the ball away from the goal-line after he had been out of his charge.

Source: Press & Journal, 27th August 1928

Hibernian Teamsheet
Robb; McGinnigle, Stark; Murray, Dick, Gilfeather; Frew, Finlay, McColl, Halligan, Bradley
Attendance: 10,000
Venue: Easter Road, Edinburgh
Referee: A. Leishman, Falkirk
Next Match
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen