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Kilmarnock 0 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Kilmarnock 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Merrie 10.

15/09/1928 | KO: 15:00


Estimated attendance 7000. The opening stages went in favour of Aberdeen, who scored through Merrie in eight minutes. Kilmarnock pressed hard, but the Aberdeen defence was equal to all emergencies, and ends were changed with the visitors leading. The second half was keenly contested, both goals being attacked in turn, but there was no further scoring on either side.

Source: The Glasgow Herald, 17th September 1928

Aberdeen recorded their first away victory of the season at Kilmarnock on Saturday by the only goal of the match, scored by Merrie after five minutes' play.
On the whole they just deserved to win. Kilmarnock certainly had more of the play. That is nearly always the case so far as a home team is concerned, but the Rugby Park team failed when it came to the all-important matter of goal-getting. The Dons, on the other hand, won because of their doggedness. There was a better understanding in the ranks of the Pittodrie eleven, and with a little more steadiness on the part of Merrie the Northerners would have won by three goals. By clever individualism he beat the Kilmarnock defence twice in the second half, but on each occasion he had the mortification of seeing his drive swish past the wrong side of the post.

A Scrappy Game

It was a scrappy game - scrappy in more senses than one. Aberdeen were the better team, but that does not mean that they were a good and balanced combination. They got the only goal very early in the game, and they clung to their lead. It was during the closing stages, when Kilmarnock launched their onslaught, that the scrappy - perhaps I should say scrapping - work was in evidence. There was much vigorous tackling on both sides. Tempers were ruffled, and in practically the last minute of the game, McHale, who had always been in the thick of the fray, and Weir, the Kilmarnock outside left, took part in a leg-kicking duel. McHale appeared to have an advantage here, but the intervention of the referee put an end to the squabble. At the same time, I thought the referee allowed the players too much freedom in tackling earlier in the game, which was certainly spoiled by unsportsmanlike tactics.
After what had been written and said about the Kilmarnock team's display against Celtic, I was prepared for an Aberdeen defeat, but I must confess that on Saturday's form at any rate, they are, like Aberdeen, a very moderate team.
The Dons have three games in succession at home - against Clyde today, Kilmarnock on Monday, and Raith Rovers next Saturday. They ought to be able to take the maximum number of points from these encounters. They will need them, as the team will require to play much better than in the past few weeks if a tremendous effort to save the situation in the latter half of the season is to be avoided.

Yuille in Form

It has to be taken into account, of course, that against Kilmarnock the Dons were not at recognised full strength, but it cannot be said that the players called upon to fill the vacancies at Rugby Park were failures. In fact, I will go the length of saying that Muir and Livingstone, the backs, did much to prevent the homesters from winning, while McLeod and McDermid did quite well in unaccustomed positions. I cannot, however, convince myself that Aberdeen have anything like a good First League team.
Chief credit for the victory must go to the defence. Even although the Dons enjoyed a lead from five minutes after the start, the rearguard had to fight a tremendous battle to save the points. Yuille once again proved his worth, and but for him Kilmarnock might easily have won. He is sure in his grasp, takes up splendid position, and is not afraid to come out to a ball when he feels sure he can get it. Why, on one occasion, he ran at least a dozen yards before taking a flying leap at a ball intended for the Kilmarnock outside left, who was in a splendid scoring position. Then, again, in the closing stages, he distinguished himself, effecting two brilliant saves from shots which would have beaten most goalkeepers. In his last two games Yuille has undergone a severe test, but he has emerged with flying honours. It is to be hoped that he is able to maintain his form. If so, the rest of the team will gain in confidence.
Muir and Livingstone formed probably the most successful back division the Dons have tried this season. Muir is a little stuffy player, and fears nothing. It may be that he had not a very dangerous wing man to watch, but he succeeded in keeping the opposing pair well in subjection. He is not a spectacular player, nor is he a polished back, but he gets there. He, too, saved a certain goal in the last five minutes when he threw himself at a terrific Cunningham drive and stopped it - with his stomach. Malcolm must have suffered intense pain, but he carried on to the end. The best player on the field, in my estimation, was Livingstone. He has not given a better display since he joined the Pittodrie Club. He showed big improvement in his tackling, and his lay benefitted accordingly. Everyone is agreed, too, that Livingstone kicks a beautiful ball.

Merrie's Good Lead

The half-backs did well after the interval. Black's anticipation was grand, while his passing was very accurate. He was not too good in his tackling. McHale was the strong man of the line, Cunningham twice bowled him over, and this seemed to put him on his mettle. The tussles between these two were many and interesting, but the Aberdeen pivot was always master of the situation. Cunningham had only one shot at Yuille. McLeod did not tackle well in the first half, but he came away strongly after the interval, and played a prominent part in the defensive fight towards the end of the game.
The best of the Aberdeen forwards was Merrie, who led the line in a dashing and skilful manner. He showed better ball control than in any game he has played yet. His goal was cleverly taken one. He would, however, do well to remember that he has colleagues on either side of him waiting for a pass. Still, if Merrie can continue to play as he did in this match, then there will be little fault found with him. The other forwards were only fair, although Cheyne at times was very clever on the ball.

Source: Bon-Accord, 22nd September 1928

Aberdeen recorded their first away victory of the season by defeating Kilmarnock at Rugby Park by one goal to nothing. Merrie being the scorer. Although the weather was ideal, the match attracted only about 6000 spectators.
The game had an exciting finish, Kilmarnock making desperate but futile efforts to draw level. There were periods when, with the exception of Merrie, the whole of the Aberdeen team was concentrated on defence, and although the goal underwent a series of narrow escapes they managed to retain their slender lead.
On the whole, Aberdeen were fortunate to win because Kilmarnock accounted for much more attacking. The home forwards, however, were weak in front of goal, and to their inability accept chances must be attributed the defeat of their team.
Aberdeen, if not combining well, were more dangerous near goal, and such as Merrie, Cheyne, and Love had good efforts that came near to increasing their lead. The Pittodrie defence was often at its wit's end to cope with the opposition, and near the close were glad to kick the ball anywhere for relief. They covered up well, however, and gave Yuill every protection. Players who excelled for the winners were Livingstone, McHale, and Black in defence, and Merrie, Love, and Cheyne in attack. kilmarnock were best served by Nibloe, Hogg, McEwan, Connell, Cunningham, and Smith.


Kilmarnock attacked at the start, but Weir and Connell shot behind, and following further pressure Yuill had to save from Cunningham. It was left to Merrie to raise the siege, and he had a cross from the right cleared by Robertson. End to end play ensued. Weir shot against the outside of the net, and a header by Merrie from McDermid's centre was cleared by Clemie.
After ten minutes Merrie broke away on the Aberdeen right, and finished with a cross-shot, for the ball to find the net off the upright. Subsequently Aberdeen had the better of the argument for a time, and Climie saved a fine shot by McDermid. The play again took a turn in favour of Kilmarnock, and the Aberdeen defence was frequently in difficulties. Several corners fell to the home team, but these were cleared. Love forced one for Aberdeen, Yorston sending behind, and later Merrie missed a fine pass from Love.


During a period of mid-field play neither side claimed advantage. McHale twice headed away dangerous centres, and Yuill, after saving from Connell, tipped a great drive from Hogg over the bar. After having been confined to defence, Aberdeen rallied again, and Love just missed the goal with a shot on the run. A centre by McDermid was missed by several colleagues, and at the other end McEwan and Morton both shot wildly.
During an onslaught by the Kilmarnock forwards Yuill was penalised for carrying, and the free kick is one from which goal cannot be scored direct. After the kick had been three times taken owing to irregularities, Morton netted, but as no other player had touched the ball no goal resulted.
In another Kilmarnock raid Yuill threw himself at Smith's feet and caused the latter's shot to be deflected over the bar. At the other end Love just failed to reach a cross from Merrie. Later Clemie saved from Love, and a cross from Weir went abegging at Yuill's end. Towards the interval Kilmarnock applied strong pressure, but Aberdeen were equal to retaining the, lead.


Merrie should have put Aberdeen further ahead in the first minute. He got through on the right, but as Clemie left his charge to meet him, the centre-forward sent wide of the empty goal. At the other end Cunningham sent wide with an open goal, and Merrie repeated the performance. Afterwards Kilmarnock attacked with great vigour and they had many shots blocked in front of Yuill. Livingstone and McHale were brilliant defenders for Aberdeen, which only occasionally away. On one of these raids Love centred, and McDermid's header was fisted out by Clemie. Cunningham worried the Aberdeen defence, and twice it was only fine recovery work by Livingstone and Muir that prevented him scoring.


Merrie was the "live wire" In the Aberdeen attack, and after a long run was in the act of shooting when Clemie threw himself at his feet and deflected the ball. A shot by Cunningham just missed, and an effort by Cheyne went wide.
In the closing minutes there were many exciting passages near the Aberdeen goal. Yuill just managed to deflect a shot by Hogg; and afterwards ran out to the penalty area to dispossess Weir. The Aberdeen keeper further distinguished himself a few minutes later, when he held a great shot by Cunningham. After Smith had centred, and Cunningham had shot, Livingston headed out from the goal-line, and later Yuill saved miraculously in a scrimmage. There was a tendency for tempers to get ruffled, and the referee had to intervene between McHale and Weir. The game ended with Kilmarnock attacking, but Aberdeen defied all their efforts.

Source: Press & Journal, 17th September 1928

Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Cleming; Robertson, Nibloe; Morton, Hogg, McEwan; Connell, Smith, Cunningham, Williamson, Weir
Attendance: 7,000
Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Referee: C. Bilney, Glasgow
Next Match
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen