Aberdeen's Fighting Exit From the Cup-TiesAberdeen's interest in the Scottish Cup competition has ceased for another year, in a thrilling third round tie at Firhill, Partick Thistle beat them by the odd goal in five in the closing minutes. Rangers overwhelmed Motherwell at Fir Park, and Celtic succumbed to St Mirren at Parkhead. In the Edinburgh derby, Hearts overcame Hibernian. Three of the eight ties were left drawn, a fine performance being that of Montrose, who finished level with Albion Rovers at Coatbridge. A feature of the English Cup fifth round ties was the defeat of Manchester City at home by Hull City. It's all over for yet another season. Aberdeen are out of the cup, the coveted bauble has again eluded their grasp, and the average good sportsman, with fine philosophy, heaves a sigh and says, 'Hard lines, better luck next time.' It is all very familiar, too familiar, alas, and this season there should have been something different. Luck in regard to Aberdeen's exit in the third round of the cup at the hands, or rather the feet of Partick Thistle at Firhill, cannot be taken into serious account. Aberdeen, during that hectic second half, had the game in their pocket, but, unfortunately, the pocket was insecurely buttoned and was very cleverly picked by a slick Partick Thistle forward three minutes from lime.
Thrown Away.There is no use mincing matters - Aberdeen's defence let the team down badly, in fact, threw away the tie. Even overlooking earlier and just as fatal mistakes, forgiving them, if you like, that third goal, dashing to the ground remorselessly Aberdeen's chances of making cup history at last - for had the teams finished level, Partick could have hoped for little at Pittodrie - should never have been scored. It was a well taken goal, but the danger should never have been allowed to crop up with three fleeting minutes remaining. Here was a team that had recovered from two bad shocks, deadly blows that would have caused many sides to throw up the sponge in despair, a team that actually had overrun their opponents, played them to a stand-still almost, with a defence that got into a heady path when, in those fatal, tragic, closing minutes. the leg-weary opposition had one or two do-or-die runs.
Wasted Enterprise.Though every individual in the great excited throng bordering on 40,000, must have reflected inwardly that Aberdeen's rapier-like play In the second half was of the winning stuff, they must, too, have turned over in their minds the possibility of Aberdeen failing even to get a draw, a possibility not so very remote and which lay in those quick bursts up the field by the Thistle vanguard. That danger was ever-present, simply because the Aberdeen defence was unreliable and liable to give something vital away. They did, and all the gallant and brilliant work of the forwards and of the halves went for naught. It was probably the most thrilling tie that has ever been fought out on Firhill, and even the 320 chagrined Aberdeen supporters who travelled by special train must have had the consoling feeling that they would not have missed it for anything. If Partick had kept up the form, dashing and dazzling, which they showed in the first half-hour or so, then there need not have been any repining in the camp whatsoever. The Thistle, however, gradually dropped into the role of playing second fiddle, and if any team should have been beaten on play it was the Jags. Up to the time the Thistle got the opening goal, six minutes after the start, they were every bit as good as Aberdeen. Indeed, their half-backs had struck an irresistible game, and it looked as if the Dons were to be put to the biggest test experienced in years.
Big Match Complex.Aberdeen, however, declined to be overwhelmed. The team showed to what a high degree they possessed the 'big match' complex, and Yorston's equaliser in twenty minutes was also a reminder to Thistle that they were up against something good and strong. Then Thistle went ahead onee more, and turned about holding their one goal advantage. While Thistle might have been expected to have gone all out to sweep the board clean, the fact is that it was the team that stood a goal down that set the pace in the second half, and Aberdeen made it a cracker. A fifteen minutes' barrage brought the equaliser, once again through Yorston, the goal being a replica of Aberdeen's first. McDermid, the general purveyor of the attack, slipped a nice one to the centre, who, calmly manoeuvring for position, shot calmly and accurately into the net from close in. From this point onwards it was all Aberdeen, but the Thistle goal bore a charmed existence. Shots rained in from all angles, but those that were not blocked struck the woodwork or whizzed narrowly past, or were clutched by the vigilant Jackson, or fisted away by him. He certainly had tons of luck, but he put up a marvellous display, and fortune ever favours the brave.
Aberdeen's WeaknessOn telling of the Thistle's goals one tells at the same time of Aberdeen's weakness. The first one, headed by Miller from a perfect cross by Ness, found Yuill very badly positioned. The keeper must have been a yard out of his goal at least, the ball dropping down the face of the bar. It was rank bad judgment on Yuill's part. In being beaten by Torbet, who scored his side's second goal, Yuill was beaten by what was nothing more than a centre from the touch line. Jackson, too, was not blameless. He should have cleared when he challenged the winger and not tried to beat him at dribbling.
The Winner.The third and winning goal, scored when the referee was taking surreptitious glances at his watch, followed a shot by Elliot, which Yuill did very well to stop. The 'keeper could not get the ball cleared, however, and he was on his hands and knees when Ness dashed in and completed the mischief. One of the defenders did have a chance to punt that ball away after Yuill's super-human partial clearance, but his kick misfired. It was all over and Aberdeen retired, the unluckiest of teams, and bearing the commiserations of all unbiassed spectators.
Defence to Blame.It was the defence as a whole that lost the day, and no good purpose can be served by labouring the point. Of the half-backs, McLaren was the man who started the stiffening-up process that was apparent in the middle line in the second half, and both Hill and Black responded nobly. Bob McDermid was the best forward on view. The heavy ground suited him to tee, and he was effective all the time. Cheyne, too, played like an international. Yorston was keenness personified, and his goals bore the hallmark of class. Love was hirpling a lot towards the close, but he was the more dangerous winger, his shooting being a feature. Partick's defence, like Aberdeen's, was not rock-like, Jackson in goal excepted, of course; but the winners' middle line, in which big Lambie shone brilliantly, carried off the chief honours of the side. When things looked their rosiest for Partick their forwards were clever and sparkling, Ness, Miller, and Torbet being ever in the limelight. Aberdeen's consolation prize was the share of £1591, which represented the gate receipts.
Source: Press & Journal, 17th February 1930