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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Leith Athletic

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Leith Athletic

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Love, Love 50.
Leith Athletic scorers: Laidlaw

16/08/1930 | KO: 15:00


For the first time in twenty-seven years a Leith Athletic team travelled to Aberdeen under Scottish League auspices, and a crowd of 16,000 gave them a great reception at Pittodrie Park. As if to show that they merited such a welcome, the Athletic proceeded to give the home team as warm a ninety minutes as they are likely to have all season. In the end, they were beaten by 2 goals to 1, but when one considers the handicap which was theirs for almost three parts of the game, their performance was a truly meritorious one. At the outset they gave as good as they got, and play had proceeded only a few minutes when their first bit of bad luck came along. In an attack on the Aberdeen goal, Young "scored" with a splendid drive, but his jubilation was short-lived, for the referee gave an offside decision against Laidlaw which nullified the point. It seemed from the Press-box to be a harsh decision, as the centre-forward was not interfering with the play at the time when the ball entered the net. The incident seemed to upset the team for a little, and before they had recovered, an excellent move by McDermid troubled the Leith team defence, and Love opened the scoring for Aberdeen. Shortly after that score, misfortune in the shape of an injury to Robinson, their left-half, further beset the visitors. He was carried to the pavilion, and, although he returned for a few minutes after the interval, he was of no further service to the team. His absence disorganised the side, and Aberdeen took advantage of the situation to make matters lively for the Athletic defence. But they could not overcome the excellent resistance offered by Steele, Mitchell, and Jamieson. Occasionally the Leith halves would turn defence into attack, and when that happened the Aberdeen backs were not seen on too good a light. Laidlaw had hard luck in not equalising in several of these sallies, but he was not supported by the other forwards as he might have been. Carruthers and Turnbull did not strike a happy combination on the right wing, and Johnston on the left, although a clever dribbler, did not impart sufficient dash into his work. It was in that department that Aberdeen's superiority lay, for there was a good understanding amongst their forwards. It was after Love scored a second goal for Aberdeen early in the second half that Leith's side showed their pluck. Realising that something desperate would have to be done, they went into their work with such zest that it was not long before Laidlaw scored with a neat header. That goal served to urge them on, and a spirited revival was seen. Had it not been for good goalkeeping by Cummings, and excellent defensive work by the halves, of whom Hill was outstanding, the Athletic would have snatched the equaliser. McNeil was the initiator of many of these attacks on the Aberdeen goal, and his shooting, too, was always a menace to Cummings' charge. As the end approached, Yorston made repeated attempts to escape Reid's vigilance, but the centre-half never relaxed his grip, and prevented the clever little centre from doing any damage. It was a game from which the Leith eleven can take good heart. Their fighting spirit was admirable, and, with a little tightening up in the front rank, many League points should go their way.

Source: The Scotsman, 18th August 1930

The meeting of Aberdeen and Leith Athletic in the first game of the season at Pittodrie provided rather a poor game, and it is no exaggeration to say that Aberdeen were completely upset by the first-time tactics of the visitors. There is no saying what might have happened had Leith Athletic been at full strength during the whole game. Robertson was a cripple before half-time amd ultimately retired.
The home men led by the only goal of the first half, scored by Love. They increased their lead to two after the interval through the same player, a lob being completely misjudged by the Athletic goalkeeper. It looked as if Aberdeen would have an easy victory, but Laidlaw reduced the leeway. Towards the close, however, Aberdeen attacked very strongly, and it was only the brilliant goalkeeping of Steele that kept Aberdeen from winning more decisively.

Source: Glasgow Herald, 18th August 1930

Aberdeen registered their first league victory of the season by defeating Leith Athletic at Pittodrie by 2 goals to 1.
In fine weather there were about 15,000 spectators and both teams fielded the same elevens as on the opening day of the season. While Aberdeen were deserving winners their display was by no means brilliant, and was in striking contrast to their play against Partick Thistle at Firhill a week before.

Players Injured.

The Athletic proved to be a team of dour fighters and stoutly contested every minute of the game. They were unfortunate in respect that Robinson their left-half sustained a knee injury and was absent twenty minutes before the interval.
He resumed and went to outside left in the second half, but aggravated his injury and finally had to retire from the game.
McNeill, the right-half also became a casualty in the second period and although he pluckily carried on his play was adversely affected.
While Aberdeen showed more method they never really struck their game and were obviously puzzled by the dashing go-ahead tactics of the visitors. The latter kept swinging the ball to the centre and to the wings, and their forwards had many dangerous thrusts.

First Counter.

Following end-to-end runs, Young netted for the Athletic in five minutes, only to be given offside. This escape spurred Aberdeen to greater effort, and after Yorston had twice gone close, Love close in, met a pass from Smith to give the home team the lead. The Athletic made an appeal for offside, but this was turned aside by the referee.
Carruthers, on the Leith right wing, led his side in many dangerous raids and the home defence was kept on edge. Aberdeen also warmed to their work and Steele stopped a hooked effort by Yorston. Smart left wing play led to Laidlaw having a fine chance for the visitors, but the centre-forward sent wide from good position.

A Bad Miss.

With Robinson off, the Athletic were subsequently kept on the defensive, and after Hill had swept the ball wide from long range, Steele saved cleverly from Dickie and Yorston. Smith lost a great chance for Aberdeen when, after clever play by Love, the left winger banged the ball high over with the goal almost at his mercy. In raids by the Athletic, Laidlaw and Carruthers both went close, but Aberdeen, if not playing to form, easily deserved to lead at the interval.

Love Again.

Aberdeen increased their lead after five minutes in the second half. They forced a corner, and after Steele had punched clear, Love fastened on, and with the Leith goalkeeper unsighted, he allowed the ball to bounce over his head into the net.
The Athletic responded in plucky fashion, and, while McNeill was having an injury attended to at the side of the field, they got a goal. Carruthers broke away and centred, and while Cooper and McLaren hesitated, Laidlaw slipped through to head a simple goal.
This success encouraged the visitors, and for a time they kept the home defence on the stretch, Carruthers, Turnbull, and Laidlaw bringing out Cummings' saving abilities.

Aberdeen on Top.

With Robinson having to retire again, the game gradually veered in favour of Aberdeen, Steele distinguishing himself with smart saves from McLaren, Yorston, and Dickie. On one occasion Yorston tricked Jamieson to shoot the ball hard against a post, and the centre-forward and Hill and Dickie all had good tries countered by the Leith keeper.
While the visiting forwards were ever ready to make ground, Aberdeen dominated the game in the closing stages, and, with a little more steadiness near goal, might have gone further ahead.

Best Players.

While there was a lack of accuracy in movement, Aberdeen were not so effective as usual in front of goal, and their forwards never really mastered the dour defence of Mitchell and Jamieson.
Cummings was again very safe in goal, and Cooper and Legge did all that was required of them at back. Hill was the outstanding halfback, and forward, Love, Yorston, and Dickie were best.
On the Leith side, Steele performed creditably in goal, and Mitchell and Jamieson at back were the backbone the team. Reid was a successful defensive pivot, and forward the visitors were splendidly served by Carruthers, Turnbull, and Laidlaw.

Source: Press & Journal, 18th August 1930

Leith Athletic Teamsheet
Steel; Mitchell, Jamieson; McNeil, Reid, Robertson; Carruthers, Turnbull, Laidlaw, Young, Johnston
Attendance: 15,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: J. Hudson, Glasgow
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