Love in Good Form
Yorston was missed in an Aberdeen attack which lacked the punch of the visitors. Love, however, was brilliant, and was the best forward on view. Rangers were well served in attack by Smith, McPhail, and Archibald. The pitch had been cleared of snow, and a biting wind was blowing off the North Sea when play opened. There was no lack of thrills. The first came when David got his head to a Love flag kick, but Hamilton (T.) saved in clever fashion. A minute or two later Hill sent in a hard drive which the goalkeeper had no chance of reaching, but Gray popped up to head clear on the goal-line. A run and shot by Morton followed, and only a spectacular save by Smith prevented the winger's try from counting. Aberdeen, with the wind advantage, continued to press until the interval, but fully a dozen corner kicks were their only reward. Sound defensive work by the backs and half-backs enabled Rangers to weather the storm.
With the aid of the wind Rangers exerted strong pressure after the interval, and it was no surprise when Smith scored with a header. The equalising goal came when David and Hamilton (T.) raced for the ball and the centre headed over the goalkeeper into the net. Five minutes later Aberdeen got a shock when Jackson accidentally turned into his own goal across that was going behind. Marshall made victory secure in the closing stages with a powerful shot which struck the underside of the crossbar on its way to the net.
Source: Glasgow Herald, 9th March 1931
Baulked by a Goalkeeper.In the first period Aberdeen forced many corners, and Hamilton effected some brilliant saves. He may have been lucky on occasion, but it was his work in the first-half that paved the way for his team's ultimate victory. Early on he fisted away from Love, and shortly afterwards was in luck's way when he pushed a great header from David against the post. Hill essayed a terrific drive from long range, and, when the goalkeeper would have been beaten, Gray headed the ball aside. Rangers profited by these escapes, and, after clever play by Brown, McPhail and Morton, the last-named had a tremendous cross shot finely saved by Smith. Rangers sustained their pressure, and in quick succession Smith had to save from Marshall and McPhail.
Aberdeen Rally.Aberdeen rallied again after this and, after Hamilton had gone full-length to a shot by Dickie, the latter had another fine effort tipped over the bar by the Rangers' 'keeper. Numerous flag-kicks fell to Aberdeen, but they failed to make use of these. It showed how severe was the Aberdeen pressure that Legge, from fullback, had Hamilton in action. Just on the interval Rangers again attacked, and the home goalkeeper was twice called upon by his namesake, but half-time arrived without a goal being registered. David missed badly in the first minute after resuming. Dickie enabled him to get clean through, but with only the goalkeeper in front, he sent wide. Subsequently Aberdeen attacked vigorously, and Love had a fierce grounder stopped by the Rangers keeper. Twelve minutes of the period had gone when Rangers went on the lead. Archibald got away, and from his cross Smith headed past his namesake. Aberdeen were shaken by this reverse. Smith netted again, but was offside, and a miskick by Legge just missed his own goal. Marshall, too, had a goal disallowed for a previous infringement./p>
The Equaliser.Then came another home rally. McDermid let Love away, and from the latter's centre David netted with a splendidly-timed header. Following this Meiklejohn and Simpson changed places in the Rangers' middle line, and the Light Blues went on to take a grip of the game they never relaxed. Aberdeen were only five minutes on level terms, but Rangers were fortunate in their manner of taking the lead. Archibald sent over another of his crosses, and Jackson in attempting to clear deflected the ball through his own goal.
Third for Rangers.,/p> In the later stages Rangers had easily the better of the exchanges, and it was no surprise when Marshall met a loose ball 25 yards out, and rattled on a third goal. But for the fine work of Smith in the home goal the champions would have won by a bigger margin. While Aberdeen played well in the first half, they should, with the breeze to aid them, have attempted more long-range shooting, and their corner kicking was very poor. Smith gave a fine display in goal, but neither Jackson nor Legge were at their ease at back. McLaren at centre half was badly off form, and while Hill was good in the first half, he tapered off. The most consistent of the trio was Black. Love was easily the best of the home forwards, and more should have been made of his many excellent crosses. David was a virile and dashing centre-forward who, despite his bad miss at the opening of the second half, made quite a capable deputy for Yorston. McDermid and Dickie both were clever, but not penetrative enough, and McLean was never prominent.
Strong All Round.Rangers were a strong all-round company, who played good football considering the conditions. Hamilton (T.) was masterly in goal, and Gray and Hamilton (R.) made a splendid back combination. Brown was far and away the best half-back on the field, and Simpson defended well without having a constructive policy. Meiklejohn was quietly effective throughout. The forwards worked together much better than the home quintette. Their strength lay in the inside positions, in which Marshall and McPhail were brilliant, and Archibald and Morton were crafty wingers. Smith was a bustling leader, who was always a danger to the home defence.
Source: Press & Journal, 9th March 1931