DONS FIND SCORING EASY IN FIRST HALF.
Adam McLean Touches Heights of Brilliance.
McDERMID'S VERSATILITY: FATES AGAINST 'PADDY' MOORE.Goals came easily to Aberdeen in the first half of their game with Ayr United at Pittodrie. The Dons scored four times, without reply from the visitors, before the interval. With ten minutes the second half gone, Aberdeen scored a fifth goal, and this marked the end of the goal-scoring for the day. It was an easy victory for Aberdeen, who never had occasion fully to extend themselves. Though so heavily defeated, Ayr were always full of running, but sadly lacked a steadying influence. Each of their first-half goal, secured against the wind, was taken in apparently simple fashion, but after the cross-over the Dons found the way to the net resolutely and at times luckily barred, except on one occasion. In quick succession McLean, the best forward on view, had deadly drives blocked by Ayr defenders, who sprang up on the goal line with the unexpectedness of a Geni. Ferguson, the Ayr goalkeeper, while saving innumerable shots and punching clear time after time like a hero, was also blessed with more than an ordinary share of luck in keeping out the eager Aberdeen forwards, who might well have doubled their score.
Danger Not Real.In the outfield for a time in the first half the Ayr attack moved with a cleverness and precision that suggested danger to the home goal, but that danger was more apparent than real. Advancing by first-time, swinging passes, the Ayr forwards were impotent in front of Smith's charge. Accurate crosses from either wing were brushed clear by the Dons' backs, who always had the measure of the opposing attack, and Merrie, the former Aberdeen centre, who led the visitors' van, invariably found himself ploughing a lonely furrow. Had he been better supported Merrie might have pierced the Aberdeen defence more than once. As it was, when he made a move goalwards he found himself crowded out, with no colleague to turn to for assistance. The only other visiting forward who seemed likely to cause the Pittodrie defence any trouble was Brae, the outside left, but all his good work went for naught. In the last few minutes of the game this speedy winger almost succeeded getting through by a brilliant dash down the line, finishing with a swift oblique shot which Smith as brilliantly held at the post by flinging himself across goal. Brannan, on the right, was Ayr's "third best" forward. The visitors' mid-line was, so to speak, just "middling," and Fleming was the better of two backs who, as the game wore on, were content to clear at any price. The feature the game from the Aberdeen point of view was the splendid form of McLean, reinstated to the extreme left wing. He scored two goals, and with any luck at all would have had other two, but apart from his goal-scoring, his dash, ball control, and accurate crossing were invaluable. Mills, his partner, was not in his best form. His passes frequently went agley, and he was slow to seize chances in front of goal. But the best players go "off" now and again, and, after all, Mills, who is one of the best, recovered from attack of influenza only few weeks ago. Strange to relate, "Paddy" Moore failed to score any of the five goals. Several times he came very near to counting, but the fates were against him. Love gave a spirited display on the right wing, and Beattie, in the inside berth, put in a power of work as usual and was always ready with a shot. "Bob" McDermid performed extraordinarily well at left-half - he has proved his versatility in the past few weeks - and O'Reilly deputised capably for Falloon at centre-half. Fraser, the most improved player in the League this season, gave another bright exposition of forcing half-back play. Cooper and McGlll had few moments of anxiety, and Smith was rocklike between the sticks.
How Goals Were Secured.Aberdeen were early on the lead, McLean scoring with a low shot during a fierce raid. Soon afterwards an Ayr defender handled in the penalty area, and Love further added to his growing reputation as a converter of penalty-kicks. Love, with a great drive, caused Ferguson to pick the ball out of the net for the third time, and before half-time was reached Mills sent into the net following a corner-kick. Ten minutes after the resumption Beattie put on the fifth goal with a characteristic drive.
Source: Press & Journal, 9th January 1933