Dons' Attack Lose Chances.
PADDY MOORE SORELY MISSED.
(By " Clansman.")Rangers were fortunate to escape defeat at Pittodrie on Saturday. The Light Blues themselves, I think, if taxed would, admit their satisfaction with the verdict a draw. Aberdeen greatly missed the leadership of Paddy Moore, Armstrong giving a disappointing display at centre-forward. It was not only at centre that the home attack was lacking. Johnston on the extreme right played below his usual form, and it was a pity that he and not McLean was plied lavishly with the ball, particularly in the second half. It was early apparent that McLean was the more dangerous winger, and at least in the first period very nearly brought about a goal, once when he sent over a deadly ball with which Armstrong failed to connect, and again when he struck the crossbar with terrific force. In Mills, McLean had not the best partners. This lissom youngster frequently tried too much, and only now and again did he part with the ball to best advantage.
Buoyant Beattie.Beattie was the most dangerous home forward. He was here, there, and everywhere, and yet he never got a real opening for one of those deadly scoring shots for which the Pittodrie crowd look so expectantly. Nevertheless, he was the man who mattered when an attack was on, and the crowd "rose" to him on one occasion when he weaved a pattern through three or four Rangers to leave the ball for a colleague to shoot for goal. The reason why the magnificent work of the home rear lines was not capped by victory was because the Aberdeen forwards, through overeagerness, failed so often at the critical moment to push home the advantage. Smith, Cooper and McGill Were rocklike In defence. Seldom did they make a false move, and with Falloon surpassing himself at the third back game, there was no cause for anxiety behind. The wing halves, Fraser and O'Reilly, were imbued with a confidence to push on the play, and this they did to good purpose. But the machine broke down when the Rangers goal area was reached. In the second half particular, when the Dons were definitely on top most of the time, opportunities were lost through overanxiety. One chance was taken, it Is true, and this brings me to the game and it ups and downs.
How Game Went.Rangers started off in their usual methodical, confident style, but very soon they realised they were against a really tough proposition, as Aberdeen played them at their own game of studied advance, and played it equally well, if not actually better. Dawson and his backs, Gray and McDonald, had an anxious time, and then came the leading goal for Rangers in the thirty-seventh minute. Archibald swung the ball over from the right and Fleming headed it to the foot of Smith, who promptly netted. Aberdeen appealed for offside, apparently against Archibald, but to no purpose. Personally I thought Fleming should not have been allowed to get his head to the ball at all, but then these things happen in the best regulated defences. Prior to this Fleming rattled the woodwork and Marshall missed from close range. Rangers were flattered by their interval lead. Albeit the point cost them dear, Smith was hurt in the sortie preceding It and did not finish the half. He returned with a bandaged leg to the outside left position on the resumption, Fleming taking his place at centre.
Visitors Subdued.Rangers were strangely subdued throughout practically the whole of the second period, but after Johnston's goal had brought joy to the home crowd within ten minutes, all further efforts came to naught. The Light Blues, for their part, had a number of business-like forays, but their forwards, too, had become flurried, and a powerful drive by Brown, almost from the touch-line, which Smith deftly nudged over the bar, was their most dangerous effort. The Aberdeen defence proved equal to all calls, and with the visitors' defenders also giving nothing away (no joke intended), the game reached its close with honours even.
Chief Breaker-Up.For their point Rangers can thank their defence and a sterling half-back line, in which the lanky Simpson was breaker-up-in-chief. Meiklejohn and Brown were quiet but wonderfully effective. Fleming both as winger and centre, was a "live wire," and Smith, until his injury, was a dangerous raider. McPhail impressed me more than Marshall as an inside man, and "veteran" Sandy Archibald showed amazing fleetness on the right touch-line and crossed with all his pristine deadliness. It was not a great game from the standard of polished football, but it was a thrilling finish to the Pittodrie programme and the crowd were kept at a high pitch of excitement all the time. There was an unusual incident mid-way through the second period when Mr Jamieson, the referee, complained of faintness and was ministered to by the local trainer. No doubt the official was affected by the heat, the atmosphere becoming very humid after the heavy April showers had ceased.
Source: Press & Journal, 17th April 1933