Many Hard Knocks Going at Dens ParkAberdeen ended the old year with an easy victory over Airdrie at Pittodrie, and yesterday they started the new year by taking a point from Dundee at Dens Park. Seldom have the Dons had to fight harder to save a point than was the case yesterday. It was a typical derby game. Hard knocks were taken and received, if not in the best of spirit, without rancour. The football was fast and interesting, with some sparkling play by both sides. Territorially, the Dark Blues held the advantage, but the Aberdeen defence fought bravely, and luck was with them on more than one occasion, well, luck favours the brave!
Fighting Spirit.Aberdeen were always dangerous when they got going, and they proved beyond question that they are imbued with fighting spirit. For the major part of the second half Dundee tried to batter down the Dons' defence, and one must admit that more than once they came within an ace of succeeding. The Dons weathered the storm, however, and in the last quarter of an hour they rallied and the home defence was stretched the utmost to retain equality. Few will forget that last-minute one-handed save by Marsh from a Warnock drive - It caused many a Dundee heart to miss a beat. The Dons took some time to settle down, and Dundee, who got into their stride right away, looked as if they would sweep the visitors off their feet. It was Aberdeen who opened the scoring, however. In the sixteenth minute Moore got his head to an adroitly placed Beynon flag kick; Marsh managed to knock the ball down, but Moore, taking it knee-high, crashed it into the net. This nettled the homesters, and their attacks became more determined and vigorous than ever. Five minutes from the interval Kirby rounded Cooper and cut in to drive the ball into the net. That finished the scoring. Dundee were on top in the second half, but they could not again pierce the Dons' defensive armour. The Aberdeen defence deserves praise, yet was erratic at times. Cumming did quite well without being brilliant. Twice Falloon slips almost brought disaster, but the Irishman nevertheless played a man's part in the holding of the rapier-like thrusts of the Dundee front line. The honours in defence, however, must go to Cooper, who, although opposed to a dangerous raider In Kirby, was one of the most consistent defenders afield. Thomson and McGill took some time to get a grip of the Murdoch-Guthrie combine, but once they had settled down they held their own. O'Reilly was good and bad in patches. He placed the ball quite well, but his tackling was weak t times.
Dangerous Attackers.Warnock and Moore were Aberdeen's most dangerous attackers. The former combined smartly with Beynon, and was ever ready to have a shot. The extreme winger was more subdued than usual, but he was opposed to a sound defender in Gilmour. Mills and Gall were a hard-working left wing pair, but both have been seen to better advantage. The Dundee defence was sound. Marsh, in goal, had several grand saves to his credit, and there was little to choose between Morgan and Gilmour, both being sound. Symon, McCarthy, and Blyth were a useful intermediate trio. The pivot confined himself for the most part to guarding Moore, and he had his hands full. Symon was the better of the wing pair. In attack both extreme wingers, Murdoch and Kirby, were fast and dangerous raiders, and they received good support from their inside men. Mackay, quick to seize opportunity, was an enterprising leader who required careful watching.
Source: Press & Journal, 2nd January 1934