OPEN GAME PAYS THIRDS
Dons' Defence Often All at SeaAberdeen's flag no longer flutters gaily in the breeze. It was borne ruthlessly to the ground by Third Lanark at Cathkin on Saturday. It is hard to credit that- Aberdeen, the League leaders, and the only unbeaten team in Scotland, should crash 5-1 to a team which had previously taken seven points only from eight games. All credit to the Warriors, however. They fought a gallant fight and scored a meritorious victory.
Better Team WinsThe Dons have no excuse to offer; on the day's play they were beaten by a better team. Thirds took the field with a set plan of campaign. Backs and half-backs pounced on the Aberdeen inside forwards immediately they were in possession, with the result that Aberdeen's much vaunted attack was never allowed to settle. Had the Pittodrie attackers opened up the game things might have been different, but they persisted in the close-passing game with fatal results. They might well have taken a leaf from their opponents' book. The Warriors made ground by swift, long passes, and their open style of play tore holes in the Aberdeen defence. How profitable were the homesters' tactics of keeping the ball swinging and making full use of the wing men may be gauged from the fact that four of their five goals were scored by Ritchie and Howe.
Bustling StyleOn the day's play there was not a weak link in the Third Lanark team. Their bustling style of play will upset many sides. Aberdeen need not be disheartened. They are still in the running for honours, being one point behind Celtic and one above Rangers. There was lesson to be learned from Saturday's match, and if the Dons have learned it their defeat may do more good than harm. The Dons were knocked completely out of their stride in the first ten minutes. With eight minutes gone Third Lanark took the lead. Kennedy failed to get his boot properly to a Ritchie corner, the ball shot out to the left and Howe darted in to head into the net. Two minutes later Mclnnes accepted a pass from Howe and sent in long, high ball. Westland misjudged its flight and it landed in the net.
MisunderstandingNine minutes, after the start of the second half the Warriors got a third goal. McGill left a Howe cross for Westland to clear, and Ritchie darted in to flash the ball into the net. Aberdeen got their solitary crumb of comfort in fifteen minutes when Lang turned a Beynon cross past Muir with his head. Ritchie was responsible for Thirds' fourth goal. Kennedy drew the defence, gave to Howe, and Ritchie nipped in to crash the ball into the net. The Warriors repeated the performance a minute later when Ritchie, lying unmarked, again found the net from a Kennedy cross. Most responsibility for Aberdeen's defeat rests on the shoulders of the defence, which never got a grip of the Third Lanark attack. There will have to be a tightening up in this department.
Faulty HandlingWestland in goal did not inspire confidence, his handling of the heavy, greasy ball being faulty. McGill never got a grip of Ritchie, who was too often left uncovered. It was the left back's poorest game of the season. Cooper was Aberdeen's best defender, and he, too, experienced some difficulty in holding Howe. The play of the half backs was disappointing. Fraser, who showed a return to something of his best form against Hamilton last Monday, shone neither in defence nor attack, while Falloon seemed to have lost much of his old "fire" and dash. It may be that the Irishman Is still feeling the effect of the injury received against Ayr United. Thomson was the best of the trio. Beynon was most prominent in attack, his fast runs and crosses always threatening danger. Lang on the left might have done well had he received more of the ball. For long periods he remained idle on the left touchline.
Inside Men SubduedArmstrong, despite the close attentions of Denmark, struggled bravely, but Mills and McKenzie were completely subdued by the bustling Third Lanark defence. Thirds were sound in defence. Muir in goal was safe, and he received excellent support from Carabine and Hamilton. The play of the half-backs was first-class. They were quick and sure in defence and gave good service to their forwards. Ritchie capped a fine display by scoring a hat-trick, and he and Gallacher were outstanding in an attack which showed speed and cleverness.
Source: Press & Journal, 30th September 1935