Worthily Defeat Rangers by Odd Goal in FiveAberdeen finished the season in a blaze of glory at Ibrox Park last night when they gained a merited victory over Rangers. By this win the Dons finished on level terms with the Light Blues, with sixty-one points. Rangers, however, take runners-up position to Celtic by reason of goal average. Aberdeen have the distinction of being the only side that has registered the double over the Cup-holders this season, and are the second team to humble the Light Blues on their own ground. Aberdeen had the advantage of a good breeze in the first period, but it was after the interval that they were seen at their best. Territorially Rangers were superior during the second period, but every Aberdeen breakaway threatened danger. The forwards kept the ball on the ground, and there were times when their nippiness had the Light Blues' defence guessing. Rangers' greatest weakness lay at half-back. where the experience of Meiklejohn and Brown was badly missed.
Splendid DefenceThe Aberdeen defence gave a splendid display, and their fine fighting spirit time and again frustrated dangerous Rangers' attacks. Smith, in goal, showed confidence and fine anticipation. He had two magnificent saves and one in each half from Venters. Cooper and Urquhart were sound defenders throughout. The right back, as at Tynecastle, was at the top of his form, tackling and kicking splendidly. He gave Kinnear few chances to shine. Urquhart, although less polished than his partner, was none the less effective, and Turnbull got small space in which to work. Falloon was his usual immaculate self. Clean and confident in all he did, the Irishman was outstanding in a gallant defence. He had many thrilling duels with burly Smith, and, despite the latter's big advantage in height and weight, more than held his own. Fraser served up one of his best displays of the season, combining defence and attack with rare skill. Thomson, who was forced to play with a skull-cap as the result of the head injury received at Tynecastle last week, worked hard throughout in an effort to keep Venters in check.
Speed and CohesionThe attack moved with speed and cohesion. Armstrong led the line well, despite the close attention of Simpson, and received excellent support from McKenzie and Mills, who displayed clever ball-control. The inside-left was injured, but this did not prevent him scoring his side's second goal. Beynon was a dangerous raider, but Cheyne, the former Fraserburgh player, kept Warnock subdued. Dawson was at fault when Aberdeen scored their opening goal, but otherwise he played well. Gray and Cheyne were a stout pair of backs, but the only half-back of note was Simpson. Venters and Smith were the most dangerous attackers, although McPhail displayed some clever touches. Turnbull and Kinnear did not impress.
Rangers AggressiveRangers were first to make ground, and Falloon stopped Smith in the nick of time as he attempted to gather a Kinnear cross. The Light Blues continued on the aggressive and Kinnear raced through the defence to part to Venters. The inside-right smashed the ball towards the corner of the net, but Steve Smith dived sideways to bring off a splendid save at the expense a corner. Clever work by McKenzie and Mills heralded Aberdeen's first attack, but Cheyne cleared as Armstrong allowed the inside-left's slip to go Warnock. Mills took the eye on the Aberdeen left when he gathered a Thomson throw-in, beat the back, and from the touchline tested Dawson with an oblique drive. With ten minutes gone, Aberdeen took the lead by means of a soft goal. A movement was checked on the right, but Thomson let Beynon away on the other end, and the winger's up-the-middle lob from about twenty-five yards beat Dawson, who was out of his goal, and landed in the net. A smart Venters slip had the Aberdeen goal in danger. Turnbull gathered the ball, but before he could shoot Falloon managed to scramble the ball away for a corner. Turnbull placed the flag kick well, and Steve Smith scooped a McPhail header from practically under the bar. The Dons held a territorial advantage, but their outfield cleverness usually came to an end against a solid Rangers defence. McPhail should have put the Light Blues on level terms a minute later when Smith drew the defence and then left his partner with a clear run on on goal. The inside-left raced goalwards, but, in attempting to place the ball past Smith, who had rushed out desperately from his charge, he sent past the post. Dawson had to rush from his goal to clear a weak Beynon centre, and then in the next Rangers' attack Venters' almost did the trick with a hook shot following a corner. Smith should have equalised when he shot over from a Kennedy pass after smart work on the right. Mills had to leave the field owing to a knee injury and during his absence Rangers set up a stiff barrage, and Smith had to save from Venters after a goalmouth scrimmage. Mills resumed after a few minutes' absence at outside-eft, Beynon going inside. The interval arrived with the Dons still leading by a single goal.
Rangers LuckyWhen the teams resumed Mills was at outside-right, Warnock inside, and McKenzie was inside-left. Rangers took matters in hand at the start, and the Aberdeen defence was hard pressed. Smith came within an ace of equalising when he wheeled like lightning to send narrowly past. When Rangers equalised they were lucky to do so. Smith slipped the ball through to McPhail, and the inside-left scored from a suspiciously offside position. The Aberdeen players appealed strenuously but vainly. The goal seemed to rouse the Dons' fighting spirit, and two minutes later ? ten minutes after the reastrt ? they went ahead again. Mills, who had slipped into his own position, accepted a masterly pass from Armstrong and gave Dawson no chance. McPhail had the ball in the nest again from a Smith pass, but on this occasion the referee gave offside. The equalising goal cam in fifteen minutes, and a dandy effort it was too. Venters gathered the ball in the middle of the field, and sent it crashing into the corner of the net from twenty-five yards. Stevie Smith made no effort to stop it, evidently thinking the ball was going past. Except for an occasional breakaway by Aberdeen, Rangers did most of the attacking, but in twenty-five minutes the Dons took the lead. Armstrong let Warnock away. With Beynon and Mills waiting to pop the winger's cross into the net, Kennedy brought the ball down with his hands. Thomson took the spot-kick, and sent the ball flashing into the net. The Light Blues strove desperately to get on level terms, and Smith brought off a brilliant save from Venters who cut in from the right. Aberdeen fought back in spirited fashion, and their neat, combination caused the Ibrox defence a good deal of trouble.
Source: Press & Journal, 30th April 1936