Display of Defence Unimpressive
HELD TO DRAW BY DUNDEEExcept for the first sixteen minutes, during which they scored two goals, Aberdeen were never allowed to settle at Dens Park. Had the Dons' defence been as impressive as in the opening matches of the season this lead might have proved sufficient to win the game, but, as it was, half-backs and backs faltered before a speedy and enterprising Dundee attack, and the teams were level before the interval. The Aberdeen attack could do nothing against a Dundee defence which did not stand on ceremony. Tackling was fierce and ruthless, with the result that the finer points were conspicuous by their absence. It was a typical Northern "Derby," quarter neither being asked nor given. Although the football rarely attained a high standard, the exchanges were of a keen and interesting nature throughout. There was no lack of thrill, but the majority were confined to the first half.
Strauss-Armstrong GoalWith ten minutes gone, a Strauss-Armstrong movement brought the opening goal. The left-winger sent the ball across the ground to Armstrong, and while the Dundee defence hesitated the centre sent into the net. Six minutes later came the second goal. Mills took a free kick awarded against Rennie for fouling Armstrong. Marsh stopped the inside left's shot from just outside the penalty area, but the 'keeper dropped the ball, and it rolled over the line. The Aberdeen defence was shaky in face of the determined Dundee thrusts, and with thirty-one minutes gone a miskick by Cooper resulted in a goal. Steve Smith dived full length in an effort to stop Phillips' shot, but the ball came to rest in the net. This goal restored the Dundee team's confidence, and two minutes from the interval they drew level. The Aberdeen defence was caught out of position, and Phillips was left in possession and unmarked inside the penalty area. Steve Smith rushed from his charge in an effort to avert disaster, but the ball glanced off the 'keeper to Coats who sent into an empty-goal. There was no further scoring, although both teams fought grimly for the deciding goal in the second half. Dundee seeded the more likely lot during this period, but their one real opportunity was allowed to slip. It came twenty minutes from the and, when Smith palmed out a shot by Linton, the ball went to Latimer, but this unexpected gift, proved too much for the winger, who sent weakly against the upright.
Improvement NecessaryThis was the second week in succession in which Aberdeen's play has not been up to championship standard, and there will have to be a big improvement, especially in defence, if they are to retain the leadership. Smith, in goal, was not to blame for either of the goals scored against the Dons, but his judgment was at fault when he palmed out that shot, to Latimer. Cooper was the weakest link in the Aberdeen defence, his tackling ' and kicking being much below his usual standard. McGill, although not brilliant, was the better back. Falloon had to contend with a speedy and enterprising opponent in Coats, but held his own, and once or twice helped his back out of tight corners. Thomson and Dunlop, the wing-halves were not particularly impressive. They were too busy trying to check the Dundee attacks to lend their own forwards much assistance. Thomson never succeeded in subduing Phillips, while Dunlop was little more successful against Baxter.
Sharp Dundee TacklingSo sharp was the Dundee tackling that the Dons' attack was never allowed to strike a combined game, and there was not an outstanding personality in the line. Except in the opening stages, Armstrong was generally well held by Evans, and Mills and McKenzie never got going. Strauss was responsible for the pass that brought the opening goal, but afterwards was never dangerous, while Beynon, against Richards, the best back afield, could get little room to work. Dundee deserve credit for the manner in which they fought back after losing two early goals, and on Saturday's form not many teams will prove successful at Dens Park. Their defence never faltered after the opening minutes. Richards was the better of two strong backs, while Evans put in a tremendous amount work in defence. Guthrie and Smith were a wholehearted pair of wing-halves. The honours in attack went to Phillips, although Coats and Baxter were also a continual source of danger. Linton was the better of two mediocre wingers. Several hundreds of Aberdeen enthusiasts made the journey by road and rail, and there was a crowd of about, 26,000.
Source: Press & Journal, 21st September 1936