Dons Account for Motherwell
CLEVER PLAY BY ARMSTRONG
Strauss and Beynon Get GoalsAberdeen cleared their first big hurdle with something to spare when they beat Motherwell at Pittodrie on Saturday. This forenoon they should beat Queen's Park, and on Saturday first they tackle the redoubtable Celts at Parkhead, the scene of their last "away" defeat. Providing the Dons reveal the same spirit and purposefulness at Celtic Park as they did on Saturday they may well avenge last season's defeat. Were the forwards to pull out that little bit extra in the matter of finishing, victory against Celtic would seem assured. Aberdeen's greatest advantage on Saturday lay in attack, and had the forwards' finishing been of the same high standard as their outfield play the Dons might well have finished with a much more substantial lead. The team as a whole played well and showed considerable improvement on the previous displays against Dundee and Third Lanark. The defence was steadier and the attack moved with more cohesion and speed. In the first half the forwards kept the ball moving in splendid style. The inside men swung it from wing to wing to the discomfort of the Motherwell defence. Much of Aberdeen's success is doubtless due to the early goal. Play had been in progress only about a minute when the Dons took the lead. Beynon broke-through from a Dunlop pass to send in a hard drive. McArthur could only push the ball out, and Strauss fastened on to send into the net. With seventeen minutes gone, Armstrong let Beynon away, and the left winger cut in to loft the ball over the 'keeper's head into the net. These two early reverses had an upsetting influence on the Motherwell team, while it gave the Dons plenty of confidence.
Chances LostAfter the interval Aberdeen's play did not reveal the same fluency as in the first half, but they still maintained a territorial advantage and should have increased their lead. Strauss got through to strike the upright, and later the South African missed his kick when he might have scored. Armstrong, too, missed a chance. He found himself in possession in front of goal, but under the impression that he was offside he made no serious effort to score.
Smith ShinesThe defence was sound, and the covering of Cooper, McGill, and Falloon was greatly improved. Smith, in goal gave one his best displays this season. He revealed confidence throughout, and notable among some excellent saves were two from McFadyen, the visiting leader, in the first half. Cooper and McGill kept the Motherwell extreme wingers fairly quiet, and tackled and kicked confidently. Falloon took the honours in defence, however. He was sure and nippy in everything he did, and he was a big thorn in the side of the Fir Park attack. Thomson and Dunlop, the wing halves, were seen at their best in a defensive capacity, and of the two Dunlop was the more impressive. Much of the success the Aberdeen attack was due in no small measure to the clever distribution of Armstrong. The clever manner in which he swept the ball through to the extreme wingers caused the Motherwell defence a great deal anxiety. On this form it is difficult to see bow the selectors can omit him from the Scottish team to meet Germany next month.
Beynon CleverNo less effective than the centre was Beynon, who did many smart things and got across numerous dangerous balls. The Welshman seems to have found his best form this season. Mills and McKenzie, the inside forwards, worked hard both in defence and attack, although they have been seen to better advantage. Strauss was opposed to a sound back in Grant, and was seldom allowed to become dangerous. Once they had recovered from the loss of the early goals, the Motherwell defence played splendidly. The half-backs never got a grip of the Aberdeen attack, and Grant and Elli were often overworked. Blair found Armstrong an elusive opponent, while Wales and Telfer never settled down to their usual steady game.
Fir Park Halves PoorThe Fir Park attack was poorly supported by the half-backs, and never struck a really sound combined game. McFadyen was a dashing leader, but was well guarded by Falloon, and the most enterprising forward was McGillivray, who got through a tremendous amount of work. Ferguson, on the extreme right, showed some smart touches.
Source: Press & Journal, 28th September 1936