DEFENCE REQUIRES STRENGTHENING
AYR FIND IT EASY TO GET POINTSAberdeen's defence requires strengthening, and the attack, too, could be improved. These facts were clearly demonstrated at Somerset Park on Saturday, when Ayr United defeated the Dons by four goals to one. A glance at the League table suggests that Ayr are a very moderate combination, yet they experienced little difficulty in taking two points from Aberdeen. The Dons have been inconsistent since the start of the season, and until the management's search for new players meets with success the team will continue to secure only mediocre results.
AYR MEN ON TOPAberdeen neither impressed in defence nor attack against Ayr United. Despite the fact they had the advantage of the wind in the first half they were two goals in arrears at the interval, and Ayr seemed in little danger of dropping even one point. The homesters were faster on the ball and their direct and thrustful methods proved far more effective than Aberdeen's intricate movements. Ayr United took the lead in eighteen minutes, Devine conceded a free kick near the left corner flag and when Mayes sent the ball hard across the goalmouth Steele headed into the net. With twenty-four minutes gone Ayr increased their lead in somewhat lucky fashion. A drive by A. Smith seemed to be well covered by Johnstone when the ball struck McGibbon and was deflected into the net away from the 'keeper.
WARNOCK'S COUNTERAberdeen reduced the leeway two minutes later through Warnock. The right-winger raced in to meet a free kick by Thomson with his head and the ball landed in the net. Warnock injured his leg against the post in scoring this goal. Five minutes from the interval the home team secured a third goal when McGibbon dived low to beat Johnstone to a fast cross by Smith and head into the net. Aberdeen's best spell was in the closing stages of the second period, when Strauss took up the leadership of the attack. Armstrong went to inside-left and Scott to the wing, but their effort came too late. By this time Ayr had scored a fourth goal and had the points well won. Steele got the fourth counter twelve minutes after the restart. The Aberdeen defence hesitated and Steele sent the ball speeding into the net from a short pass from Smith. In the last minute Thomson failed to convert a penalty for Aberdeen.
SHAKY DEFENCEThe Dons defence was shaky under pressure and their marking was bad. The directors' experiment of playing Dunlop at left-back was not a success. Dunlop did his best, but he was obviously out of position. The player has most value to his side as a half-back. Johnstone in goal did not show up too well when the third goal was scored, but the keeper must be given credit for a number of really good saves. McGill appeared slow at times against Gemmell, but he was the better back. Falloon did not impress. He never got a grip of the nippy McGibbon, who outwitted him on numerous occasions. Thomson was Aberdeen's most reliable defender. The left-half refused to become flurried and worked hard to hold the Ayr attack in check. Devine was smart on the ball, but parted recklessly.
ARMSTRONG WORKS HARDArmstrong had to forage for the ball, and although he tried hard, could make little impression on a hard-kicking Ayr defence. Strauss received little support and was prominent only at the start and near the close. Warnock was lively until he was hurt in scoring the goal, but Willie Scott at inside-left did not fit into the scheme and was seldom prominent. McKenzie, as usual, was clever on the ball and in making ground, but much of his work went for nothing because of inaccurate distribution. Ayr had a first-time defence, which did not stand on ceremony. Strain was the more polished back, although Dyer played quite well. The outstanding man on the home side, however, was Mayes. The left-half showed clever positional sense, and his forcing work in attack had not a little to do with the success of the forwards.
STEELE SHINESSteele was the bright star in attack. Besides scoring two goals, he was clever on the ball and lent McGibbon excellent support. The centre-forward was fast and dangerous, while Smith on the wing made ground quickly and crossed many inviting balls.
Source: Press & Journal, 18th October 1937