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Arbroath 3 - 3 Aberdeen

HT Score: Arbroath 2 - 3 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Brady, Armstrong, Strauss.

18/12/1937 | KO:




It took Aberdeen a long time to find their feet at Gayfield on an iron-hard ground, which made ball control and accurate football difficult. By the time they became accustomed to the impish tricks of the ball and the fact that their feet were apt to go from under them at the most awkward moments, they were two goals in arrears.
All their attempts to play accurate combined football proved unavailing. Arbroath, on the other hand, seemed less handicapped the state the ground. They were content to swing the ball about and follow quickly, tactics that enabled them to retire at the interval with a two goals lead.
Aberdeen were a different team in the second half, and they proved that in spite the conditions good football was possible. For twenty minutes the Dons delighted with an exhibition of clever, cohesive football, and at the end of that period a two goals deficit had been transformed into a 3-2 lead. The teams finished level, and all things considered this was a fair result to a well-contested game.


Arbroath took the lead in twenty-one minutes. McInally and Lowe cleverly made ground on the right, and when the winger centred and Johnstone slipped and fell in going to cut out the ball, Brand headed into the net.
The second goal came just on the interval, and again McInally played a leading part. He carried the ball upfield and parted to Brand, who drove into the net without hesitation.

Nine minutes after the start of the second half came a spectacular Aberdeen goal. Mills, Armstrong and Strauss combined cleverly, and when the centre sent the ball along the ground to Strauss, the South African sent it crashing into the net.
Six minutes later the Dons were on level terms. McKenzie, Brady and Armstrong started an attack which ended with the centre on the wing and the winger in the centre. Armstrong sent the ball into the middle along the ground, and Brady guided it away from the 'keeper into the net. A minute later McKenzie sold the dummy to two Arbroath defenders and put Strauss in possession. The inside-right accepted a return pass and practically walked the ball into the net. The referee gave offside, a decision with which the Aberdeen players were not in agreement.
The third goal was not long delayed, however. Strauss was fouled by Fordyce near the corner flag. He took the kick himself and Robertson failed to hold the ball, which seemed to be over the line before Armstrong came in to add the finishing touch.


Arbroath drew level sixteen minutes from the end. In attempting a clearance McGill sent the ball square across the field, and Devlin gathered it to find the net with a glorious left foot drive from twenty yards' range. With the conditions such as they were the defenders were at an even greater disadvantage than the attackers. Under the circumstances it was difficult to gain a true idea of the worth of Nicholson, Aberdeen's recruit from Barnsley, but the general opinion was that he was a player of promise. The Englishman adopted the role of defensive pivot, but once or twice he showed that he was capable of attacking as well as defending. He was shaky at the start, although the same may be said of all the defenders, but he demonstrated that he was strong in the tackle and has good recovery powers.
Johnstone in goal played well, and Cooper was sounder than he has been for some time. The right back kept Duff well subdued. McGill was less successful against Lowe, and did not impress. Both Fraser and Thomson, especially the former, showed a big improvement on the previous week's form. They were prominent in attack as well as defence. The forwards struck a telling game in the second half. Strauss was the most dangerous member of the line, and his first goal suggested that he is recovering his shooting form. Armstrong and McKenzie seem to have benefited by their short spell with the reserves. The centre-forward distributed play smartly and tried hard to make openings in the Arbroath defence. McKenzie was more effective than previously, and seemed more capable of controlling the "live" ball than any of the others.


Brady, on the extreme wing, was one of the hardest workers afield, while Mills took the eye with clever distribution. Robertson may have been at fault when Aberdeen scored their third goal, but otherwise he handled well. Becci was the more reliable back, and Gavin, the former Aberdeen player, gave a sound display at centre-half. Brand, who joined Arbroath from Hall, Russell's, proved himself a lively leader and a good opportunist. The best play in the home attack came from Lowe and McInally on the right. This pair combined well and were often dangerous.

Source: Press & Journal, 20th December 1937

Arbroath Teamsheet
Robertson; Fordyce, Becci; Adams, Gavin, Urquhart; Lowe, McInally Brand, Devlin, Duff
Attendance: 5,000
Venue: Gayfield Park, Arbroath
Referee: R. G. Benzie, Irvine
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride