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Aberdeen 4 - 0 Ayr United

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 0 Ayr United

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Armstrong, Brady 41, Smith 44, Mills 65.

03/01/1938 | KO: 14:15




Aberdeen F.C. players have evidently make a New Year resolution to produce better and brighter football. Following their narrow but deserved victory over Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday, they scored an easy win over Ayr United at Pittodrie yesterday afternoon.
The Dons gave a clever display against the men of Ayr. They were the better balanced side, and were in no way flattered by the margin of their victory. Certainly the visitors were handicapped by an injury to Andrew, their outside left, who was assisted to the pavilion few minutes after the start of the second half, but it is doubtful if this made any material difference to the result.


One of the brightest features of the match was the clever play of the Aberdeen inside trio McKenzie. Armstrong and Mills. They gave a splendid exhibition of subtle combined inside forward play, and in the second period had the Ayr defence badly rattled. The only complaint that could be lodged against them was that when the team was leading 3-0 they were inclined to fall into the old fault of over-elaboration.
Nicholson, Aberdeen's recruit from Barnsley, made a pleasing debut before the home supporters. Ayr tried both McGibbon and Steele at centre forward, but Nicholson proved the master of both. The Englishman rarely fails to get the ball in the air. and more satisfactorily still, his clearances usually find their way to the feet of a team-mate. Nicholson seems to have solved one of the Dons' chief defensive problems.
Ayr United must be given full marks for plucky display. Even when they lost the services of Andrew they refused to surrender, and only towards the close did their defence show signs of cracking up. Aberdeen had the better of the first half exchanges. Their play was more studied than that of their opponents, but the visitors threw away an excellent chance of taking the lead, when they failed to convert a penalty kick.


It was rather a simple affair. McGibbon in attempting a shot sent the ball against Nicholson's arm. Taylor took the kick and so delighted was the centre half when Johnstone saved that he rushed to congratulate the 'keeper. This occurred after twelve minutes' play.
The Dons continued to keep Ayr fairly well on the defensive, but it was only in the last five minutes of the half that they succeeded in breaking down the visiting defence. Hall, in goal, was hero for Ayr. and but for his brilliance, Aberdeen would have taken the lead before they did. He had one magnificent save from Mills.
The visitors moved quickly when they got going, but were generally well held by the home defence. Their nearest approach to a score was when Craig shot past after a try by Gemmell had rebounded off Fraser.
Aberdeen took the lead four minutes from the interval. Forceful play by Armstrong necessitated Taylor conceding a corner, and Smith's flag kick swept right across the goalmouth to Brady, who, lying unmarked, crashed the ball into the roof of the net.


Just on the interval Ayr lost the services of Andrew, and the Dons increased their lead. Hall saved splendidly from a freekick from Thomson, and then Smith netted after both the 'keeper and Mills had failed to reach a cross by Brady.
Both before and after the interval Ayr reshuffled their attack in an effort to improve matters, but it was of no avail. Aberdeen held a decided territorial advantage. but they failed to translate their superiority into goals until twenty minutes had gone. This was the best goal of the four.
Mills landed the ball in the net, but it was Armstrong who did the leading up work. The centre veered out to the left after gathering the ball, and then smartly cut it into the middle for Mills to beat the 'keeper.
It was following this goal that the Aberdeen forwards started to indulge in the pattern-weaving. It was pretty to watch, but although they could afford to do it with three-goal lead it is tactics which are not to be encouraged.


The fourth goal was a well taken affair. McKenzie gathered a high ball and ran through to force a corner. Brady's flag kick went over Currie's head, and Armstrong breasted the ball down to send into the net. Hall got his hands to the ball, but could not prevent it crossing the line.
Aberdeen's defence did not reveal any glaring weaknesses yesterday. Johnstone kept a good goal, and received excellent protection from Nicholson and the backs. Cooper was again sound and confident, and McGill took no risks against Craig.
Fraser's kicking was uncertain at the start, and, although he improved later on, he was not so effective as at Dundee. Thomson played soundly in defence, and he seemed more willing to take part in the attacking movements.
Mills was a more lively forward than in recent games, and his ball control and distribution were good. Armstrong was the hardest worker in the line. The centre nonplussed the Ayr defence by roving to right and left. He was clever in possession. and spared no effort to make openings for his team-mates.
McKenzie, too, impressed with his ball manipulation, and had his shooting been of the same standard as his outfield play he would have been the outstanding attacker afield. Smith on the left was a willing worker, but lacked craft, and missed two possible scoring chances in the opening half.
Brady was a fast and at times dangerous right-winger, but was inclined to be over-impetuous.


Ayr's defence put up a plucky display, and no player did more to prevent a bigger score than Hall, the 'keeper, who brought off some grand saves. Dyer was the better back, and Mayes was the hardest working half-back.
The attack was keen and fast, but was lacking in craft. Steele was the most enterprising forward. Craig. Ayr's young recruit from Royal Albert, showed cleverness on the right, and with experience gives promise of developing into a clever winger.

Source: Press & Journal, 4th January 1938


Hundreds of football enthusiasts making their way to Pittodrie Park, Aberdeen, yesterday afternoon from the west end of the city were held up for over fifteen minutes when a tram car broke down in Union Street near Holburn Junction.
The time of the breakdown was 1.50, when the Pittodrie rush was at its height. In a matter of seconds several cars were strung out behind the stationary one, all filled with passengers anxious to reach Pittodrie in time for the start of the match.
Congestion was relieved by pushing the disabled car to Castle Street, where was clear of the line down King Street, and traffic soon returned to normal.

Source: Press & Journal, 4th January 1938

Ayr United Teamsheet
Hall; Dyer, Strain; Taylor, Currie, Mayes; Craig, Steele, McGibbon, Andrew
Attendance: 15,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: H. Watson, Glasgow
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