Brilliant Approach - Work Wasted Near Goal
ABERDEEN'S Scottish League championship hopes were buried at Ibrox Park on Saturday, and the Dons' forwards dug the grave. It was a feast of football and a faming of goals.
If Aberdeen are to clear the first Scottish Cup hurdle at Pittodrie this week, the forwards must develop more punch. Brilliant football in the outfield is simply so much wasted effort unless it culminates in goals.
Rangers can now almost safely be hailed as champions. Only a sudden collapse - and the Light Blues don't go in for that sort of thing - can stop them adding another flag to their already formidable list.
The match-winning shot in Saturday's tussle came in the twenty-eighth minute. When the ball was whipped over from the right Thornton headed on towards Waddell. Scotland's right winger came hurtling in and sent a left-foot drive rocketing into the net. 'Keeper George Johnstone got his hands to the ball but could not stay its progress.
Over the ninety minutes, play was probably more often in Rangers' half of the field than Aberdeen's. The Dons played good and sometimes better football than the champions, but they had nothing to show for it at the end of the day.
In short, Aberdeen hadn't a shooting star. On a heavy and treacherous ground the leading-up work of the forwards was stamped with the V for victory sign. In the vicinity of the penalty area it became for vexation. There wasn't a shot in their locker.
There was too much short, square passing. What was needed was someone with "smash-and-grab" ideas; someone willing to have "go."
I made note of the testing shots Bobby Brown, the Rangers' 'keeper, was called on to deal with. The total came to four, and the half-backs were responsible for three of them.
McLaughlin had the first following a throw-in by Kiddie, and Brown saved at the expense of a corner. Harris had the distinction of being the only forward to deliver a telling snot. Brown was again glad to turn the ball round the post.
The only notable goal-getting efforts in the second half came from Dunlop and Taylor.
Alec Kiddie was weak on the right wing. He lacked both drive and initiative. The amateur won't be seen at his best until the grounds become hard. Harris, leader of the attack, was always a trier, but seldom threatened danger.
Hamhton was unusually subdued, due to the fact that Rae followed him like a shadow. Williams and McCall, on the left, were responsible for some of the brightest passages of combined football, but like their team-mates, they appeared to have mislaid their shooting boots.
The Pittodrie half-back line played well. McLaughlin and Taylor were strong in the tackle and were ever ready to urge on the forwards. The former vied with Rae as the best half-back afield.
Cowie Calls Off
Cowie had to call off at the last minute owing to illness, and McKenna received an SOS to travel on Saturday morning. Ihe left back gave a sound display, and has fully recovered from the muscle injury that has kept him off the since the Hibs game on December 28.
Cooper had a lively afternoon against Waddell. The winger was more than a match for him in speed, but Cooper stuck tenaciously to his job.
Although they scored only once, Rangers were much more dangerous inside the penalty area than the Dons. Waddell, Gillick and Thornton were their best forwards. Rae took the half-back honours, and Young was the better back.
Source: Press & Journal, 20th January 1947