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Aberdeen 2 - 4 Third Lanark

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Third Lanark

League Cup Group D
Aberdeen scorers: Pearson 11 (Pen), Harris 65.
Third Lanark scorers: Ayton 8, Scott 47, Mitchell 52, Scott 62

09/10/1948 | KO: 15:00

Forward Wanted? Mason Fills the Bill

Changes in Dons' Defence Were Not Successful

WHEN Scotland's selectors meet on Wednesday to choose a side to meet Wales it is more than likely that they will decide to retain Billy Steel (Derby County) at inside left.
If that is the case, they need look no further than Jimmy Mason (Third Lanark) for the other inside-forward position.

Mason was the complete forward at Pittodrie on Saturday. Conditions were against his slight build, but it was his intelligent positional sense and shrewd use of the ball which put Third Lanark on the wav to their 4-2 victory over Aberdeen.
In fifteen minutes of the second half the Dons' prospects of a safe journey to the matchplay stages of the League Cup were wrecked. They are now level with St Mirren, who have an advantage in goal average.
The final matches of the series this week will decide the issue.
Aberdeen didn't go down without a fight - but they just were not good enough. Cracks which appeared in the defence against Dundee last Monday were widened by the skilful ground passing of the Third Lanark forward line.
Changes made to checkmate Mason and Mitchell were not successful, and it is doubtful if they will be repeated.
McKenna is unhappy at right back and this time he never got to grips with Mitchell, while Emery's disinclination to go into the tackle simplified the task of Down, a Powderhall sprint winner, who disrupted the defence by sheer speed after half-time.
Thomson couldn't be classed as a failure, but he gave Scott too much rope at times. Recently there has been criticism of Stenhouse and Waddell for their failure to give the attack adequate support, but here they scarcely had time to do so as they were much too occupied trying stop the scheming of Mason and Ayton.

Ayton Impressive

The latter was watched by a host of English club representatives, and while not in the same class as Mason he must have created a good impression by his abiity to bring his winger into play with first-time passing.
That was where the Dons' inside supports failed. Hamilton tried hard enough without being able to elude the vigilant Mooney, while Smith's enthusiasm was not enough to make him a success in his first big game. After moving to centre in the second half he finished on the right wing suffering from a leg injury.
Nobody did more than Harris to avert defeat for the Dons. Both at centre and inside left he was the best of the line, and it was disappointing to find so little response from the wings. Williams was more effective when he moved to centre.
Pittodrie supporters may find some consolation in the fact that Third Lanark can do the Dons a good turn by defeating St Mirren this week. If they produce the same slick teamwork as they did at Pittodrie they must have a great chance of upsetting the form book still further.
Smith missed an early chance to put Aberdeen ahead, and in eight minutes Third Lanark struck first. Ayton beat Johnstone to a cross from the left and glided the ball into the net. Three minutes later Mooney handled in the penalty area and Pearson coolly levelled the scores.

The Mason Touch

There was no more scoring in the first half, but two touches of Mason gave the Warriors a two-goal lead before the second half was eight minutes old. Down put the ball across from the inside man's pass on each occasion, and first Scott and then Mitchell beat Johnstone.
Scott completed the home team's discomfiture in the seventeenth minute when he took Ayton's pass and beat a defender before shooting a fourth goal. Harris reduced the leeway with a twenty-five-yard special, but that was the last of the Dons' as a scoring force, and Thirds finished good winners.

Source: Press & Journal, 11th October 1948

On Reflection

The rainstorm last week must have kept 15.000 away from Pittodrie. The weather was atrocious - it should have been all against good football, and yet we saw a wonderfully good game, with Third Lanark at times showing flashes of brilliance. Throughout the entire 90 minutes Mason exerted his influence on the game. He is at the top of his form just now, and he gave a wonderful exhibition of effective inside-forward play against the Dons. In the first half he was comparatively quiet, but after the change-over he was the master tactician. But Thirds were by no means a one-man team. They all played their part, and on the day's showing were superior to the Dons. What of the Dons? Against Third Lanark the defence had a rank bad day. The halves gradually lost what grip they had, while the forwards were somewhat erratic. These supporters who braved the elements gave the Dons all the vocal support that a team could wish. Even when the score was 3-1 it looked as though Aberdeen might get a point, but the scoring of the fourth goal was the knock-out blow to the Dons - for the day only? - for the competition? To-day will tell!

Source: Reserve match programme, 16th October 1948

Third Lanark Teamsheet
Petrie, Balunas, Kelly, Orr, Harrower, Mooney, Downs, Mason, Scott, Ayton, Mitchell
Attendance: 12,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: D. McKerchar
Next Match
Motherwell
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27 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen