Forwards Were Chiefly to Blame for Defeat
By NORMAN MACDONALD,/p>
THE Dons are unpredictable. They are developing a habit of faltering when least expected. Their 0-1 failure at Kirkcaldy came as a big disappointment.
It is difficult to pin-point the reason for their defeat. Certainly from George Johnstone outwards the Raith Rovers defence showed an abundance of fighting spirit, but that does not altogether excuse the Aberdeen forwards' failure to get goals.
The Pittodrie front line never succeeded in welding themselves into a unified striking force. There was a tendency towards over-elaboration.
There was little attempt at subtlety in the Kirkcaldy attack. They believed in direct methods. The Rovers might easily have established a three-goal lead before the interval.
There was nothing spectacular about the goal that won the match. It came after twenty-four minutes play.
Martin, in goal, has been one of Aberdeen's most consistent performers this season, and it is unfortunate that this should mar his record.
McIlhatton, Raith's recruit from Dundee, had wandered into the middle and from well out released a high lob.
Martin had the ball covered, but instead of pushing it over, he pawed it against the crossbar. When the ball dropped. Collins was waiting to glide into the net.
Two minutes later Emery interfered with Young when the Raith centre forward attempted a solo dash through the middle. The referee awarded a penalty, but Colville sent the spot kick against the post.
Again before the interval the Kirkcaldy team might have increased their lead when Collins found himself clean through from a high lob down the middle and ran on to send against the woodwork.
Suddenly, in the second half, the Dons seemed to realise that they were in danger of defeat. They threw everything into an effort to save the game.
It became one-way traffic towards the Raith Rovers goal, but there was a hold up in the vicinity of the penalty area. Truth to tell, none of Aberdeen's forward stars really twinkled in this game. There was any amount of individual polish, but far too little cohesion and punch.
Hamilton got little support from his inside men and in his individual attempts he was crowded out by Colville. Delaney flashed into the picture once or twice in the second half, but generally McNaught had him under close surveillance.
The Aberdeen wing half-backs were more successful than against Falkirk, but they were still below top form. Harris was liveliest in the first half, while Anderson was more dashing after the interval.
The Dons' best players were McKenna and Young. The left back played soundly throughout, with the result that McIlhatton had a very mediocre debut for his new club. Young was confident and reliable at centre half.
There was any amount of dash about the Raith team. George Johnstone played well in goal and McLure and McNaught had the better of the argument with the Aberdeen wingers.
They had a clever ball player in attack in Maule, but the inside right was inclined to overdo it. Emery found Brander's speed a trifle disconcerting. The former East End forward is fast and direct and is not afraid to shoot. Source: Press & Journal, 27th November 1950
Raith Rovers Teamsheet
Johnstone, McClure, McNaught, McLaughlin, Colville, Leigh, McIlhatton, Maule, Young, Collins, Brander
Aberdeen Teamsheet Martin
Venue: Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy
Referee: W. Davidson, Glasgow