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Cowdenbeath 1 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Cowdenbeath 1 - 1 Aberdeen

Scottish Qualifying Cup Fifth Round
Cowdenbeath scorers: McMahon
Aberdeen scorers: Ritchie, Ritchie.

29/10/1904 | KO: 15:15

Qualifying Cup - On the High Road

Fife Generally and Cowdenbeath in particular, was in a state of great excitement on Saturday. And no wonder! After defeating four Second Division League clubs, three of them on foreign fields, the club was down to dispute the sixth round honours of the qualifying cup with a fifth - viz. Aberdeen, on their native green. The clubs defeated in the previous rounds were Raith Rovers, Falkirk, East Stirlingshire, and Leith Athletic. There would be close on 5000 present when the teams took the field. Cowdenbeath won the toss, and Aberdeen kicked off towards the south goal. Play opened with a kick, a rush, and a roar, and the game gave early promise of being a hard one. Horne sent over the bar in the first minute, and at the other end Thomson cleared with plenty to spare. Attempts at goal were very rare, the eagerness of the respective backs and half-backs keeping the forwards out of range. The first move which promised developments was an attack by Cowdenbeath, and a miss by one of the backs looked disastrous from the Aberdeen point of view. A colleague stepped in and cleared, but in doing so conceded a corner on the right. A corner which fell to the left raised the excitement round the Aberdeen goal, and a minute later Cowdenbeath to a man was on his feet shouting in a frenzy of excitement. The ball bobbed for a minute or two, and then McMahon, getting his foot on at three yards' range, shot right into the net. Immediately afterwards McAulay had hard luck in missing by about a foot with a running kick. In the course of another attack on the Cowdenbeath goal, Suttie caused the local men to draw in their wind sharply by missing his kick, especially as the Aberdeen Robertson was lying ready on the touch line. He recovered sufficiently, however, to block the forward's kick, but the visitors were not yet shaken off, and Low had a splendid shot from 20 yards, but Thomson stopped it quietly. Then a foul came their way, but still the equaliser did not come. But it was in store for them, and a double miss of the Cowdenbeath backs enabled Ritchie to score a fine goal. Half-time - 1 goal each.

In the first raid on the Cowdenbeath goal after the resumption Robertson and Suttie again had faulty kicks, but, happily, the consequence did not count. That the game was to go on as hard and determined as in the first half was early apparent, and that the Aberdeen forwards continued their superior form of football was not at all palatable to the local crowd. The inevitable came at last, and a pretty piece of work it was. After some finely judged passing among the forwards Robertson lifted the leather right across to Ritchie, who met it with the side of his boot before it reached the ground, and scored the leading goal. This success put new life into the game, if that were possible. From the kick-off, Cowdenbeath worked their way down the right. In a rush by the Aberdeen forwards, Matthews was tripped just inside the penalty area, but the free kick did nothing of note. But there was life in the home men yet, and Horne, getting off on a sprint for goal by himself, let fly and hit across the bar with terrific force. The excitement following this increased as the home men yet pressed; and Horne getting off on a sprint, Brown succeeded in beating McFarlane, but a previously awarded foul nullified the point. Play continued fast till the finish, but no further scoring took place, and the game ended:- Result:- Aberdeen, 2 goals; Cowdenbeath, 1 goal. Cowdenbeath - Thomson; Robertson and Suttie; Orrock, Brown and Edmonds; Gildea, Mercer, Moir, McMahon, and Horne. Aberdeen -MacFarlane; Murray and McNicol; Halkett, Strang and Low; Robertson, G. McNicol, Mackie, McAulay, and Ritchie. Referee - Mr McGill, Thornliebank.

Source: Aberdeen Free Press, Monday 31st October 1904

The remarkable success of Cowdenbeath in the Qualifying Cup competition this season has created quite a sensation in Scottish football circles. Four Second Division League clubs have already been beaten by the Fifeshire team, consequently more than ordinary interest attached to their meeting with the Aberdeen at Cowdenbeath in the sixth round. Both teams were strongly represented, and the afternoon turned out an ideal one for the game. Long before the start a large crowd had assembled in the ground, and at the kickoff there were fully 5000 spectators present. Special trains were run from the surrounding districts, the ground being taxed to its first utmost capacity by a most enthusiastic assemblage. The teams were:- Cowdenbeath: Thompson; Robertson, Suttie; Orrock, Brown, Edmonds; Gildea, Mercer, Moir, McMahon, Horne. Aberdeen: Macfarlane; Murray, D. McNicol; Halkett, Strang, Low; Robertson, G. McNicol, James Mackie, McAulay, G. Ritchie. Referee - Mr. McGill, Thornliebank.

Cowdenbeath won the toss and played with a slight breeze in their favour. The game was started at 3.15 - fifteen minutes before the advertised hour - to enable the match to be finished in good light. Cowdenbeath immediately took up the running, and were soon at the Aberdeen goal. The Aberdeen backs, however, were equal to all demands, and, from a fine return by D. McNicol, Ritchie got away on the left, but when nearing goal he sent the ball behind. The excitement among the spectators affected the players. The Cowdenbeath forwards swung the ball from wing to wing, Gildea, on the right, being specially prominent for quick runs and centres. If anything, Cowdenbeath had more of the play, but they invariably overran the ball at close quarters. Halkett repeatedly checked Horne on the left, who, although he had many opportunities, failed to get far afield. McAulay made the first real attempt to open the scoring for Aberdeen, a shot from about 10 yards out being safely cleared by the goalkeeper. Altogether, however, the display of football was not of a high order. The Aberdeen goal had a narrow escape, Murray failing to clear a center by Gildea. Halkett rushed up just in time to reach the ball and cleared. The Aberdeen right half earned rounds of applause for his clever work. He passed on nicely to Mackie who subsequently transferred to George McNicol, and that player almost brought the downfall of the Cowdenbeath goal. Strong kicking by the backs on both sides was the feature of the play for some time. Encouraged by their supporters, the Cowdenbeath team confined play to the Aberdeen end of the field, where Murray and McNicol were very safe. A long shot from the centre was easily cleared by Macfarlane, and both Horne and Gildea threw away a couple of fine chances. Macaulay and Ritchie were prominent in the Aberdeen front rank, but Mackie was somewhat slow in the center. At the end of 25 minutes' play Cowdenbeath scored the first goal of the match. It was the outcome of a scrimmage near the goal, following on a corner, McMahon sent in the ball with great force, the goalkeeper having no chance. At this point the Aberdeen players improved in every department, whereas Cowdenbeath appeared to be quite content with their one goal lead. Low and Halkett gave their forwards every opportunity, and on one occasion the left half back centered right in front of goal, where McNicol headed over the bar. The play of the Aberdeen team was certainly worthy of a goal, and about 10 minutes from crossing over the equalising point was obtained by Ritchie. George McNicol led a movement on the part of the whole of the Aberdeen forwards, and ultimately the ball was sent over to the left wing. Robertson, the Cowdenbeath right back, could not reach the ball in time to clear, and Ritchie, rushing up, scored a capital goal - a swift, low shot completely beating the goalkeeper. Now that the teams were on an equal footing, the game became faster than at any period during the first half. Macfarlane affected a marvelous save close on half time, Gildea sending in the ball at an awkward angle. The goalkeeper had the greatest difficulty in clearing with three forwards surrounding him. Robertson and McNicol got away on the right, and then after McAulay and Ritchie were stopped by Robertson (right back) a few yards from goal. Aberdeen had all the play up to half time, and only the skillful defensive work of Suttie and Robertson kept them from scoring.

The play of the Aberdeen team in the second half came as a revelation to the Cowdenbeath players and spectators alike. For practically the whole of the first half Aberdeen adopted similar tactics to that pursued by the Cowdenbeath team - strong kicking and quick following up on the part of the forwards. As the game advanced however, it was at once evident that the visiting forwards had made up their minds to play a combination game, with the result that they monopolised the play for fully three-quarters of the second half. Strang made a capital effort to increase Aberdeen's lead, the ball going over the cross-bar. D. McNicol and Murray kicked and tackled with great judgement, while the Aberdeen half back line very rarely allowed the opposing forwards to cross the halfway line. McAulay sent in several very fast, low shots, and the wonder was that the Aberdeen did not score at least a couple of goals. The Cowdenbeath team fell off greatly in their play, and the half backs frequently missed the ball altogether. Only the steadiness of Robertson and Suttie saved the Cowdenbeath side. The first named in particular played finely. Horne broke away on the left, and seemed certain to score, when Halkett stopped him right in front of Macfarlane. Cowdenbeath, however, were never really dangerous during the first 30 minutes of the second half. That Aberdeen were the superior lot of players there could be no two opinions. Three times in succession did Henry Low shoot hard and straight for goal from about a dozen yards out, and on each occasion the ball rebounded off a Cowdenbeath player. Mackie was twice tripped with no one but the goalkeeper in front of him. At the end of 30 minutes' play, however, Aberdeen were rewarded with the winning goal. Robertson raced down the right wing, and then centred to McAulay who dribbled a few yards and at the same time threw the opposing defence off their guard, subsequently crossing over to Ritchie. The outside left made no mistake with his parting shot, and Aberdeen stood one goal up. Time and again the Cowdenbeath forwards rushed the ball towards the Aberdeen goal, but it was just at this point that Duncan McNicol was seen at his best. Time was wearing on, and with seven minutes to go one of the Cowdenbeath half-backs sent the ball past Macfarlane, but a previous infringement ended in the referee granting a free kick to Aberdeen, Then the Aberdeen defence was put to a severe test, even the backs on the Cowdenbeath side swarming round the Aberdeen goa in an attempt to equalise. Three minutes from time the scene on the field of play and round the enclosure was of the most extraordinary description. The excitement was intense when Horne struck the cross-bar from about three yards range, and then Macfarlane cleared twice in succession. The Aberdeen defence never wavered, and McNicol's generalship at a critical time was all of the greatest advantage to his side.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 31st October 1904

Cowdenbeath Teamsheet
Thomson; Robertson, Suttie; Orrock, Brown, Edmonds; Gildea, Mercer, Moir, McMahon, Horne
Attendance: 5,000
Venue: Central Park, Cowdenbeath
Referee: Mr. McGill, Thornliebank
Next Match
HJK Helsinki
30 Nov 2023 / 17:45 / Töölö Football Stadium, Helsinki