The penultimate stage of the Scottish Qualifying Cup competition was reached on Saturday, when Aberdeen met Clyde at Aberdeen and Renton met Arbroath at Renton to contest the entrance to the final round. These two matches were looked upon as the most important in Scotland on Saturday, and of the two, that between Clyde and Aberdeen certainly attracted most attention, the general impression in the west of Scotland being that if Clyde defeated the northerners the destination of the cup for the year would be as good as settled. Clyde, however, did not win, and now Aberdeen and Renton will meet, probably in Glasgow, in the final round to fight for possession of the trophy, provided nothing comes out of a protest launched by the Clyde captain near the end of the match at Pittodrie against one of the Aberdeen players, the ground of the protest being an alleged professional irregularity during the close season.
Saturday was a record day in club football in Aberdeen. Fully 12,000 people paid for admission to Pittodrie Park, the drawings amounting to the magnificent total of over £284. Only once before has Pittodrie Park contained so many football enthusiasts, that occasion being when the Scottish-Welsh international was played several years ago. In a huge crowd there was a fair sprinkling of Clyde supporters, a special train from Glasgow having brought between 200 and 300 of them to witness the game.
This was the second meeting of the teams this season at Aberdeen, the previous meeting having resulted in the defeat of the Aberdeen by one goal to nil.
When the teams lined up on Saturday the weather was ideal, and the turf being on the soft side, rather favoured the visitors, who were the heavier lot. Aberdeen lost the toss, and were sent to play with their backs to the sea and their faces towards the setting sun. The teams were as follows:- Aberdeen: Macfarlane; Murray, McNicol; Halkett, Strang, Low; Robertson, McNicol, Lowe, McAulay, Ritchie.
Clyde: Dickie; Gilligan, McDonald; Williamson, Clark, Peebles; Adams, Walker, Kennedy, Greer, Macleod.
Referee - Mr. W. McArthur, Stirling. Linesman - Clyde, Mr. William Rankin; Aberdeen, Mr. John Thompson.
Aberdeen started in promising fashion, and in the first minute the keeper had to handle. Aberdeen maintained a few minutes' keen pressure, and Robertson was given offside as he sent a shot into Dickie's hands. Clyde had a run to the other end, and McNicol misjudged. A minute after, Murray, in clearing, sent the ball into an adjoining field. From the kick-off Macfarlane held a shot in brilliant fashion, and punted out. Henry Low stopped a likely run, and was making off when he was tripped. Murray took the kick, and placed the ball well in. When it came back, Murray executed some stubborn tackling, beat three opponents, and crossed to Robertson, who shot. The ball went past, but Dickie was all there. Play was very fast, but lacked the finer touches. Macfarlane got the ball, and tricked Greer. Murray cleared on the line, and the ball going to the centre, Low, by a brilliant piece of dribbling, carried it well up towards Dickie. Strang was playing a rousing, bustling game, and did a lot of useful work. Robertson got away with the ball, crossed brilliantly, but Ritchie, in a rare position, missed completely. A likely run by Clyde was stopped by Halkett.
Clyde were playing a hard, determined game, but the Aberdonians would not allow them to settle. After Murray had beaten two opponents, Clark, the Clyde centre-half, tried a long pot shot, but Macfarlane was at his post, and cleared with ease.
Brilliant work by Robertson was loudly cheered. He raced along the line at full speed, and crossed. Ritchie, who was up in time, dashed in and scored in brilliant fashion, Dickie having no chance to save. Aberdeen's first goal was received with tremendous cheering, which lasted for some time. The first exciting incident after the kick-off was a race between Adams and McNicol. The latter kicked into touch for safety. A dangerous shot from Kennedy was diverted by Murray, and the ball went over the bar. Aberdeen were now playing with great confidence and to much more purpose than their opponents. Murray and McNicol were clearing in irresistible fashion. A smart piece of work by Lowe let Ritchie away, but McAulay, in accepting Ritchie's pass, was blocked. The Aberdeen centre was doing a lot of smart things, but Ritchie was not picking up the passes. Murray and Muirhead had an exciting tussle, but the former was forced to kick into a touch. A foul against Halkett on the 12 yards line looked dangerous, but Macfarlane ran out, and, picking up, cleared neatly. An ugly shot was badly negotiated by McNicol, who, however, cleared his lines. A moment later the ball was returned, and Henry Low headed out an almost certain goal. Clyde were now pressing with great determination. The Clyde forwards, with nobody to beat but the backs, bore down on Macfarlane, but McNicol neatly blocked Kennedy, and dribbled up the field before parting with the ball. Aberdeen's play, as compared with the opening stages, now showed a considerable falling off. A fine centre by Robertson was muddled by Lowe, who seemed to be over-anxious in his eagerness to score. Duncan McNicol nipped the ball from Kennedy's foot 5 yards from goal, and sent it past. Aberdeen were now very closely pressed and Clyde frequently looked like scoring. Aberdeen managed to raise the siege, and a spell of play followed in Clyde territory. Dickey, slipping in attempting to negotiate a shot from McAulay, fell on one knee, and Gilligan saved an almost certain goal. Clyde dashed quickly to the other end, and the Aberdeen backs failing to clear, Macfarlane was again called upon. The fair-haired goalkeeper, however, was unbeatable. Aberdeen made a short visit to the other end, but Lowe overran the ball, and Clyde came back. The Aberdeen backs were not clearing particularly well, but the rapid recovery saved the situation again and again. Macfarlane saved a remarkable shot from Muirhead. After some midfield play a confused melee in front of Macfarlane caused considerable anxiety. There was no saying where the ball might come out, but it landed opportunely at Duncan McNicol's foot, and he made no mistake about sending it up the field. Strang beat Muirhead, but the relief was only momentary, Clyde maintaining up pressure which was well worthy of a goal.
When the game was resumed, the sun had gone down, and Clyde thus were at no disadvantage. From the kick-off, Aberdeen made headway through McAulay and Ritchie. Henry Low tried a long shot, but he was a bit off the mark. Robertson was brought down when he was dashing off, but no foul was given. Dickie's kicking was very weak. Ritchie tried an overhead kick at the goal, but the ball went past. Adams was making away with the ball, but Low was at his heels, and smartly robbed him by kicking into touch. Macaulay was a shining light, but he was well backed up by his partners. Macdonald, the Clyde left back, was neatly tricked by Robertson with an overhead kick. Macdonald raced off with Robertson and Lowe at his heels, and so hard pressed was he that he had to give away a corner. Aberdeen were now having the best of the exchanges.
Gilligan brought down Robertson foully when the Aberdeen outside right was about to score, and a penalty was justly awarded to Aberdeen. Henry Low took the kick, but it was a somewhat weak effort, and the keeper got his fist on it almost without moving from the position he had taken up on the 6 yards line. Dickie's save cost a corner, and a second corner followed. The Clyde got the ball away, and Adams, hoodwinking McNicol, who attempted to block him, made off, with Duncan McNicol and Low after him. Low, with a swinging kick, tipped the ball from Adams's toes into touch. Gilligan, the Clyde right back missed his kick, and Lowe had an easy chance, but he was too excited and overran the ball. At the other end a minute later there was a most exciting incident, Macfarlane saving with two opponents hindering him. The Clyde linesman claimed a corner, and the crowd began to chaff him. He appealed to the referee against the conduct of the spectators, whose behaviour certainly was not what it ought to have been. The referee stopped the game, and Mr. Harry Wyllie, one of the directors, appealed to the crowd. The game being resumed, the visitors sent Aberdeen into their own territory, and a miraculous save by Halkett, who nipped the ball from Muirhead's foot when the Clyde man was going to shoot, was loudly cheered. When the second portion of the game was more than half finished, Dickie the Clyde Capitan, seeing that the game was lost to his team, advanced up the centre of the field, and lodged a written protest with the referee, the protest being founded on an alleged professional irregularity by Murray, said to have been committed through the Aberdeen right back playing in a five-a-side game in the close season. Dickie was derisively cheered for thus leading the Clyde forlorn hope. Murray, in punting out a dangerous shot, hurt his knee. The game was stopped for a minute. Excitement rose high shortly after the game restarted. G. McNicol brought the ball down, and Ritchie shot in, striking the upright. Again McNicol had a try, a raking low shot from some distance out taking Dickie to his knees. Aberdeen pressed in determined fashion, and Lowe skied a fine cross from Robertson. Ritchie got into fine position, but his cross was too far down. Low from 30 yards out took the keeper again to his knees. The internationalist was unbeatable. A run to the other end was well stopped by Murray. George McNicol was now are revelling in his work. Aberdeen look like scoring again, and they certainly deserved another goal. Ritchie all but found the net. Away to the other end went Clyde, and Kennedy got into a good position with the ball. Henry Low, however, smartly jumped in and cleared with an overhead kick. Although Clyde occasionally broke away, they were invariably overhauled by the Aberdeen half-backs or were stopped by the backs. Ritchie cleverly tricked Gilligan and Williamson on the Clyde goal line, but his parting shot was high. It was a rugged, stubborn game, and the frequent attempts of Aberdeen to increase their lead kept the spectators in a high state of excitement. Aberdeen continued to have by far the best of the play, and how they did not score again was puzzling to understand, so frequently were they down on Dickie. Possibly the excitement accounted for this. At the other end a cross from Robertson was missed by both Lowe and Ritchie, both of whom might have scored. Duncan McNicol kicked into touch from Adams. Clyde towards the close adopted a wild kick-and-run game on the off-chance of scoring, but the Aberdeen backs lay well down and cleared their lines every time. In the last 5 minutes the Aberdeen forwards clustered around Dickie's goal, and with ordinary luck should have scored. Their shooting was weak, however, the best attempt being a rocket shot from G. McNicol. A hard, exciting, typical cup-tie game thus ended in a brilliant and well-earned victory for
A RECORD ATTENDANCE
The attendants at the match, which, as indicated, is estimated to have been at least 12,000, constitutes a "record" for football and Aberdeen, and the gate money is almost a "record." The drawings well:- Gate money - £236 1 3
Stands - 48 10 0
Total- £284 11 3
This sum has been only once exceeded in the matter of drawings at a football match in Aberdeen, and that was on the occasion of the Welsh international match at Pittodrie, when the sum drawn was upwards of £286. On that occasion however, the prices of admission to the stand were increased to 2s and 2s 6d, and thus, although the drawings were higher, the attendance was not so large as on Saturday.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 14th November 1904