Aberdeen and Falkirk met at Pittodrie Park, Aberdeen, in an East of Scotland League fixture before a crowd of about 3000 spectators. The weather was close and sultry. Notwithstanding the reign of the earlier part of the day, the pitch was dry and fast. The day was an ideal one for the spectators, but it was rather warm for football. The teams were:-
Falkirk: Pettigrew; Leishman, Miller; Scott, McPherson, Mitchell; Simpson, Graham, Cameron, Queen, Niven.
Aberdeen: Macfarlane; Willox, D McNicol; Halkett, W Low, H Low; Robertson, G McNicol, Ruddiman, McAulay, Edgar.
Referee - Mr. Jacks, Deans, Dalkeith.
The game was not long started, when it was seen that it was to be a hot one, the ball bounding high and traveling fast on the crisp, dry, pitch. From a lofty return by Duncan McNicol, G. McNicol passed cutely to Ruddiman, and the Aberdeen centre made in efforts to get through. McAulay darted ahead to help Ruddiman, and was given off side. McAulay it was in early prominent for his clever footwork and crafty generalship, and, if a slow shot from his foot had all the necessary sting, but was wide. Falkirk's tactics strikingly contrasted with those of the Aberdeen players, and consisted almost entirely of big kicking by the backs and half-backs to the wings. Again and again Wilfred Low caught the eye, his dashing and effective, if not finished tackling, breaking up the attempted combination of the Falkirk forwards. The ground team's play was clever and well thought out, the variety of trick work displayed delighting the spectators. The sure tackling and powerful punting of some Willox and McNicol gave the Falkirk attackers the right about, and discourage them again and again. For a time the Aberdeen left wing monopolised the play, Edgar, McAulay, and Henry Low working beautifully to each other. A cunning feint by McAulay left the ball to Henry Low with a clear way to the goal net, and Lowe drove the ball goalwards with all his like power. Luckily for Falkirk, Pettigrew had his wits about him, and with the mighty spring he stopped the ball's flight, and cleared. Tricky Edgar had a great bout with Leishman, but he got his cross in, and G. McNicol warmed Pettigrew's hands with a rocket shot. The brothers Low worked the ball between them in a brainy unprofitable way, which, if developed, may prove a strong factor in the Aberdeen team next season. Wilfred Low was the hardest working half-back on the field, and he frequently crossed to give his more experience brother, who was slightly off form, a helping head or foot. Aberdeen continued to force the pace in a way that no cure detailed for Falkirk, but weakness in the goal front was again and again glaringly apparent. Miller missed his kick, but Ruddiman was not expect in a chance, and it was gone before he had made up his mind what to do. Ruddiman was disappointing, so also was George McNicol. A dangerous breakaway by the Falkirk forwards was repulsed by sturdy some Willox, whose mighty punt deposited the ball at the other end of the field. Miller's shakiness was again apparent, when in intercepting a slow-running ball from Henry Low, which Pettigrew was preparing to negotiate, he lifted it past the upright just a few inches outside. Ruddiman was none too successful in attempting to work high balls with his head, as he invariably fell. Simpson, the Falkirk outside right, was the dangerous man in the visitors' front rank, and Duncan McNicol had in him a pretty tough handful. Duncan, however, more than held his own, and was cheered for the way he checked several runs, and returned the ball. Excitement next throws with a breakaway on the Falkirk left, and for once Willox was out-manoeuvred. Wilfred Low covered up brilliantly, and kicked out, but the ball was sent back and Niven, with only Macfarlane to beat, shot weekly and wide. Robertson's dashing runs and deadly cross is on the Aberdeen right were robbed of their effect by the slackness of G. McNicol and Ruddiman. Robertson was proving too much for Miller, and the Aberdeen flier invariably had the better of the tussles. Miller and Robertson had an exciting race for the ball, and to say the worst result, but little Falkirk back gave away a corner. Aberdeen were frequently dangerous, and worked hard for a goal, but corners were the only tangible result of the pressure. It was from a corner, however, the Aberdeen scored. McAulay it was who brought about a corner. He dashed in and caught a cross from Robertson with his head, and directed it into the goal, Pettigrew giving away a corner in saving. Robertson took the kick, and the ball was directed across to goal by Halkett's head. McAulay, with a natural spring, headed it into the top corner of the net, Pettigrew handling but failing to hold. Falkirk weakened up, and Simpson had a clever run up the field, beating Duncan McNicol all the way. He finished with a magnificent screw shot cleverly taken in an awkward position, and Macfarlane had some difficulty in clearing. A few minutes later a surprise shot from near midfield almost took Macfarlane by surprise, the goalkeeper fisting the ball over the bar just in the nick of time. For the space of ten minutes Falkirk, by vigorous, forcible play, held the upper hand, and looked like equalizing. Niven again lost an easy chance by lifting the ball over, but possibly Mcfarlane's shrill, weird scream of "Offside" disconcerted him when he was getting set for a hot shot. Miller on one occasion made off with the ball from Ruddiman's toes, the centre standing as if glued to the spot, and rushed up the field through all opposition. Possibly it was by way of showing what could be done by an earnest, plucky man. Niven again got an opportunity. As he dashed in, Macfarlane with their judgment, dashed out, and the crowd marvelled how the fair-haired goalkeeper got the ball away, but he did, and returned to his charge with a grin on his face. The Aberdeen men reasserted themselves, and Robertson, after a dashing sprint, forced a corner. Halkett, who is now playing brilliantly, from Robertson's corner kick almost did the trick, the ball being sent behind by Falkirk man. In the scrimmage which followed a corner kick, Scott caught the ball and the sounds almost under the cross-bar, and a penalty kick was given. Henry Lowe took the kick, and landed the ball in the net, Pettigrew, who came out to the limit, just touching the ball as it passed him. Two goals up, Aberdeen played confidently, and Halkett for a little time was the most admired player, his clever tackling and timely and judicious placing marked him as half-back of the first water, despite his lack of height and weight. Ruddiman cause the thrill to run through the crowd by one of his straight-ahead speedy runs. No doubt, owing to excitement, being anxious to cover a faulty display, Ruddiman, twelve yards from goal, let the ball too far ahead, and Pettigrew, dashing out, got on the spot first, and cleared. Tom showed his disappointment in his face. The Falkirk goal had another narrow escape a moment later. A brilliant run down the field was taken part in by all the Aberdeen half-backs and forwards. George McNicol crossed to McAulay, who, with an open goal, bind the ball skywards. The effort was well-meant, but the effect was ludicrous, and McAulay joined heartily in the laugh against himself. Similar play characterized the game until the interval, Ruddiman, by falling in front of the Falkirk goal, letting another opportunity slip.
During the interval a number of the players showed the effect of the fast game and the warm atmosphere when lying punting on the drive tough. The cricketers, on the Old Town Links, in their spotless white flannels, looked much more like a enjoying life. Aberdeen started the second. Well, across from Robertson close in going a-begging. The Falkirk forwards were then several times dangerous, after which played deteriorated and was almost devoid of the incidents worthy of mention. The peculiarity of the Aberdeen play in the second period was the gradual decline of the left wing and the ascendancy of the right. Admirably led by Halkett, and occasionally by Ruddiman and McAulay, George McNicol simply revelled in his work, tricking the half-backs opposed to him every time he met them, and passing with unfailing accuracy to Robertson, who sprinted up the line and great speed, and crossed with deadly precision, and always close in. With Ruddiman in anything like form, Aberdeen's goal register should have been frequently added two through the agency of these players. Ruddiman dashed in, charge the goalkeeper, and did all that the centre-forward should do, but he was always a second or two late. He almost reinstated himself in the good graces of the crowd, by his dash after a clever screw by G. McNicol, the centre striking the outside of the upright with a dead shot from an almost impossible position. The play had deteriorated, Aberdeen kept the game well in hand, and the Falkirk forwards were seldom dangerous, Bar Simpson, who was well looked after. Robertson, from far out on the right, severely trying the Falkirk goalkeeper with the best shot of the much, the next notable incident being when Halkett, like a Japanese juggler, came bounding along with the ball balding up and down on his head. Robertson's hair raising crosses continued to go a-begging for want of a friendly foot to help them to their goal. Pettigrew had to handle repeatedly, but only two shots - one from Robertson, and another from Halkett in the closing minutes of the game - called for special exertion on his part. And into resting game ended with the scores standing - Aberdeen,2; Falkirk,0. Gate money, £70.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 15th May 1905