Fulham Mens' Speed Tends to Bewilder Dons in First Half
MILLS PUTS LOW, FAST SHOT INTO CORNER OF NET
Keen Game in Miserable Weather Before 2000 SpectatorsConditions were just about as miserable as they could for Aberdeen's visit to Craven Cottage last night, when they lost to Fulham by the odd goal in three. It was pouring rain when the players took the field, and the attendance was negligible. McGill, Aberdeen's left back, hurt his side at Cardiff on Monday night, receiving an injury that will keep him out of the team on Saturday. His place was taken by Falloon. It wag a tribute to both teams that, despite the heavy going, the play, in the early stages at least, should have been of such a brilliant order. The Aberdeen forwards especially displayed some of that delightful combination which has gained them such high esteem in the Scottish League this season. They wove the most attractive patterns on the muddy ground, and the ball almost invariably found the feet of the man for whom it was intended. Beynon, snatching one of these well-placed balls, eluded two Fulham defenders in the first few minutes and nearly put Aberdeen ahead with shot that just missed the crossbar.
Arnold Opens Fulham's AccountNotwithstanding, Fulham were the first to open their account. The goal came from Arnold, their fleet-footed left -winger, about a quarter of an hour after the game had started. He showed a turn speed that disconcerted Cooper, and dashed in to crash home a finely-taken shot after having drawn Smith out of his charge. The Fulham team got going after that, and Smith had an unhappy time of it. The London forwards relied more on their speed than on anything else, and they were jacks-in-boxes popping up from the most unexpected places and dashing with lightning speed towards Aberdeen goal. There was one occasion when Woodward, the Fulham centre-forward, headed against the crossbar with Smith well out of his goal, and there was another when Arnold smashed in a shot that, fortunately for the Dons, hit the outside of the upright.
Aberdeen BewilderedLong before half-time it was evident that Aberdeen were bewildered by Fulham's thrustful raids. Nor could Armstrong, McKenzie and Mills make much headway against Gibbons, the Fullham stalwart, generally acclaimed the best half-back in the Second Division in the English League. He showed a few tricks that baffled the Aberdeen forwards. In fairness, he did not always get everything his own way. To give an idea of the relentless bombardment the Fulham forwards, Smith had the breath knocked out of his body when, shortly before half-time, he gallantly saved three rasping shots that flew at him in quick and bewildering succession. The very fact that Aberdeen were put upon their mettle placed the game above the 'friendly ' order of affairs. It was more like a cup-tie at times, albeit a cup-tie fought on clean lines.
Mills' EqualiserMills did not take long to square matters in the second half. If the goal was not spectacular it was at least opportunely taken. The ball came across from Warnock, and Mills, coming round a couple of Fulham defenders, put a low, fast shot past Tootill into the corner of the net. Both Cooper and Falloon began to get the measure the Fulham forwards after half-time. They put up a grand show, and there is no doubt at all that the Londoners would have been two or three goals ahead had they not found the Aberdeen backs so steadfast. Armstrong and his colleagues, too, began to find their way more frequently into an area that spelt danger for Fulham and they showed the spectators that they, too, had plenty of tricks in their locker. But always it seemed they held the ball too long, giving their opponents time to cover up. The Fulham inside right, Trevor Smith, who had been putting up a brilliant show, put Fulham ahead in the fading light close on time. He swerved his way right through the Aberdeen half-backs and backs to place a beautiful shot in the net. Aberdeen ought to have made a draw of it the following minute, but Mackenzie allowed the ball to get too far ahead of him with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Thrills and Clever PlayThe game will leave pleasant memories amongst the spectators who braved the weather. There were thrills in plenty, and a great deal of clever play on the part of both teams. It showed in a very distinctive way, too, the difference between the Scottish and English types of football. Aberdeen supplied the brain and Fulham the speed while both brain and brawn were supplied by Gibbons, the centre-half, on the one hand, and Cooper, the Aberdeen right back, on the other. The Scots' policy of "think before you kick" did not always pay, but again Fulham's speed was often their undoing, as they were inclined to run the ball out of play. Armstrong, Aberdeen's much discussed centre forward, was too well watched by Gibbons to be effective.
Source: Press & Journal, 22nd April 1936